Butternut Creek’s Pond and Wetland Project Approved by DUC

[Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash]

Butternut Creek Nature Reserve will begin its first conservation initiative – a .6 acre pond and wetland restoration project, to be designed and partially funded by Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Situated on a 150-acre farm property in Moose Creek Ontario, Butternut Creek Nature Reserve is dedicated to rewilding efforts and using the principles of land-sharing and land-sparing to create new habitats for endangered species.
The project will focus on the reconstruction of a wetland in an area of the farm that has been drained and used as pasture for decades. The site’s unique features, including three natural springs and deep clay soil, provide an ideal environment for wetland restoration.
The centerpiece of the project will be a 0.6-acre pond, designed by Ducks Unlimited. Tucked in next to a large grove of cedars, the pond’s irregular shoreline and range of depths will optimize habitat and encourage biodiversity within the wetland. Three deeper areas will be incorporated into the plan to allow turtles and frogs to overwinter.

With groves of mature walnut, hickory, and hackberry, apple trees, and cedar already surrounding the site, the restored wetland should provide nesting opportunities for duck species such as the colorful wood duck, the blue-winged teal, the northern shoveller, and the beloved mallard. The wetland restoration will also include a buffer zone featuring fruit-bearing shrubs and trees, enhancing the overall ecosystem for animals living around the wetland. Native grasses and flowers will be planted on the berm area, creating a vibrant and sustainable landscape for pollinators and birds.

Jeanie Warnock, co-founder of Butternut Creek Nature Reserve, observed, “It’s an incredible site–the springs never seem to freeze and our horses and ponies used to trek back here to water even in the middle of the winter. But I’m a little worried about the challenges of excavating the site–the ground is very soggy, so we’ve been told to try to have the excavation done in January or February. We will have to see how it goes.”

But, in a nod to the farming history of the property, which once supported a herd of Ayreshire Dairy cows, Warnock said the pond would be named Crystal Pond after the Guernsey cow who used to love to stand chewing her cud by the springs. “Now,” Warnock says, “I’m so excited to think that this little corner of soggy pasture will soon be a home for all sorts of birds and frogs and other animals!”

For more information about Butternut Creek Nature Reserve and its conservation initiatives, please visit https://butternutcreek.ca or contact jeanie@butternutcreek.ca.

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