New Brunswick non-profit planting trees along Nashwaak River to fight flooding
The Nashwaak Watershed Association and a group of volunteers spent Thursday planting about 300 silver maple trees in Neil’s Flats, New Brunswick, in an effort to prevent future flooding.
“Where we are right now, in the spring, I would be completely underwater, and I’m six feet tall, so that gives you an idea that for several weeks in a row, it’s a floodplain here. ,” said Marieka Chaplin, executive director of the Nashwaak Watershed Association, a non-profit organization in New Brunswick.
According to the organization, the Neil’s Flats area was once cleared for farmland. Now reforestation of the area is needed to reduce flooding.
“This is an essential strategy to combat climate change, especially flooding,” said Simon Mitchell, Vice President of Resilient Habitats at WWF Canada.
“So by planting silver maples in this case, you get the right tree in the right place for the right reason, and the trees help stabilize the shoreline,” Mitchell said.
Volunteers say they came to plant for many reasons on Thursday.
Randall Haslett’s home has been flooded several times and he hopes the new trees will prevent this experience for someone else in the future.
“There’s nothing worse than coming home and your house smells like sewers and backwaters and dirt,” Haslett said.
Prior to this flood season, the Nashwaak Watershed Association planted 11,000 trees in Neil’s Flats.
“Reforestation work in the riparian forest just up the river has greatly reduced the number of floods,” said William Millar who came to plant trees.
“It used to come all over the trail, but the last few years the silver maples have stabilized the shoreline and really helped alleviate some of the flooding.”
The organization’s goal is to plant a total of 24,000 trees, most of which will be silver maples.
“At maturity, (silver maple) will absorb 220 liters of water per hour,” Mitchell said.
“So it takes it out of the river system, which hopefully if we have enough trees planted and we do it on a large enough scale, we can minimize the amount of water that ends up in the landscape. and in people’s homes and businesses,” he said.
The Nashwaak Watershed Association invites people to come and volunteer for their next planting event on Tuesday.
“We want to bring people with us because if people can see the kind of difference this project is making, that’s even more valuable,” Chaplin said.