Biodiversity Improvements Underway at the W.E. Burton Conservation Area

30-May-2023 30-May-2023

One of South Nation Conservation’s (SNC) day-use parks is undergoing a rejuvenation project this month to improve forest biodiversity, thanks to support provided by the TD Friends of the
Environment Foundation.

The W.E. Burton Conservation Area is a 3 km network of scenic nature trails winding alongside the Castor River in Russell, Ontario. Many visitors to the Conservation Area enjoy hiking, picnics, shoreline fishing, and taking in a spectacular view of the Russell Dam. The trails are maintained year-round by SNC for recreation in partnership with the
Township of Russell.

On May 30th 2023, Russell Mayor and SNC Chairman, Pierre Leroux was on-site at the W.E. Burton Conservation Area to accept $7,000 in funding from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. “As a non-profit organization, SNC’s work to manage and restore the natural environment is made possible through community, industry and agency partnerships and we’re pleased to see investments from TD Friends of the Environment in one of SNC’s most visited Conservation Areas to help improve biodiversity,” said Leroux.

Tree plantations are often monocultures of a single species of tree, and thus, do not contribute to supporting biodiversity and quality habitat for wildlife. W.E. Burton has a large monoculture Red Pine Plantation that has stunted the biodiversity at the Conservation Area. “What happens over time in a forest that is dense in one type of species, in this case Red Pine, is that only seeds brought in by birds that germinate will offer any diversity of species to the area. In most cases, this type of seed dispersal alone will not be enough to enhance the biodiversity of the forest,” explains Naomi Langlois-Anderson, Senior Fish and Wildlife Technician at SNC.

The TD Friends of the Environment Foundation will support the planting of fruit and seed-bearing native plants and trees that would attract wildlife and enhance regional biodiversity.

Some of the species that will be added to the Red Pine Plantation will include, Basswood (Tilia Americana), White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis), Bitternut Hickory (Cardya cordiformis), Black Walnut (Juglans nigra), Red Oak (Quercus rubra), Burr Oak (Quercus macrocarpa), Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris), Smooth Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis), Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana), American Plum (Prunus americana), Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia), Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum), Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), Grey Dogwood (Cornus racemose).

SNC, with funding provided by the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, volunteers from the local environmental group Eco East and community volunteers will have planted 1,000 native trees and shrubs and 1,000 native plants by the completion of the project.

To learn more about SNC’s Recreational Trails, visit:

For more information: Naomi Langlois-Anderson, SNC Senior Fish & Wildlife Technician,