Written By: Nigel Finney, Watershed Planner & with contributions by Karlee May, Digital Media Coordinator
On May 25th, 2014, over thirty dedicated volunteers enjoyed a day of planting at Glenorchy Conservation Area, a grassland and wetland ecosystem, and welcomed addition to Ontario’s Greenbelt. The conservation authority is currently in the process of restoring Glenorchy. Restoration volunteers had the chance for a first peek before the conservation area officially opens to the public!
Conservation Halton is restoring diverse ecosystems at Glenorchy Conservation Area to contribute to a functioning and connected Natural Heritage System in North Oakville.
Volunteers planted wetland flowers, grasses, and sedges in a newly created wetland to provide a habitat for wildlife and improve watershed health. The volunteers also planted native prairie flowers to encourage biodiversity and pollinator species, like bees.
Species planted include:
- Wetland and Meadow Marsh – Tussock Sedge, Awl-fruited Sedge, Giant Bur-reed, Arrowhead, Common Three-square Bulrush, Monkey-Flower, Green-headed Coneflower, Common Boneset, and Swamp Milkweed
- Grassland – Butterflyweed, Round-headed Bush-Clover, and Golden Alexanders
We were lucky enough to see and hear species like the Bobolink, Field Sparrow, Lesser Yellowlegs, Barn Swallows, Mallard, and sandpiper species. The birds were not the only creatures on showcase! Participants also spotted a large Polyphemus Moth.
Thank you to staff volunteers from Credit Valley Conservation, Hamilton Conservation Authority, and the Town of Oakville. Thank you very much for your time and effort to helping rebuild the ecosystem of the conservation area.
We also want to say thanks to Environment Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Fund, Shell Fuelling Change, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Town of Oakville, and support also from the Conservation Halton Foundation.
Restoration Day is part of a larger plan to encourage the establishment and enhancement of the ecosystem of Glenorchy. Our objectives for Glenorchy are as follows:
- Vegetation establishment will be monitoring over the coming years. Cool season native grasses take a few seasons to become established and mature. In the interim, monitoring efforts will assist in determining any invasive species concerns.
- Enhancement of suitable habitat for the Mottled Duskywing, federally Endangered and a globally rare butterfly.
- Creation of habitat suitable for open country species at risk birds such as the Eastern Meadowlawk, Bobolink and Henslow’s Sparrow.
- Enhancement of habitat for the Eastern Milk Snake, a species of Special Concern.
- The three smaller wetland areas were created to capture runoff, create shallow habitat for amphibians and waterfowl and increase habitat diversity on the landscape.
- The larger wetland also provided an opportunity to install a raptor perch pole, summer bat maternity roost box, wildlife logs, and a turtle nesting area (Painted and Snapping Turtle).
- Amphibian Marsh monitoring will determine what frogs and toads utilize the wetlands as breeding habitat with a target of increasing breeding success for the Western Chorus Frog, a species in decline in Ontario.
- Breeding bird surveys will determine what waterfowl species utilize the new wetlands for stopover and breeding sites which have been reduced on the landscape.