“To sit in solitude, to think in solitude with only the music of the stream and the cedar to break the flow of silence, there lies the value of wilderness.” – John Muir
We plant trees because they provide more than just lumber and aesthetics.
Forests provide our society with many things such as clean air, flood mitigation, recreation opportunities, spiritual well-being and food. Riparian zones are a critical component of healthy water and wildlife: they provide shade, absorb contaminants, offer habitat, and stabilize banks with their deep roots. These areas are known as “ecotones”, and act as a bridge from aquatic ecosystems to terrestrial ecosystems.
The Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance strives to include riparian forest restoration in our projects every year. When planting trees we consider factors such as shade tolerance, and preference for moisture, soil, and salinity. We also try to incorporate native trees and shrubs which benefit the community by providing food, shelter and habitat for the organisms which live there.
We try to plant local species-at-risk such as the Butternut, when the seedlings are healthy and the conditions are appropriate for it to thrive. It falls victim to the Butternut Canker (a fungal infection), which spreads from tree to tree and has been detrimental to the populations in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.