12 February 2018 – Support for Food Forest in Stittsville
It’s a July summer day in Stittsville only three years from now. In the new, open-to-the-sky hardscape of a new neighbourhood people naturally converge on Blackstone Park with its splash pad, tennis courts, children’s play area, and wood chip pathways that lead to cooling green space. Walking between the soccer fields many are drawn to the bright flowers, sounds of birds, and dancing butterflies at the southern edge of the park. The path meanders into an oasis: a meadow set with young saplings of oak, butternut, and hickory that promise a future harvest. The licorice smell of elderberry blossoms fills the air. Fruit has started to set on the wild blackberries, raspberries, and grape vines. Pollinators flit among the flowers. People sit on the benches to relax, children chase butterflies, blood pressures lower, a sense of well-being pervades.
We support Community Champion Paul Wilson in his goal to create a food forest area within the new Blackstone Park. Read our Vision for Blackstone Park, which comments on the City’s proposed plan.
January 2018 – Neighbourwoods Stewardship Plan Template Workshop
We hosted a workshop led by Dr. Andrew Kenney and attended by community organizations, forestry-related organizations, and City of Ottawa staff to discuss a draft Neighbourwoods Stewardship Plan (NSP) template. The NSP template will help a community develop a vision and plan for managing its trees and green space that support Ottawa’s Urban Forest Management Plan.
A key component of the plan is a neighbourhood-led inventory of its trees using the Neighbourwoods protocol. Neighbourwoods© tree inventory procedure is a comprehensive and standard tree inventory protocol developed by Dr. Kenney and Dr. D. Puric-Mladenovic to assist communities and professionals in collecting the tree information they need to strategically plan and manage their urban forest.
January 2018 – What We Accomplished in 2017
In 2017 we created a five year strategic action plan that refreshed our Vision, Mission, and Goals. We committed to provide an annual accounting of achievements against our plan. Here is a short summary of what we accomplished.
- Butternut Tree Planting – Working with community groups and a golf course, we planted 50 Butternut trees across Ottawa.
- Carleton University Projects – We sponsored four projects for Carleton University third year Environmental Science group project students.
- Urban Forest Management Plan – With Dr. Andrew Kenney, we began work on a Neighbourwoods Stewardship Plan Template that will be used by neighbourhoods to develop plans to care for their part of the urban forest.
- Carp River Restoration Area Mobile App – We began work with software and education experts to develop an educational mobile app about the Carp River Restoration area in Kanata. MVCA is providing subject matter expertise.
- Chapman Mills West Stewardship – Completed in 2017, this project supported stewardship of a small woodland in a new community in Barrhaven by École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard.
- Morgans’s Grant Greenspace Restoration – We are working with the Morgan’s Grant Community Association on creating a community green space in a hydro corridor.
- Kemp Woodlands Stewardship Project – Since 2014, this project has supported stewardship of an old growth cedar forest in Stittsville by Sacred Heart High School.
Stay tuned for a preview of our plans for 2018!
October 2017 – Carleton University Environmental Science Projects
In fall of 2017 OSC is sponsoring projects in Carleton University’s Environmental Science Program as an external partner. Led by Dr. Steven J. Cooke, the Group Research in Environmental Science Project course for third year students is undertaking four projects submitted by the OSC.
Read more on our Projects page.
26 September 2017 – Join Us at the City’s Wildlife Speaker Event
Come out and meet us at the Wildlife Speaker Series at City Hall starting at 7pm where we will have a booth in the foyer. The speaker is Ken Farr of the Canadian Forest Service and his topic is Celebrating Canada’s Iconic Trees and Flowers. Admission is free. For details, please see the City’s speaker series web page.
18 September 2017 – Sign Unveiling Event at Chapman Mills West
We “unveiled” our interpretive signs at the Chapman Mills West woodland with our partner – the students and staff of École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard. Also joining us were: Councillor Michael Qaqish, City of Ottawa project lead Martha Copestake, and board members from Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est. The event took place on the northwest side of Mancini Park with many of the Grade 11 Biology students who contributed to the sign content on hand. To learn more about this project, see Chapman Mills West Stewardship Project.
July 2017 – Interpretive Signs at Chapman Mills West
Our two interpretive signs have been installed at trail entrances to the north and south forests at Chapman Mills West in Barrhaven. The sign content was prepared with input from our project partner, École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard. The signs were funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Ottawa. There will be sign “unveiling” ceremony with the school in September.
June 2017 – Bat Boxes
We’ve taken delivery of 25 bat boxes built by the shop class students at École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard in Barrhaven. Here’s a photo of one just installed on a barn in West Carleton. Bats need heat during the day so the box must face south and be mounted at least 12 feet above the ground to protect the roosting bats from predators.
