21 September 2016 – Join at Healthy Trees, Healthy City at Lansdowne Park

image004We 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

IMG_4891Students 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

Qaqish May03_16-032

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

may10_15-075Join 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

IMG_2129The 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.

  Environmental Social Economic
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

DiggingRead about our latest urban forest stewardship project at Chapman Mills West in Barrhaven.



November 2015 – Buckthorn Removal by Pierre-Savard Students

IMG_9374 (1)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

IMG_3962We 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

2015-08-25_NationalTreeDay_Poster_LRVisit 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
Horticulture Building
Lansdowne Park



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

20150426_124535We 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

MelcalfeGolfClub2 MetclafeGolfClub








12 May – 100 Trees Planted!

IMG_2138Grade 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

IMG_1859The 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

TeamThere was an excellent turn out at the City of Ottawa’s Wildlife in a Liveable City event.  Thank you to everyone who visited our booth and signed up to volunteer or receive our newsletter.

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

IMG_3674We are pleased to be working with Sacred Heart High School in Stittsville on the sustained stewardship of the cedar forest, Kemp Woodland, next to the school’s sports field.

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

Stittsville Cheque PresentationThe 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

SAR Handbook

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

PetrieIslandSARWe had a booth focused on Species at Risk at the Friends of Petrie Island’s River Day event on Saturday, 19 July.

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! **

IMG_1314OSC 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

IMG_1126Over 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.

SAR Preview 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!

Photo of walking path at Stittsville site.

Photo of walking path at Stittsville site.

 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:  ottawastewardshipcouncil@gmail.com.