One of my biggest complaints about suburban development is how builders often take a “bulldoze and build” approach, stripping away long-standing forests and natural areas. While there are some restrictions to prevent this, there aren’t always enough measures in the City’s policy toolkit to provide the necessary protection.
So I was really encouraged this week to see City Council unanimously approve a change to the Official Plan that should do more to proactively protect “significant woodlots” in the urban area. Continue reading →
ABOVE: The Blanding’s Turtle is one of the species at risk in the Kanata Lakes North land.
After intensive negotiations with the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Kanata Lakes North Development Inc. (KNL) has applied for a permit to destroy up to 124 hectares of Blanding’s Turtle habitat, remove up to 120 Butternut trees and “kill, harm and harass” Least Bittern — all species designated as either endangered or threatened. Continue reading →
(ABOVE: Unveiling of the Kemp Woodland plaque. Left to right: Janet Mason (Ottawa Stewardship Council), Glen Carr (Sacred Heart High School), Phil Sweetnam (Stittsville Village Association), Councillor Shad Qadri, Wayne French (Waste Management).
Ecological studies in the Kemp Woodland, including work carried out by Sacred Heart High School students, have discovered several cedar trees over 200 years old, including one that dates back to 1761.
(Shad Qadri and City of Ottawa Planning Forester Mark Richardson accompanied students in grade 5 / 6 from Stittsville Public School to the Shea Woods in June.)
City Council approved a motion from Shad Qadri this week to look at funding options to acquire Shea Woods, a seven-hectare forest off Fernbank Road.
The land, bordered by Fernbank, Iber, Abbott and Shea, about the size of 30 soccer pitches, is privately owned. The forest is part of the approved Fernbank Community Development Plan but the city still has to find money to acquire it.
At a busy council meeting on Wednesday, councillors approved a motion from Qadri that directs city staff to review future funding options for the forest.
“I believe that it was important for me to re-iterate this need at this time, so that staff can begin looking for ways to ensure that this important tract of land can be protected in a permanent fashion. It is not something that needs to be done overnight, but, preparations can begin now looking to the future and determining how funding can be identified to complete the effort,” said Qadri in an email to StittsvilleCentral.ca.
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.
On Friday, June 12, city councillor Shad Qadri and City of Ottawa planning forester Mark Richardson accompanied students in grades 5 and 6 from Stittsville Public School to the Shea Woods. Continue reading →