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Wednesday September 17th, 2014

Posted at 2:00pm

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If you’ve ever been interested in undertaking environmental enhancement and restoration projects on your property or dreamed of creating your own forest, prairie or wetland, then the Essex Region Conservation Authority is offering a program just for you.

On both September 23rd and September 30th landowners who have already implemented projects on their property will be offering tips to others interested and educating about grant funding opportunities.

“If you wish to restore one acre of land or more to natural habitat, ERCA can cover up to 90% of the cost,” says ERCA’s Forester Paul Giroux. “Join us at one of our the free tours to learn more about the habitat restoration options and grant funding available for your property.”

On Tuesday, September 23rd, from 5:30pm to 7pm at a site in Cottam participants will be able to experience the work of a local family’s twenty-year endeavour in restoring their land towards a productive and vibrant forest.

On Tuesday, September 30th from 5:30pm to 7pm, stop in at the Cedar Creek Provincial Park. “Guests can see a 24 acre restoration site which was planted in spring 2013 with thousands of native trees and shrubs. This site was also seeded with a groundcover of native prairie grasses and wildflowers which is not only beautiful but provides excellent meadow habitat for pollinators and other wildlife,” explains ERCA Biologist, Kathryn Arthur.

“These field tours are great for anyone who is interested in planting trees, windbreaks, buffer strips, prairie or creating wetlands. ERCA can help technically and financially,” Giroux goes on to say. “There is a window for project implementation in the spring, but project planning and site preparation can take some time, so we urge anyone with an interest to give us a call to learn more. Landowners can also learn about the Ministry of Natural Resource’s Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP), which can lower your land taxes after planting more than 10 acres of land into trees” Giroux adds.

Although the tours are free, guests must pre-register at www.cottamresoration.eventbrite.ca or www.cedarcreekrestoration.eventbrite.ca, or call (519) 776-5209 ext. 310 for assistance. Once registered, they will be provided with more details and driving directions.

“I think it’s a testament to the excellent relationships that we have with the landowners with whom we’ve had the opportunity to complete projects,” Giroux concludes. “It’s incredibly generous that they would open up their properties to the public to showcase their restoration projects.”

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