Neil’s Flats is the site of our most ambitious restoration project yet, comprising more than 50 ha of floodplain nestled just outside the heart of Fredericton. Despite the uncertainties of the pandemic, The NWAI has planted over 1500 red-tipped willows, red-osier dogwood and balsam poplar, and 800 silver maples. This could not have been achieved without the support of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, WWF – Canada, and our partnership with ACAP Saint John.
Neil’s Flats is located within a provincially significant wetland and comprises 50.7 ha of floodplain area owned by The City of Fredericton. Approximately 70 % of this property is abandoned agricultural fields, with the remainder comprising fragmented silver maple floodplain forest. By restoring healthy floodplain forest community on Neil’s Flats we can achieve the objectives of mitigating and preventing riverbank erosion, flood mitigation and restoring floodplain forest structure and species composition. Silver maple floodplain forests are adept at absorbing large amounts of water and have the capacity to slow flooding and reduce flood levels. Furthermore, reforesting floodplains will help to moderate the temperature of the Nashwaak River by providing shade to the river, making it more resilient to our warming climate. The NWAI has committed to restoring this important forest community along the Nashwaak River, for the benefit of wildlife and local communities within the watershed.