Tree planting in the Georgian Bay

Submitted by: Larry Ferris, MNO Georgian Bay Métis Council Chairperson

tree planting group
MNO Georgian Bay Council members with other volunteers who took part in the tree planting.

On May 9, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Georgian Bay Métis Council illustrated the Métis connection and commitment to the land. MNO citizens and other volunteers planted over 1,000 trees in hopes to reverse the problem dropping water levels near Lafontaine, Ontario.

“It is a proved method of raising water tables by planting trees,” said MNO Georgian Bay Métis Council Chairperson Larry Ferris. “We are providing future habitat for wildlife like deer and turkey.” The creek also provides a habitat for brook trout, Chinook salmon and rainbow trout.

The Council members and volunteers improved the stream by planting dogwood and cedars which will grow roots and secure the creek banks preventing further erosion and eventually shade the stream to prevent evaporation raising the water table. The trees will also retain moisture in the soil.

“It was one of the best plantings I have been involved in,” said Ferris. “I believe that there will be a good rate of survival for the trees we planted. Our volunteers did a fantastic job in taking the time to plant the trees correctly giving them the best chance to survive and thrive.”

tree planting
Tree planting volunteers and youth hard at work.

The event would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of all the volunteers. Special thanks to The Habitat Restoration Association of Lafontaine member Andre Beausoleil, Janice Ferris, The Home & Cottage Centre, Severn Sound Environmental Association and the Georgian Bay Bassmasters who donated $100.00 towards the planting.

Special thanks to Le Villageois for allowing the planting on the land and committing to the future of the stream and the wildlife.

Funding was provided by donations and a $2,000.00 grant from the Ministry of Natural Resources which was received by the MNO Georgian Bay Métis Council Youth and Harvesters Committees.

“It was especially nice to see youth out and involved with this project, they will be the protectors of these trees and this area in the future,” said Ferris. “I hope that all of the people who came out had a good time and understand what a positive difference they made to our environment.”