Stewardship involves caring for our natural environment to maintain healthy land, air and water. It is important that we care for these resources in the most responsible and sustainable manner possible to ensure a healthy environment for both current and future generations. Land stewardship is something that everyone can participate in to improve the health of the watershed.
The Healthy Watershed Services Department partners with public and private landowners to implement a range of restoration projects. These can be implemented often through cost-sharing programs that help enhance water quality and wildlife habitat throughout the watershed.
Through the following programs, LPRCA works with landowners to help them protect and enhance their natural environment.
Conventional Tree Planting
This involves machine planting native seedlings in rows or hand planting native trees ands shrubs to naturalize your property. Varying degrees of site preparation and maintenance are required until the trees become established.
Download the Private Land Tree Planting Program flyer for more information
Pit and Mound Forest Restoration
Pit and mound technique relies on heavy equipment to create an uneven topography. This restoration technique mimics the conditions of a natural forest floor and provides a range of moisture and sunlight conditions. Large quantities of native tree nuts, grass and wildflower seeds and tree seedlings are then hand planted into the site. Restoring hydrology to the site with the pit areas also benefits wildlife habitat.
Wetland Enhancement and Construction
This involves enhancing an existing wetland or constructing a new feature as part of a larger associated habitat project. It can be as complex as using heavy equipment for large excavations, to something as simple as establishing appropriate vegetation or installing a sediment trap.
Tallgrass prairie is a wonderful habitat to restore on one's property to attract a wide variety of wildlife. One thing to consider when establishing this type of habitat is that it requires on-going and long-term maintenance commitments such as mowing and/or prescribed burning in order to suppress woody vegetation.
Riparian Buffer Zones
Natural vegetation along the shoreline of a stream, creek or lake plays an important role in protecting water quality, preventing soil erosion and providing wildlife habitat. When it rains, buffers trap pollutants and eroded soil before they get into the creek. While keeping the creek water clean, buffers provide food, shelter and space for fish, frogs, birds and small animals. They also stabilize creek banks, which help prevent soil erosion.
Species at Risk
Special projects have been undertaken to create and protect critical habitat for the many species at risk found in the Long Point Region watershed. Projects have included constructing snake hibernacula, creating wetland habitat and monitoring fish populations.
In addition to habitat restoration projects, staff works with the public and develops initiatives that help empower local residents to become stewards of the land they own or use.
Contact the LPRCA at 519-842-4242 ext 232 to learn more about the benefits of increasing natural areas or restoring environmental features on your property.