Student Planting Event
On May 25th, a group of CW Perry Middle School students showed up on a planting site on Nose Creek, in the City of Airdrie. The teacher, Mike Dow, had contacted me earlier in the year about getting involved in the riparian planting program along Nose Creek, which flows close to the school. We organized an event for a student group in late May and yesterday the project was completed as planned.
In approximately 2 hours, the group of 4 adults and 12 students planted 200 native willow plants over approximately a 200 metre reach of the Nose Creek. The planting went very fast, most likely attributed to the cool morning temperatures that encouraged all of the young planters to keep moving to stay warm. It was good fun and the kids did a great job of planting the new crop of riparian growth.
Due to the nearby location of the school, both teachers and students can monitor the recovery of the riparian zone at the planting site in future years. There is a good chance that we can get together and do another planting next year.
Bighill Creek Bank Stabilization Sites
There are a total of 58 stream bank stabilization sites that have been planted in recent years, as part of the “Bow Valley Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program”. The stream is close to my home, so occasional visits to the sites is common practice. This spring, some of the plants from previous plantings are starting to stand out on the eroding stream banks that have been planted. Over time, the root systems from the native willow plants will help to stabilize the eroding slopes and reduce the amount of annual silt loading.
Above: This stream bank stabilization site on the Bighill Creek has a good crop of native willow plants that had been planted over the previous three years. The growth is slow at the site, but the surviving native willows are well rooted and helping to hold the soil in place on the steep outside bend in the stream channel.