Natural Areas Conservation

The Riverwood Conservancy’s conservation programs work to protect, improve, and restore Riverwood’s natural spaces: forest, tablelands, meadows, ravines, wetlands, creeks, and the Credit River. Our work ensures the beauty and ecological importance of our area is maintained for future generations. Staff and volunteers, together with the City of Mississauga, Credit Valley Conservation, and partnering groups, work to: improve and protect wildlife and native plant habitat; maintain public trails; manage invasive plants; plant native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers; and conduct field research to better understand local ecosystems and inform management practices.

Ecological challenges we address

Some of the challenges facing Riverwood’s forest and wetland ecosystem include natural habitat degradation and loss of native biodiversity by invasive plants. Some of the invasive plants we work to remove include garlic mustard, common and glossy buckthorn, purple loosestrife, phragmites, Manitoba maple, Norway maple, Tatarian honeysuckle, and dog-strangling vine. Forest insects such as the emerald ash borer and gypsy moth are also present at Riverwood and constitute significant threats to the vitality of our forests.

Through the exceptional efforts of environmentally-minded volunteers, we work to eliminate these threats through our stewardship practices. Where we remove invasive trees and shrubs, we restore the area by planting native trees and shrubs that provide quality wildlife habitat and increase overall biodiversity.

Conservation programs

Our conservation work has led to the creation of two focused programs that serve the environment and offer volunteers a chance to learn more about local plant life. The Garlic Mustard Task Force has made a massive impact in clearing the invasive plant from Riverwood, and the Native Plant Propagation Program (NP3) provides education on local plants and promotes their growth at Riverwood and at Rattray Marsh Conservation Area.

Field research

Riverwood is abound with opportunities to conduct field work and create practical reports that can be used to inform our natural areas management. Previous research topics have included wetland management plans, white pine health studies, invasive species inventories, and beaver population and impact studies.

If you’re a university, college, or graduate student or have recently graduated from an environmental program and would like to conduct an independent research project at Riverwood, please contact us.

Volunteering for Conservation Activities

You have the power to create healthy habitats for wildlife, and conditions to ensure the lasting survival of native plants and trees. If you want to get involved in conservation activities at Riverwood through tree planting, invasive species removal, and trail maintenance, start by completing a volunteer application form.

Group Volunteering

Conservation activities at Riverwood are safe, fun, and meaningful for corporate, community, and school groups, and are an excellent team-building exercise that creates strong connections. Volunteer groups help us make significant improvements to the health and beauty our natural space. To learn more about how your group can take part, email our Conservation and Program Manager, Derek Stone.