Earth Day 2019 Planting Event

Earth Day 2019 Planting Event

 Gina Pannunzio and Ian Naisbitt

 “When we plant a tree, we are doing what we can to make our planet a more wholesome and happier dwelling-place for those who come after us.” ~Holmes

On Sunday, 28 April, the Windsor-Essex community celebrated Earth Day 2019 by planting 2200 trees and shrubs. We planted in Little River Corridor Park: along the Ganatchio Trail and around the pond, west of the Florence Avenue and Beverly Glenn Street junction in East Riverside.

Over 1200 community volunteers participated in this event and many were first time planters! Volunteers worked from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. There were 60 volunteer groups that registered to plant, known as Green Teams who represented businesses, groups, schools, families and others across the region.  

Saturday’s “Foreboding Forecast:” Cloudy. Periods of rain beginning this evening then changing to periods of snow or rain after midnight. Local snowfall amount 2 cm. Wind becoming northeast 20 km/h near midnight. Low plus 2. Yowzah, snow?

Sunday morning forecast: Periods of rain ending early this morning then clearing. Wind northeast 20 km/h, which is moderate according the Beaufort Wind Force Scale. High 11 Celsius. UV index 6 or high. After the “Foreboding Forecast,” what an enjoyable surprise it was to see the sun emerge from the overcast sky!

The species of trees we planted included: White Oak, American Elm, Pin Oak, Red Maple, Burr Oak, Sycamore, Basswood, Swamp White Oak, Oak, and Eastern Cottonwood.

Little River Corridor Park, between Riverside Drive and McHugh Street, has now benefited from the planting of 14709 (+ today) trees and shrubs since May 1990. The recreation trails throughout the area will permit people to make the desired connection with nature; they may even be lucky enough to experience the different species of wildlife that call this area home. Wildlife observed in the area included: Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Red-winged Blackbird, Turkey Vulture, American Robin, Killdeer and Mallard Duck.

The Essex Region Conservation Authority, Detroit River Canadian Cleanup and the City of Windsor did planning for the event. DRCC funded the trees via Ontario Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks. Event organisers appreciated the efforts from the 40 “How 2 Crew” volunteers who were an incredible force for planting trees.

“Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf.”

~ Albert Schweitzer


Free Lecture on the Great Lakes

The Canadian Society of Zoologists is hosting its national meeting in Windsor (

A free lecture to the public will be delivered by Dr. Andrew Muir, the Science Director of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.  It will take place on Monday May 13 at 6 pm at the St. Clair Center of the Arts on Riverside Drive. The Great Lakes Fishery Commission is a binational organization established in 1955 by the Canada/U.S. Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries to coordinate fisheries science, control the invasive sea lamprey, and facilitate cooperative fishery management among state, provincial, tribal, and federal management agencies. The Commission’s strategic vision is centered around three pillars reflective of the duties charged under the convention. Dr. Muir will provide an overview of the Commission’s science program and by highlighting new and exciting science initiatives, discuss challenges and opportunities of delivering a multinational science agenda in the 21st century.

For more information, please contact or

Little River Spring Cleanup Event 2019

Little River Spring Cleanup Event 2019

 Gina Pannunzio, Kelly LaForest and Ian Naisbitt

 On Tuesday April 2, Essex County Nature was invited by the City of Windsor, the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup and the Essex Region Conservation Authority to participate in a river cleanup in the Little River watershed. Windsor Casino’s Code Green group  helped coordinate the event, brought many supplies and sent numerous volunteers to this event. Thankfully, Mother Nature cooperated by being sunny and mild.

 About 50 volunteers cleaned up the section of Little River between Lauzon Road and Tecumseh Road East, adjacent to the Canadian Tire Store. They worked from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This notorious section of river is infamous for shopping carts. This was the 15th time the community has cleaned up the human debris from this site since autumn1996.

