New Brunswick

Young and old gather in Marysville to help the Nashwaak River

About 30 volunteers gathered Saturday to plant 200 silver maple trees to help with flood protection and prevent the erosion of the riverbank.

200 silver maples trees were planted for flood protection, to prevent riverbank erosion

Nashwaak Watershed Association president Peter Toner gave volunteers a demonstration on how to plant the trees. (Philip Drost/CBC)

About 30 volunteers gathered along the Nashwaak River on a hot Saturday afternoon to help protect the river and its bank.

Two hundred young silver maple trees were planted along the bank in Marysville, which Marieka Chaplin hopes one day will provide a towering tree canopy to the former hay field.

"Over time, they are going to provide canopy closure, so they're going to transform the retired hayfield into a forest," said Chaplin, the executive director of the Nashwaak Watershed Association.

"The tree roots are going to hold that bank together to help better protect the riverbanks and the shoreline."

The group of volunteers helped plant 200 trees. (Philip Drost/CBC)

The old hay field is currently owned by the city of Fredericton and is prone to spring flooding. Chaplin said this will help with that.

"A mature silver maple can uptake 220 litres of water per hour, so that's just incredible from our perspective," she said.

The trees come from the association's nursery. The group tries to plant 1,000 trees in the area each year.

Young and old showed up at the Nashwaak riverbank to help out with the tree planting. Klara Sharpe was brought to the tree planting by her mother who wanted to do an act of kindness since it was Becca Schofield Day.

'It helps the world'

And Klara Sharpe was happy to help.

"It's nice planting trees. It helps the world," she said.

The money for the trees was raised by Fredericton adventure shop Radical Edge, and one of their suppliers, Oboz Footwear. The company donated a tree for each pair of shoes sold at the shop.

Sisters Karina and Klara Sharpe were some of the 30 volunteers that helped out on Saturday. (Philip Drost/CBC)

The idea to partner with the Nashwaak Watershed Association came from shop employee Brian Conoly, who uses the trails along the river and often paddles there.

"That watershed is a really iconic part of the province, has great history, is beautiful, but you know, like anything else is suffering from human impacts," he said.

The trees planted Saturday ranged in height from two to seven feet.

The group planted silver maple trees, which help mitigate flooding. (Philip Drost/CBC)

Chaplin said there is some risk planting young trees in an area that often floods, but she said the benefits and the potential outweigh the risk.

Chaplin said the silver maple is a good tree for the area because it's durable.

"It bounces back a lot better than any other tree you could plant there," said Chaplin.

"Even with the extreme flooding this year, a lot of those trees that were knocked down by the ice sprouted at the base, so we have a very multi-stemmed regrowth."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Drost is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick.

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