Students pitch in to restore shoreline
By Jenn Watt
Students from two Grade 9 geography classes rolled up their sleeves and went to work at Sam Slick Park on May 29 and 30, planting more than 250 trees with the guidance of Jim McHardy, Paul Heaven and Peter McElwain.
The trees and plants will reinforce the shoreline buffer at the park, which for the past few years has been cultivated as a demonstration and teaching site for students and shoreline property owners in Haliburton County.
Haliburton Highlands Secondary School teacher Kathryn Darling said the project provided a hands-on educational opportunity for students to learn about vegetation and soil stability.
“Students learned how to prevent soil erosion and learned that vegetation along the shoreline helps act as a natural filter for fertilizers that may be present in runoff water. Students were able to identify that the shoreline buffer can help prevent algae blooms in our lakes and students identified the negative impacts algae blooms could have on human activities in our community,” she said in an email to the Echo.
“Students learned many other positive benefits a healthy shoreline buffer provides: it creates a habitat for birds and small animals, the buffer acts as a safe travel zone for smaller animals so they aren’t as exposed to predators and helps deter geese from accessing our grassy areas. Students also removed any garbage they discovered along the shoreline.”
Jim McHardy of the Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners’ Associations (CHA), the group that spearheaded the demonstration site at Sam Slick Park, thanked the students, Darling, the Municipality of Dysart et al, Heaven and McElwain for their work.
“It was a real pleasure to be a part of it and the CHA looks forward to more opportunities to utilize the site in the future,” he said.