Restoration coming to Cedar Creek headwaters
The headwaters of Cedar Creek are about to get a major upgrade. A recently approved grant of $65,000 from Environment and Climate Change Canada, combined with a $45,000 commitment from Gunn’s Hill Limited Partnership through the Oxford Community Energy Cooperative (OCEC), will provide the resources for a significant enhancement of the Cedar Creek headwaters located south of Woodstock.
The goal of the project is to restore natural channel features and function to the Cedar Creek corridor as it flows through the Cedar Creek Swamp.
The restoration will be a team effort between the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA), volunteers from OCEC, the Oxford County Trails Council and Stewardship Oxford, who will join about 1,200 local students to
Volunteers will help with planting trees, shrubs and aquatic plants, as well as instream and stream bank projects.”
Brad Hertner, UTRCA community partnerships specialist
make this project a reality, said Brad Hertner, UTRCA community partnerships specialist. “Volunteers will help with planting trees, shrubs and aquatic plants, as well as in-stream and stream bank projects. The students and partners will also help with monitoring, community tours, and planning the future trail system,” said Hertner.
The project will transform 1.75 kilometres of Cedar Creek through stabilizing the creek bank, building riffles, planting trees, shrubs and aquatic plants, and installing nesting structures. A recreational trail system is another component being added, allowing the public to learn about the natural features and efforts made by the community to enhance the property. Cedar Creek’s water quality has ranked at or near the bottom of the 28 sub-watersheds in the Upper Thames River since the UTRCA began producing Watershed Report Cards in 2001. A dam in the headwaters of the creek had been one of reasons for the poor score. That dam, at Hodge’s Pond, was gradually taken offline from 2016 to 2018, allowing Cedar Creek to flow freely through the Cedar Creek Swamp for the first time in nearly 100 years.
The project kicks off with students planting trees on Nov. 9 and Nov. 13.
The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority is working with Oxford County, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Stewardship Oxford, the Cowan Foundation, and Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund to restore Cedar Creek and wetlands at Hodges Pond near Woodstock.