One Mile Creek - Landsdowne Pond Biodiversity Enhancement Project (2010 to 2012)
The Landsdowne Pond wetland and One Mile Creek represents one of the last remaining natural areas in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Over the past century, human influences have negatively impacted the biodiversity of Landsdowne Pond and One-Mile Creek, which has resulted in low species diversity (flora and fauna) and reduced riparian wildlife habitat. This project aims to restore Landsdowne Pond into a natural self-sustaining wetland through the planting of native aquatic and semi aquatic plants. In addition, native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers will be planted around the pond and along the banks of One Mile Creek to create riparian wildlife habitat, further increasing biodiversity. The installation of river stone riffles will also promote better aquatic habitat and fish passage for various fish species.
Properly functioning wetlands act like nature’s ‘filter’, which enhance water quality through the uptake of heavy metals and nutrients, sequestration of carbon, and increase oxygen levels in water. This is important as the waters of One-Mile-Creek flow into Lake Ontario. A high proportion of Ontario’s fish and wildlife species are also dependent on wetlands during part of their life cycle (i.e. nesting, feeding, mating, etc.).
Another component of this project will be to educate local residents about the importance and benefits of wetlands and biodiversity. This will be done through several volunteer planting days, demonstration days, and the distribution of information. The students and other volunteers will be taught about wetland ecology and how to properly plant trees, shrubs, and wildflowers.
Several organizations will be involved with this project, with the Friends of One Mile Creek and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) being the main partners. These organizations are committed to the long term protection and preservation of the newly restored wetlands. Working with the NPCA, we have designed a project that targets an ecologically significant area. The knowledge and experience gained through the NRC’s successful Building Stream Buffers and Removing Barriers to Fish Migration projects, will also enhance our ability to effectively and efficiently complete this project. We believe that this project will protect and restore biodiversity in Niagara, make each organization stronger, improve our collective ability to interact with the public, and have a positive impact on environmental health and habitat in Niagara.