COMMUNITY NOTES: from the desk of Councillor Gower

(A Snapping Turtle discovered at the Amberwood Golf Course. The eggs layed by this mother have been protected from predators. Photos: Giselle Gunderman via Councillor Gower)

From Snapping Turtles, bears, utility work, seniors and splash pads, Councillor Gower brings you up-to-date on some of the upcoming happenings and pertinent information that you should be aware of. Want to know more about garbage and your recycling bin content, take part in a June 24 info session on this. For all you avid cyclists, a joint Let’s Bike Ottawa/EnviroCentre workshop is being help with good tips being provided on safe urban cycling. Make your thoughts known on parks and recreation facilities by giving your feedback to Engage Ottawa.

Be aware of Snapping Turtles
This is the time of year when female Snapping Turtles lay their eggs, and the parks and natural areas along Poole Creek and Feedmill Creek are popular nesting spots. Laying eggs involves the female digging a hole and depositing the eggs, then covering them up with soil.

Turtle eggs are food for many wild species, and only a very small percent (less than 1%) ever make it into the population. It takes about 59 years for a Snapping Turtle to have a hope of replacing itself in the population, since they mature so late, and so few eggs survive!

They need all the help they can get for them to survive. Last week, a licensed team from the Canadian Wildlife Federation helped to relocate and protect 45 turtle eggs near the Amberwood Golf Course to a location further from the road and closer to Poole Creek. A mesh cover was placed on top to help protect the eggs from predators.

(The nest of Snapping Turtle eggs has been protected from predators)

The Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre has a great web site with resources about what you can do to help protect turtles and nests. Please take some time to explore the site and learn more about these fascinating creatures and what you can do to protect them.

(This share was on Twitter June 13 warning of the bear seen in the area of Terry Fox and Eagleson. It was also seen in the Fernbank Road/Walmart area. Photo: Stittsville Central)

Recent bear sightings
It’s not uncommon to see bears near Stittsville at this time of year, and recently there have been reports of a bear in the fields near Terry Fox and Fernbank. Police are asking residents to remain cautious. Please be alert and keep your distance. For concerns about large wildlife, such as deer, moose and bears, you can call Ottawa Police Services at 613-236-1222.

Vaccine update
To date, more than 630,000 people in Ottawa have received at least one dose of vaccine, representing more than 71% per cent of eligible adults.  More than 11% of Ottawa adults have now received two doses.

Visit the OPH Covid-19 Vaccination page to learn who can currently get the Covid-19 vaccine and check out COVID-19 in Ottawa for the latest updates.

June is Seniors Month in Ontario
Aging Well in Ottawa is an online service from Ottawa Public Health for older adults and their caregivers. Topics range from active living, nutrition and mental health, to brain teasers, COVID-19 information and personal stories from staff aimed at addressing feelings of isolation. The Aging Well in Ottawa Facebook page honours and celebrates the contributions and experience of Ottawa’s older adults in its content every day, and this June the Facebook page will feature additional content to celebrate Seniors Month. Check it out at: facebook.com/AgingWellInOttawa.

Fernbank Road speed reduction
Last week, City Council approved my request to lower the speed limit on Fernbank Road. All sections currently signed for 80km/h will be changed to 60km/h and it’s good news to improve road safety in our community. The signs will be changed later this summer.

Bell & Rogers utility work
Also last week at Council, I initiated a formal inquiry to get more information about how the City regulates and monitors utility work. We’ve been getting a lot of messages from residents this spring with concerns about the impact of fibre installation by telecom providers like Bell and Rogers. While much of this work is subject to federal rules, I’d like the City to developer stronger rules for notification and communication, and to ensure that landscaping is properly repaired on public and private property.

Bell has let us know that they will be starting work soon to install fibre lines in Stittsville – Stittsville Main from Neil to Hobin, Wildpine, Ravenscroft, Amberlakes and Stowgrass. Work will take 5-6 weeks & affected residents will receive a notification letter.

Library re-opens for contactless services
Starting this week at the Stittsville library (and most other branches), you will be able to enter the branch to pick up your holds from the shelf and check them out at self-checkout stations. There will be no in-person browsing.

To access public computers, book a computer up to three days in advance online or by calling InfoService at 613-580-2940. Or, request a Chromebook loan of up to three hours from a Library employee. You can submit a print request remotely. Visit BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca for more details.

Official Plan – As We Heard It
So far several hundred Stittsville residents have provided feedback on Ottawa’s Official Plan. City staff have published a summary of the key themes the City has heard throughout their engagement process and how City Planners propose we amend policies to address this feedback.  On June 23, City planning staff are hosting a public session for suburban residents to provide specifics about changes for wards like Stittsville. More info…

Give your feedback on parks and recreation facilities
The City wants to hear your feedback on Ottawa’s future parks and recreation facilities. Visit engage.ottawa.ca to provide your feedback before June 17.

From pools to ice pads, tennis courts to cricket pitches, the final plan will create a roadmap for the City until 2031. Read more…

Garbage day. Photo by Glen Gower

JUNE 24: Waste diversion webinar
Sorting is simple—and it’s the right thing to do. Join me and members of the City’s public works team on June 24 at 6:00 pm for a virtual presentation about Ottawa’s waste diversion programs. Not sure what to put in which bin? Staff will let you know what’s accepted in your green bin and your recycling bins. More info…

Splash pad at Pioneer Plains Park, under construction

Pioneer Plains splash pad update
Unfortunately the splash pad at Pioneer Plains Park in Jackson Trails will not re-open this summer. Over the past few years parks staff have made some temporary fixes, but when repairs were started last year, crews discovered extensive damage to the pipes that run underneath the splash pad, and some of the parts are no longer being manufactured by the supplier. 

Given the escalating cost of the repairs and the disruptive construction work required to access the pipes, staff have recommended a full replacement of the splash pad. The plan is to start replacing the pad this year so that it can be fully operational in Spring 2022.

I completely understand residents’ frustration with the repairs. The wait has been too long and we need to get the equipment up and running as soon as possible. I’ll continue to provide updates, and residents will have an opportunity to give impact on the new splash pad design. Stay tuned.

Tips to protect your trees from gypsy moths
The Gypsy Moth is an invasive forest insect that, in the past, has reached periodic outbreak levels in Ontario. Throughout 2020 the caterpillar stage of this insect caused widespread defoliation of trees in part of southern and eastern Ontario.

This year, staff in the City of Ottawa Forestry Services department anticipates the moth will cause noticeable defoliation of trees in some parts of Ottawa, including Stittsville. Read more, plus tips to protect trees on your property…

Let’s Bike! A virtual workshop on urban cycling (June 16)
As part of Let’s Bike Month, we’ve partnered with EnviroCentre to offer a free community workshop giving tips on urban cycling. The virtual event will be held on Wednesday June 16 at 6 pm, via Zoom. More info…

Get in touch!
My team and I are working every day to answer your questions and connect residents with the resources they need. If we can help in any way, please email me at glen.gower@ottawa.ca or leave a voicemail at 613-580-2476. 


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