Giving Nature a Helping Hand

Giving Nature a Helping Hand

On October 18, 2020, fifteen volunteers from Lambton Wildlife Inc. braved the rain to plant native Carolinian trees at Mandaumin Woods Nature Reserve. These ecologically valuable trees, purchased with funds provided by Enbridge, will support many birds, butterflies, moths, and other native wildlife. A big thank you goes out to Enbridge for their support of Lambton Wildlife Inc. 

Roberta Buchanan, property manager for Mandaumin Woods Nature Reserve, welcomed the volunteers and introduced Larry Cornelis who explained why it is important to plant trees at the reserve.

When the Ash tree population was devastated by the invasive Emerald Ash Borer it left large gaps in the forest canopy, so these locally grown native trees were planted to give nature a boost in the right direction. A twenty-year research study by landscape architect Richard Drake has demonstrated the importance of giving nature a helping hand, challenging conventional wisdom about “letting nature take its course”. This is because non-native invasive species can often out-compete native species in natural succession.

People often ask how invasive species can thrive even while native species struggle. The reason begins with long standing relationships between native plants and other species. The predation of native plants by the species they support creates a balanced ecosystem. In contrast, invasive species (such as Buckthorn, Garlic Mustard, and Dog-strangling Vine) did not co-evolve with any natural enemies and are therefore able to grow faster and take over a habitat that was previously dominated by native species.  

Thank you to all of the volunteers for taking the time to help plant these ecologically importanttrees at Mandaumin Woods Nature Reserve.

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