RRCA Adding 13,000 Trees to Riparian Zones in its Jurisdiction this Fall

November 9, 2021

RRCA Stewardship staff Jamie Would (left) and Jessica Herrington planting white spruce by the banks of the Raisin River on a farm in Cornwall.

The Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) is enhancing riparian zones this fall by planting 13,000 trees in areas bordering watercourses in its jurisdiction in Eastern Ontario, in partnership with municipal and private landowners. These riparian buffers are sometimes referred to as “green infrastructure” as they harness natural processes to provide useful results.   

“Adding or strengthening trees and vegetation in riparian areas benefits the health of our watershed,” says Jessica Herrington, the RRCA’s Stewardship Coordinator. “They offer a protective buffer from potential contaminants, strengthen the soil against erosion, help retain useful nutrients on fields, and also provide food and habitat corridors for wildlife.”  

Conserving healthy riparian zones is a practice that has long been encouraged by the RRCA. Of the one million trees planted by the Conservation Authority since 1994, many have been installed in riparian zones. The 13,000 trees being planted this fall include a mix of conifers and deciduous trees, as well as some edible species. 

“We recently held a community tree planting event on the grounds of the South Stormont municipal office where the majority of species were, in fact, edible,” says Herrington. “Edibles buffers are a great option to get additional benefits from planting projects.”

The RRCA also offers full-service tree planting, with some projects eligible for subsidies through Forests Ontario’s 50 Million Trees program. Landowners looking to plant trees on their property next spring can contact Herrington at Jessica.Herrington@rrca.on.ca or by calling (613) 938-3611.

Funding support for the RRCA’s fall riparian tree planting was provided by the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks’ Great Lakes Local Action Fund.

For more information, please visit rrca.on.ca or contact (613) 938-3611 or info@rrca.on.ca.