“Ripple”, by Richard Monette. This is the stormwater management pond at the end of Stittsville Main Street in Jackson Trails. If you’re on Instagram, check out more of Richard’s photos at @richmonty_blackwhite.
In fall 2017 a student team from the Group Research in Environmental Science Project at Carleton University are undertaking a study that will form the basis for monitoring programs and future research projects.
The Carp River Restoration Project commenced in 2016 and incorporates approximately 6000 metres of stream restoration, habitat improvements (ponds and wet meadows), and recreational pathways in a large, rapidly urbanizing area running parallel to Terry Fox Drive in Kanata.
The student’s project will assemble available information about the Carp River before and after the restoration to establish a baseline description of the restored section. The baseline information and the restoration’s objectives will serve as the foundation on which to base an educational and interpretive program, begin monitoring programs, and conduct research projects related to the efficacy of the restoration.
…The third year Carleton University Environmental Science students completed their project about the Carp River Restoration area along Terry Fox Drive in Kanata. The students outlined four recommendations related to the restoration:
adding interpretive signs to educate and engage the community;
monitoring water quality, particularly conductivity, which is a result of metal ions and toxins from road salting that can adversely affect some species causing infertility or death;
monitoring by “citizen scientists” of the changing ecosystem of plants, animals, invasive species, and water quality as the site matures; and
engaging schools in nature education programs on the site including building bird and bat boxes, and recording species.
The students prepared a short video about the site… The view shown in the link is from a point halfway along the restored river, looking north from over the Queensway. Terry Fox Drive is to the right.
(PHOTO: Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Shad Qadri joined local residents on Tuesday to announce plans to protect the Shea Woods. Photos by Frank Cianciullo.)
The City of Ottawa hosted a media event today to announce a $1.5-million agreement to conserve part of the Shea Woods, a cedar forest located southeast of Holy Spirit Church and a popular spot for dog walkers.
The forest is currently owned by CRT Developments, who are planning a housing development in the area. A City of Ottawa press release (included below) outlines how the City intends to protected the forested area. Continue reading →
(PHOTO: Afternoon in Shea Woods, January 2017. Photo by Glen Gower.)
“…fallen branches become magic wands, old rotting tree trunks become balance beams that they must cross while escaping from some imaginary, forest-dwelling bad guys. They have favourite trees with perfect climbing branches. The Shea Woods really is more than just a forest…”
I was first introduced to the Shea Woods just over 10 years ago. A friend suggested it as a wonderful spot to walk our new puppy. We were newly married and new to the Stittsville Community. I quickly realized how lucky we were to have such a beautiful natural space right in our community.
During my quiet walks there, I was enchanted by the mature cedars, the fern beds that grow in the open, sunlit areas of the forest floor and the old stone fences that border the woods – left behind, I would imagine as I walked, by one of Stittsville’s early settlers.
As the seasons change, so do the Shea Woods – from the apple blossoms in the spring, to the warm colours of the sugar maples in the fall and the dusting of snow on the trails in the winter.
In my early days of walking there, I met a gentleman who told me he was one of the first neighbours to start marking trails through the Shea Woods. At that time, he had already been walking there daily with his dog for years. Clearly, this was a special place for more than just me.
Soon, we started walking through the Shea Woods with our children. The minute they step into the woods, their imaginations soar – fallen branches become magic wands, old rotting tree trunks become balance beams that they must cross while escaping from some imaginary, forest-dwelling bad guys. They have favourite trees with perfect climbing branches.
The Shea Woods really is more than just a forest. In the middle of the woods, there is a tree where neighbours hang plastic containers filled with dog treats to share. The tree is decorated each year at Christmas.
There are daily meet-ups at the big rock and springtime clean-ups. In the age of IPhones and PlayStations, the Shea Woods is a meeting place for neighbours, a place to catch-up with old friends, and meet new ones.
It is an easily accessible natural space for our children to explore and as adults, a place to quietly walk, listening to the birds and the wind in the trees.
We all know that trees and natural green spaces are important. We know that trees filter the air we breathe and help prevent roadside runoff from getting into our waterways. We know that trees help reduce flooding, fight soil erosion, cool the air, muffle urban noise and increase property values.
We are also starting to learn more and more about how important time in natural spaces is to both the physical and mental health for adults and children alike. It has been shown to reduce stress, improve cognitive function and feelings of well-being.
