This program was a new initiative in 2004, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, and will provide incentives and technical support to landowners of wetlands for such activities as fencing and planting eroded banks and buffer zones with trees and shrubs.
Wetlands are critically important ecosystems, providing: water storage, storm protection and flood mitigation, shoreline stabilization and erosion control, groundwater recharge, and water purification through etention of nutrients, sediments, and pollutants. Wetland conservation can help maintain hydrologic flow atterns and mitigate some of the environmental impacts of climate change. In addition, wetlands provide ritical habitat and breeding grounds for many species plants and animals, including a number of species at risk. 2006-07 Annual Report, Environmental Commissioner Ontario, page 35
Ron Deshane's 2007 wetland enhancement project
Ron Deschanes pond was selected because ...
One of the initiatives for the Ontario Stewardship Rangers (yellow hats) and Earth Walkers (orange hats) was to construct some turtle resting platforms. As well, some beaver dams were repaired and a few Wood Duck boxes were put in place.
Over the past five years almost 130 nesting structures have been installed throughout the watershed to support species that benefit from habitat enhancement structures. Students at Renfrew Collegiate Institute built over 100 of these boxes for wood ducks and bluebirds and the Renfrew and Portage Cub Packs have helped build and install bluebird boxes as well.
Each year all boxes are monitored for usage, checked for damage, cleaned out and filled with fresh new nesting material. Most of the monitoring takes place in the late winter months when ice conditions allow easy access to the structures.
Work in 2007 has focused on the continuation of monitoring and mapping the GPS coordinates of all nesting boxes. This summer the Ontario Stewardship Rangers and the Pikwakanagan Earth Walkers assisted in building and installing bat houses and homes for nuthatches, flycatchers and bluebirds. Investigation of potential sites and structures for other species such as osprey will continue into 2008.
If you are interested in volunteering to help monitor these nesting structures please contact our Project Coordinator. If you are interested in making your own nestbox and/or bat box refer to this Ducks Unlimited Canada for plans.
Assistance has been provided by the Community Fish and Wildlife Improvement Program, Pemco Steel, the Renfrew Fur Council, Renfrew Fish and Game Club, Mountain Equipment Coop, Renfrew County Stewardship Council and Ducks Unlimited Canada.<
The BRWP’s tree planting program is a 50/50 cost-sharing agreement with private landowners to plant native trees and shrubs on private land within the watershed. The goals of this program are to enhance wildlife habitat by expanding corridors and to enhance water quality by expanding or creating buffer zones along water courses. Corridors attach forest patches and enhance connectivity which allows wildlife to travel safely between patches to obtain food and shelter, find mates and maintain genetic biodiversity. Riparian vegetation is that which grows along the banks of water courses and makes up the buffer zone which protects the waterway from bank erosion, nutrient loading and sedimentation. It also provides vital habitat for wildlife that use the waterways.
This program began in 2002 with the planting of 12,000 native trees and shrubs on private land within the Bonnechere River watershed. Since then, the program has expanded to include the planting of almost 26,000 seedlings in 2007 with 14 private landowners. Also in 2007 the Bonnechere River Riparian Tree Planting Program Landowner Information Folder was developed, a document designed to assist landowners in planning, planting and caring for their seedlings.
There is also an educational component to the program which provides grade 7/8 students the opportunity to learn first hand the importance of environmental projects such as tree planting. In 2007 St. Mary’s Catholic School in Wilno planted 1500 trees for a landowner requiring assistance planting.
Regeneration surveys were done this year on some projects that took place in previous years and further work on this will be a priority for 2008 to ensure that our efforts have been successful and help determine where planting should be focused in years to come.
If you are interested in receiving a Landowner Information Folder which includes an application for trees and letter explaining the program, or would like to volunteer to help plant trees in the spring, please contact our Project Coordinator.
Assistance for this program in 2007 was provided by the Community Fish and Wildlife Involvement Program, a program of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Renfrew County Stewardship Council.
A program to encourage best management practices that support rural water quality enhancement projects in the agricultural community. In 2004, under a cost sharing arrangement, assistance was provided for seven projects to fence cattle out of watercourses, install solar powered systems for livestock and to plant trees and shrubs along watercourses and on fragile land.
New water quality testing initiatives are expected to flow from our primary strategic priority, which is to develop a Watershed Plan. We are also a strong supporter of the Harris Creek sub watershed study where water samples are being collected from six test sites and analyzed in labs at the Ministries of Environment and Energy and Health, leading to Nutrient Management Plans on farms drained by two of the three municipal drains.