PEI

Ellen's Creek and its brook trout get help with life in the city

A creek that runs through the north of Charlottetown is getting some help recovering from urban encroachment.

Living by the Creek project to help repair riparian zone

Worker Kate Barnes does some planting in the riparian zone of Ellen's Creek. (Submitted)

A creek that runs through the north of Charlottetown is getting some help recovering from urban encroachment.

Ellen's Creek starts near Royalty Junction Road in Winsloe and runs down to Queen Elizabeth Park, where it joins with North River.

It's better to let nature go a little bit wild.- Norman Dewar

The Ellen's Creek Watershed Group has received government help for its Living by the Creek project, which will encourage property owners along the creek to take better care of the riparian zone, that area where the stream meets the land.

"The big thing, and the ongoing thing, is to change people's attitudes," said watershed group co-ordinator Norman Dewar.

"People like things nice and pretty and everything under control when it comes to nature. Sometimes it's better to let nature go a little bit wild."

A habitat for birds and fish

The group will encourage property owners to leave a strip of wildness along the edge of the stream. In some cases it will offer free native trees, shrubs and plants for planting in the riparian zone.

A healthy riparian zone is excellent habitat for birds, said Dewar, and makes for a better ecosystem in the stream, which is home to brook trout and other fish.

The total budget for the project is just over $46,000. The federal government is contributing $19,200. The city and other partners are putting up the same amount in in kind contributions, including help from city workers.

The city is also contributing $4,000 in cash, as is the watershed group itself.

Work has already started, with volunteers going door-to-door to talk to property owners about the project.

With files from Stephanie Kelly

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