2008 It all started with a communities dream….
As a result of the development of the (2006/2007) Wheatley River Watershed Stewardship Plan, a set of goals and strategies were developed to address the identified concerns of the residents of the watershed. The impetus to re-establish Rackham’s Pond, a historically important commercial, cultural and natural focal point, was undertaken as means to accomplish a number of stewardship goals.
- To improve ecological diversity and enhanced habitat for trout, small mammal and indigenous plant species.
- To return this area to a natural, historical and cultural focal point of the community of Wheatley River and the watershed.
- To provide pond/watershed interpretation, trails and environmental education opportunities.
- To re-establish recreational fishing opportunities through habitat enhancement and to improve migration of fish species to natural spawning grounds.
- To eliminate the erosion of the stream bank near the pond exit.
- To create new and to improve existing waterfowl habitat.
With the incorporation of less damaging ploughing methods, restriction of livestock from streams and the introduction of legislated buffer zones, the sources of sediment that filled the pond basin for close to a century have been reduced. That, along with TPW’s Environmental Division’s focuses on reducing erosion associated with maintenance & construction of transportation infrastructure on paved and unpaved roadways aids in further reduction of waterway siltation.
This community based pond reclamation project was to provide the opportunity for citizens of all ages to get involved and see the benefits of an enhanced natural environment. The many recreational uses of the pond and this type of project are not restricted to a few specific user groups. Many new recreational, cultural and environmental education opportunities would be developed in our community as a result of this project including, but not limited to; hiking, fishing, canoeing, swimming, bird watching, skating and cross country skiing.
The enhancement of the historic Rackham`s Pond brings many benefits to our natural environment by increasing diversity and habitat for non-human residents of the watershed. Since 2009 there is an increase in trout and waterfowl habitat and populations.
With the community and adjacent land owner’s careful considerations, it was upheld that no negative situations would arise from the reclamation.