In Peterborough, we’re vitally connected to urban water features. Our drinking water comes directly from the Otonabee River, Jackson Creek traverses our downtown core, and Little Lake features prominently in cultural events like Music Fest.
We’re also fortunate to have two public beaches on Little Lake and recreational opportunities along watercourses including Jackson Park, the Trans Canada Trail, Beavermead Campground, and the Trent-Severn Waterway.
Water is a big part of our city. Jackson, Curtis, and Harper creeks are among the 12 streams flowing within city limits. Urban streams like these face unique challenges, such as storm water runoff, and narrow buffers between the water and built environments.
Ensuring that Peterborough’s urban streams are healthy is the goal of the Peterborough Urban Shoreline Revitalization Project, a program launched by Otonabee Conservation in 2014.
Think of the stream closest to you. Do you know its name? Does it have a healthy shoreline buffer of native plants? Does it swell quickly during storms, indicating high levels of non-permeable surfaces like asphalt and patio stones? Would you like to help improve it?
“The Peterborough Urban Shoreline Revitalization Project encourages owners that have a stream on their property to take a closer look and undertake simple actions to make the streams healthier,” explains Meredith Carter, Manager of Environmental and Technical Services for Otonabee Conservation.
So how does the program work?
The first step is to book a visit. Anyone who owns shoreline property within the city and wants to participate can call Otonabee Conservation to schedule a visit. Booking is easy and can be done by phone at 705-745-5791 ext 200 or by email email@example.com. There are a limited number of personalized shoreline assessment visits available, so it’s best to book soon.
On the day of your visit, Otonabee Conservation staff will come to your property for a one to one-and-a-half-hour conversation, which will include a confidential assessment of the stream and opportunities for improvement. All participants will receive an incentive coupon for $50, redeemable for plants or a rain barrel at the GreenUP Store or GreenUP Ecology Park. GreenUP Ecology Park has a wide selection of native plants, well suited for shoreline properties in the Peterborough area
The program also includes funding for demonstration projects. If you have a project in mind for your local creek, contact Otonabee Conservation. Demonstration sites on public land provide opportunities for community volunteers to get involved in environmental stewardship projects, and can provide city residents with a better understanding of the various methods used to improve or restore an urban shoreline.
The City of Peterborough is participating in the project, as the landowner of Millennium Park, which served as a demonstration site in 2014. Invasive species were removed and native species planted to protect the shoreline along the Otonabee River and enhance habitat for local species of wildlife. Additional shoreline enhancement projects will be completed during 2015 as part of this project.
The Peterborough Urban Shoreline Revitalization Project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of the Environment.