ERCA hosts restoration tour

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ERCAby Sylene Argent

The Essex Region Conservation Authority invited the community to join in on a Restoration Tour of Cedar Creek Provincial Park last Wednesday evening. This opportunity gave nature lovers an opportunity to peruse the Park and enjoy the scenery.

During this tour, ERCA Forester Rob Davies and Restoration Biologist Kate Arthur were able to point out the many different types of native plant and tree life that have been added to the Park in the recent past, which is located on the 3rd Concession, just off of Arner Townline.

Davies explained that Ontario Parks owns the property, and it has been designated as Cedar Creek Provincial Park. ERCA reps worked alongside individuals from Ontario Parks to restore and design the project.

Arthur explained there was already 130 acres of woodland on the property, which Cedar Creek flows through.ERCA2

Over 16,000 native trees and shrubs were planted on around 40 field acres on this property in 2013. In total, over 26,000 trees have been planted on site. There is a plan to do a wetland component in the back of the property as well. Arthur noted on sunny days there are all kinds of butterflies and grassland birds and other pollinators visiting the site.

The restoration began in 2013 with the planting of many trees and a native herbaceous mix between the tree rows, which included native grasses and wildflowers. This was done to help attract pollinators.

The Essex Region Conservation Authority has planted more than 80,000 trees and restored more than 125 acres of habitat in partnership with landowners across the region. The Conservation Authority used the Restoration Tour as a way to highlight a significant grant program it has that partners property owners wanting to convert at least one acre of property into a treed area within ERCA’s boundaries with the local Conservation Authority.

The tour was held to show interested individuals what has been done to the Park in the past few years and generate interest in ERCA’s tree planting grant program so projects can get initiated next spring in partnership with area landowners. It is hoped that landowners interested in this program will start thinking about it now and will contact ERCA in the very near future, so potential projects can get underway next spring.

For more information about this grant program, log onto erca.org.