January 25, 2021
Watersheds Canada – With a modified planting season and reduced staff and volunteers, nineteen shoreline properties still received the Natural Edge Program in 2020 thanks to a strong partnership between Watersheds Canada and Quinte Conservation.
The Quinte watershed saw 2,320 metres of shoreline naturalized with 7,780 native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers in 2020. This is in addition to the 3,966 native plants that were planted along 1,560 metres of shoreline in 2019.
Natural Edge staff and volunteers plant along a waterfront property in the Quinte watershed.
Delivered in partnership with Quinte Conservation, the Natural Edge Program worked with waterfront property owners to restore their shoreline by planting native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers.
“Working with Watersheds Canada to re-naturalize residential waterfront lots and in parks continues to be such a positive experience! The Natural Edge process is fun and engaging for our watershed residents. It’s a great way to help protect our waterways and stabilize shores while enhancing vital habitat for wildlife”, said Maya Navrot, Stewardship Coordinator with Quinte Conservation.
“We have been so encouraged by the response from waterfront residents across our region and look forward to another busy year of shoreline restoration in 2021”, Navrot adds.
Each landowner received a full-service restoration program, which included the creation of a shoreline restoration plan for their property using Watersheds Canada’s Natural Edge App. Each customized plan provided detailed descriptions of native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers suitable for planting based on their site conditions and personal preferences.
The planting was carried out by Quinte Conservation and Watersheds Canada staff and local volunteers. In addition, participating landowners were only required to contribute a portion of the total project costs. The remaining costs were paid for through generous funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
“We had a great year working with Quinte Conservation and all our participating landowners, I’m quite happy with all we accomplished and look forward to continuing in 2021”, says Chloe Lajoie, Natural Edge Program Manager.
A major focus of the Natural Edge program this past year was restoring five demonstration sites, including Cherry Valley Park on East Lake, Whytock Park on Deer Creek, O’Hara Mill Homestead on O’Hara Pond, Zwicks Park on Bay of Quinte, and the North Fredericksburg Sports Complex in Napanee. These sites were a great way to educate and involve local nature groups and volunteers in naturalizing a site that is important to them.
Quinte Conservation, Cherry Valley Park Association, O’Hara Volunteer Association, Madoc Lions Club, Town of Madoc, Town of Greater Napanee, Rotary Club of Belleville, and City of Belleville supported these demonstration sites. Each group was fundamental in leading plant selection, event coordination, and planting on the demonstration sites.
One demonstration site that received the Natural Edge Program was Cherry Valley Park.
“Our group was involved in the planning process as we chose which native plant species we wanted to add to our Park’s shoreline buffer. We planted in the fall with help from Quinte Conservation and Watersheds Canada staff. It was a very positive experience overall”, said Bradley Brummell, one of Cherry Valley Park Association’s Directors.
“The newly planted trees, shrubs, and wildflowers will help protect our park from the growing impacts of erosion. The plants will make the public boat launch and dock safer and help beautify the park. We hope more people will use our park for various events in the future”, adds Brummell. The Association also planted a memorial tree in honour of David R. Clapp that stands with the other trees from deceased Cherry Valley Lion’s Club members.
Members of the Cherry Valley Park Association, Quinte Conservation, and Watersheds Canada planted 140 native plant species along Cherry Valley Park’s shoreline.
The Natural Edge Program project in the Quinte watershed was generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Funding for the O’Hara Mill Homestead demonstration site and Whytock Park demonstration site was generously provided by Ontario Trillium Foundation and TD Friends of the Environment. The Natural Edge Program would not be a success without the support and involvement of local lake associations, community groups, and volunteers – thank you to everyone who made an on-the-ground difference for the Quinte watershed!
The Natural Edge Program has one more year of funding in the Quinte watershed. To learn more about the Natural Edge program and see if you are eligible for a site visit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://naturaledge.watersheds.ca. Spots are filling up quickly and are given on a first come, first serve basis.
Natural Edge Program Manager