Tag Archives: trans canada trail

PHOTO: Winter on the trail

Thanks to Christopher Skinner for sharing this photo. "I used to loathe winter. After taking up some outdoor winter hobbies 3-4 years ago, it's impossible to not enjoy days like this," he says.
Photo by Christopher Skinner.

Thanks to Christopher Skinner for sharing this photo, taken earlier in the week. “I used to loathe winter. After taking up some outdoor winter hobbies 3-4 years ago, it’s impossible to not enjoy days like this,” he says.

(We love seeing photos from in and around our community. Please send your best pics to us at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca)


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NOTEBOOK: Stocking Project launch, Brummell’s retiring, more

(PHOTO: Volunteers Crystal Smalldon (aka Mother Elf) and Natasha Sidwell (aka Baby Elf) at the grand opening launch of The Stocking Project on Thursday night.)

STOCKING PROJECT LAUNCH
I dropped by Hazeldean Mall earlier this evening for the official launch of The Stocking Project. Volunteers are aiming to deliver 1,000 stockings to deserving individuals in Stittsville, Kanata and Carp.

They’ve taken over a 2,000-square foot space at the mall across from The Source, where they’ll be accepting donations and then sorting and packing the stockings. Organizer Crystal Smalldon (aka Mother Elf) says the response so far has been incredible, with 200 volunteers helping out and enough gifts already to fill about 200 stockings — that’s all thanks to word of mouth, email and Facebook posts over the past couple of weeks.

You can drop off donations at the mall during regular business hours.  To get involved as a volunteer, or for more information visit their Facebook page.

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PHOTO: With thanks to the bird feeder

Thanks to Janice Blain for sending along this photo. She says:
“Stopped to watch the chickadees and nuthatches today on the Trans Canada Trail west of Westridge. I am sure many people are familiar with these feeders which are constantly filled by a devoted bird lover, who is unknown to me. Would like to take this opportunity to thank them.”

(We love seeing photos from in and around our community. Please send your best pics to us at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca)

Stopped to watch the Chickadees and Nuthatches today on the TCT west of Westridge. Photo by Janice Blain
Photo by Janice Blain

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COMMENT: Five places to enjoy the great outdoors on Thanksgiving Monday

(PHOTO: Lookout over the marsh at the head of Poole Creek, along the Trans Canada Trail just west of Stittsville.  Photo by Glen Gower.)

As I sit down to write this it’s a very crisp (1°C) but bright Thanksgiving Monday. I hope you can take some time today to get outside for a run, a walk or a bike ride and enjoy one of the many trails we have close to us in Stittsville. (Bring your camera too – the fall colours are incredible.) Here are five of my favourite paths nearby. Continue reading


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Following Poole Creek, Part 3

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Poole Creek may be Stittsville’s most important natural feature. It meanders from west to north east, crossing through neighbourhoods old and new, playing a crucial role in our community’s ecology. In the final part of this series, ecologist Nick Stow follows the creek as it crosses Hazeldean Road. There, it passes through one of Stittsville’s newest neighbourhoods, where it’s in the midst of a transformation from farmland to forest. All photos by Nick Stow.)


 

PAST SWEETNAM DRIVE, POOLE CREEK CHANGES CHARACTER AGAIN. After a short run out of sight, it crosses under busy Hazeldean Road and enters one of the City’s newest neighbourhoods.  Where it once meandered through farmland, the creek nows winds between recent or still-developing subdivisions.  Deeper, clay soils have allowed the creek to carve a valley dense in places with Manitoba maple, crack willow and thorny thickets.  Following the creek becomes more difficult.  With construction still underway, the trail remains incomplete.  Good vantage points exist up and downstream of Huntmar Drive, beside one of the established subdivisions. Continue reading


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Following Poole Creek, Part 2

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Poole Creek may be Stittsville’s most important natural feature. It meanders from west to north east, crossing through neighbourhoods old and new, playing a crucial role in our community’s ecology. In the second part of this series, ecologist Nick Stow follows the creek as it heads east of Stittsville Main Street, entering a stretch that remains largely unsurveyed and uninventoried. All photos by Nick Stow.)


