The Friends of the Muskoka Watershed are hauling some serious ash this month.
The group says that during this month’s ASHMuskoka drive, on Saturday, January 22 ash donors dropped off more than 2245kg of ash. That’s the second-best ash drive since the project began.
“We are sincerely thrilled and appreciative that ASHMuskoka continues to generate the kind of support and level of contribution which is enabling us to make a positive environmental difference in Muskoka,” reads a Friends of the Muskoka Watershed social media post. “This means we have now collected more than 21,000 kg of ash. That’s 21 tonnes, despite numerous COVID shutdowns!”
ASHMuskoka explores the idea that wood ash can safely be used to restore the well-documented damage to forests and lakes caused by widespread calcium (Ca) decline in Muskoka. Restoration should begin by restoring soil and groundwater Ca levels to their pre-acid rain levels.
ASHMuskoka will take the opportunity to launch this project in local sugar bushes which follows sugar bush operators’ recent independent assessment that their sugar maples are suffering from severe low Ca stress in Muskoka.
From the ASHMuskoka website:
Calcium is essential for all life, according to ASHMuskoka. Trees are about 1% Ca; fish, 2-8% Ca; and clams and crayfish over 20% Ca. Acid rain has stripped Ca from the environment, and the growth and health of sugar maple, for example, is now limited by Ca supply, while Ca levels in many Muskoka lakes have fallen by 25 to 40% over the last 4 decades, harming many calcium-rich animals.
A new Ca source, is needed to fix this problem and residential wood ash can fill this need. It is rich in Ca; contains other essential minerals;
is produced in large quantities by local residents; and is considered a waste. Based on previous surveys, we remain confident that many residents will share their ash to help restore our forests and lakes.
The next ash drive is set to be held on Feb. 19 from 9 am to 2 pm at the Rosewarne Transfer Station in Bracebridge.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!