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Even COVID Can’t Stop the Muskrat Watershed Council!


Despite the pandemic, the Muskrat Watershed Council (MWC) has continued working hard to improve water quality in Muskrat Lake and its watershed.


Our most recent project began in April 2021, and it was a BIG one.


First, 1,928 metres of fencing was installed along waterways at two farms to keep cattle and sheep out of streams.




Then MWC and volunteers planted 5,600 trees and shrubs on 3,132 square metres of land on three farms.






We also put in two different types of watering systems for the livestock, who will no longer be drinking from streams. One system, which is seasonal and portable and uses a solar-powered battery, was paid for through the grant. The other system is year-round and uses a heated bowl supplied by the participating farmer.



After completing the planting, fencing and water system installation, the MWC collected and analyzed 25 soil samples from five fields on each of five farms. The whole project wrapped up with a soil workshop at the end of January 2022, when a soil expert helped farmers to interpret the sampling results and made practical recommendations.


This large project was funded by a grant from the Ontario government’s Great Lakes Local Action Fund (GLLAF) and a micro grantfrom Watersheds Canada, Love Your Lake and the Canadian Wildlife Federation.


Many volunteers from Opeongo High School, Jp2g Consultants, participating farmers and the wider community worked on the project along with MWC members. A total of 290 volunteer hours went into planning, fencing, and planting.


Huckabone’s Equipment in Cobden provided personnel and filming equipment to make a video about the project. You can view it at the following link…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxEUyoizrtY


YourTV Ottawa Valley also did a news piece about the project which you can view on the MWC Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/yourtvov/videos/627670598601066/


All in all, this project was a win-win-win: Farmers got healthier animals and fields that are not being gradually eroded along stream banks, wildlife got a richer habitat, and cottagers and recreational users of Muskrat Lake got fewer nutrients flowing into their lake - the first step in reducing algae blooms.


The MWC is actively recruiting volunteers to do even more big impact initiatives. If you would like to attend one of our meetings to find out more, please contact us at:


info@muskratwatershedcouncil.com


We look forward to seeing you soon!









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