People used to call it "Junk Creek." But Sudbury's Junction Creek has seen major changes over the last 20 years and it's all thanks to volunteers and the not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to restoring its ecosystem.
Junction Creek Stewardship Committee celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special awards ceremony on June 5.
Director and one of the original founders of the Junction Creek Stewardship Committee says there's still work to be done in the restoration of the creek but overall it’s come a long way.
"We used to call it Junk Creek because people didn't associate life with the creek, people would just throw garbage in it," Franco Mariotti said.
"But there are now species of fish in certain areas that had no life before so the amount of life in the creek has increased, not only in numbers but in locations."
In the past 20 years the environmental restoration of the Junction Creek included:
- The re-introduction of 28,700 brook trout
- 38,533 trees and shrubs planted
- 80,225 kg of garbage removed
Local artist Kim McKibbon has been frequenting the trails along Junction Creek for years and says the "inner forest" has been a source of inspiration for her artwork.
"It's a place of solace," McKibbon said. "I always find something inspiring, the pathway, the creek, the trees, the birds. It's a little sanctuary in the middle of our city.
"It's so wonderful to see everyone coming together to make it a beautiful place for everyone to walk and I'm happy to share the love and joy that it brings to me."
The committee recognized a number of supporters during the awards ceremony including the City of Greater Sudbury, Vale, Conservation Sudbury, Toppers Pizza and earthdancers.
A generous donation of $10,000 was also made by Design de Plume Inc.
"There's still some work for us to do, but overall it’s come a long way," Mariotti said. "It's a lot of the work of hundreds, if not thousands of Sudburians who volunteered their time to make that happen.
"The stewardship (committee) plans these things but the work really is by Sudburians who treat the creek like it's their backyard, like it's their home."