Margo Morrison, NCC's conservation planner, Baie Verte, NB (Photo by NCC)
After doing an in-depth site assessment last year, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is developing a reforestation plan for a property NCC has acquired in southeast New Brunswick, in Baie Verte. It previously belonged to the Girl Guides of Canada, who owned it for more than 48 years and ran a well-known Guide camp there for many years. NCC purchased the 224-acre (91-hectare) property in 2010 for conservation purposes. Before the Girl Guides had it, the property was a farm.
NCC is launcing the restoration process here on May 26, 2012 by holding a Conservation Volunteers event in collaboration with Community Forests International, who will help participants learn about this important ecosystem and about Acadian forest restoration work.
All about the Acadian forest
The Acadian forest began developing more than 10,000 years ago when the glaciers began moving north after the last ice age. New Brunswick’s forest is a meeting place where the northern boreal forest blends with southern hardwood forests, creating remarkable biodiversity and beauty.
There are 32 native tree species found in New Brunswick’s forest. Acadian forest has the ability to grow to be a very old forest. In fact:
- Species such as sugar maple, ash, cedar and yellow birch can reach ages of more than 200 years.
- Red spruce and white pine can grow to be 400 years old.
- Eastern hemlock is the Acadian forest oldest living tree species, sometimes living to the age of 800 years.
Bringing back the forest
NCC conservation planner Margo Morrison has spearheaded a collaboration with forestry officials at the University of New Brunswick to inform which hardwood and softwood seedlings should be planted.
It is NCC's first reforestation project in the province. The aim is to bring back the rich, mixed native wood forest that was previously on the site before it was cleared for agriculture.
NCC is excited about the potential for returning this site to an Acadian forest in an area where more than 200 different bird species used to be found.
“We hope by reforesting, this area will mature quickly,” says Morrison. “There are short-lived tree species currently on site that are now starting to die."
Come lend a hand
The general public is invited to participate in the Conservation Volunteers event, along with area service clubs, groups and businesses. The Baie Verte Forest Restoration is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 26, 2012.
To register and for further information, visit www.conservationvolunteers.ca or call 1-877-231-4400.
NCC’s Conservation Volunteers program in New Brunswick is generously supported by Maritime Northeast Pipeline, New Brunswick’s Environmental Trust Fund and the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund.