SNC and OPG partner to restore J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area in Russell

Above, Constructing a new pedestrian bridge. Courtesy photo

RUSSELL — South Nation Conservation (SNC) is restoring the J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area in Russell thanks to a new 3-year partnership with Ontario Power Generation (OPG).

Main restoration activities throughout 2021 and 2022 will include native tree and shrub planting, repairing existing erosion and streambank stabilization, and restoring in stream habitat to increase biodiversity. 

In the last two years, SNC has also resurfaced the park’s recreational trail, installed three new pedestrian bridges, restored sections of shoreline, and removed and replaced hundreds of dead and dying Ash Trees infected by the invasive Emerald Ash Borer. 

The J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area started as a 16-acre land donation to SNC in 1980 by Alex and Mable Little and Jean Hay to protect the family’s natural legacies and provide passive recreational opportunities.

Today it is one of the Conservation Authority’s most popular public parks, welcoming over 20,000 visitors each year, and provides a serene natural green space surrounded by urban development in Russell. 

“The J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area is a community fixture that everyone has come to cherish,” explained John Mesman, SNC’s Communications Lead. “As development pressures increase in Russell and elsewhere, we promise to continue protecting and providing public natural spaces like the J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area; and we’re thankful for the support of OPG to help restore the park and local biodiversity.”

Above, SNC staff survey the watercourse at J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area in Russell to help inform shoreline stabilization work. Courtesy photo

SNC has a long history of partnering with OPG through its Regional Biodiversity Program to work on environmental stewardship projects that help to increase biodiversity and restore habitats for plants and animals in woodlands, grasslands and wetlands. A 3-year project with OPG was recently completed by SNC in the Larose Forest last year. 

“OPG is pleased to support SNC’s latest restoration project at the J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area in Russell,” said Ashley Fox, Assistant Environmental Advisor, Corporate Environment Health and Safety. “At OPG we strive to maintain or enhance significant natural areas of concern and have partnered with recognized biodiversity stewards, like SNC, across the province to protect Ontario’s most vulnerable natural landscapes.” 

SNC manages over 20,000 acres of Community Forest in Eastern Ontario and many of its Conservation Areas have been donated to the Authority through their Land Securement Program to help maintain natural legacies and provide a place for people to step outdoors and into nature.

Above, J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area in Russell. Courtesy photo

SNC is a not-for-profit and community-based environmental agency that relies on donations and self-generated revenue to protect and enhance the local environment across its 4,441 square-kilometer jurisdiction, on behalf of its 16 partner municipalities.

People can learn more or donate to SNC online at www.nation.on.ca/donate.

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