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OPG partners with SNC to restore J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area in eastern Ontario

OPG and South Nation Conservation (SNC) are partnering up to restore the popular J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area in Russell, Ont.

The J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area in Russell, Ont., welcomes more than 20,000 visitors each year.
The J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area in Russell, Ont., welcomes more than 20,000 visitors each year.

The public park, located about 40 kilometres southeast of Ottawa, 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 a natural recreational area for the community.

Today it is one of the conservation authority’s most popular public parks, welcoming more than 20,000 visitors each year and providing a serene natural green space surrounded by urban development.

The new three-year partnership, part of OPG’s Regional Biodiversity Program, will see SNC plant native trees and shrubs, repair existing erosion, stabilize streambanks, and restore in-stream habitat to increase biodiversity. The bulk of the work will take place throughout 2021 and 2022

“The J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area is a community fixture that everyone has come to cherish,” said 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.”

OPG and South Nation Conservation (SNC) have signed a new three-year partnership to restore the J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area.
OPG and South Nation Conservation (SNC) have signed a new three-year partnership to restore the J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area.

Over the last two years, SNC has 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.

SNC has a long history of partnering with OPG to work on environmental stewardship projects that help to increase biodiversity and restore habitats for plants and animals in woodlands, grasslands and wetlands. Last year, a three-year project with OPG was completed by SNC in the Larose Forest.

The not-for-profit, community-based environmental agency manages more than 20,000 acres of community forest in eastern Ontario and many of its conservation areas have been donated to the authority to help maintain natural areas and provide a place for people to step outdoors and into nature.

“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 with OPG. “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.”