As summer approaches and the spring planting season comes to a close, Watersheds Canada is proud to continue working towards shoreline rehabilitation through our Natural Edge program. This spring, we planted 21 sites on 9 lakes working alongside home and cottage owners in the rehabilitation and naturalization of their shorelines. Through these efforts, the Natural Edge staff have successfully planted a combined total of over 6121 square metres of shoreline with 1839 native plants.
The program provides an opportunity for homeowners to restore their shoreline to a natural state, while still allowing water access and a lovely view. Courtney Allison, the Natural Edge coordinator, explains: “Native species have adapted to regional environmental conditions and are preferred by local wildlife for shelter and food. Planting along shorelines enhances local ecosystems, stabilizes shorelines from erosion, and improves water quality by filtering runoff.” By participating in the Natural Edge program, you can ensure our waterbodies remain healthy so they can be enjoyed by others for generations to come.
The Natural Edge program provides a free site visit with landowners to discuss shoreline concerns, provide recommendations and assess planting conditions. A personalized planting plan is created, which includes photos of selected planting areas and ideal plant species. Plants are ordered, delivered, planted, watered, and mulched by Watersheds Canada staff and owners are provided with shoreline plant care manual which outlines how to ensure the new vegetation thrives, as well as follow-up visits and support. Cost to landowners is only 25 per cent of the total costs for their site.
“All advice is optional,” Allison adds. “The goals and wishes of the landowner drive the plan, and we work with landowners to complete projects that are economically feasible on a case-by-case basis. Watersheds Canada coordinates the ordering, delivery and planting, along with tools, materials and labour to complete the project. Landowners can participate in the planting, but it is optional and voluntary.”
Fall participation is booking up quickly, so any shoreline landowner within the Mississippi Valley watershed and Cataraqui watershed interested in this program should contact Chloe Lajoie at Watersheds Canada, 613-264-1244, or firstname.lastname@example.org.