At the City of St. Catharines Annual Volunteer Recognition Night, Kate Hou was awarded the “Margaret MacLennon Youth Volunteer of the Year” Award. Kate began volunteering in September 2014 as she entered Grade 9. Kate spends her volunteer hours along the trails of Walker’s Creek and also with the Friends of Malcomson Eco Park. She arrives early on Saturday mornings, when many of her friends choose to sleep in, ready to tackle any task requested. Kate has become a expert in the proper procedure of tree mulching and last Earth Day took a leadership role instructing youngsters and their parents in this technique. Weather is not a determining factor of volunteering for Kate. She is ready to volunteer in the cold rainy days of spring, the hot sunny days of June and late Fall when the snow decides to fly. Although Kate spends time wheelbarrowing mulch from tree to tree, sweeping and tidying the potting shed and greenhouses, her favourite time is planting native shrubs and wildflowers throughout the parks, finding the perfect spot for each one….in the forest, prairie grassland or the edge of the pond. Kate is a joy to work alongside, always smiling, no job too easy, too hard, to messy….always ready, always willing! Kate is 15 years of age and resides in Thorold with her parents. She is a grade 10 student at Sir Winston High School and enjoys participating in the Book Club. She is considering a career in Business and in a couple of years hopes to follow in her older brother and sister footsteps to university.
Late last spring, The Friends of Walker’s Creek were contacted by Rob Tyndall who had recently moved into his Strathcona Bv residence which backs onto Walker’s Creek. He was concerned about the area owned by the city situated between his property and the creek that had been mowed for several years. He would prefer not to continue with this practice and was looking for another way with less maintenance, but also pleasing to the eye. The Friends arranged for a meeting with city staff, who owns the property in question, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, who manages the watershed area of the creek, Councillor Bill Phillips and Rob Tyndall. As a result of the meeting, The City of St. Catharines prepped the area (removed two dead trees), the NPCA provided funding for planting material, a project leader and staff member for planting with The Friends assisting with planting and last but not least, Rob agreed to maintain the area in the future. This would require removing invasive weeds and minor pruning of shrubs. The goal of this project was to establish a riparian buffer using native species that will protect the creek from runoff, helping to filter sediment and nutrients, while increasing habitat and biodiversity. As a result of this project there will be an increase in wildlife such as insects, amphibians, songbirds and small animals. At this year’s NPCA Awards Night, Rob was recognized with an Achievement Award in the Watershed Program. The Friends of Walker’s Creek congratulate Rob and look forward to watching this new “naturalized” riparian buffer mature under Rob’s supervision !
Last Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. We watched 5 trout come in from the lake in Walkers Creek. What a great viewing spot on the pedestrian bridge in Cherie Rd Park. In the deep area they were jumping out of the water and flapping their tales, then one turned on its side and wiggled up the shallow pebbly area and went under the bridge. Now that’s worth coming out early for! By late afternoon they had made their way almost to Cindy Drive. On Thursday they were seen in the middle of Cindy Park hanging out with other smaller fish that included the red sucker fish. Ther is so much going on at this time of the year. I hope you take some time out of your busy life to watch nature at its best!