Helen and David Choat recently moved to their beautiful 33 acre property in Caledon. Part of the appeal of moving to the countryside was having a treed oasis to walk their three-legged dog Xena, who they adopted from Caledon Animal Services. “We wanted to plant trees and grow a forest for the future where we could enjoy our daily walks,” said David.
After contacting CVC about tree planting, they also signed up for the Caring for Your Land and Water workshop. The workshop led to a lot more than tree planting. “We realized we could be more thoughtful about what we could do on the property,” said Helen. “The workshop is like a training course to get to know the features on your property. We wouldn’t have known about our wetland or the opportunity to create a meadow,” added David.
Using the tools and information from the workshop, the Choats outlined areas on their property they were interested in enhancing to benefit the environment.
Using CVC’s restoration services, the Choats completed five stewardship projects. They planted over 13,000 trees and applied for the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program to receive a break on their municipal property taxes.
While they regularly see turkey vultures on the barn, herons feeding in the wetland and coyotes moving through the property, they added more wildlife habitat around the plantings by installing bird-nesting boxes. They also put up a bat box on the barn. Now they’re working on a meadow restoration.
“The meadow is the most expensive project, but we knew we would regret it if we didn’t do it,” explained Helen. “Grants from the Landowner Action Fund made it possible for us to do everything at once.”
The Choats made environmental improvements on an incredible 23 acres of their property. Their efforts were recognized at the 2018 Friends of the Credit Awards where they were presented with the Landowner Stewardship Award.
The Choats are settling into their new home with Xena at their side. They look forward to watching the trees grow and see the field transition to a meadow. They’ve made their mark on the property so they can enjoy it now and well into the future.