The Natural Edge
Does Your Waterfront Property have a Natural Edge?
Waterfront properties are among the most beautiful – and most valuable – places to live. With the serene water, the clear night skies, and fishing and swimming right out the backdoor, they’re the perfect place to live, relax, and enjoy with friends and family.
Shorelines are also among the most important places on earth for wildlife. Throughout their lifetimes, over 90% of aquatic wildlife species use these land-water interfaces for food, shelter, breeding, and rearing areas. Healthy layers of vegetation including trees, shrubs, ground cover, grasses, flowers, and aquatic vegetation benefit wildlife, protect these shorelines from degrading, and support natural processes that are essential to a healthy watershed.
With the growth of new cottage developments, cottage-to-home conversions, and commercial and industrial developments along shorelines, these sensitive areas are threatened. With the loss of natural vegetation, several benefits to the lake are compromised, including water clarity and quality, safe swimming areas, and loss of wildlife habitat.
Participate in the Natural Edge – Landowners
The Natural Edge is a shoreline naturalization program available to waterfront property owners to plant native trees, shrubs, groundcovers, wildflowers, and grasses along the water’s edge. With support from our regional delivery partners and generous funding support from Ontario Trillium and the Daniel and Susan Gottlieb Foundation, Watersheds Canada is able to provide landowners with:
- A free site visit to discuss shoreline concerns, provide recommendations, and assess planting conditions;
- A personalized planting plan, including photos of selected planting areas and ideal plant species;
- Free resources to ensure that the newly planted vegetation thrives in the first few years of establishment and growth; and
- Follow-up and support with your new plants.
Participate in the Natural Edge – Delivery Partners
We’re looking for new partners to deliver our Natural Edge Program across Canada. By partnering, you will receive everything you need to run the program, including:
- Access to the Natural Edge App that allows partners to create custom restoration plans;
- Our password protected online Admin system which allows partners to customize their App to their local ecosystems;
- The Canada-wide Native Plant Database which is available online and is built into the Natural Edge App. The database helps partners select suitable plant species based on site conditions and Canada’s plant hardiness zones; and
- All necessary program materials, including communications, marketing, training videos, and ongoing support.
“Congratulations to [Watersheds Canada] for helping to protect our Great Lakes. This is a great example of community groups coming together to help ensure that our Great Lakes are drinkable, swimmable and fishable.” — Former Environment Minister Jim Bradley