Officials visit habitat restoration project

Media Release

July 14, 2020

Officials visit one of the first projects of $1 million Ridge Landfill Community Trust initiative

Local officials today toured the one of the first projects of the $1 million Ridge Landfill Community Trust environmental initiative at the property of Violet Shadd near North Buxton.

Representatives of the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent visited the property to view a 2.5-acre project involving creation of a wetland surrounded by a tree planting. The project is designed to demonstrate the positive effects of increasing tree-cover in the municipality.

Last November the LTVCA and municipality announced a partnership, made possible through financial support of the Ridge Landfill Community Trust and facilitated by Waste Connections of Canada to enable the creation of significant forest cover, wetland and grassland habitat creation in South-Kent.

Already this year there have been nearly 20,000 trees planted on more than 33 acres, seven wetlands created on 12 acres and 14 prairies on 38 acres for a total of more than 84 acres of habitat restored.

The trees planted along with new wetland and grassland habitat will help combat climate change, build much-needed wildlife corridors – reducing habitat fragmentation – control dangerous soil erosion and create a more productive, healthier eco-system.

This initiative and funding will help Chatham-Kent greatly increase its natural tree cover, which currently sits at less than 6%. Only 4% of the municipality has forest cover in woodlands greater than two hectares, and 2% has forest cover in smaller woodlands or other habitats such as wetlands and grasslands.  

Ms. Shadd said she has had an ongoing interest in the benefits of healthy tree cover and traditional habitat on her property.

“I first got interested in Carolinian trees about 12 years ago and after reading up on them, wanted to plant a Carolinian woodlot on my property,” she said. “In 2009 with the help of Trees Ontario I planted just over 2,000 trees, all Carolinian species, on five acres of land.  Since then I have been adding trees, shrubs, and later planted a tall grass prairie area next to the woodlot.” 

After noting that some trees in the middle of the woodlot were dying, she contacted the LTVCA for guidance.

“I had Randall (Van Wagner) come out and look at the area, and that is when he suggested that I could have a couple of ponds dug in the area,” she continued. “I am so very grateful to him, for the suggestion, and to those who made it possible for me to have these ponds dug.  Already I have seen such a diversity of wildlife that they have brought in.  I love to take a walk through the woodlot, and see what new wildlife has visited the ponds.  I will continue to plant native species around the ponds, and in the woodlot, and will continue to marvel at the abundance of beautiful creatures that are drawn to the area.”

The Ridge Landfill Community Trust has funded several million dollars for community, educational and charitable works over the last couple of decades in South Kent. 

“Through our partnerships with Ducks Unlimited Canada, Forests Ontario and the Wetland Habitat Fund, I am confident that we can leverage more dollars and turn this one million into much more for our region,” says Mark Peacock LTVCA CAO.

Randall Van Wagner, LTVCA Manager of Conservation Lands and Services states

“I am very thankful to the Ridge Landfill Trust, area councillors, and Board Members for this generous donation, which will leave a legacy of great habitat projects in the South Kent region.  Credit should also be given to the landowner Violet Shadd for taking the initiative and implementing a project that will provide many ecological benefits to our community.”

Darrin Canniff, Mayor of Chatham-Kent, said, “What we are seeing today is the first step in demonstrating how this investment will benefit our natural environment. Planting more trees can help us combat the effects of climate change, protect endangered species and restore wetlands. This demonstrates how Chatham-Kent can come together for the good of everyone. The effects of projects such as this can magnify and multiply across our community.

South Kent Councillor Anthony Ceccacci, who has worked closely with the Trust in helping secure the funding, said seeing the first tangible results of the initiative are impressive.

“There have already been almost 20,000 trees planted through the initiative so far,” he said. “Knowing these projects are underway and will be able to be enjoyed for generations to come is a great feat for all involved including the residents that are allowing the use of their land for naturalization.”

Group photo cutline (from left) Chatham-Kent councillor Anthony Ceccacci, mayor Darrin Canniff, Randall Van Wagner and Mark Peacock of the LTCVA and property owner Violet Shadd.



For more information contact:

Mark Peacock
519-354-7310 ext.224

Randall Van Wagner
LTVCA Manager of Conservation Lands and Services
519-354-7310 ext. 230

Mayor Darrin Canniff
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3624

Councillor Anthony Ceccacci
Municipality of Chatham-Kent

Media Contact:
Jim Blake
Communications Officer
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3624

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