June 29, 2017 – Beginning in July, Kawartha Conservation in collaboration with the Church of the Ascension, Township of Scugog, Scugog Lake Stewards and a commercial landowner will begin the first part of an ecological restoration of William’s Creek in Reflection Park.
William’s Creek is Port Perry’s most urbanized watercourse. Unfortunately, high stormwater flows and upstream erosion combined with sedimentation downstream has resulted in perfect conditions for the establishment of Japanese knotweed, a highly invasive plant.
Japanese knotweed roots can damage infrastructure and building foundations and once established it is especially resilient to removal efforts. This and other invasive species pose a growing threat to Ontario’s biodiversity. There are more invasive species in Ontario than anywhere else in Canada. Recognizing the importance of pro-actively managing invasive species, the Township of Scugog is supporting the restoration. They are also hosting an Invasive Species Awareness Program Hit Squad member to spread awareness and education about this issue in the Port Perry area.
During the initial stages of the project, a licensed professional will apply herbicide to the Japanese knotweed before physically removing the plant along with much of the surrounding soil. Attempting to remove the Japanese knotweed prior to an herbicide application would result in significant further spread of the invasive plant.
Once removed, the project will involve the in-stream reinforcement of the toe of the streambank with boulders, re-seeding the affected area of William’s Creek with native shoreline plants and reinforcing with an erosion mat.
Volunteers will then plant native potted plants and live stakes as well as two large trees, to replace the two trees to be removed during initial grading.
Over the balance of the growing season, the site will be monitored for Japanese knotweed regrowth which will be treated as required. It is likely that further treatments will be required for at least 1 or 2 years following removal.
The end result will be an aesthetically pleasing, environmentally sound restored watercourse with ecological function. It will serve as a demonstration site for area landowners faced with invasive species management concerns and those who wish to re-naturalize a stream flowing through their property.
This project is supported by Durham Region through the Scugog WATER Fund and by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change through the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund. Work is anticipated to begin during the second week of July.