2019 Riparian Plantings Over Half Completed So far!

Volunteers Dig In – This Past Week

The last time that I had Glenbow Elementary students planting on the creek was a few years ago. It was good to have them back for another round of native willow and tree planting. Michele Courage and three adult helpers coached the young planters during their one-hour work detail this past week. The kids loved doing their part and they did a great job. I really enjoy watching a new generation of stream keepers doing something of benefit for our local trout stream, the Bighill Creek.

Photo: courtesy of Michele Courage

The Bighill Creek flows thru the Town of Cochrane, Alberta, only one block away from the Glenbow Elementary School. The group of students took an hour of their time, learning a little bit about the stream and the importance of a healthy riparian habitat along the creek.

The small native willows and trees will be closely monitored over the next few weeks, as the plants take root in their new habitat. A good watering insured that the young plants get off to a good start.

Above: The group of students poses for a photo, after the job was completed.

High School Students Chip In

Students from the George McDougall High School in Airdrie, Alberta also got a chance to do some good on the stream banks of Nose Creek, only a few blocks from their school, this past week. this was the first planting with the class and the high schoolers had an opportunity to do some good for the environment.

Teachers Ryan Haggarty and Jacqueline Tobin helped organize the event and BVDH supplied the plants and instructions. A brief talk about the state of the Nose Creek and how our riparian plantings will benefit the stream was included in the outing. As you can see in the photo above, the creek is pretty much void of any native willows and trees. This will change over time.

Past Plantings are Standing Out in The Landscape – Along the Stream Banks

This year, we have been also planting on some sites that have been planted in previous years, filling in the gaps. Adding new plants in areas where survival was poor due to either rodent, flood or other natural impacts. It is nice to see how our surviving plants are now making a tremendous difference to the once barren riparian zone that had no native willows or trees.

The photos above show how previous plantings are now off to a good start, along the stream banks of one of the project creeks. Beavers have been busy grazing on some of the plants, but this is too be expected. Most of the Plants will still survive this type of temporary damage. The green willows shown above, stand out with their green leaves opening from the early buds.

MidPoint in the Riparian Planting Program

As of yesterday, we have planted a total of 5,700 plants and there is another 5,400 to go into the ground yet. The frost is coming out of the ground a little late this year, so this has slowed things down a bit, but we are still moving along at a very fast pace. The entire 2019 spring riparian planting program should be completed by the end of the month of May. Planting conditions so far have been great, with plenty of moisture in the ground and presently it has been raining over the past few days.