The South Nation Conservation Authority (SNC) is doing restoration work on the popular natural recreation site in Russell Township with the help of Ontario Power Generation (OPG). The two agencies now have a three-year partnership agreement for heritage improvement work at the site.
“The J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area is a community that everyone has come to cherish,” stated John Mesmer, SNC representative. “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.”
The main focus for restoration work during 2021 and 2022 includes planting of native trees and shrubs, repairing places where erosion has occurred, and doing stream bank stabilization. The work also includes stream habitat restoration to improve fish and wildlife species.
Past work by SNC at the site has included resurfacing the recreational trail through the conservation area, installing three new pedestrian bridges, removal of several hundred dead and dying ash trees that were infected with Emerald ash borer, and replacing the infected trees. Some shoreline restoration work was also done.
The J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area began as a 16-acre land donation to SNC in 1980 from Alen and Mable Little and Jean Hay. They wanted to provide a local recreational outlet as part of the family’s legacy to the community. It has become one of SNC’s most popular recreation sites, with more than 20,000 visitors each year.