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February 06, 2020

Wetland honours parents love for nature

What started as a simple idea to attract more ducks around the Tribe farm in Burgessville last spring, quickly evolved into a full-scale project to support the environment and so much more.

“We really just wanted some more ducks in the area, but then I thought let’s see if we can do more,” says Jeff Tribe, who owns the 4th generation, 90-acre farm in Norwich Township.

With a single call to Ducks Unlimited and their ongoing logistical and financial support, Tribe has created a flourishing wetland on previously pastured farmland. The project consisted of digging an inter-connected 1.4-acre wetland featuring two major and several smaller water features, supported by 8.9 acres of upland habitat.

Jeff Tribe holding a shovel in front of in-progress wetland project

With its marsh-like qualities, the wetland is like a giant sponge during floods and a reservoir during droughts. The lush greenery and even dead vegetation absorb water and slows the movement of water to surrounding areas. The project also included the planting of mixed native trees.

Aerial shot of completed wetland project

“It is a healthier ecosystem and a more biodiverse entity,” says Tribe. “When I look at it off my porch, it just makes me feel good – it’s beautiful.”

But what’s even more beautiful, is how the project honours and anchors the Tribe family’s natural heritage.  Tribe says the wetland is a memorial to his late parents Harry and Jessie Tribe. 

“They were old farmers with great respect for and love for nature,” says Tribe, adding they enjoyed all things natural, with a healthy respect for the land’s inherent character.

His dad was a tree planter, improved their woods through selective cutting and recognized stewardship over ownership. He fondly remembers Mother’s Day picnics in those woods.

Tribe is honoured to be recognized as part of this group of like-minded individuals showing respect for the environment and sustainability, particularly against the backdrop of climate change. But he adds none of this would have been possible without Phil Holst from Ducks Unlimited who opened doors to an array of organizations that all had a part in this project.  

If considering a project like this, Tribe says, “do it because maybe you too can do more.”

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