May 2017 – 260 Trees Planted!
We planted 260 trees this week with help from École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard in Barrhaven, Frederick Banting Alternate Secondary School in Stittsville at Poole Creek, the 1st Kanata Scouts and Beaverbrook Community Association in Kanata, and Sacred Heart High School in Stittsville at Kemp Woodland. Fifty of the trees were Butternuts, which were planted in sunny locations opened up by the removal of dead Ash trees. Read more about our Butternut Project.
April 2017 – Butternut Recovery Program
This spring we are participating in RVCA’s Butternut Recovery Program by planting 50 Butternut trees across the city in Barrhaven, Kanata, Manotick, and Stittsville. Butternuts are dying from a canker disease (fungus) and are classified as an endangered species under the Ontario Endangered Species Act (ESA 2007). The Butternuts we are planting have been grown from nuts harvested from trees that are resistant to the canker. Community groups, schools, scouts and a golf course will plant the trees during the first week of May in open areas that have been cleared of Ash trees.
6 April 2017 – Join Us at a Celebration of Canada’s Wildlife
In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, the City invites residents to learn more about Canada’s iconic wildlife at another event in its Wildlife Speaker series. This event includes displays by the OSC and other local organizations, and a presentation by renowned naturalist Michael Runtz. The event is being held on Thursday, 6 April at Ben Franklin Place. We will have a display in the foyer. Doors open at 6pm. Admission is free. For more information, please see the City’s web site.
November 2016 – Ottawa’s Urban Forest Management Plan
The City has published a draft version of its Urban Forest Management Plan for public consultation. As a key stakeholder we have provided input to the plan.
October 2016 – Morgan’s Grant Community Greenspace Restoration Project
The Morgan’s Grant Community Greenspace Restoration Project is a new initiative aimed at building community stewardship to create and care for a naturalized and accessible, multi-use greenspace along the Morgan’s Grant hydro corridor in Kanata.
The idea is to develop an integrated multi-use greenspace that will provide a healthy and diverse environment for the community. Ecological elements for this plan will include re-wilding of key spots with the creation of a pollinator meadow and the planting of important native species that will encourage its use as a wildlife corridor. These will enrich and provide supportive ecosystem services to community activities such as communal gardens, as well as safe and healthy naturalized park and family recreational areas.
We will be seeking early advice, support and approval from Hydro authorities in concert with building a group of interested neighbours who will guide and help develop the plan. To assist in building a baseline of ecological information about the corridor, the we have formed a partnership with Carleton University’s Institute of Environmental Science. A team of third year students have started a basic environmental assessment as part of their curriculum studies. Their report can be made available to all interested in December.
Our plan is to build a community stewardship approach to cooperative landscape mitigation that could be used as a model within the City of Ottawa to ecologically enhance other municipal and private parcels of land.
21 September 2016 – Join Us at Healthy Trees, Healthy City at Lansdowne Park
We will have a display at the City of Ottawa’s Healthy Trees, Healthy City event at the Horticultural Building at Lansdowne Park on Wednesday, 21 September. The display area opens at 6pm and the presentation by Professor Mark Berman of the University of Chicago starts at 7pm. Admission is free. For details, click the link above.
June 2016 – Grant Awarded to OSC and Pierre-Savard High School in Barrhaven
The Community Foundation of Ottawa has awarded a grant to the OSC and École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard to carry out environmental stewardship activities at the Chapman Mills West woodland in Barrhaven. The grant will fund interpretive signs, tree planting, trail marking, and environmental study of the forest by the school. Details about our project can be found at Chapman Mills West Stewardship Project.
29 May 2016 – Bio-Inventory at Chapman Mills West Woodland
With help from the Grade 11 biology students at École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard and volunteer field naturalists, we conducted a bio-inventory of the north and south sections of the forest on 29 May. Fifteen sites, each 100 sq. meters, were formally sampled. Roving field naturalists walked the forest recording notable flora and fauna. The information from the inventory will be used to develop interpretive information and provide a baseline to monitor changes in the forest’s flora and fauna.
Thank you to everyone who gave their time, expertise, and enthusiasm on a very warm Sunday. Special thanks to field naturalists Owen Clarkin, Bettina Henkelman, Greg Lutick, and Art Goldsmith, and to Vice-Principal Isabelle Chartrand-Dubois for spending her Sunday to ensure her students had a valuable experience.
