After an extensive survey in 2016, plans are now being formed to beautify and protect Crane Lake’s shoreline, including planting a thousand trees in a few select areas around the campground.
“What we’re going to do is strategically place certain areas in the campground to close them off to the public,” Environmental Coordinator with the Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society Katlyn MacDonald told MD council.
“What that means is we’re not putting up these big fences to say ‘No don’t go in there.’ What we’re doing is we’re closing off small sections that we can revegetate, that people aren’t using anyways and they don’t have a purpose to be there. We’re going to close off a small area and put up a sign that says ‘Please stay out, we’re revegetating. This is part of the beautification of the lake.”
The areas will be closed off for two years until the trees have grown enough to stand on their own. Although a thousand trees will be planted, that doesn’t mean a thousand trees will grow. MacDonald estimates between 40 to 50 percent of them will die as seedlings. It remains more cost effective to plant them as seeds than to move trees that have already grown somewhat.
The tree program is part of a larger initiative to restore Crane Lake’s riparian area (the land right next to the lake,) and prevent further erosion. Efforts are also being taken on private lakefront properties to plant bushes and other plants right next to the water. The plants help protect the soil from being washed away. More anchoring locations for boats will be installed as well so fewer people tie their boats to trees.