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Happy World Wetlands Day

February 2, 2021

Today we are joining all of our friends around the world in celebrating World Wetlands Day.

You might be asking yourself, what exactly is a wetland?

Wetlands are areas of land that spend at least part of the year covered in water. These important habitats link land and water. One third of RBG is covered in wetlands including marshes and vernal pools.

Why are wetlands so important?

Wetlands provide food, water, and shelter for plants and animals. They are also vital for water, as they capture and store rainwater, replenish groundwater aquifers and stabilize stream flows. Wetlands regulate water quantity and supply by releasing water at the right time to the right place in the right amounts and they improve water quality by removing and absorbing pollutants.

Where are RBG’s wetlands?

We have many wetlands on our properties, but our most popular wetland that you might be familiar with is Cootes Paradise Marsh. Cootes Paradise Marsh was preserved in 1927 for its significance as a migratory bird stopover as part of a broader game preserve. This preserved evolved into Cootes Paradise Sanctuary and is RBG’s largest and most diverse at over 600 hectares. It features the 320-hectare Cootes Paradise river-mouth marsh complex, 16 creeks, 25 kilometers of shoreline, and spectacular surrounding forest topography.

How can you help protect wetlands?

Visiting wetlands can be a wonderful escape from daily life for many, but they are also places that support delicate ecosystems, intricate bionetworks, diverse wildlife and their habitats, and in many cases are the last remaining natural habitats of southern Ontario. There are many ways in which you can help protect them. Chose biodegradable products. Limit your use of chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides and use organic remedies instead. Build your own “Rain Garden” to replenish local ground water rather than increasing surface runoff and erosion. Keep your pets on a leash when hiking trails around wetlands to not disturb wildlife found there. If you come across waste, particularly plastic wrappers while hiking, be considerate and pick it up and throw it away in an appropriate bin. Use safe, sustainable and eco-aware methods of waste disposal. Conserve your water – turn off the tap when not in use and use only as much as you need.

What if I want to do more?

Join RBG by becoming a donor today. A gift to our Growing up Green Annual Campaign will help support the ongoing protection of our conservation lands. You can directly help RBG restore and preserve our wetlands not only for the wildlife and vegetation that call it home, but for future generations of nature lovers.

Show your support of our local wetlands and make your gift today!