The Gleaner

UPA’s riparian strip project enters second phase

Phase two of the Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie’s riparian strip protection project is underway. This project’s aim is to help farmers in the region restore these sections of land on the edges of creeks and rivers, to help keep nutrients in the ground, protect the wildlife in the waterways, and stop the erosion of the riverbanks.

Phase one of the project, which took place over the last three years, was focused on educating agricultural producers in the region on the importance of riparian strips, as well as teaching them how to implement them. Phase two involves the actual implementation of the strips.

Due to the large scope of this project which covers the entire Montérégie, the UPA has worked to make all information and resources they have available to those participating. “The idea is to make this program accessible to agricultural producers in the Montérégie, regardless of whether the MRCs or municipalities are participating,” says Julien Pagé, vice president of the regional UPA.

The project is also ensuring that the plants added to these strips are compatible with the environment and attractive to pollinators. “It’s nature’s life cycle; if there are more insects, there are more birds, and more animals,” says Pagé, adding, “These strips have a complementary effect; they hold the nutrients in the soil, and keep them where they need to be: in the fields, not in the creeks.”

The UPA’s goal is to restore 900 kilometres of the riverbanks in the Montérégie by the end of phase two, which is slated to last until 2024. Some of the resources offered by the UPA to achieve this are tools to help install the strips, help in understanding and navigating the laws surrounding the endeavour, and information. The UPA encourages agricultural producers to reach out to their local UPAs for help in restoring the riverbanks on their farms, and it is hoped the collaborative nature of the project will make it easier for all those participating.

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