UTOPIA, Ontario (July 26, 2022) – Starting in early August 2022, the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) and the Town of Collingwood will continue maintenance activities on the Pretty River Dike.
Before maintenance work began in 2021, the dike was covered in dense groundcover, trees and shrubs. Last year, crews removed small woody material such as smaller trees and large shrubs along the slopes of the dike in Section 5, and plan on continuing into Section 6 in 2022.
“It is critical that the Pretty River Dike is clear of vegetation,” said Mark Hartley, Senior Engineer at NVCA. “Dense vegetation can slow down the flow of flood waters and reduce the capacity of the channel. This leads to flood waters spilling over, causing property damage and threats to public safety.” The Pretty River Dike was designed in the 1970s to contain flood waters from the Provincial Regulatory Storm Event. When maintained properly, it can protect residents and properties including homes and businesses, the Collingwood Public Library, Collingwood Museum and Central Park from flood damage.
To strike a balance between community safety, water quality and habitat protection, groundcover such as grasses and wildflowers will not be removed. These plants are important habitats for pollinators, including Monarch butterflies, which are a species of concern. Groundcover is also a great foraging source for many birds. Low shrubs such as dogwood and willows along the edge of the water will not be removed to continue to support fish and wildlife habitat.
Residents can learn more about the maintenance project by visiting Engage Collingwood.