Since 1997, we have obtained over $100,000 in grants. Volunteers have planted eight sites along the river with up to 50,000 trees and shrubs. Provincial foresters have produced site plans and guidance in planting and maintenance. Trees and shrubs are selected based on their suitability for the shoreline environment: willows, viburnums, dogwood, maple, oak, and ash. We protect each seedling with a 2 foot square carpet “weed mat” that is held down by three “staples” made from bent coat hangers. Even in a very dry summer, the carpets help to shade the roots and hold in moisture.
Helping to restore the ribbon of life has many benefits for residents of Ottawa:
- reduced sedimentation and reduced flooding during periods of high flow in the spring and after heavy rainfall;
- improved fish and wildlife habitat;
- reduction in the number of migrating geese who eat emerging spring crops in fields;
- reduction in fecal contamination;
- improved water quality flowing into the Ottawa River; and
- improved opportunities for recreational use and the creation of a naturalized corridor.