Branch Out! Canon Workdays Update!
By Lesley Peterson
In August and October 2023, Trout Unlimited Canada (TUC) held four workdays with Canon Canada as part of Canon’s national Branch Out program and TUC’s Corporate Environment Day program. Events were held in Calgary, Edmonton, Brantford, and Richmond and led by TUC staff with support from local partners. TUC is grateful for the continuing support provided to TUC through the Branch Out program as it helps us to achieve our mission of conserving, protecting, and restoring Canada’s freshwater ecosystems and resources.
Below is a summary of the activities completed and the outcomes of the 2023 program.
Calgary, AB: On August 21, Canon staff participated in invasive weed pulling at the mouth of Nose Creek and next to the Bow River on the Bow River Pathway. The Bow River is an important waterbody that is home to many native species of fish, invertebrates, birds, mammals, and plant species. The Bow River Pathway is used year-round by recreationalists that can enjoy aesthetically pleasing views of nature and the city. Unfortunately, the Bow River Pathway is overrun by non-native and invasive plant species, including common tansy and burdock. Over 20 employees from the Calgary Canon team worked hard to cut, pull, and bag these noxious weeds. An area of approximately 2000 m2 was covered, and 50 large bags of invasive plants were collected and sent to be disposed of properly by the City of Calgary.
Richmond, BC: On August 24, Canon Canada staff cleaned up garbage in Tait Riverfront Community Park, Richmond. The park is next to the Fraser River that is home to a myriad of native plant, mammal, and fish species including salmon and sturgeon. Picking up garbage in this area helps to preserve the park’s natural beauty and reduce the amount of litter that enters the river and eventually into the Pacific Ocean. The Canon Richmond team cleaned 1.3 km of shoreline along the Fraser River including over approximately 1000 cigarette butts that were collected and disposed of properly.
Brantford, ON: On August 28, staff from Canon Canada’s London, Hamilton, and Kitchener offices came together at the Apps’ Mills Nature Centre on Whiteman’s Creek. This river is an important spawning system for many migratory fish species; however, the surrounding forest was being colonized by invasive Buckthorn, which out competes other native and beneficial plants and can lead to increased erosion which is harmful to fish habitat and water quality. The volunteers from Canon successfully cleared 3700 m2 of forest of Buckthorn, ranging from small, freshly sprouted saplings to mature individuals over 15 feet tall. This work has prevented Buckthorn from taking over the forest and helps to preserve the health and biodiversity of the Nature Centre.
This event also provided an opportunity to recognize the Ontario Trillium Foundation, who has provided financial support enabling Trout Unlimited Canada to develop and grow our Corporate Environment Days program. Local MPP, Will Bouma, was in attendance and shared some words of encouragement for the volunteers at the start of the workday.
Edmonton, AB: On October 3, Canon Canada’s Edmonton staff planted native trees and shrubs with TUC and the City of Edmonton’s Root for Trees program. The tree planting took place next to Whitemud Drive Northwest, in the community of Lymburn. The site is on a slope that was built as a noise barrier from the road. The site is filled with non-native grasses that have taken over. The goal of the project is to revegetate the slope with the benefits including wind break, noise reduction, natural aesthetics, providing habitat for wildlife, and reduction of water runoff. Canon helped plant 153 native plants in an area of approximately 500 m2.