5 May 2016 – Tree Planting and Trail Marking at Kemp Woodland in Stittsville
Students of Sacred Heart High School planted 70 native conifers in Kemp Woodland as part of our continuing stewardship project at this site. Eastern White Cedars were planted to support future regeneration of this species, which is the dominant tree in most of forest. The cedars are not naturally reseeding, likely due to the change from wetland to dry forest caused by surrounding development. The students also planted Eastern Hemlock to add biodiversity to the forest. In the next few weeks, students will be putting up trail markers. These activities are part of our Kemp Woodland Stewardship Project, which began in 2014.
3 May 2016 – Tree Planting at Chapman Mills West
Over 60 students from École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard in Barrhaven planted native trees and shrubs at the Chapman Mills West forest adjacent to their school. Providing funding for the trees was Gloucester-South Nepean Councillor Michael Qaqish, who came out to meet the students and help with the planting. The students planted the trees in large clearings left by their removal of invasive Buckthorn last fall. Our thanks to Principal Annie Touchette and Vice-Principal Isabelle Chartrand-Dubois for marshalling the energy and dedication of their students. For more information about this project, please see Chapman Mills West stewardship project.
12 April 2016 – Engaging Citizens in Science Public Event
Join us at the City of Ottawa’s next Wildlife Speaker Series: Engaging Citizens in Science on Tuesday, 12 April at Ben Franklin Place, Centrepointe, from 6pm to 8pm. We will have a display and table, and Council members will be on hand to meet with attendees.
For more information, see: Engaging Citizens in Science.
February 2016 – The Urban Forest: Greening Our Grounds
The OSC is fully supportive of the City of Ottawa’s Urban Forest Management Plan initiative. Read our comments on the Urban Forest Management Plan following the public consultation in November 2015.
Native trees and shrubs are a vital resource in our urban and rural areas. They provide important environmental, social and economic benefits to both the residents who plant them in their yards and to the greater community.
|Improve air and water quality||Support emotional well-being||Increase property values|
|Reduce urban heat island effects||Engage communities||Reduce energy consumption|
|Reduce soil erosion||Promote active living||Support commercial activity|
|Provide wildlife habitat||Beautify streets||Reduce health costs|
As residents and property owners, you can play a key role in helping to increase canopy cover in the Ottawa area. The best time of year to plant trees and shrubs is in the spring and fall, so now is a great time to start preparing! Please see our Landowner Resources information for choosing and planting native species.
December 2015 – Chapman Mills West Stewardship Project
Read about our latest urban forest stewardship project at Chapman Mills West in Barrhaven.
November 2015 – Buckthorn Removal by Pierre-Savard Students
We are partnered with the students of École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard in Barrhaven for our next suburban forest stewardship project. The students have spent the fall removing Common Buckthorn, an invasive species, from the Chapman Mills West forest adjacent to their school. The sheer scale of their effort is amazing: they pulled out and dug out large, mature shrubs of buckthorn, leaving many clear and open areas that can now be planted with native trees and shrubs. Well done!
October 2015 – Interpretative Signs Installed at Kemp Woodland
We installed three interpretative signs at Kemp Woodland in Stittsville, part of our stewardship project for this 8.9 hectare forest. The forest was part of a concession lot owned in the 1800’s by John Kemp, a prominent citizen and Goulbourn Township reeve from 1887 to 1894.
We are working in partnership with the adjacent Sacred Heart High School, which has received forestry equipment and reference books, and planted trees in degraded areas. The school will take on the long stewardship of the forest, using their environmental science program to conduct studies for the City, which owns the site.
Councillor Shad Qadri held an “unveiling” of our signs and of the City’s commemorative plaque on the Transcanada Trail. Pictured are Glenn Carr, environmental studies teacher at Sacred Heart High School and Councillor Qadri.
See the article by Stittsville Central: Kemp Woodland Contains Trees Over Two Centuries Old.
Funding for this project was provided by Waste Management with support from Councillor Qadri.
23 September 2015 – Join at the City’s Urban Trees in Ottawa event
Visit our table at the City’s Tree Expo to celebrate National Tree Day: Urban Trees in Ottawa: Putting down Roots for the Future Wednesday September 23, 2015
6 p.m. Tree Expo
7 p.m. Presentations
August 2015 – Bat Boxes Installed in Kanata
The City installed some of our bat boxes around the Beaver Pond in Kanata. You can see some of them from the trail.
10 July 2015 – Sixteen Bat Boxes Delivered to Kanata
We delivered 16 bat boxes to Councillor Marianne Wilkinson’s office to be installed near the Kizell Wetlands to help with mosquito control. According to many sources, a bat can eat upwards of 1000 mosquitos in an hour. The purpose of the boxes is to give bats a safe place to roost during the day. The boxes, combined with the large insect population, should keep the bats in the area hoovering up insects at dusk and in the dark.
