Tag Archives: wetlands

Carleton hosts lecture on “Wetlands: The Kidneys of our Planet”

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

(Editor’s note: This isn’t specific to Stittsville, but the topic is certainly relevant to our area.  We’ve written a ton about wetlands over the last two years and this looks like a great lecture on this important subject.)

Carleton University will host Prof. William Mitsch and his presentation Wetlands: The Kidneys of our Planet as the keynote for the 2016 Herzberg Lecture. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

NOTEBOOK: 9RunRun attendance boost, Jinkinson re-zoning, Kungfu lunches

9RUNRUN ATTENDANCE BOOST
The final fundraising tally for last week’s 9RunRun won’t be available until November but the attendance numbers are encouraging. Organizer Brenda Tirrell says that combined, the three races had about 1700 registrants, up by about 400 from last year’s race. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

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


SHARE THIS

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


SHARE THIS

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.

Continue reading


SHARE THIS

A FINE BALANCE: Study looks at why Goulbourn wetlands are changing

(ABOVE: Looking north from the Trans Canada Trail, west of Stittsville, June 2016. Photo illustration.)

“No interrupting, no swearing, no shouting. We’re all here to be heard, and this is a professional meeting,” said the moderator.

She was laying down the ground rules for a public meeting on Monday about the results of a long-awaited study looking at wetlands in the area. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

Public meeting on June 20 about Goulbourn / Flewellyn wetland study

(Above: Former farmland, now wetland along Flewellyn Road. Photo from November 2014.)

The City of Ottawa is holding a long-awaited information meeting later this month to share the results of a study on the Goulbourn Wetland Complex. The complex is a series of wetlands in a large area south and west of Stittsville that’s been identified as “Provincially Significant Wetland” (PSW).

Around 2004, a development proposal on Flewellyn Road triggered a review of all land in the area by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. That review resulted in the identification of “new” PSW on about 60 properties. (We reported on this back in 2014 in an article titled “Property values drained by wetland designation”.) Continue reading


SHARE THIS

COMMENT: Developer’s plan won’t benefit species at risk in Kanata Lakes

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


SHARE THIS

QADRI: City plans update of flood plain mapping

(via Councillor Shad Qadri’s weekly newsletter)

The Province requires that the City have policies in the Official Plan (OP) and provisions in the Zoning By-law to prohibit development within the one in one hundred year flood plain. As such, a program of updates to improve the accuracy of the flood plain mapping and to add newly mapped flood plain areas were included in the department’s 2015-2018 Planning Committee-approved workplan.

Updates will be carried out through Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments, which will occur over a number of years, as mapping becomes available from the conservation authorities. The first phase of these amendments is anticipated to be brought to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and the Planning Committee in April 2016. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

PRESERVE, CONNECT, ENJOY: Meet the Friends of the Huntley Highlands

Preserve. Connect. Enjoy. These are the goals of the Friends of Huntley Highlands (FHH) for preserving the Carp Hills for the benefit of its natural history and those who love it.

The Carp Hills comprise nearly 4,000 hectares of environmentally significant forests, wetlands, and rock barren uplands in the rural northwest of the City of Ottawa. This largely undeveloped area supports a similar Canadian Shield ecosystem as those of Algonquin Park and Gatineau Park. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

Rothbourne Road wetland trial begins on a curious note

A tampered wetland near Stittsville is the subject of an ongoing court case between a property owner, a contractor and the local conservation authority.

The issue dates back to February 2012, when the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) received a tip that something was environmentally amiss with the property along Rothbourne Road near Highway 7. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority set to expand wetland regulation

(Article adapted from the MCVA web site. Photo above: Autumn in the Marsh, September 2013 / photo by Glen Gower.)

The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) is getting set to extend regulation and protection of wetlands within their watershed, part of which includes Stittsville.

The MVCA is working towards regulating and protecting wetlands in the watershed that meet various criteria, as mandated by the provincial government in 2006.

