Our hearts sank as we paddled past one of the sites our most recent shoreline restoration excursions to find a massive bonfire pit and a tramped mess of freshly-planted baby cedars and dogwood.  Only one week earlier, we’d raked the site clean of party debris, busted up the crust of scorched earth in the firepits and planted baby cedar, dogwood and nannyberry, surrounded with a layer of leaf litter from the forest floor.  We’d paddled off with the feeling of having tucked in a newborn, with anticipation for watching the site restore to a wild and healthy shoreline.

Unfortunately, the scene of charred logs, empties and trampled earth is reflective of the culture of use on Boyd Island’s thousand acres, and despite the frustration, we’re so glad to be part of a confident team that is dedicated to changing that culture to protect the land we love.   Speaking of teams, news came through that an on-water OPP unit had visited the site over the weekend, and upheld the clearly-marked fire restrictions posted along the shoreline by issuing a fine to the folks who trampled our saplings.

This spring, we’ve been fortunate to help mount two paddling excursions to North Kawartha’s majestic Boyd Island, the most recently preserved property in the Kawartha Land Trust‘s holdings.  They’re doing an amazing job protecting the island, and restoring the healthy riparian zone of its ten-plus kilometers of undeveloped shoreline.

Many of the sites that have seen the most camp and bonfire activity are best accessed by canoe, and we’ve been able to help by providing boats, paddles, pfds and canoe guiding to organize volunteer field stewardship days.  These days are spent cleaning up the island and reintroducing species like cedar, red ozier dogwood, nannyberry and eastern white pine to some of the heavily disturbed shoreline sites.  Check out how we do it in the video clip below.

Please keep your eyes peeled for more events like these by following their schedule of events, and we look forward to paddling and planting with you this season.


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