Habitat/Green Space Protection
|Humbug Marsh||Marshfield Woods||Ojibway Shoreline||Spring Garden Process||Protecting Essex County||Community Garden|
Since its inception in 1985, the CEA has challenged governments and private land owners to maintain the few green spaces left in our region. Our mandate to restore, maintain and enhance our local environment is a never-ending struggle to balance the needs of our local environment with the needs of the citizenry. Success stories which include Humbug Marsh and the Spring Garden Complex are balanced by on-going challenges with Marshfield Woods and the Ojibway Shoreline, the last remaining natural shoreline in the City of Windsor. The CEA is steadfast in its determination to conserve what few natural areas we have left and enhance existing natural areas.
Threatened with development in 1999, the CEA along with many other concerned groups rallied to maintain the marsh as a wetland. Humbug Marsh was the last remaining wetland along the U.S. side of the Detroit River. Not only was the marsh eventually saved from development, but it became a U.S. government protected wildlife refuge in 2004.
Spring Garden Complex
Protecting Essex County
The CEA garden plot was first created about 10 years ago by the Fed UP gardening collective. Those early efforts continue to bear fruit and the CEA believes it is important to show citizens how easy gardening can show positive results on so many levels without the use of pesticides or fertilizers. One visible sign of not using chemicals is the level of bees and other pollinators found in the plot.
Rich, well-drained soil is the foundation or "bones" for any productive garden. The garden depends largely of the use of good compost, primarily from mushroom compost waste which makes the soil nutrient rich, well drained, yet able to hold moisture and create an environment where plants grow well. Where possible, seeds from previous years are used such as with the sunflowers, kale, tomatillos, borage, and other herbs. Seed saving is the best way to encourage seed diversity and keep seed security in public hands given concerns over GMOs and monoculture. The garden also uses strategies of companion planting and rotation to hinder pests. Herbs and hot peppers make excellent border plants to protect more vulnerable plants.
The CEA garden, though small in size, produces a significant harvest over the growing season. Plans for expanding the growing season and to also propagate native species are in the works. We hope our efforts and positive results will help encourage your own gardening.