Today, we celebrate moving from knowledge and planning to concrete action. Accessible green spaces like the Shea Woods are one of the things that makes Stittsville such a wonderful community to live in. Thank you to Councillor Qadri, Mayor Watson and the City Planning Team for their efforts in making this a reality.
High gusts of wind and torrential downpours hit Stittsville around 6:00pm on Sunday evening, cutting power to over 10,000 homes. About 20 minutes later, Environment Canada issued a wind warning for gusts up to 100km/h, and a gust of 97km/h was reported at the Ottawa Airport – the highest recorded wind speed in 20 years. Here are some of your photos from during and after the event.
TransCanada announced today that it has cancelled plans for the Energy East pipeline. It would have would have carried 1.1-million barrels of crude oil each day across the country, including a stretch on the western boundary of Stittsville. (The photo above shows the part of the pipeline route, looking south from Jinkinson Road.)
Here’s a press release from Ecology Ottawa, who have been campaigning against the project for several years:
Ecology Ottawa is celebrating TransCanada’s announcement earlier today that officially terminated the company’s proposed Energy East pipeline project. Energy East, which would ship 1.1 million barrels of diluted bitumen across Ottawa, posed a direct threat to the city’s water, land and climate. Since the pipeline project was announced in 2013, Ecology Ottawa has been working in communities across Ottawa to mobilize resistance to the pipeline.
“TransCanada will tell you it has abandoned Energy East because of technical reasons. They will cite the price of oil and the additional burden of new National Energy Board requirements as the reason for scuttling the project,” says Robb Barnes, Ecology Ottawa’s Acting Executive Director. “More important still is the fact that Energy East lost on political grounds. Like other communities along the pipeline route, Ottawans rejected this project because it threatened the health of their city and was completely incompatible with our community doing its fair share to fight climate change.”
Ecology Ottawa volunteers have been working for years to raise awareness and mobilize opposition to the proposed pipeline project. Since 2013, over 8,000 residents of the city signed a petition opposing Energy East. Volunteers have been knocking on thousands of doors in their communities, holding information sessions, engaging with their elected officials and staging rallies to demonstrate their opposition to the project.
“The end of Energy East is a moment to reflect on the real energy priorities of the 21st century,” says Anthony Garoufalis-Auger, Ecology Ottawa’s Clean Energy Organizer. “Instead of dirty pipeline projects that benefit massive transnational companies and produce few jobs, we can now renew our focus on the renewable energy transition, where the jobs are more plentiful, more local, and don’t threaten the environment. Ottawa can play a leadership role in this transition, but we need to see consistent leadership from our elected officials.”
(PHOTO: Students, staff, volunteers and elected officials took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony — complete with kid-sized scissors — at Stittsville Public School on Friday, September 29. It marked the official opening of a new outdoor classroom. Photo by Lorrie Hayes.)
“Parent Council saw this as an opportunity to get the kids out and moving while still considering the curriculum and academics. This is an opportunity to bring the learning outside. To be a place and a space for movement and fresh air. I think we’re starting to understand that with kids having difficulties concentrating at school, there’s a feeling that more movement and more fresh air might contribute to helping some of those situations.”
–Sabrina Kemp, former co-chair of the Stittsville Public School Parent Council
Sabrina Kemp is ecstatic for the opening of a new outdoor classroom at Stittsville Public School. An official ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Friday in front of students and staff.
“It’s fantastic, I’ve dropped by a few times and it’s great to see the kids playing. And I love seeing that the school can accept some risk, and the benefit that comes from that,” she says. Continue reading →
Ottawa’s new subdivisions may soon have more tree-lined streets, thanks to guidelines received by the City’s Planning Committee today.
The new guidelines offer flexibility to the 2005 Clay Soils Policy when it comes to small and medium-sized trees under certain conditions. With more than half of the vacant land within Ottawa’s urban boundary potentially containing sensitive marine clay soils, this update will increase the number, size and variety of street trees in new subdivisions. Continue reading →
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has received reports of 13 human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) illness in Ottawa residents as of September 18. The previous highest number of WNV cases in Ottawa was 8 in 2012. With temperatures well above average for this time of year, mosquitoes carrying WNV continue to bite humans. OPH is advising residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites. Mosquitoes most likely to transmit WNV (Culex pipiens, the northern house mosquito) are found in urban areas in and around homes. Testing has shown mosquitoes carrying WNV in all the urban areas of Ottawa. These mosquitoes will pose a risk on warm days until there have been several hard frosts.