This post comes to us from Lesley Ng, Natural Heritage Education Leader at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.
Recently, park staff removed three outhouses from the Marie Louise Lake Campground, leaving a blank footprint.
With funding available for Ontario Parks’ 125th anniversary stewardship initiatives, Sleeping Giant submitted a proposal to plant a few more trees this season.
Why plant trees?
Tree planting stabilizes the soil, helps with the succession of native tree species in high-use areas, provides habitat for wildlife, and naturalizes the camp site.
The Marie Louise Lake Campground already has a good mix of trees and shrubs, including white birch, balsam fir, white spruce, and mountain maple, to name a few.
One of the benefits of this project is to create habitat for the species that inhabit Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Shown here is a snowshoe hare.
The two native tree species chosen for planting were white spruce and eastern white pine. Several trees were purchased from local nurseries (such as Pine View Nurseries of Kakabeka Falls) and the remainder were donated by Hills Greenhouses in Murillo.
we asked and they came
The park invited two local Thunder Bay school groups to help us plant the trees. The first group of students, teachers and volunteers came to us from Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School.
This group of enthusiastic adventurers came to plant trees and also went on hikes, exploring the park and its surroundings.
The second group of students came to us from a ninth grade physical education class at Churchill High School. We put the students to work and we have to say they did a wonderful job.
Each student had the opportunity to choose a tree and a shovel, and get their hands dirty. Churchill’s physical education class also took the unique approach of naming each of the trees they planted.
feeling the gratitude
The plantation was a wonderful opportunity for students from our nearby Thunder Bay community to come to Sleeping Giant. Involving the public in park resource management initiatives is a great way to connect people to the park.
We thank the students, teachers, and volunteers for taking the time to visit the Giant and participate in our OP125 tree planting project.
Your efforts will benefit the ecological integrity of the park and increase visitor enjoyment for many years.
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.