From Shad Qadri’s weekly email newsletter:
This week at City Council approved the proposal to name a woodland area on Abbott Street East, adjacent to Sacred Heart High School, the “Kemp Woodland”. As our community grows I feel it is very important to retain the historical significance of the area and honour those who were part of creating the community we now call Stittsville.
Born in 1838 in what is today called “Stittsville”, John Kemp was the son of William Kemp, one of Goulbourn’s early Irish settlers. John Kemp was a prominent 19th century Stittsville tavern keeper, railway contractor, and Goulbourn Township reeve from 1887 to 1894. He is best known as the builder and owner of the stone mansion Kemp’s Tavern, which now houses Cabotto’s Restaurant on Hazeldean Road. John Kemp purchased Lot 25, Concession 10 sometime before 1879. Today, an 8.9 hectare cedar forest lies within this lot, which is adjacent to the Trans-Canada Trail and Sacred Heart High School. The forest is owned by the City of Ottawa and is a designated Natural Environment Area.
The Ottawa Stewardship Council submitted this naming application and has been working to develop a community environmental stewardship project for the City owned forest located to the west of Sacred Heart High school and east of Caribou Street. This grove is comprised of 8.9 hectares of over 100 year cedar forest. The purpose of this project is to restore and provide sustainable care for this natural space.
There are some existing informal trails and this project will enhance these trails with formal entrances and interpretative signage will be placed throughout the area. This project is in conjunction with the City of Ottawa and Stittsville Village Association and it will also engage Sacred Heart High School in ongoing ecological monitoring of the site. This project is ongoing and is anticipated to be should be completed this year.