 Along with the Code Green group, there were volunteers from the City of Windsor, the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup, University of Windsor, Essex County Nature and the Little River Enhancement Group. This hard working group pulled out eight shopping carts (no surprise here), one lawn chair, one bike, one garbage pail, two recycle bins, industrial hoses, two children tents, a large pile of wood, an aquarium, a stove pipe baffle and 55 bags of recyclable content and landfill waste.

 We are always pleased to see local wildlife surviving in the Little River Watershed. During this cleanup we observed a Belted Kingfisher. There were many people kayaking and canoeing up this section of Little River and they were all thankful for the group to be out there.

 We appreciated Code Green coordinating this cleanup event and look forward to working with them in the future!

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Citizen Science Tree Survey

We are looking for individuals who are looking to gain some field experience collecting data from  a sample of the Earth Day trees planted in spring 2019 with Essex Region Conservation. This event will take place on Saturday June 22 2019 from 10am to 2pm at the green space near Florence Avenue and Wyandotte Street east in Windsor. Parking is available at the Sand Point Beach parking lot off Riverside Drive. Volunteers will walk south down the Ganatchio Trail towards Wyandotte Street.

Volunteers should bring their snacks/lunch and re-usable water bottle and wear weather appropriate clothing. Long pants and shirts are recommended with sturdy close-toed footwear.  High school students who would like to earn volunteer hours should bring their paperwork along.

Spots for this workshop are limited and pre-registration is required. Please register here:

For questions about the event, call Gina at 519-776-5209 ext. 245.

Essex Region Conservation Honours Award Winners

Essex Region –  Eight  organizations and individuals have been honoured with Essex Region Conservation Awards for their efforts in making the Windsor/Essex/Pelee Island region the Place for Life.


“It’s always inspiring to learn more about those who have made tangible contributions to our regional environment,” said Chair Irek Kusmierczyk.  “By moving forward, together, with committed organizations and individuals like those we honour tonight, we will ensure that our region remains the Place for Life.”  Winners included:

Ceara Copat –  Youth Award for her dedication to natural and cultural heritage interpretation and action, including tree planting, invasive species removal, and engagement.

Maurice Chauvin – Conservation Farm Award for adopting a variety of conservation and Best Management Practices, over six generations of farming, to protect their greatest resource – the soil.

The Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment Association – John R. Park Homestead Award for maintaining and promoting the historic and cultural significant of the Regiment in the community, and extra efforts this year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1.

Karen Batke – Volunteer Award for more than 35 years of volunteering to protect and restore Cedar, Mill and Wigle Creeks through tree planting, cleanups, and invasive species removal. (presented posthumously).

Just Fishin’ Friends – Volunteer Organization Award for their dedication in providing learn to fish opportunities to residents across the region, to help them learn more about native fish species and the Great Lakes .

St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School – Education Award for more than two decades of educating students about our environment, and inspiring them to action through greening, cleanups, invasive species removals, and Monarch protection.

Tepperman’s –Environmental Achievement for its “Live for Tomorrow’ sustainability plan and significant achievements in waste reduction, energy consumption, innovative recycling solutions, and a shared environmental ethic with staff, suppliers and partners.

Laura Monforton – Dennis Chase Staff Award for her dedication, conscientiousness, kindness and compassion to colleagues, customers and partners through a variety of roles at ERCA, including tree planting and restoration, events and outreach, and protecting sources of drinking water as the region’s Risk Management Official/Inspector.

ERCA also reviewed the accomplishments of the past year, including forward momentum towards a regional Climate Change Strategy, restoring 143 acres of habitat, connecting nearly 10,000 kids to nature through outdoor education, releasing its 5-year Watershed Report Card, and welcoming over 75,000 visitors to conservation areas and trails.

View a ERCA’s 2018 Annual Report and 2018 Annual Report video.

For more than four decades, Essex Region Conservation has been sustaining and enriching the environment of the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region to ensure it is the Place for Life.

Get Involved!

From tree plantings and clean ups, to advocacy and education programs, CLICK HERE to find out how you can be involved with protecting and enhancing the Detroit River.