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Springtime fix for winter problem

Canadian winter by the Great Lakes
Canadian winter by the Great Lakes

Lisa Varano and Alexandra Pope, staff writers

May 7, 2011 — Some people are dreaming of summer. Others are thinking way beyond that – all the way to winter.

Planting the snow fence
Planting the snow fence

On the shores of Lake Huron, winter means snowsqualls and whiteouts. Roads are closed every year because of dangerous driving conditions.

But drivers are trying to do something about that. In Bruce county, near Kincardine, Ont., people have found a way to reduce blowing and drifting snow on the highway.

For years now, volunteers have been planting trees near Highway 21. There are now thousands of them, and new ones were added on Saturday. They form a “snow fence” – a living barrier against high winds.

Among the volunteers are the Team781 Kinetic Knights, a FIRST Robotics Competition team run by students from Kincardine.

In addition to competing in robotics challenges at the national and international level, the Knights spend a lot of time supporting projects that are important to the community.

“As residents of Kincardine, we know about the snow issues,” explains David Yun, a member of the Kinetic Knights. “This is a great way for us to give back to our community.”

The “living fence” is making a difference. Yun estimates that after three years of the project, the trees have prevented an extra three feet of snow from drifting onto the road.

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