Ramping Up Restoration at Meeting Lake

Meeting Lake 03 (Photo by NCC)

Meeting Lake 03 (Photo by NCC)

For the fourth year in a row, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) staff and volunteers held a tree planting event at NCC's Meeting Lake 03 property. Located 90 minutes  northeast of Saskatoon, Meeting Lake 03 is a part of the boreal transition. This 193-hectare (477-acre) property is covered by a mix of woodlands, wetlands and open grasslands. This property hosts a wide range of plants and animals, including two endangered species of bat!

Prior to being purchased by NCC, some areas of Meeting Lake 03 were logged, disturbing the ecology of the area. Since then, tree planting at Meeting Lake 03 has become an annual volunteer event for NCC's Saskatchewan Region to repair the damage done by logging. Planting trees helps speed up the restoration process and jumpstarts forest regeneration. It also helps those species affected by habitat loss.

Spruce Tree Planted at Meeting Lake 03 (Photo by NCC)

Spruce Tree Planted at Meeting Lake 03 (Photo by NCC)

Staff and volunteers met at Meeting Lake 03 on Friday morning and were treated to a nearly perfect fall day. Since tree planting here has become an annual tradition, staff members studied the area to choose multiple sites on the property that would be perfect for this year's tree planting event. This allowed the volunteers and staff to explore Meeting Lake 03 and see portions of the property that they had not visited before. On Friday, the industrious group of volunteers and staff planted an impressive 430 trees!

Tree Planting at Meeting Lake 03 (Photo by NCC)

Tree Planting at Meeting Lake 03 (Photo by NCC)

On Saturday, the group finished planting at Meeting Lake 03 and travelled to Nebo to plant. Over the span of two days, over 500 trees were planted, including white spruce, jack pine, chokecherry and red osier dogwood. The trees were donated by SaskPower's Shand Greenhouse, which has been a long-time contributor to the event, making it possible.

Volunteers planting trees at Meeting Lake 03 (Photo by NCC)

Volunteers planting trees at Meeting Lake 03 (Photo by NCC)

Both staff and volunteers enjoyed the two-day event and made sure to make it as memorable as possible. A few volunteers gave Matthew Braun, NCC Saskatchewan's manager of conservation science and planning, a run for his money for the unofficial Best Tree Planter title at the event. Sarah Ludlow, conservation science coordinator, talked about Meeting Lake 03's bat population and NCC's bat monitoring research. In the perfect way to end a grueling day of planting on Friday, one special volunteer led the group in song!

Despite the amazing work done by everyone, there are always more trees to be planted, and we're looking forward to hosting everyone at Meeting Lake 03 once again next year!

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