Earth Day tree planting at Rondeau Provincial Park

To help celebrate our 125th anniversary, Ontario Parks has organized a series of stewardship programs. These events are happening throughout the year and across the province to help protect biodiversity in provincial parks.

Stewardship programs have included BioBlitz events, invasive species removal, and native species plantings.

On Earth Day, park staff and an eager group of volunteers at Rondeau Provincial Park helped to restore the natural habitat in the park by planting native trees and shrubs.

After the ash trees

Since arriving in Ontario, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has destroyed millions of Ontario’s ash trees. Because Rondeau’s forests were 15-30% ash, we were hit hard by the EAB.

Two people

Although we know that nature is resilient and has the ability to adapt and fill in the gaps left by the ash trees, the effects have been especially noticeable in the parks day-use areas.

By planting native species in these areas, we can ensure that visitors can continue to appreciate beautiful Carolinian tree species while enjoying their time in the park.

Not only will our visitors be pleased with the new trees, but native pollinators and wildlife will be able to utilize these plants as they grow.

Maajiigin Gumig — a place where plants start to grow

Guy in black shirt and black shorts posing on a sunny day in a natural setting in the spring
Kyle Williams of Maajiigin Gumig

We partnered with Kyle Williams of Maajiigin Gumig, a native plant greenhouse in Aamjiwnaang First Nation located near Sarnia, Ontario. Maajiigin Gumig helps with local efforts to grow and restock native plant species. He also teaches customers to be stewards of the land by using more native species in their landscaping.

Kyle supplied native saplings including Red, Bur and Chinquapin Oak, Red Maples and Tulip Trees as well as native shrubs like Spicebush and Serviceberry.

Many hands make light work

A group of 30 volunteers of all ages came out to help get these plants in the ground.

Group of 11 people on a sunny spring day posing for the camera
Some of the volunteers who came out to help restore the habitat at Rondeau Provincial Park

Many of them shared fond memories of family picnics, or watching grandchildren play in these areas and were proud to help keep Rondeau green and shady for generations to come.

To help celebrate Ontario Parks’ 125th anniversary, parks across the province are hosting 13 stewardship programs to help protect biodiversity in provincial parks.