The health of a river is tied to the health of the natural areas surrounding it.
Forest have a particularly important role in the health of a watershed.
In the early 1800s, the Grand River watershed was mostly forest. But during the 19th century, almost all the trees were cut down as settlers developed their farms, cities and towns. Forest cover dropped to just five per cent of the land of the watershed.
However, more than 30 million trees have been planted in the last 100 years and that, combined with natural regeneration, has raised forest cover to 19 per cent. Still, there's a long way to go to hit the 30 per cent forest cover required for a healthy watershed.
The GRCA, in partnership with other agencies, groups and landowners, has developed programs and policies to promote reforestation and to protect remaining forests.