Putting down roots: New trees provide habitat for wildlife in New Brunswick
Hundreds of trees have been planted in the Marysville region in New Brunswick to prevent floods and provide wildlife habitats.
The Nashwaak Watershed Association just finished a decade long project to plant trees cross 27 acres.
The final 270 trees were planted this week.
"The silver maple flood plain forest is one of the most converted habitat types in North America as humans, of course, like to have a view of the water, or they put infrastructure on those properties, so we're restoring it to what would have been pre-settlement,” said Marieka Chaplin, executive director of the Nashwaak Watershed Association.
They began in 2011, finishing this property has been 10 years in the making.
"The tree planting really ramped up in 2016 and we've been increasing. So in 2016, our goal was to plant 1,000 trees a year, increasing that amount every year to bring us to the goal of having completed the tree planting on this 27 acre property," Chaplin said.
"It's a challenging site because it is a flood plain, so they do suffer from flooding and ice in the flood plain, but overall it's really beneficial for the community of humans and other species," she said.
They plant with purpose, protecting the ecologically significant area.
"It'll be incredible. Silver maple can suck up a ton of water where flooding is a much bigger problem than it has been traditionally in this area," said Elijah Manchester, general manager of Community Forest Canada.
"These natural systems, including these trees, are the best systems we have to prevent and deal with flooding caused by climate change," Manchester said.
The trees should help limit the negative impacts of climate change in the future.
"It is in the process of becoming a conservation easement. So that means the 27 acres will be protected from any kind of development in perpetuity and that's something that we are working on with the City of Fredericton. We're really, really glad that they're on board with conserving flood plain properties like this," Chaplin said.
The Nashwaak Watershed Association has finished planting in the Marysville flat area and moved down stream to a 53 hectare piece of property that they will plant in the coming years.