Restora­tion com­ing to Cedar Creek head­wa­ters

Sentinel-Review (Woodstock) - - FRONT PAGE - SENTINEL-RE­VIEW STAFF

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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.

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