Tag Archives: Kemp Woodland

SHEA WOODS: ‘More than just a forest’

(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…”


Mayor Jim Watson, Sabrina Kemp, and Stittsville Councillor Shad Qadri at Tuesday's announcement. Photos by Frank Cianciullo.
Mayor Jim Watson, Sabrina Kemp, and Stittsville Councillor Shad Qadri at Tuesday’s announcement. Photos by Frank Cianciullo.

 

(This is an edited version of Sabrina Kemp’s remarks at today’s Shea Woods announcement.)

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.

The Shea Woods, September 2017. Photo by Glen Gower
The Shea Woods, September 2017. Photo by Glen Gower.

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THE GREAT OUTDOORS: Stittsville Public’s new open air classroom

(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


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COMMENT: New street names should honour community leaders

(PHOTO: Warner-Colpitts Lane is named after Sterling Warner and Ian Colpitts, two Stittsville volunteers who were instrumental in building the Johnny Leroux Arena. We should recognize more of our community leaders – past and present – with commemorative street names.)

You have just under two weeks to submit your street name ideas to the City of Ottawa. Back in June, city staff gave residents an extended deadline of August 12 to send in their suggestions for five local streets. That was after staff received a lot of negative input about the original suggestions.

The city was right to re-open the suggestion process. Stittsville ended up with un-inspiring names like “Foilage”, “Plaintain” and “Boxty” (the Irish Pancake) in the first round. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Fairwinds Fort McMurray fundraiser, Stittsville high school, more

FAIRWINDS MERCHANTS PLAN BBQ FUNDRAISER FOR FORT MCMURRAY
On Thursday, May 26 at noon, Food Basics, Dollar Tree and The Grounds Café will be hosting a free BBQ.  Food Basics will provide the burgers and hot dogs, Dollar Tree will provide condiments, plates, cutlery and cups and The Grounds will serve coffee. Continue reading


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Oops! We tore down your heritage farmhouse

(ABOVE: McCurdy House, 1899. “Farms & Families” by the Stittsville Women’s Institute, Tweedsmuir History Committee.)

“Misunderstanding” was a big hit for the band Genesis in early 1980s. Stittsville was also hit by a misunderstanding in 1985 when a 19th century stone house was “accidentally” knocked down.

In February 1985, a backhoe operator mistakenly tore down the 153-year-old McCurdy house, instead of a shed. Continue reading


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LETTER: Landfill compensation needs community consultation

Re: Stittsville misses out on bulk of landfill compensation

“…there is no obvious process in place to ensure the community has input into how the money is used…”

Community compensation is a thin silver lining to the cloud of having a large landfill in our collective back yard. Unfortunately, the existing compensation program has been largely shrouded in secrecy, with few residents realizing its existence, and even fewer having any information about how projects are considered or evaluated, or about how the funds are allocated between the westernmost wards. Continue reading


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Kemp Woodland includes trees over two centuries old

(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.

Janet Mason, chair of the Ottawa Stewardship Council (OSC), and Glen Carr, an environmental science teacher at Sacred Heart High School, were on hand for a small ceremony on Friday afternoon to unveil new signage for the forest. Continue reading


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City council approves naming of “Kemp Woodland”

Kemp Woodland. Photo by Coreen Tyers
Kemp Woodland. Photo by Coreen Tyers

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.

(Previously: Sacred Heart students to help care for 100-year-old forest)

Approximate location of the Kemp Woodland behind Sacred Heart High School. Via Bing Maps.
Approximate location of the Kemp Woodland behind Sacred Heart High School. Via Bing Maps.

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Cabotto’s hosts Opera Night on April 30

(Above: Vince Pucci and his son Perry outside of Cabotto’s on Hazeldean Road.)

Cabotto’s restaurant is hosting their first “Night at the Opera” on Thursday, April 30 featuring Ottawa tenor Alain Paquette.

“We’ve done cooking classes, we’ve thought about a magic show. It’s just something to do in the area. Everybody goes out for dinner but it’s very difficult to find entertainment, something different,” says Cabotto’s owner Vince Pucci.

The show costs $75 and includes a five-course meal.  The dinner and performance will happen in Cabotto’s upstairs dining room. Paquette will sing ten songs in a 60-minute set after dessert.  Pucci is hoping to host 25-30 people.

Paquette has performed with Opera Lyra Ottawa, the University of Ottawa Choir, the Pellegrini Opera and the Notre-Dame Basilica Cathedral Choirs in Ottawa.  He will be accompanied by Jennifer Loveless on piano.

“Paquette’s a pretty talented young man,” says Pucci.

Pucci opened Cabotto’s in 1976 in the Beaverbrook Mall in Kanata, and then moved to the historic building they now call home in 2003.  The old stone house was built in 1868 as Kemp’s Tavern and is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Cabotto’s presents “A Night At The Opera”, Thursday, April 30 at 6:30pm.  Five course meal + performance by tenor Alain Paquette. Cost $75/person, contact the restaurant to book in advance. More info…


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Sacred Heart students to help care for 100-year-old forest

(All photos by Coreen Tyers.)

Students from Sacred Heart Catholic High School will play an active role in caring for the Kemp Woodland as part of a partnership with the Ottawa Stewardship Council and the City of Ottawa.

Kemp Woodland is a 8.9-hectare forest immediately west of the school along the Trans Canada Trail.

“The forest has cedar trees that are well over 100 years old, which is unusual in suburban setting,” says Janet Mason, chair of the Ottawa Stewardship Council (OSC). Continue reading


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