Students Take Part in Shield’s Creek Restoration

03-Dec-2018 03-Dec-2018

Thirty students from Ottawa’s Hillcrest High School were hosted by South Nation Conservation (SNC) in October to work on erosion control projects along Shield’s Creek in Greely.

Through this work, the students were able to complete Specialist High Skills Major certifications towards their high school diplomas. Students helped with erosion control work, planting trees, participated in electrofishing, studied benthic invertebrates, and did water quality testing with Ottawa’s Water Rangers.

“Getting the students involved was a huge benefit to the Shield’s Creek restoration initiative,” said SNC Water Resources Specialist Katherine Watson. “When working in a community, we try to do as much project outreach as possible and through hands-on activities like this, students can understand why this work is important.”

SNC’s 4,300 square-km jurisdiction in Eastern Ontario includes the Greely area in Ottawa.  Among SNC’s 16-member municipalities, the City of Ottawa provided funding under its Water Environment Strategy (WES) to undertake Shield’s Creek rehabilitation this year and in 2017. WES is designed to protect the health of city waterways, wetlands and groundwater.

SNC collaborated with city staff to naturalize the Shield’s Creek corridor that features a recreational path along one side and agricultural land on the other. Staff and volunteers planted more than 1,800 potted trees and shrubs in the riparian zone of the corridor; in addition, 110 large caliper trees were planted on both sides of the creek to speed up reforestation. 

Three acres of wildflower seed was spread along the creek to establish a meadow for pollinators and 10 bird houses have been installed to accommodate native species. As well, two in-stream barriers have been corrected to allow for better fish passage and five eroding slopes have been stabilized using innovation control techniques.

“All in all, it has been a very rewarding undertaking for all involved,” Watson said. “The site will now stabilize to become a wildlife refuge and natural gathering area within urban Ottawa.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Katherine Watson, 1-877-984-2948, ext. 291,