Creeks, Rivers, and what about
A country drive looking at degraded Sub-Watersheds and Stripped Riparian Zones.
This photo is taken at the corner of Britannia and Bell School Line looking north. The creek crosses the grid pattern of the county roads right at the intersection. The road has been laid out following the creek for a few hundred feet. The farm on the left has cattle, and the framer has fenced off the creek (thank you).
This sliver of land has been left alone and is developing on it's own. There is a certain amount of runoff from the road, but between the tall grasses and other vegetation here, the runoff is being filtered to a small extent before entering the creek. The trees seem relatively healthy, and even if nothing were done here, the vegetation would grow taller and more lush over the years helping to keep water temperatures cool, and providing shelter and food sources for aquatic life.
An example of the kind of passive regeneration I am talking about can be seen just south of Milton at Derry Rd, along Hwy 25. Hwy 25 runs along Sixteen Mile Creek for a few miles just at the top of the riparian valley. There were cattle, way to many dead trees, and exposed ground there thirty years ago. Now it is starting to turn into a beautiful valley with plenty of native vegetation, and tall trees.
Unfortunately, there will also be a generous mix of invasive plant in any area left on it's own. Groups contemplating reforestation should only use native plants. They could also take the opportunity to increase biological diversity by including threatened native plant species in the mix of plants slated for a project. The days of planting Norway Spruce row after row are long gone. Have a forester or related professional recommend plant species based on the local conditions of the site. Invasive plants may also be removed at the same time. Just check your local tree cutting by-laws before you start that chain saw.
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