Achieving Success with Environmental Restoration

Development and nature really can work together. Whether you need to mitigate for a protected area or wish to add habitat features to your site, environmental restoration techniques can help your plans succeed.

What is Environmental Restoration?
Environmental restoration involves re-constructing a natural area. This could include many different types of landscape features and wildlife habitats. For example, a bog is a type of wetland that often exists where water collects and has nowhere else to go. Many plants and animals – including rare, protected species – use bogs as habitat for food and shelter. Historically, bogs were filled and drained for farming. Wetlands restoration can re-create a historic bog, or create a new one. Depending on site conditions, wetlands restoration may involve earthwork to restore the natural depression, structures to ensure safe water inflow and outflow, and a variety of vegetation species adapted to wetland ecosystems.

A bog is just one example of the many habitats that can be restored through environmental restoration and environmental landscaping. Environmental restoration can re-construct forests, creeks, wetlands, streams and ponds. Within the category of wetlands, you will find many different types. Marsh restoration is an important consideration along the shorelines of Lake Ontario. Conservation Halton’s website provides details on local stream and wetland habitat concerns for the Halton region, many of which are applicable to surrounding regions like Peel and York.

Sometimes restoring an ecosystem involves re-creating several different habitats to ensure long-term success. Stream restoration projects often involve the restoration of the stream channel itself as well as a forest buffer on both sides of the stream and wetlands along its banks. With a goal of restoring a functioning ecosystem, stream restoration combined with wetlands and buffer restoration can ensure that a project provides habitat benefits over the long-term.

Why Environmental Restoration?
Our customers seek environmental restoration for many reasons. Some wish to attract birds and other wildlife, adding interest and beauty to the landscape. Conservation design involves planning a development to preserve and enhance natural landscape features, and environmental restoration is a great way to add more benefits to a conservation design.
Other customers need to restore a feature that was removed during construction. In the latter situation, the government may have required a permit for constructing on a wetland or other protected area, and the developer is required to compensate for that lost habitat, also called “mitigation.”

While every effort is made to avoid disturbing this land, occasionally developers must apply for a permit to develop a protected area. They are granted a permit if the disturbance can be mitigated in some way. In-kind mitigation involves restoring the same or similar type of habitat at another location. Geoscape can fulfill a developer’s mitigation needs through our environmental restoration services.

What does Environmental Restoration involve?
Environmental restoration is not as simple as digging a hole and throwing in some seeds. Sadly, restoration projects have failed due poor design and construction. Restoring a natural habitat requires careful attention to the native plant species appropriate for the climate, hydrology, and soils of a site. Vegetation placement is critical for plant survival. Especially in wetland environments, plants are adapted to a specific water regime. Restoration projects are more vulnerable to invasive species encroachment than established natural areas, and important measures during design and maintenance can help ensure survival of native plants and prevent invasive species from encroaching. Geoscape understands these concepts and can help you design, construct, and maintain a successful environmental restoration site.

How can Geoscape help?
So many options exist within the scope of environmental restoration, and Geoscape can help guide businesses and municipalities through these options. We can incorporate habitat features into an environmental landscape on-site, or develop a plan for off-site environmental restoration. For more information, visit our environmental restoration page or contact us by phone or email.

Geoscape Team