Lakeview students join Junior Rangers in rehabilitating Manitoulin Streams

Junior Rangers haul scrap metal from the stream.

M’CHIGEENG—The staff at Manitoulin Streams were kept hopping recently as students from Lakeview School in M’Chigeeng and a group of Stewardship Rangers in Kagawong provided the sweat equity in Island stream rehabilitation projects.

“Each year the Grade 8 Lakeview students have initiated working on M’Chigeeng Creek flowing into West Bay to restore a portion of the stream for migrating salmon and rainbow trout,” said Manitoulin Streams project coordinator Seija Deschenes. “By hand they shoveled gravel and cobble into buckets and placed it into the stream to create spawning habitat for the fish. They also put in wing constrictors to increase the flow of the stream to scour out sediment.” But the students didn’t stop there, she noted. “They planted 300 trees along the shoreline and conducted a stream cleanup removing wooden pallets, tires and garbage. Great bunch of students to work with!”

Meanwhile, a hardy bunch of Stewardship Rangers were scouring the shores of the Kagawong River below Bridal Veil Falls, digging and pulling out chunks of metal and cleaning up refuse as part of a project on that stream.

“There were so many people stopping to congratulate the young people on the work they were doing,” noted Manitoulin Streams’ Sue Meert. “It was really nice to see young people being given credit for the work they were doing.”

“Lots of metal and glass were removed, and we found a bottle that was dated 1873 with a cork and, we think, booze in it still,” said Ms. Deschenes. “We gave it to the museum in Kagawong.”

Among the efforts being worked on in the stream at Kagawong was a cofferdam that was constructed to divert the water down another channel so that construction of the shoreline banks with root wads and boulders could start to take place, explained Ms. Deschenes.

“Construction will take place the rest of this week, and we advise the public to not go past the barriers that we have installed so that they are not within the construction site while the machinery is operating,” said Ms. Deschenes. “We also planted 507 trees along the Grimesthorpe Creek, where we are installing fencing to restrict livestock access and are providing a livestock watering ramp.”

The hardy Stewardship Rangers were undaunted by the weather. “It was pouring rain that day and the Stewardship Rangers were great, and there was lots of laughter going on as we were drenched by the rainfall,” said Ms. Deschenes. “The trees were funded by TD Friends of the Environment.”

It is important that onlookers and visitors to the work sites refrain from crossing safety barriers as work must stop when they do and there is much that needs to be done.