Landowner restores acres along Maitland River

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2024
Restoration Supervisor Shannon Millar plans Cedar in the buffer around a wetland.

Stewardship along the Maitland River: Project Highlight

A local farmer worked alongside Maitland Conservation to retire 6.3 acres of flood plain along the Maitland River this spring (2024). 

The site, owned by Kate Procter, now features 1.2 acres of wetland excavated in October of 2023, surrounded by a 5.1-acre buffer of 1,600 trees and shrubs planted this spring by Maitland Conservation.

The project began when Kate reached out to Maitland Conservation expressing an interest in restoring a pasture her family no longer used that was not suitable for row cropping. 

Staff met Kate to create a plan that suited her and the site, first for thirteen acres of trees and shrubs planted further downstream in 2023, and then the 6.3 acres completed this spring.  

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) aerial phot of the wetland and retired pasture from above in June 2024.
Figure 1: Aerial photo of the wetland and retired pasture from above in June 2024.  

The wetland (pictured above), connected to the Middle Maitland River by a spillway, will help to collect sediment and filter nutrients that flow from surrounding farmland, through the pasture, and into the river, which eventually flows to Lake Huron through Goderich.  

The tree and shrub buffer includes Cedar; Black Willow; Tamarack, and an additional 20 species. It will assist with the wetland functions, as well as absorb excess moisture in the area, stabilize the soil, and shade out invasive species found on site. 

Restoration Supervisor Shannon Millar plans Cedar in the buffer around a wetland.

Figure 2: Restoration Supervisor, Shannon Millar, planting Cedar in the buffer around the wetland.  

Although Kate initially reached out in 2022, the seed for the project was sown much earlier. Kate explains that her Dad had planted trees on the property up to 60 years ago. 

“It has always been our vision to take care of the environment, as much as growing crops and livestock,” Kate said. “It is not only good for the farm, but water quality on our farm, water quality downstream, which we are also concerned about, and biodiversity, making habitat for wildlife and birds.” 

Some of these results are already seen, as turtles, sandpipers, and thousands of toads have found this new feature along the river. With time, the water will fill in with vegetation, increasing its habitat provision and water filtering capacity. 

The project wouldn’t have been possible without the minds and hands of many: Kate Procter and family; N.C. Jones & Sons Ltd.; and Maitland Conservation. Nor would it exist without the funding partners involved: Ducks Unlimited; Huron Clean Water Project; Maitland Conservation Foundation; and Environment and Climate Change Canada. 

From the headwaters to the shore, every project and partner count ... from #LandtoLake ... 

For more information about the 2023 planting, please read the following:  

For inquires about Maitland Conservation’s current restoration programs, please reach out to: