June 25, 2018 – Work has begun on a $30,000 BlueScaping project to improve the Omemee beach. The joint project with the City of Kawartha Lakes Parks and Recreation Department is supported by two grants from the RBC Foundation and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
On Wednesday, Kawartha Conservation Stewardship staff joined the City’s Parks and Recreation staff to remove a large section of phragmites from the Omemee beach area.
“For the first phase of this multi-phase project, we were joined by City parks staff to cut down the phragmites patch that has taken over a portion of the east side of the Omemee beach,” said Stewardship Outreach Technician, Emily Johnson. “Using hand tools to remove the highly invasive plants, we removed a total of 20 bags of biomass that were subsequently disposed of at the landfill. This is the first step in an eradication plan that will take place throughout the summer.”
Kristie Virgoe, Director of Stewardship and Conservation Areas explained the project will not only positively impact the community from an environmental perspective, but a beautification one as well.
“We are excited to be able to work with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, as well as community members and volunteers to beautify the Omemee beach through this BlueScaping initiative,” Ms. Virgoe said. “The Omemee beach is a popular destination for residents and visitors during the busy summer season, as well as shoulder seasons, and being able to address a lot of the invasive species and storm water runoff through this project will benefit the entire community for years to come.”
Working closely with City parks staff, the BlueScaping project will engage residents across the community while developing shoreline benefits, education, awareness and improved water quality.
Kawartha Conservation Stewardship Coordinator Holly Shipclark explained the multi-phase project will address a number of issues at the Omemee beach.
“The project will involve creating a rain garden at the Omemee beach, naturalization on the shoreline, removal of more than 500 square feet of invasive plants, adding more than 250 native plants, and installing interpretive signage,” said Ms. Shipclark. “Funds will also support three public workshops and a rainwater harvesting demonstration at the Omemee beach.
“This is the seventh year in a row that we have benefitted from RBC Foundation support for lake plan implementation projects,” said Ms. Shipclark. “RBC’s support has been, and continues to be, invaluable in helping to improve lake health and the environment throughout Kawartha Lakes. It is great to have their support and the support of our municipal partners to make these types of projects a reality across our communities.”