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Volunteers needed for Native shrub planting along Avon River

'We could not take on this kind of project without volunteer support from our community," Stratford and Area Master Gardeners' Don Farwell says of June 3 event
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Want to help keep our community green while protecting the local watershed?

You can join Stratford and Area Master Gardeners on June 3 at 9:30 am. at McLagan Park to plant native shrubs along the Avon River.

In case of heavy rain, an alternative planting date is June 4 at 9:30 a.m., the group said in a news release.

“We could not take on this kind of project without volunteer support from our community," said Stratford and Area Master Gardener coordinator Don Farwell. 

"It was awesome that we had over 40 volunteers come out to plant last fall and we hope many people will come to help us plant on June 3."

Funding for the purchase of native shrubs is made possible with a grant of $5,200 from the Donald McTavish Conservation Fund held within the Stratford Perth Community Foundation.

This spring, 400 native shrubs will be planted from the railway trestle to St. Vincent Street with support from the McTavish fund.

Last fall, community volunteers planted 400 shrubs along the bank of the Avon River from the John Street weir to the railway trestle.

Donations from the community supported the purchase of 250 shrubs and support from the conservation fund purchased an additional 150 shrubs.

The group noted this local environmental stewardship action is recommended in the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) watershed report card.

Wetland areas adjacent to rivers support high numbers of wildlife species, according to the gardeners group, and provide an array of ecological functions including water quality protection.

Native trees and shrubs also help in creating pollinator pathways.

Stratford and Area Master Gardeners thanked the organizations that support its planting efforts: Stratford and District Horticultural Society, Stratford Field Naturalists, The Kiwanis Club of Stratford, the Rotary Club of Stratford, and the Canadian Federation of University Women of Stratford as well as individuals in the community who have supported them by planting native trees and shrubs in their yards or at public planting events.

The gardeners group said it also appreciates the support it has received from the UTRCA and the City of Stratford Parks Dept.

For more information about the ReLeaf Stratford Project, go to or visit them on Instagram or Facebook.