Trout River Environmental Committee
Encouraging Native Plant Diversity in the Stanley Watersheds
This summer we worked in six watersheds in the TREC region. Our goals were to continue to regenerate and diversify degraded riparian areas by maintaining and creating native tree patch cuts and planting native trees where riparian tree canopy has been lost, to improve our protection of native riparian vegetation by cutting wild cucumber vines, to create community interest in supporting wildlife with native plants by developing our Native Plant Community Garden with the help of local volunteers, to provide information to local residents and the broader public on landscaping with native plants including how to identify each species, province care and save seeds, to provide further information to the public on the benefits to wildlife of using and protecting native plants and to create a booklet about useful native plants for landscaping and their benefit for wildlife which can be used as a reference.
We made 38 patch cuts, planting native trees in each, as well as 11 other sites, for a total of 2355 trees and shrubs, helping to diversify the environment for all wildlife. We restored natural stream flow along 11 km of streams by clearing multiple blockages, building 19 brush mats, and clearing one old beaver dam. Removing wild cucumber along 11 km of stream, plus Morning Glory and Japanese Knotweed, will help native species to recover in future years. We electrofished two streams and found an unexpectedly high abundance of brook trout in the upper reaches of Granville Creek, which has been subject to extensive restoration work over previous years. We created native tree and shrub planting guides for 21 species, and printed many copies in full color, handing out 400 copies at our first annual Tree Drive- along with trees for local residents to plant. The Native Plant Garden was weeded, new signs were placed, and new plants introduced. In the Devil's Punchbowl Park, we created a new walking trail, reopened a number of trails that had been closed by fallen trees, and rebuilt two walking bridges.