In 2020, Nottawasaga Community Futures Development Corporation (also known as Nottawasaga Futures) received a three-year grow grant of $521,100 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation towards its Connecting Communities and Creeks Project. Project delivery falls under its South Simcoe Streams Network (SSSN) Program.
Collaborating on the project are the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) and Dufferin-Simcoe Land Stewardship Network. “Restoration projects like these, and the volunteers who carry them out, ensure that our waterways and wetlands are rehabilitated to support aquatic life and habitat for the enjoyment and use of generations to come,” said Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson. “We can all be proud and grateful for the vital ongoing stewardship Nottawasaga Futures provides for our region’s environmental health.”
On Oct. 16, a group of 20 SSSN volunteers met up to plant trees by the Nottawasaga River and an OTF volunteer, Carol Bateman, was invited to join them to hear about the difference the grant is having. She assisted with the planting demo and took a more in depth tour along the newly restored riverside. Participants discovered the methods used to stabilize the erosive banks, how the new channel was constructed and the wetland pockets created in order to help transform the area into a healthier river corridor. Volunteers planted and mulched 260 trees and shrubs, providing an important ‘final touch’ to the summer’s river restoration effort. “It was a wonderful morning seeing the progress made in that area of the Nottawasaga River; to be with volunteers planting trees for protective cover and added stability to the newly supported banks that will allow the river to flow naturally and provide salmon an area to spawn,” concluded Bateman.
The OTF-funded project is part of a broader Nottawasaga River Restoration Program of the NVCA. The grant is helping Nottawasaga Futures with project staffing and administrative costs, purchased services, supplies and materials, as well as some communications and rental costs.
“By joining forces, we have had a productive summer of stream improvements by adding cover habitats and stabilizing more than half a kilometre of eroding banks, as well as constructing a new spawning habitat channel for migrating Chinook salmon. It would not have been possible without key supporters like OTF,” said Fred Dobbs, Fisheries Biologist for the NVCA.
“We thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for investing in stream restoration that has far reaching benefits to the ecological, recreational and economic welfare of local communities and Ontarians,” said Martin Kuzma, CEO of Nottawasaga Futures.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector.