Back row from left, Roger Koneizny, Ed Parke, Chris Elder, Stacey Hryciuk, and Dave Berry.
Front row from left, Jordan Smith, Grace Turner, Jessica Hryciuk, and Mara Erikson.
Approximately 45 people attended the Vermilion River Watershed Alliance at the Vermilion Regional Centre on February 8.
Landowner, Tim Axe, shared a presentation on a project that had taken place on his property last year. Approximately 4,000 trees were planted in a riparian are, and fencing was placed around them for protection. Previously, the area was home to a large amount of dead-fall and degradation from cattle. A large hill on the property also allowed for a gravity-fed pumping system to incorporate a couple of watering options. Water can be pumped from the well to a reservoir tank atop the hill and drained to other areas of the farm, or pumped from a pond and slough to those areas depending on where the cattle are located.
“We believe in the value of the diversity that occurs in those areas with both plant species, and beneficial insects and wildlife. It has become again a place where organisms can live and thrive,” said Tim’s wife, Maighread Axe, who had grown up on the property and remembered the wooded area before the degradation occurred.
Though they had always wanted to make improvements in the area, Maighread noted that they never would have had the time and resources available. The couple used the project as a learning opportunity for their children, and were thrilled with the “outstanding” work that had been done, noting that there is already a difference in less than a year.
MLA Dr. Richard Starke said, “Watershed groups do some really valuable work in terms of making people aware of how critical wetlands and riparian areas are to the health of our overall ecosystems. By restoring them, they improve the health of our environment by supporting a healthy population of both plants and animals.”
According to Mara Erikson, Extension and Stewardship Coordinator, the deadline for applications is March 15, but projects will continue all summer. For more information, you can call 587-525-6830 or visit vrwa.ca.