JUST EAST OF MAIN STREET, POOLE CREEK TURNS NORTH AND DISAPPEARS into a large remnant of Stittsville’s once extensive wetlands.  Almost inaccessible, the wetland remains largely unsurveyed and uninventoried.  However, I suspect that an bioinventory would likely reveal several species at risk, especially Blanding’s turtle, which is known from the Goulbourn Wetland Complex and several isolated observations elsewhere in the village. Continue reading


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Following Poole Creek, Part 1

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Poole Creek may be Stittsville’s most important natural feature. It meanders from the Trans Canada Trail to the Carp River, crossing through neighbourhoods old and new, playing a crucial role in our community’s ecology. In this series, ecologist Nick Stow follows the creek from start to finish, looking at how it changes as it travels through wetlands, forests and new subdivisions. All photos by Nick Stow.)

I’M CROUCHED LOW, SLOWLY CREEPING THROUGH YOUNG FERNS AND CEDARS TOWARD A SHADED POOL, where my instincts tell me a brown trout should be resting.  Sunlight and reflections dapple the surface of the water.  In the shadow of the bank, the sandy, leaf-littered creek bottom looks bronze.  Freezing against a tree trunk, I concentrate on the patches of bronze, looking for movement.  After a few seconds, I can make out the shape, then the speckled, grey back and splash of gold on the sides, holding near the bottom.  Perhaps 14 inches long, and just over a pound.  I raise my camera, and try to slide surreptitiously into a better position.  With a quick flip of its tail, the fish is gone.

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NOTEBOOK: Trespassing, parking tickets and bike lanes

NO TRESPASSING SIGN HAS BIG IMPACT

No trespassing oil barrel along the Trans Canada Trail.
No trespassing oil barrel along the Trans Canada Trail.

Finally had a chance to talk to Gerry Stephens from Stephens Auto Wreckers about the massive “NO TRESPASSING” sign he’s placed at the edge of his property near the Trans Canada Trail. He says he’s tried smaller signs, but they keep disappearing.

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NOTEBOOK: Wild parsnip, Coyote near the Trans Canada Trail

COUNCILLORS GET UPDATE ON WILD PARSNIP STRATEGY
The City’s Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) meets on Thursday morning and one of the items on the agenda is a look at the wild parsnip strategy.

The yellow plant was a common sight in Stittsville: along roadways, in ditches, along pathways, in fields. Its sap contains chemicals that can cause skin and eye irritation and make the skin prone to burning and blistering when exposed to the sun.

The City launched a pilot project last year to combat the weed, applying herbicide to over 200km of roadways and parkland, and mowing some of the infested areas.  The city also mapped infestation areas, and launched an awareness and education campaign.

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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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COMMENT: Happy first birthday to Quitters!

(ABOVE: Dog owners gather for a pack walk in front of Quitters last October. Quitters owner Kathleen Edwards is wearing a white shirt in the middle. Photo via Janet Burns / Dog Dayz Daycare and Training.)

If you’re in town this weekend, make a point of stopping in at Quitters and saying “thank you” to owner Kathleen Edwards and her staff.

It was Thanksgiving weekend last year that she first opened the coffee shop on Stittsville Main Street just south of Abbott Street. Continue reading


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Responsible Dog Owners of Canada plan poop clean-up Oct 10

The Responsible Dog Owners of Canada are planning a fall clean-up along the Trans Canada Trail on Abbott Street, near the “unofficial dog park” on October 10.

The clean-up happens from 9:00am-11:00am. Bags and gloves will be handed out to dog owners. The reward is a much cleaner park and dog cookies will be provided.

For more information visit www.responsibledogowners.ca.


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VIDEO: Aerial footage of the Upper Poole Creek Wetland

Here’s a mesmerizing video shared by Twitch, taken on Saturday high above the Upper Poole Creek Wetland at the observation deck on the Trans Canada Trail.

It’s long – over 13 minutes – but it’s a fascinating look at the wetland from a perspective the area. Most of the wetland is far from roads or paths and on private property, so this video gives a unique view. The video starts with a flight heading north west from the Trans Canada Trail towards Hazeldean Road. Continue reading


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PHOTO: You never know what you’ll run into along the trail…

Deer on the Trans Canada Trail.  Photo by Lara Winnemore
Deer on the Trans Canada Trail. Photo by Lara Winnemore

Thanks to Lara Winnemore for sending along this photo she took along the Trans Canada Trail on Wednesday afternoon., between Beverly and Abbott.  This doe was accompanied by its mother, but mom ran away before Winnemore could snap the photo.

We love getting photos from readers. Please send them along to feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca.

 

LETTER: Municipalities value development over environment

Re: Residents question health of Poole Creek Wetland

Thanks to Stittsville Central for the in-depth article on what happens when municipalities place more value on bad development than environmental sustainability.  And, for showing that local residents can make a difference in standing up for the community’s best interests.
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