Conservation Volunteers at Meeting Lake(Photo by NCC)

Conservation Volunteers at Meeting Lake(Photo by NCC)

Sprucing up Meeting Lake

Sarah Ludlow and Joseph Poissant planting and smiling. (Photo by NCC)

Sarah Ludlow and Joseph Poissant planting and smiling. (Photo by NCC)

A group of 11 Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) staff and volunteers recently held a tree planting event at NCC’s Meeting Lake 03 property, 90 minutes northeast of Saskatoon. This property is part of the boreal transition, which means that the 477-acre (193-hectare) property is covered in a mixture of woodlands, wetlands and open grasslands. With such an array of different natural areas on a single property, Meeting Lake boasts a diverse range of plants and animals. 

Before NCC purchased Meeting Lake 03 in 2011, large sections of the forested regions of the property were clearcut, disturbing the ecology in the region. It has now become an annual tradition in the NCC Saskatchewan Region office to hold a tree planting event at Meeting Lake 03 and repair the damage done by the logging. 

Staff and volunteers were treated to a beautiful day, with no clouds or bugs in sight. The tree planting went surprisingly quickly with everyone working so hard. With over 300 white spruce, 70 paper birch and 30 red osier dogwoods to be planted, it was a big task for amateur planters. But after inspection, it seemed like all of the trees were properly planted — in record time. The trees were donated by SaskPower’s Shand Greenhouse, which has been a long-time contributor to the annual event and makes the event possible.

The newly planted trees help speed up the restoration process, but if the area was left alone, it would eventually re-grow in a similar manner to how it has been planted. NCC does the tree planting to lessen habitat loss for species that rely on the forests, and to counter the effects of invasive species.   

Although this year’s planters did an amazing job there is still cleared forest at Meeting Lake that needs planting. Kayla Burak, NCC’s Saskatchewan Region engagement manager, said, “We had so much fun that we can’t wait to come back next year!”

There were lots of smiles and, despite sore hands, everyone who attended the Meeting Lake tree planting event said that they had a wonderful time. For other upcoming events like this one, visit NCC’s Conservation Volunteers event page here.

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