24 June 2015 – Kemp Woodland Commemorative Name Approved
Ottawa City Council today approved the commemorative name “Kemp Woodland” for the 8.9 hectare cedar forest in Stittsville next to Sacred Heart High School. The OSC submitted the application on behalf of the community. John Kemp (1838-1903) was a prominent 19th century Stittsville tavern keeper, railway contractor, and Goulbourn Township reeve from 1887 to 1894
Kemp’s connection to the forest was discovered due to inquiries made by the OSC as part of its stewardship activities for the forest. Local researchers quickly located historical documents showing Kemp’s ownership of the larger concession lot recorded in 1879 Atlas. Since many of the Eastern White Cedar Trees are over 200 years old, it would seem that there was limited logging of this forest.
Ecological and historical information signs will soon be installed at the forest. For more information about our stewardship project, please see Stittsville Cedar Forest Project
26 May 2015 – OSC Bat Boxes at Metcalfe Golf Club
12 May – 100 Trees Planted!
Grade 11 students from Sacred Heart High School and their environmental science teacher planted 100 native tree species in Kemp Woodland in Stittsville to help with forest renewal. The hands-on training and experience is part of their environmental science course work. City forester Martha Copestake provided guidance on tree placement.
May – We’re Delivering Bat Boxes!
Bat boxes are heading out to the golf courses of Ottawa. Bats eat large quantities of insects, including mosquitos, and are welcomed on golf courses to help reduce biting insect populations. The boxes were built by students at Sacred Heart High School in Stittsville.
15 April – Bat Boxes for Golf Courses Project Update
The Ottawa Stewardship Council took delivery of 60 bat boxes from Sacred Heart High School in Stittsville last week. The students earned community volunteer hours by constructing the bat boxes, which will be provided to golf courses throughout the City of Ottawa. The OSC acknowledges the financial support from the City of Ottawa’s Community Environmental Projects Grant Program (CEPGP) for this project.
2 March – Wildlife and a Livable City, Ottawa City Hall
We’ve published the presentation given by Janet Mason, Chair of the Ottawa Stewardship – see the link at the right.
11 February – Bat Boxes For Golf Courses Project
We have been awarded a grant for materials to build over 50 bat roosting boxes. Boxes will be donated to interested golf courses, who must agree to install them properly on their links and monitor them for habitation. The boxes attract roosting bats, who eat large numbers of biting insects. In Ottawa the bats most attracted to roosting boxes are the Little Brown Bat (a Species at Risk) and the Big Brown Bat. The boxes are being built by Sacred Heart High School in Stittsville. The students will receive community service volunteer hours for their work.
The Ottawa Stewardship Council acknowledges the financial support from the City of Ottawa’s Community Environmental Projects Grant Program (CEPGP).
22 January – Registration is open for the Winter Woodlot Conference!
Wednesday, 25 February in Kemptville – Expert-led presentations and discussion topics this year will include:
- Managing your Woodlot in a Changing Climate
- Invasive Species–Are we losing the battle?
- Lyme Disease and Ticks
- Regenerating Diverse Tree species in Your Woodlot: Some Success Stories
- Turkey Talk & Trends
Futher details are available here.
9 December – Join Us at the Wildlife Speaker Series
Renowned local birder, Bruce di Labio, is speaking at the City’s Wildlife Speaker Series:
Winter is for the Birds
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Environmental Expo and Birds of Ottawa Slide Show from 6 to 9 p.m.
Formal Presentation by Bruce di Labio at 7 p.m.
Ben Franklin Place
101 Centrepointe Drive
Before and after the talk, meet us at our booth and find out what natural areas are in your neighbourhood for bird and nature watching.
October – OSC Partners with Sacred Heart High School for Stewardship Project
Project funds will allow the school to buy equipment that will be used by students to provide ecological information about the forest to the City of Ottawa over many years. A new development to the south of the site means that green space for wildlife will be reduced and isolated to the 8.9 hectare forest alone. Students will be able to monitor changes to flora and fauna.
Check out the 13 October article on Stittsville Central for further details.
11 September – OSC Awarded $25,000 Stewardship Grant for Stittsville Forest
The OSC has been awarded a $25,000 grant from Waste Management’s Community Host Fund to conduct stewardship activities in a City-owned, 100 year old cedar forest in Stittsville. The funds will be used to plant trees in degraded areas of the forest, remove invasive species, install interpretive signs and seating, and support environmental studies at the adjacent Sacred Heart High School. The forest is to remain a natural area, so site intervention will be minimized.
