Person with orange glove gardening



There is some new greenery at Cherie Road Park thanks to a team effort between the City of St. Catharines; Friends of Walker’s Creek; Friends of Malcolmson Eco-Park and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA).

On Saturday, Oct. 2, community volunteers from both the Friend’s of Walkers Creek and Friends of Malcolmson Eco-Park gathered at the City of St. Catharines park to plant approximately 550 trees and shrubs native to the Carolinian Zone. The new greenery come courtesy of the NPCA through a TD Friends of the Environment Foundation grant.

“Currently, Niagara’s landscape achieves only 56 per cent of the minimum ecological thresholds required for a healthy and viable watershed, increases to the urban canopy through plantings like today are critical to improve that landscape and in turn support the watershed,” said Eric Lamothe, Community, Recreation and Culture Services manager of business planning and strategic services. “It’s great to see this work taking place with the City providing the space for the NPCA’s restoration initiatives and the efforts of such dedicated community volunteers.”

In its 2011 Urban Forest Management Plan the City committed to increasing its tree canopy cover from 17 per cent to 30 per cent, underscoring the importance of plantings and other efforts such as the annual tree giveaway. A healthy urban canopy delivers benefits including reduced storm water runoff and capturing greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change. Environmental stewardship is a key pillar of City strategic planning with a focus on responsible community planning and decision-making that balances growth, enhances quality of life, manages emergencies, and minimizes the environmental impacts of climate change.

“Tree plantings like this do more than beautify our parks and public spaces. The urban canopy provides critical ecological supports for the local watersheds that sustain agriculture and the natural environment that we all rely on,” said Della Trojan of the Friends of Walker’s Creek.

"We are happy to work with our valued partners to achieve a shared goal of increasing canopy cover in the Walker's Creek watershed," said Steve Gillis, Restoration Specialist, NPCA.

In addition to partnering with municipalities and community groups from across the watershed, the NPCA also addresses the performance gap of the watershed’s natural features to ecological objectives through its Restoration Grant Program. The program embraces partnerships, leverages funding opportunities, promotes adaptive management to meet the changing needs of the landscape, and conveys awareness of the benefits of environmental restoration.

The first application intake date for 2022 Restoration Grant Program projects is fast approaching on November 15. Projects eligible for grants of up to $15,000 include wetland habitat creation, tree planting, establishment of stream buffers and fencing, application of cover crops, building manure storage facilities, and water conservation practices. 

To learn more about the NPCA Restoration Grant program or to download the application form, visit



About NPCA:  

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is a community-based natural resource management agency that works to protect, enhance, and sustain healthy watersheds. With 60 years of experience, the NPCA offers watershed programs and services that focus on flood and hazard management, source water protection, species protection, ecosystem restoration, community stewardship, and land management. 

The NPCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in the Province of Ontario and manages 41 Conservation Areas within the Niagara Peninsula watershed held in public trust for recreation, heritage preservation, conservation, and education. These natural and shared greenspaces marry nature, culture, and adventure to create limitless opportunities for discovery. 

Questions related to the above release should be directed to: 
Erika Navarro, Communications Specialist  
905.788.3135 ext.262 
Mobile: 905-650-4027 

Questions specific to the Restoration Grant program should be directed to: 
Geoff Verkade, Senior Manager, Integrated Watershed Planning and Information Management  
905.788.3135 ext.244