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Native plant species help naturalize the Trent River

Trent River’s shoreline is looking more natural with the addition of 1000 native plant species, thanks to Lower Trent Conservation.

With the addition of plant species ranging from red maple trees to dogwood shrubs and St. John’s wart, the Trent River will hopefully be cleaner and friendlier for local habitats, said Caroline Zawadzka, landowner contact specialist with Lower Trent Conservation.

“The overall goal is to help support soils and prevent them from eroding away, so less sediment is seeping into the river,” said Zawadzka. “This can be bad for fish because it covers up their eggs, or the nutrients in the soil can cause excessive plant growth.”

Planting these species not only stops bad things from getting into the water but it also helps the animals that call the shoreline home, she said.

“It helps create habitat, our local wildlife always needs a helping hand with that, and with development taking away the places they call home, this helps a lot,” Zawadzka said. “Improving water quality so the vegetation can help trap any runoff and prevent it from entering the water.”

The demonstration is part of the Health Shorelines Clean Water program. Lower Trent
Conservation got a grant from the Royal Bank of Canada for $50, 000 to support the naturalization of shorelines in the region.

The demonstrations not only help the wildlife, but the community as well, Zawadzka said.

“It’s also about giving people an opportunity to be involved in their community to do something better for the environment and lend a hand for nature,” said Zawadzka.

“We thought it was going to take us two days, but with the turnout we had, we managed to get everything done in one day.”

The Trent River wasn’t in any immediate danger according to Lower Trent Conservation, but it doesn’t hurt to improve the quality anyway, said Zawadzka.

“We wanted to do this because we had the money and we wanted to work with community members and the city of Quinte west,” she said. “We just thought it’d be a great idea, and we have this location so we thought why not just do it.”

This is the second demonstration the group has done, with the first one being done in Warkworth in early May. There are a couple scheduled for September or early spring, but it’s too early to say where, she said.