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Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

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​​​​​​​​​Top 10 Restoration Projects of 2019 

Our restoration team had an incredible year, completing close to 100 projects across the watershed. From stormwater retrofits, engineered wetlands and permeable pavement, to reforestation, grassland enhancements and online pond removals, we are working hard to make important on the ground improvements. 

Here are some highlights: 

Stormwater Pond Retrofits

As part of a project led by York Region, we're undertaking to retrofit two stormwater management ponds with the goal of phosphorus reduction and water quality improvements.  ​

Tamarac Park, Aurora 

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This project involves retrofitting an existing dry stormwater pond with a series of wetland cells to help treat the water before it reaches the downstream watercourse. The construction of this project is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2020. 

By retrofitting this pond, we expect a 38 kilogram phosphorus reduction per year!

East Gwillimbury 

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Many older stormwater ponds were designed to address high quantities of water but not the quality of the water. The work we are doing to retrofit this stormwater pond include adding wetland pockets for enhanced infiltration and naturalizing the stream with meandering pools and riffles.

The construction of this project is projected to finish in the fall of 2020. Once complete, we expect a 50 kilogram per year phosphorus reduction.

Kidds Creek Restoration

City of Barrie​​

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Flooding, erosion and barriers to fish habitat were some of the many issues facing Kidds Creek​. Using a holistic approach backed by in-depth studies, we were able to naturalize this creek, removing fish barriers and providing new wildlife habitat. Over 1,120 metres of streambank was rebuilt, helping protect the creek from future erosion from heavy rainfall. 

A community tree planting will be held in Spring 2020 to celebrate the improvements.

Fish Barrier Removal

Sheppard’s Bush Conservation Area, Aurora

sheppards-bush-barrier-removal.pngWe completed the construction of a new bridge, replacing the remnants of a 100-year-old sawmill, which was acting as a public trail connection between two sides of the creek. The concrete crossing was structurally unsound, constraining water flows and acting as a barrier to fish migration. To mark the completion of the project, we held an opening ceremony and tree planting with students from a local school in May. 

The new bridge reconnects over 8 kilometres of the East Holland River. 

Online Pond Removal

Pangman Springs Conservation Area, Whitchurch-Stouffville 

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One of the creeks flowing through Pangman Springs Conservation Area contained an online pond. Online ponds are generally not good for fish, as the pond slows the water down and allows it to warm up, both of which make the water less habitable for fish. The pond also had a barrier at one end that prevented fish from migrating further upstream. 

This year we removed the barrier and re-established the creek, creating more habitat for fish. We also created 0.4 hectares of wetland habitat, which improves wildlife diversity on the property, and we planted 2,000 native shrubs, trees and live stakes.

Grassland Enhancement

Pangman Springs Conservation Area, Whitchurch-Stouffville ​

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This grassland project includes enhancing a one hectare site with native grasses and wildflowers to attract threatened species like bobolinks and eastern meadowlarks. We will continue to enhance this site with more seeding and bird boxes in 2020. 

Meadow Enhancement

Rogers Reservoir Conservation Area, East Gwillimbury

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In 2019, we started removing non-native and invasive vegetation from a four hectare patch at Rogers Reservoir. In 2020, we will seed the future meadow with native grasses and wildflowers. We’ll also be planting over 40 species of plants and shrubs and installing bird, bat and owl boxes. We worked with community volunteers to plant 230 shrubs and 580 perennials to kick off this four-year project.

Surface Water Runoff Reduction

Goodyear Farm, Beaverton

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In partnership with the landowner, we commissioned a study to reduce the agricultural runoff from a 340 hectare farm in Beaverton in 2019. The study recommended a series of best management practices (BMPs) designed to reduce sedimentation from reaching Lake Simcoe. 

In addition to cover crops and buffer plantings, this landowner plans to install two wet ponds for water control and irrigation, as well as three water and sediment control basins to control and filter sediment. A total of 9 different types of BMPs will be installed.

Restoration in the Holland Marsh

Bradford

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The Holland Marsh is a priority area for restoration because wind, water and soil erosion can lead to nutrient runoff. Last year, we protected soil and conserved water by: 

  • Planting 413 hectares of cover crops (12 cover crop projects)
  • Installing 3 de-dirting projects to remove soil from vegetables as they are being harvested, keeping the soil in the field
  • Completing 1 wash water recycling projects to eliminate effluent from entering our watercourses
  • Installing 3 tile outlet control structure​s which allow farmers to control water flow on the fields 

Community Action Across the Watershed 

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We worked with a number of organizations across the watershed to complete 28 projects. By working together, we: 
  • Planted over 9,000 trees and shrubs, and over 550 wildflowers
  • Planted buffers along 600 meters of streambank
  • Removed 3.3 kilograms of phosphorus
  • Completed one invasive species (water soldier) removal project