To date, MVCA has applied provincially mandated regulations to provincially significant wetlands (PSW) only. This is being extended to other wetlands that are not provincially significant.

Continue reading


SHARE THIS

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


SHARE THIS

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.
Continue reading


SHARE THIS

Residents question health of Poole Creek wetland

(Above: Stittsville residents are concerned about the health of the Upper Poole Creek Wetland.  From left to right: Marcos Alvarez, Jonah Alvarez, Andrea Sedgwick, Ken McRae, Sylvie Sabourin, Mila (last name unknown). Photo via Ken McRae, October 2014.)

The Upper Poole Creek wetland is one of Stittsville’s greatest natural features. So many of us walk our dogs, jog, cycle or otherwise explore the Trans Canada Trail, and stop at the observation deck to look out over the marsh.

Sometimes you’ll see turtles, small fish, frogs, birds. It’s about a kilometre west of suburban boundary of Stittsville, and some of the best views are at sunrise and sunset. Continue reading


SHARE THIS

City staff want conversation with culvert blockers

(PHOTO: Stones blocking the culvert under the Trans Canada Trail, October 2014.  Photo courtesy of Phil Sweetnam.)

City officials want to know who keeps plugging up a culvert under the Trans Canada Trail, and why they’re doing it.

“We initially thought it was just kids throwing stones in,” says John Kukalis, Manager of Surface Water Management for the City. “Somebody keeps going back in there and blocking the culverts up with stones and trying to create an impoundment of water.” Continue reading


SHARE THIS

LETTER: Community involvement points way towards a better planning process

Re: City and developer agree on further study of 6279 Fernbank

The unusual and unexpected adjournment and the conditions show the advantages to communities of having a party status at the hearing. Without this, I doubt if we would have been included at this point.

As the designated party, I put a huge amount of time and effort into preparing for the hearing, as did every member of our committee — my husband Gerry Kroll, The McKims, Diana Trudeau, and Glen McDonald. Those who could were witnesses for us, as well as Bob White and researcher and retired librarian, Faith Blacquiere of Glen Cairn. Jillian McKim also cross-examined the witnesses for the other Parties, as did I on the first day, before my voice abandoned me in the dry atmosphere of the hearing room.

We are glad of the opportunity to take part in discussions and studies over the summer and into September. Our involvement gives us a chance to support the applicant’s studies into what really happens to the water that runs through the site — where it comes from, its route and ponding, and where it goes — and to influence the final decision on whether or not this development should go ahead, and what form it should take if it does. While we don’t have power of veto, we will still have the right to present our summations, and, if the City and applicant reach an agreement that we don’t like, we will be able to include our reasons for disagreement in our final summation, for consideration by the Ontario Municipal Board.

I hope this experience will lead to a better way of doing things than is now current in the City of Ottawa. In many jurisdictions, it is normal for the community to be consulted and for a feasibility and viability study to be done for both the site itself and the surrounding community and lands, before an application ever goes into the city or municipality, especially for a site that does not fit normal parameters for development, such as this piece of wetland. Such consultation here could have saved thousands of dollars and months of hard work.

I’m not sure if the activities during this adjournment will take us to the conclusion that the surrounding community believes it should come to, but I hope that at the end there will at least be better understanding of the site, and cooperation among all parties going into the future. I commend the City and the applicant for including community representatives, and I look forward to having the future of this site finally resolved.

The site does, after all, perform a natural water management function within the surrounding communities and adjacent UNF (Urban Natural Feature), and between Fernbank Wetland and the Poole Creek Watershed. It may or may not support housing on an artifical 3.5 meter-high plateau without causing harm to existing lower-level houses — in my mind, it probably won’t. But it could definitely be a lovely wetland and woodland park for wildlife, much of which has called it home for many years, and people wishing to walk around a trail and boardwalk and enjoy some peace away from the hustle of the road, absorbing the calm of nature among the trees of this very special area.

Keldine FitzGerald, Stittsville


SHARE THIS