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Revitalizing Sudbury’s Junction Creek

Junction Creek in Sudbury Junction Creek in Sudbury

Revitalizing Sudbury’s Junction Creek

A celebration of efforts to save Junction Creek took place Saturday. The 52-kilometre waterway runs through the heart of downtown Sudbury.

For the past 22 years, a local stewardship committee has held community events from pulling garbage from the creek to educational efforts, to stocking the creek with fish that are now reproducing.

Ten-year-old Reed McPhail released a pail of brook trout into Junction Creek.

"It's important to take care of the creek because lots of fish live in it, and it's important to keep them healthy," said McPhail.

At the annual Junction Creek stewardship festival, 3500 brook trout were released. Organizers said the event is a celebration of the renewal of the waterway.

"It's part of the restoration effort of Junction Creek and community involvement has been key for that," said Miranda Virtanen, executive director of the Junction Creek stewardship committee.

"Getting the community engaged to know about the different wildlife that lives in Junction Creek and also be part of that reintroduction of biodiversity," she said.

Efforts to rehabilitate the badly damaged and polluted creek started back in 1999.

"The fact that brook trout are surviving in some parts of the creek is a tremendous indicator that the health of the water ecosystem is returning," said Franco Mariotti, a biologist, naturalist, and volunteer, with the Junction Creek stewardship committee.

"If you have a top predator like a brook trout in the water surviving, that means that all the fish that it eats, and in turn those fish aquatic insects,  means those species in that ecosystem are there," said Mariotti.

Reed McPhail said he doesn't like seeing garbage in the creek.

"I kind of feel sad about it, because the fish, if they get caught in it, could possibly die. I would encourage people if they see garbage around them creek, to try ad pick it up or get gloves and pick it up," said McPhail.

Officials on the committee said by having children release the fish into the creek, they get a sense of ownership they hope will turn into a lifetime of environmental stewardship. Top Stories

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