Last Planting of the Season
On June 5th, the ATCO group of volunteers completed the final riparian planting of the season on West Nose Creek, in the City of Calgary. A team of nine ATCO volunteers and one BVHD volunteer planted a total of 300 native willow and tree plants, capping the season total of over 9,500 plants along the three streams in the program. It was a perfect day, not too hot and with a gentle breeze to help keep the bugs at bay.
The overcast weather is also ideal for the plants, reducing the planting shock and helping get them off to a good start in the prime of growing season. The ground was still moist from a recent rain event, so this helped out by making the job a little easier as well. A small group punched holes into the soft ground and marked the holes with flagging, to keep the planters busy with getting the fragile plants into the soil.
The plants are already topped with good leaf growth and small root development, so this will help get them off to a good start, once in the ground and watered. The entire process of planting is very fast and efficient for a volunteer group with limited experience in planting willows and trees. Bow Valley Habitat Development first designed the planting system in 1998 and BVHD has since been modifying it to make it easier for volunteers. I think we are close to having perfect this easy planting system. Small improvements over the years have made the technique easier and better for the native willows and trees.
The group took a water break mid-point thru the planting, which was a good opportunity to discuss the long term benefits and goals of the riparian recovery program on West Nose Creek. It is important not to overwork your volunteers and keep the event an enjoyable experience. I think we accomplished this, judging by the conversation and smiling faces.
Stream Tender Magazine – Late Release This June
A computer and software problem has delayed the release of the June issue of “Stream Tender Magazine”. However, we are back on track and it should be ready before the end of the month. Having a crashed system right in the middle of the planting season was unfortunate luck this spring, but that is just the way it goes sometimes. For those faithful readers of the publication, please accept my apologies. – Guy Woods