May 20, 2021
Mowing for a Cause
High schoolers Jonathan Wits (pictured above) and Gabriel Vera (pictured below) consider Rattray Marsh Conservation Area an important part of their childhood growing up in south Mississauga. “We have great memories of playing in the marsh and visiting it with our families,” said Jonathan. “These early experiences established our connection to nature.”
Rattray Marsh represents many things to its visitors. Some remember how it was saved from development many years ago, while others remember it as a living classroom where they came for guided tours to learn about nature.
The marsh is an environmental gem located in a unique natural setting in Mississauga. As the last remaining lakefront marsh of its kind between Toronto and Burlington, this environmentally sensitive wetland is home to a variety of wildlife and plants and a must see for bird watchers, photographers and nature lovers.
The health of the marsh has been threatened in recent years. Excess sediment from Sheridan Creek was burying the marsh plant life which is the foundation of the ecosystem. The forests, which were mostly made up of ash trees, were seriously impacted by emerald ash borer – an invasive beetle that kills ash trees. Staff at Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) removed the excess sediment and are helping the forests recover by planting diverse tree species.
Jonathan and Gabriel have been active in restoring the marsh for several years. As members of the Boy Scouts, they participated in the annual Rattray Marsh Cleanup, organized by the Rattray Marsh Protection Association.
“We’ve seen the threats to the marsh in recent years and we decided to do something to help,” said Gabriel. As a way to earn funds for university, the pair started lawn care businesses, serving the community around Rattray Marsh with 20 per cent of their earnings donated to CVC Foundation to support restoration efforts and improvements at Rattray Marsh Conservation Area. “Since Rattray is such an important place for us, we decided to give back at the same time, added Gabriel.”
The pair offer lawn trimming, edging, gardening, pressure washing decks and general outdoor cleanup. “This is our first year in business and he hope things go well,” said Jonathan. “We already have a few customers and they’re just as passionate about protecting the marsh as we are.”
CVC’s conservation areas have long relied on a healthy mix of local government support and community donations to keep them beautiful, thriving and accessible. Caring community members like Jonathan and Gabriel play an important role in improving our local environment.
“We could have donated to many causes, but we chose Rattray Marsh,” added the pair. “We’ve been living in the area for a long time and care deeply about Rattray Marsh’s future. We hopeful that it will soon be a lot greener, with more trees and a healthier ecosystem.”
For lawn care services, please contact:
The Lawn Cares Company
Easy Lawn Care Solutions
Donate today to support restoration efforts and improvements at Rattray Marsh Conservation Area