Chatham-Kent – The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) is targeting the McGregor Creek subwatershed for natural restoration stewardship activities as part of the “Imagine McGregor” initiative.
McGregor Creek is an important tributary of the Thames River for many reasons. It drains 284 km2 of land, flowing through the City of Chatham, where its mouth empties into the Thames River. The creek is also the home to four mussels considered to be species at risk (Mapleleaf – special concern, Purple Wartyback – threatened, Round Hickorynut – endangered, and Round Pigtoe – endangered). Mussels are an indicator of water quality since they are sensitive to excess siltation and low dissolved oxygen levels. They play an important role in our waterways by filtering water constantly as they breathe and feed, improving water quality by removing bacteria, algae and pollutants.
On May 10, 2021, the Chatham Sunrise Rotary Club, along with LTVCA staff, planted native Nannyberry and Bladdernut shrubs along the creek in the Maple Leaf Cemetery. “Chatham Sunrise Rotary club has always been focused on the environment, but this year Rotary International added the environment as the seventh pillar to their initiatives, so we are more determined than ever to do what we can to help the environment around our community” states President Ken Bechard. Also on hand was Murray Hebblethwaite, who has personally committed funds and hands-on assistance supporting the project. LTVCA’s CAO Mark Peacock has coined the name: “Imagine McGregor” for this stewardship initiative, which speaks to the positive activities possible with this watershed approach.
The Conservation Authority is also partnering with Ducks Unlimited Canada and are hiring an ‘Imagine McGregor’ Wetland Restoration Technician to achieve goals of restoring wetlands, planting native tall grass prairies and trees, and encouraging the use of cover crops and grassed buffer strips. LTVCA recently planted 12 hectares of tall grass prairie at the McGregor Creek Diversion Channel with partners Ontario Native Scape and the Ridge Landfill. These activities will not only benefit aquatic species at risk and other wildlife but improve water quality and reduce soil erosion. If you are interested in being part of this program, please contact: Manager of Conservation Lands and Services, Randall Van Wagner firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information:
Randall Van Wagner – LTVCA Manager of Conservation Lands and Services