Protecting our ditches can help farmers – OkotoksOnline.com

Pheasants Forever Canada has launched a new awareness campaign called Save the Edges.

This is to educate the public about the need to leave our public roadside ditches and undeveloped rights-of-way alone.

President Perry McCormick says ditches not only allow bees to live, but other beneficial insects as well.

“They are also home to insects that feed on crop-eating insects, so there are studies that actually show that going inside roadside ditches actually reduces inputs for growers.”

McCormick also explains how, in the event of spring flooding, it can help preserve infrastructure.

“If we have healthy ditches and rights of way you can protect your infrastructure in your municipality. Culverts, bridges – these things are often blown away during floods and if these ditches have the vegetation intact of course the water is retained slows down and does not harm municipal infrastructure.”

It also helps reduce our carbon footprint.

“Another big value is carbon sequestration, a big buzzword these days, and of course with those nutrients and fertilizers being held up in the ditches, you’re going to have excess vegetation that’s going to absorb that carbon. So , all sorts of benefits to society with intact ditches and rights-of-way.”

Roadside ditches also help protect native grassland-dependent bird species such as pheasants.

The campaign is funded in part by a grant from Alberta Environment and Parks.

Roadside ditch with culvert near Lake Frank

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