Objective: To actively engage local people in the practical preservation and restoration of the land adjacent to the Seine River
Location: Various locations along the banks of the Seine River, presently focused between Shorehill Dr and Creek Bend Rd
SOS Landcare is an initiative which seeks to restore areas overrun by invasive (non-native) plants and encourage the growth of wildflowers native to the area. Landcare volunteers also clear winter garbage, plant shrubs and trees, clear storm damage on the paths, and become the local eyes for the river and land.
Native plants are an important component of any natural environment. Compared to invasive plants, they are better adapted to the local climate and conditions, are more suitable food sources for native wildlife, and incite greater biodiversity. However, patience is required when growing native plants from seed, as it can take many years for them to become established.
Regular Landcare events are held in the River Park South area on Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings from spring until fall, and are posted on the events page. All are welcome! The hope is to extend events along the river and particularly in the St. Boniface area as committed local volunteers emerge.
The interactive map below identifies some key locations where the Landcare team has been focusing their efforts. Continue reading below to learn more.
The Wildflower Greenway
The beginnings of SOS Landcare date back to 2015 when Wilma Sotas, SOS board member, had a vision for a Wildflower Greenway spanning between Shorehill Drive and Creek Bend Road. This area includes swathes of natural meadows and grasslands, which were sadly overrun by introduced invasive plants such as creeping thistle, leafy spurge, and burdock, preventing native plants from taking root.
Wilma envisioned wildflowers all along the South Trail, full of bees and butterflies, and she established the Triangle and Wildflower Meadow (see map above for locations). The SOS Executive Director, Michele Kading, helped to kickstart efforts by allotting some Green Team hours to thistle removal at the Wildflower Meadow.
Wilma then met Fenella Temmerman while working along the trails and the two found a common interest in wildflower restoration. Together, they formed the Landcare committee in 2018 and began engaging local people to become involved in caring for our shared land.
A growing number of volunteers has allowed for regular weekly events to take place, helping tremendously to consistently bring positive change to the local landscape. Through removing weeds, planting wildflower plugs, and scattering seeds, invasive plants are being gradually replaced by native species like goldenrod, milkweed, aster, and coneflower, to name just a few.
Continual efforts are required, however, as invasive plants are often quick to return. Please visit the volunteer page if you would like to get involved.
Flowering Shrubs of The Legend
Planting flowering shrubs on the land between The Legend condos and the river was made possible by several partnerships. The prime commitment came from Landcare volunteer, Brian, who together with the residents of the condo block agreed to maintain and water the shrubs for two years following planting.
Thirty-four flowering shrubs (including 10 hawthorn, 9 hazelnut, 5 high bush cranberry, 5 saskatoon, and 5 wild blackcurrant shrubs) were provided by the City of Winnipeg, along with protective wire to create cages for each shrub. The shrubs were planted on May 27, 2019 by Landcare volunteers, condo residents, and the Nature Manitoba Green Team.
These flowering shrubs are all native to the area, adding both diversity and stabilization to the riverbank through their root systems. They will be a future source of nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies. As pollination takes place, the fruit becomes food for birds and other wildlife.
Kristin Tuchscherer, naturalist with the City of Winnipeg: Providing expertise and guidance to the Landcare team.
City of Winnipeg: Donations of seeds, plants, and flowering shrubs.
Wilma Sotas and Michele Kading: Donations of seeds and plants.