The Kensington North Watersheds Association works on a wide variety of projects with an eye toward improving the quality of our waterways to create a healthy ecosystem.
The major issues facing our streams are degraded riparian zones and excessive siltation on the stream bed. The riparian zones in our area are generally narrow corridors (minimum of 15 metres on both sides of the stream) with alders growing along the banks.
Every year, we enhance riparian zones by cutting out small patches of alders and planting other native hydrophilic trees (like Red Maple, Eastern Larch and White Cedar) to improve the variety of trees in the area. Trees keep the streams cooler, prevent overland erosion from depositing silt into the stream, and prevent the stream banks from collapsing as well as many other benefits to the stream and wildlife.
The second major activity we engage in every year is walking the streams and removing blockages to allow the regular flow of water. In sections of streams that are too wide, shallow and silty we narrow the channel by securing a layer of conifer branches on the inner bank which will collect excess sediment and narrow the channel which will in turn deepen the water and expose gravel on the streambed which is important habitat for macroinvertebrates (aquactic insects) and for trout spawning.
In addition to these basic watershed activities we also collaborate on special projects each year. Beginning in 2018 we started on a salt marsh and estuary restoration project. Kensington is a highly cultivated area and working together with farmers to reduce inputs to our streams is a high priority for us.