Native Plant Restoration
SCEC works towards enhancing, preserving and restoring riparian areas along Stoney Creek. The term ‘riparian area’ refers to the corridor of vegetation adjacent to the stream. In healthy streams the riparian areas may support the growth of shrubs, grasses, trees, mosses, ferns and other greenery. Riparian vegetation stabilizes stream banks and provides shade which cools the water. Loss of native vegetation leads to less favourable conditions for fish and other aquatic life. Identification of native plants help in planning effective re-planting programs.
The restoration of native plants is generally conducted following invasive plant removal in an area. From time to time we have received donations of native plants from local nurseries, or they have been salvaged from areas being cleared in preparation for new developments and kept healthy by volunteers until we have an appropriate new home for them.
Planting activities are often conducted during the fall, when the rain will keep the plants watered until they become established in their new environment. However, we have completed spring plantings recently and have then had a team of volunteers who has kept them watered throughout the dry summer months.
Once established, native plants provide the ideal habitat for animals, a food source for birds, and shade and shelter for the creek.
What you can expect to see and hear
Once plants are sourced, they are brought to the appropriate location along the creek and volunteers ‘adopt’ specific areas to replant, taking special care to ensure their location is sustainable. If planting takes place during the spring, volunteers undertake to keep the plants watered during the hot summer months; often this involves frequent trips to water sources to fill many plastic milk jugs! Native species that are planted in these areas include:
- red osier dogwood
- vine maple
- sword fern
- salmon berry
- oregon grape
- goat’s beard
- one-sided wintergreen
- Pacific rhododendron
Many of these are shade loving plants and once established, will be drought tolerant.