On Nov. 3, the Niagara Restoration Council completed one of their last plants of the year. Volunteers, including students from E.L. Crossley Secondary School, naturalist club members, and Niagara Peninsula Conservative Authority members, planted 2000 native tree seedlings in 3 hectares of land in Niagara.
“Our goal is to enhance natural regeneration by heightening the biodiveristy of species in the woodlots,” said Allison Graszat, Environmental Project Manager of Niagara Restoration Council. “This will both create greater habitats in the forests while also making them less susceptible to devastation from species’ specific pests and diseases.”
The Emerald Ashe Borer, a green jewel beetle native to Western Asia, has destroyed many ash trees in the Niagara region recently. This issue made the Port Colborne site an important candidate for the planting project.
“Committed to the development and implementation of many ecosystem restoration projects; the NRC addresses both aquatics issues and terrestrial issues.” This includes issues around water quality, fish barriers, wetlands stream bank erosion, reforestation, pollinator habitats, wildlife connectivity, invasive species and many other environmental issues.
“Restoration and recreation are both seen as very valuable projects for the NRC and for the most part are somewhat interchangeable terms,” explained Graszat, “When completing restoration projects such as forest corridor connection, and creating pollinator foraging/nesting sites, essentially the NRC is recreating habitats in order to restore healthy populations.”
The council is not limited to plants, as they are also running a large pollination project called “Blooms for Bees in Niagara.” Graszat says the council will creating 1000 square feet of native wild-flower garden plots in municipal parks all over the Niagara region.
“Next spring we expect to be planting 12 sites and will be looking for many volunteers to help out through the processes, such as planting, mulching, monitoring, and maintenance,” said Graszat.
NRC’s Annual General Meeting is open to the public, on November 24th at Niagara College (NOTL campus) room W213 – refreshments at 6:30 pm.