The OSC conducted a bio-inventory of the forest in June which confirmed that the large cedar trees were at least 100 years old, and possibly older, growing in deep black earth in what was originally swamp land. Historical research conducted by John Curry and Faith Blacquerie revealed that the Lot 25, Concession 10 parcel was owned by John Kemp who built Kemp’s Tavern in 1868, which now houses Cabotto’s Restaurant on Hazeldean Road.
The OSC’s activities will be carried out on the site in 2015 in partnership with local community groups and support from the City of Ottawa. At completion at least $10,000 of the funds will be handed over to Sacred Heart High School, a certified EcoSchool, for long term stewardship of the forest. Teacher Glenn Carr leads the environmental science classes at the school, which provides an Environment Special High Skills Major program.
This project is the first in a series of woodlot stewardship projects that the OSC plans to carry out with the City of Ottawa. Within the urban boundary, the City owns over 180 Urban Natural Areas (UNAs), which could benefit from community care such as clean up, planting, and removal of invasive species.
We would like to thank Councillor Shad Qadri for submitting our project to Waste Management for approval, the Stittsville Village Association for their community support, Waste Management for providing the funding, and the City of Ottawa for their excellent and dedicated staff (in particular, Martha Copestake and Rebecca Aird) who are helping us with this project.
For more information about the project, please click here.
3 September – Wildlife Speaker Series
The OSC is excited to be taking part in the 3rd City of Ottawa Wildlife Speaker Series this coming Thursday September 18 at 7pm. The event will be held at Ben Franklin Place and will focus on white-tailed deer. Several other community volunteer groups will be there and we look forward to seeing you as well!
28 July – The Species at Risk Handbook for Ottawa
We are pleased to announce the completion of our Species at Risk (SAR) Handbook for Ottawa. The Handbook is a general reference that is designed to increase knowledge and raise awareness about the SAR known, unconfirmed, or suspected to be living within the City’s boundaries. The Handbook provides a photo (usually donated by a local resident), and a description of each species and its habitat for SAR currently listed under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and/or the Ontario Endangered Species Act (ESA), 2007.
19 July – OSC at “River Day” on Petrie Island
Petrie Island is home to a number of species at risk, including: the Monarch Butterfly, the Least Bittern (a small heron), Snapping Turtle, Northern Map Turtle, and Butternut Tree. Click on the picture at the left for a Petrie Island-specific handout that you can use to find these species on island.
15 June 2014 – Bio-Inventory Conducted on Cedar Forest in Stittsville
** Thank you to all participants! It was fantastic to meet you all; your help will certainly make this project a success! **
OSC volunteers and experts from the McNamara Field Naturalists Club, the Ottawa Field Naturalists Club, and Vitesse Reskilling Canada catalogued flora and fauna at 10 sample locations in the 8.9 hectare cedar forest next to Sacred Heart High School in Stittsville. The site is distinguished by many 100+ year old eastern white cedar trees growing in a moist environment. The information establishes a baseline for the site, which will be used by the City of Ottawa to monitor changes as new development occurs to the south of the forest. It will also inform planting of native, site-specific species in damaged, peripheral areas.
22 and 23 May 2014 – Carp River Green Banks Program
Over 1000 trees and shrubs funded by the OSC were planted along the Carp River and a tributary by volunteers and staff from the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority. The river bank planting will stabilize the shoreline, filter runoff, and provide new habitat for wildlife.
Coming soon – The first release of the Ottawa Species at Risk Handbook is coming soon! The booklet will provide residents of Ottawa with a concise guide to local wildlife that is threatened or endangered.
24 March 2014 – We are excited to announce the selection of the 2014 Urban Natural Areas site! This year we will be working with the community in Stittsville to improve an 8.9 hectare fresh-moist mature cedar forest located near the intersection of Abbott St. and Shea Road. The work will build off a 2009 study that identified diverse area-sensitive breeding birds. The work will include a site clean-up, BioBlitz, removal of invasive species, planting of shrubs/trees, and implementation of a long-term stewardship plan. We will be looking for volunteers in the local community to get involved!
….just waiting for that snow to melt!
14 February 2014 – We have welcomed two new members to Council this month, but we continue to look for new recruits to help us implement our projects in 2014 and beyond. If you want to help Ottawa improve and preserve its public and private natural spaces, please apply here. We offer experiences in community outreach, on-the-ground outdoor activities, and the satisfaction in knowing you made a difference. The Ottawa Stewardship Council (OSC) is a volunteer organization whose mandate is to be a leading partner with individuals, organizations, businesses, and communities throughout Ottawa’s urban and rural areas to promote and maintain a healthy environment. To contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.