Bay Area Restoration Council engaged corporate and community volunteers through its Adopt-a-Creek (AAC) and Marsh Volunteer Planting (MVP) programs. AAC segments were adopted on tributaries of both Grindstone and Chedoke Creeks using groups who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities. The project sampled water quality and removed litter, including large items that impede creek flow e.g. tires and shopping carts – restoring over 2 miles of riparian habitat. This program identified health stresses in the watershed and engaged volunteers in a unique way; volunteers strapped on hip waders and spent a few hours in Cootes Paradise Marsh. Altogether, the project coordinated 9 MVP events in July and August of 2009 and 2010.
“With financial support from Sustain Our Great Lakes the Bay Area Restoration Council, in partnership with the Royal Botanical Gardens, was able to engage community volunteers in the restoration of Cootes Paradise Marsh. Cootes Paradise is a 250 hectare wetland, the largest coastal wetland on Lake Ontario and one of the most biologically diverse areas in Canada. Forty-five volunteers planted 4875 cattails over two summers.” – Kelly Pike, Program Manager, Bay Area Restoration Council