They came, they planted, they left. By some amazing organisational miracle, we were lucky enough to have an entire Secondary 2 science class from nearby Massey Vanier high school (Cowansville), accompanied by their teachers and a few outstanding project coordinators, come plant 400 shrubs in a couple of hours; their good humour and energy proved contagious. The activity marks the beginning of our Clear Water & Butterflies project, which draws its inspiration from other riverbank planting and restoration projects in the area. Our riverbank, a haven for deer, birds and butterflies already, stands to benefit greatly from a bit of TLC. Four kinds of shrubs were planted: red osier dogwood, common ninebark, elderberry (a fruit-bearing shrub particularly suited to moist soils) and high bush cranberry. All are indigenous species; the latter two are of particular interest to birds, butterflies and other pollinators.
We’re focused on the eastern edge of the river for now; more work will be done on the west bank in the fall and next year. Anyone up for a bit of tree planting in 2016?