UXBRIDGE: The Healthy Water award has been given to Mike Lanigan, from Uxbridge Township. The Healthy Water award is apart of the annual Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) Awards.
Mr. Lanigan has been planting trees for many, many years. He used to work in northern Ontario planting trees. Mr. Lanigan is a “watershed farmer” who built a clean water diversion system on his property. The system protects the quality of the surface water located on his land, eliminating potential contaminates.
According to Mr. Lanigan the system he built also improves the water that goes back into the watershed. Last year, Mr. Lanigan planted almost 200 trees. The species of trees consisted of red oak, white oak, tamarack and many others. He planted 14 different types of trees.
Planting this many natives species will improve the biodiversity and ecological balance of Mr. Lanigan’s property. In past years, he had planted nearly 300 trees on his property.
This year, Mr. Lanigan planted a row of trees that stretched for about a kilometre. He planted those trees along the highway next to his home to replace a few trees that had died due to disease.
Mr. Lanigan said trees “grow faster than people expect.” He has a tree he planted in 2000, every year he and his family put a tap in it and use the sap to make maple syrup. They have been tapping the tree for four years. According to him, the tree is thriving and the trunk is about two and a half feet wide.
“I encourage everyone to plant more trees,” said Mr. Lanigan. Planting brings him a lot of joy and he wants to extend that to others. The inspiration to plant over 100 trees came to him one day while he was listening to the news.
“I was listening to CBC [News] one day and I was out on a fence row fixing the fences,” he began. “This program talked about how, on a fence row, you provide habitat for seven species of [animals].”
According to Mr. Lanigan, if you make the fence row larger, extending it to between 20 and 25 feet, you can increase the area of habitat your land provides. Enlarging a fence row this much can provide habitat for up to 32 species of wildlife.
On Mr. Lanigan’s farm, he sees a variety of animals... such as red squirrels, wolves and sometimes bears. Along with this extension, Mr. Lanigan also planted more trees along the line of fencing.