Lower Trent Conservation is celebrating its 50th anniversary! To commemorate this milestone occasion, we have released our ’50 in 50′ historical blog series. This special series features 50 articles highlighting some of the achievements, milestones and events of the past 50 years. We hope you enjoy them!
In 2010, Lower Trent Conservation delved back into landowner stewardship programming, through introduction of its Healthy Shorelines Clean Water Program. The very popular, long-term Conservation Services Program was discontinued in the mid-90s, following drastic budget cuts announced in 1995. Unfortunately, for many years to follow, there were no stewardship programs delivered by Lower Trent Conservation.
A $50,000 grant was received from the RBC Blue Water project in 2011 for the Healthy Shorelines Clean Water Program. It helped to revitalize our stewardship initiatives, focusing on streamside restoration projects. The program was available to landowners on shorelines of streams, lakes, and rivers; it provided technical advice on site preparation, planting techniques, appropriate native species to plant, as well as after care. Financial assistance to a maximum of $300 was available to cover the cost of native plant stock.
Several projects were approved and implemented over a 3 year time span across the watershed region. In addition, three shoreline demonstration sites were planted at: Warkworth Conservation Area, Trenton Greenbelt Conservation Area, and Brighton’s Harbour Street Parkette, to educate and inspire shoreline residents to be good waterfront stewards.
Today, the stewardship program continues as the Healthy Lands Clean Water Program, servicing the watershed with a broadened focus on land and shoreline restoration efforts.
But let’s take a step back. It’s not quite correct to say that we weren’t involved in stewardship at all in the 15 years leading up to 2010.
For instance, in 2007, the Rice Lake Plains Joint Initiative partnership received funding to undertake a Landowner Stewardship program under the umbrella of the Caring for the Moraine program. Lower Trent Conservation was approached to host a Landowner Contact Specialist to undertake this project on behalf of the partnership. In addition, in 2007, the Ministry of the Environment introduced the Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program to provide assistance to landowners adjacent to municipal water supplies to take early action to protect the sources of these water supplies. And for many years, the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan provided stewardship advice and financial assistance through programs such as the Rural Water Quality Program, Habitat Enhancement Program, and Septic Stewardship Program.
Lower Trent Conservation embraces programs that provide opportunities to engage watershed residents in stewardship activities. We are always looking for more opportunities and funding to build a long-term, sustainable program and enhance our stewardship efforts throughout the watershed.