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HomeNewsFriends of Muskoka Watershed hosting monthly ash drive

Friends of Muskoka Watershed hosting monthly ash drive

The goal of the Friends of the Muskoka Watershed’s (FOTMW) monthly ash drive is to build “bigger, better, and healthier” trees, according to Spencer MacPherson.

He’s the project lead at Friends of the Muskoka Watershed. In the winter, they host monthly drives at the Rosewarne Landfill at 1062 Rosewarne Dr. in Bracebridge. “Everybody who burns wood in their wood fire stoves or fire pits, they collect that ash, they bring it to us, we go through it, remove any unwanted stuff like nails, metals, stuff like that and we store the ash,” he explains. “The whole of this is for our research projects. We apply the ash to the forest floor to add all sorts of nutrients back into the soil, but mostly calcium.”

The next drive will be on March 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. MacPherson says the drives typically happen every month in the winter and every other month in the summer. 

MacPherson says in the four years FOTMW has been hosting ash drives, over 10 tonnes of ash has been collected from more than 1,000 donors. 

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He goes on to say the ash is spread in forested areas by FOTMW and its citizen scientists

“Our research seems to point to a large increase in many of the required nutrients for these trees to grow bigger and stronger,” explains MacPherson, specifically noting calcium.

The research done so far shows trees could grow to be bigger with healthier leaves and better canopy cover thanks to the ash being spread. 

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