Thank you for your interest in the Maskinonge River Recovery Project. This community stewardship program has been designed to do on-the-ground environmental improvement projects within the Maskinonge River Subwatershed area. Our dedicated nine member committee consists of representatives from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, Save the Maskinonge, York Environmental Stewardship, the Town of Georgina and the Town of East Gwillimbury, as well as 4 private citizens with varying backgrounds.
Some of the projects highlights include:
What have we done?
Some of the works we have completed include:
TREE AND SHRUB PLANTING
Thousands of native trees and shrubs planted along the riverbanks, creeks and ditches that feed Lake Simcoe. These natural buffer zones will reduce harmful nutrients from going into the river.
By replacing straight, man-made shore-walls with rocks and native shrubs on more than 275 metres of eroding shoreline, we have improved fish and wildlife habitat, slowed rates of erosion, improved water quality, and enhanced the natural aesthetic appeal of the lower Maskinonge River.
WILDLIFE HABITAT IMPROVEMENT
We have installed bat boxes, native wildflowers, shrubs and trees, bird feeders and wood duck boxes. A native plant Butterfly Garden was put in at Keswick High School and six backyard snapping turtle nesting mounds installed.
NATIVE PLANT RESCUE
Approximately 4500 woodland plants were rescued from several woodlots that were slated to be cut in the pathway of the Highway 404 extension. These salvaged plants were relocated to several sites across the watershed, including a restoration project with the Chippewas of Georgina Island.
WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT
Rotting tires and creosote-soaked railway ties have been removed from the river. Several tonnes of river-stone were added into a flat, wide section of the Maskinonge River. Where the river was once flat and stagnant, a burbling stream riffle now exists to oxygenate the water and provide new fish and benthic habitat.
EDUCATION AND AWARENESS
The MRRP is devoted to public outreach and environmental education. This is being accomplished through presentations to schools, attendance at local events and the creation of brochures, banners and signage. In September 2011, the MRRP held the 3rd annual “Up the Maskinonge, WITH a Paddle” event – a non-motorized paddle trip designed to raise awareness of the river and its condition.
Download CTV Video
We realize that restoring the Maskinonge Subwatershed to a healthier ecosystem is not going to happen through regulation and government action alone. As such, our main goal is to work with the watershed-wide community and landowners in particular, to expand their interest in taking on a stewardship role in their own backyards. We offer landowners free technical advice and help them to access the funds they need to create and sustain a better environment.
Project Coordinator, Maskinonge River Recovery Project (MRRP)
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA)
120 Bayview Parkway, Box 282
Newmarket, ON - L3Y 4X1
905-895-1281 ext. 244