Vice-Chairman, Friends of the Muskoka Watershed
Vice-Chairman, Friends of the Muskoka Watershed
We are happy to announce that we’re back for another ash drive!
Thank you to everyone who has continued to save their wood ash for us during this tumultuous time. Muskoka’s forests and lakes appreciate your commitment, as do we in Friends of the Muskoka Watershed.
Dress in your best Canada Day outfit – we’re giving away a prize.
As well, the first 50 ash donors will receive a package of wildflower seeds!
We look forward to seeing you all on June 26th.
After what seems like a very, very long time, we are once again holding an ash drive.
Saturday, March 27th from 9am to 3pm
at Rosewarne Transfer Station in Bracebridge.
Please bring the ash you have been saving. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.
We apologize for the previous cancellations and delays in collecting. We are grateful for your patience and continued support for ASHMuskoka.
Do note that COVID protocols are still in effect, including physical distancing and masks. We thank you for helping to keep each other safe.
Can our enjoyment of morning pancakes really be linked to our fireplaces?
Yep. It’s about the maple syrup. Today, the health of both our lakes and our sugar bushes is limited by widespread calcium decline – a legacy of decades of acid rain. Sugar maples have a particularly high demand for calcium. Friends of the Muskoka Watershed has launched a project, called AshMuskoka, to collect fireplace, wood stove and wood boiler ashes, which are 30% calcium, from hundreds of people in Muskoka and return these ashes to local sugar bushes to help solve the calcium decline problem.
In this talk, Dr. Norman Yan will lay out the reasons for and the approach to this citizen-based forest restoration project – the first of its kind in Canada – and provide initial results proving that ash additions work.
Enjoy those pancakes.
Due to provincial restrictions placing Muskoka back in the grey zone, and in consultation with the District Municipality of Muskoka, we have made the decision to cancel the March 6th ash drive.
We appreciate all of the support and efforts our ash donors have been putting forth during the pandemic. Your support is the reason this vital project has been and will continue to be successful!
We are hoping the restrictions will be alleviated in time for our scheduled March 27th Ash Drive.
Please stay tuned to our social media feeds and our websites for more info.
Thank you for your understanding and your continued support.
Friends of the Muskoka Watershed – ASHMuskoka Team
After some careful consideration, we’ve decided to postpone the February 20th ASHMuskoka Ash Drive until March.
Although we in Muskoka are in the Red Zone this week, we are taking extra precautions with organizing the next drives to ensure the safest experience for all involved – including donors, volunteers and staff.
To make up for the cancelled January and February Ash Drives, we are planning to hold two in March (Ontario’s COVID restrictions permitting), currently scheduled for:
In the interim, we know that many of you have full cans of ash waiting to be dropped off in exchange for one or more empty cans. So that we may determine supply and demand, we would appreciate if you fill out this short questionnaire which will help us to better help you.
PLEASE NOTE: We have a limited number of empty cans at this point, so replacements are on a first-come-first-serve basis as long as we have supply.
PLEASE DO NOT drop off your ash at our office. We will contact you using the information you supply below.
Thank you for understanding and your continued support.
Recent research co-authored by our Trent University collaborator, Dr. Shaun Watmaugh and led by his M.Sc. student, Holly Deighton**, has definitively shown that dosage levels of 6 tonnes per hectare of wood ash addition to forest soil resulted in significant increases in soil pH and calcium and magnesium concentrations. The level of response, however, varied by treatment. Foliar concentrations of base cations in sugar maple seedlings significantly increased in ash treatments and there was no significant treatment effect on foliar metal concentrations or seedling growth. In roots and shoots, concentrations of several metals (manganese, aluminum, iron, boron, arsenic, cadmium, zinc, copper, lead, chromium, and nickel) increased after ash application, however response was most pronounced in yellow birch ash.
These results suggest that application of non-industrial wood ash can counteract the lasting effects of acid rain by increasing soil pH and base cation concentrations, as well as increasing sugar maple seedling foliar nutrient concentrations, but ashes from species with high metal contents may also increase metal availability to vegetation, at least in the short‐term.
The research cited suggests we should see real benefits from our ash additions, both the one completed in the fall of 2019 and the upcoming larger-scale addition in 2021. With such positive results after only 3 months, it means we are on the right track in the revitalization of our local forests which have been impacted by acid rain. It also means that proceeding with our larger-scale deployment will not be problematic with respect to levels of metals concentrations in the ash as they do not exceed provincial regulations. Given the conclusions of this early research, we anticipate extremely positive results with our larger-scale deployment of between 6 and 8 tonnes per hectare, results which may not only “wake up” the currently napping forests but also increase transpiration rates and have a positive impact on the ability of the forest to mitigate the effects of increasing levels of precipitation in the region.
**Holly D. Deighton and Shaun A. Watmough, Effects of Non‐Industrial Wood Ash (NIWA) Applications on Soil Chemistry and Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum, Marsh.) Seedling Growth in an Acidic Sugar Bush in Central Ontario in Forests 2020, 11, 693; doi:10.3390/f11060693
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