Looking at the big picture and in it for the long haul
Here at RiverOak we strive to constantly improve our practices and find new ways to make ourselves more sustainable.
For more than 20 years we have maintained our property in organic ways allowing nature to thrive on its own without the use of chemicals, pesticides, or herbicides. This allows us to provide our incredible nature’s playground that supports many ecosystems that are home to several species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Keeping the property clear of contaminants also provides access to many natural edible plants such as leeks, fiddleheads, stinging nettles, many types of mushrooms, of course apples, raspberries, sumac, hawthorn berries, wild strawberries, walnuts, burdock, cattail, clover, lamb’s quarter, milkwort, and more.
Every spring we plant hundreds, sometime thousands, of trees. To date we have planted more than 30,000 trees throughout the property; this is on top of the tens of thousands of trees growing naturally all around the property. These trees have created a diverse forest providing renewable resources, food for animals and humans alike, along with beautiful scenery everywhere you look. These trees are also an excellent source of carbon sequestration helping to clean the air and greatly reduce our footprint.
We are also home to many Butternut trees, an endangered species facing extinction in Ontario due to Butternut Canker which quickly kills the trees. The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is engaged in a recovery strategy where they harvest seeds from trees such as ours to plant in controlled areas to help save the species. We are happy to have many healthy Butternut trees which have shown resistance to Canker and are therefore prime candidates to help re-establish the species through this important recovery strategy.
Sustainability doesn’t stop at the land itself; we know that it’s also important to control what we consume and the waste that is created on the property. This is why we introduced compostable cups last year, leaving less of a mess in our landfills, and will be incorporating on-site composting soon. We also do not offer single use water bottles, and instead provide all our guests free access to water to refill their bottles.
Being a fully sustainable business is a work in progress and we are moving in the right direction more each day. We are committed to continuing to improve how we do things to reduce our footprint and sustain all species. We enjoy helping to spread the word and educate more people on how they can help improve our planet.