To help celebrate our 125th anniversary, Ontario Parks has hosted a series of stewardship programs. These events take place year-round and across the province to help protect biodiversity in provincial parks.
Management programs have included BioBlitz events, invasive species removal, and native species plantings.
On Earth Day, park staff and an enthusiastic group of Rondeau Provincial Park volunteers helped restore the park’s natural habitat by planting native trees and shrubs.
After the ash trees
Since arriving in Ontario, the emerald ash borer (EAB) has destroyed millions of Ontario ash trees. Because the Rondeau forests were between 15% and 30% ash, the EAB hit us hard.
Although we know that nature is resilient and has the ability to adapt and fill the gaps left by ash trees, the effects have been especially noticeable in the day-use areas of the park.
By planting native species in these areas, we can ensure that visitors can continue to appreciate Carolina’s beautiful tree species while enjoying their time in the park.
Not only will our visitors be pleased with the new trees, but native pollinators and wildlife will be able to utilize these plants as they grow.
Maajiigin Gumig: a place where plants begin to grow
Kyle Williams from Maajiigin Gumig
We partnered with Kyle Williams of Maajiigin Gumig, a native plant greenhouse in the Aamjiwnaang First Nation located near Sarnia, Ontario. Maajiigin Gumig helps with local efforts to cultivate and repopulate native plant species. He also teaches clients to be stewards of the land by using more native species in their landscaping.
Kyle supplied native saplings including red oak, strawberry and chinquapin, red maple and tulip, as well as native shrubs such as Spicebush and Serviceberry.
Many hands do light work
A group of 30 volunteers of all ages came to help plant these plants.
Some of the volunteers who came to help restore habitat at Rondeau Provincial Park.
Many of them shared fond memories of family picnics or watching their grandchildren play in these areas and were proud to help keep Rondeau green and shady for generations to come.
To help celebrate the 125th anniversary of Ontario Parks, parks across the province are hosting 13 stewardship programs to help protect biodiversity in provincial parks.