Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
November, 3, 2006
by Pauline Donaldson
Pat Ferris to show how ‘boat loads’ of shoreline rehabilitation promote healthy watersheds, at next field naturalist lecture
On Thursday November 16, Pat Ferris will present “Shoreline re-habilitation and impacts on watershed health”, the third lecture in the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists watershed series. The lecture will focus on the work of MAPLE, the Mutual Association for the Preservation of Lake Environment in Ontario . Pat Ferris was the founding director of MAPLE, a volunteer group he established in 1983 while working as a Lakes Planner with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. He recognized the need for both “individual responsibility and group action to maintain shorelines in a natural state”.
Many lake associations have embraced MAPLE’s guidelines which help groups survey and assess individual shoreline properties, and recommend restorative action for properties with low natural value, such as those rated ‘ornamental’ which in the extreme may have chemically treated lawns extending to the waters edge. MAPLE can provide native plants and trees for shorelines requiring re-vegetation. The re-vegetated shoreline, unlike those with hard rock, provides habitat, not only erosion control.
MAPLE also runs a nursery on Christie Lake to cultivate indigenous plants and shrubs, and hosts volunteer spring and fall planting and cuttings days. Each spring, species such as Virginia creeper and willow are ready to be ferried around various lakes by brigades of boats. This is an interesting and rewarding program, one those living by water can learn much from. Shore dwellers can also do a lot by simply doing nothing as recommended in the ‘MAPLE 10′ program. To promote a healthy watershed, at your waterfront, mark off the area from the shore back 10 m and then do nothing. The natural ‘seed bank’ will soon sprout native plants which will slow erosion and start the shoreline naturalization process.
Ferris will outline MAPLE’s programs and the critical role natural shorelines play in reducing pollution and erosion, in providing shaded habitat for birds, amphibians and aquatic organisms, etc. Come and hear what can be done and what sources of information are available on what to plant, as well as how, when and where to plant.
Pat Ferris’s presentation is Thursday, November 16th at 7:30 pm at the Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St., Almonte. All are welcome. MVFN members and children under 16 receive free admission and for others a $5 fee applies. Host for the evening is MVFN member Paul Egginton. Following the presentation refreshments will be available. For more information please contact MVFN Program Chair Joyce Clinton at 613-257-4879/ or check the MVFN website at www.mvfn.ca