OSC welcomes KN Regeneration Stewards

The Ottawa Stewardship Council’s (OSC) work in the Morgan’s Grant hydro corridor in Kanata North has received a boost.

The Kanata North Regeneration Stewards (KNRegens) have joined OSC to create native wildflower meadow habitat throughout the Morgan’s Grant corridor.  A grassroots environmental group founded in 2023, KNRegens is led by Lyndee Wolf, who began by adding a new pollinator garden along the pathway in the corridor last summer.

Wolf was struck by how many people stopped to talk about the garden.  For some it reminded them of community plots in their home countries.  Young people felt it gave them a sense of hope.  She was inspired by the feedback.  “I envision the KNRegens project as a  team of multiethnic, multiracial, intergenerational, and neurodiverse volunteers from the community,” says Wolf.  “They will bridge connections that improve our community’s social and ecological well-being through community-led stewardship.”

Wolf needed help to expand the KNRegens concept and to work with the City of Ottawa, who owns the corridor land.  Hydro One has a right-of-way easement in the corridor for its transmission lines.  She reached out to OSC, who helped initiate and carry out greenspace revitalization by the community in the weedy corridor.

Wildflower meadow and bee hotel in restored meadow area of the Morgan's Grant corridor.
Wildflower meadow and bee hotel in restored meadow area of the Morgan’s Grant corridor.

“Supporting KNRegens is the next logical step in the evolution of environmental stewardship in the Morgan’s Grant corridor,” states OSC’s Bob McFetridge.  Since 2016 McFetridge has worked with the City of Ottawa, the Briarbrook and Morgan’s Grant Community Association (BMGCA), and Hydro One to establish a pollinator meadow under the power lines and towers.  He’s also responsible for designing and making the bee hotels installed in the corridor.

The Morgan’s Grant hydro corridor has a place in the network of greenspace – the Woods and Waterway Web – across Kanata North.  It provides both ecosystem and human connectivity through its habitat and pathways that link to other greenspace, like the South March Highlands and Trillium Woods, and to residential communities and the Tech Park.  Because the corridor must remain open for transmission line maintenance and safety reasons, it is ideal landscape for meadows of native grasses and wildflowers.

The Morgan's Grant hydro corridor is part of Kanata North's greenspace network - the Woods and Waterway Web.
The Morgan’s Grant hydro corridor is part of Kanata North’s greenspace network – the Woods and Waterway Web. It connects people to nature, work, and other communities. It’s also part of the biodiversity web of woodlands, wetlands, meadows, and waterways like Trillium Woods, Kizell Wetland, South March Highlands, Shirley’s Brook, and the Carp River.

Early support from Ottawa Councillor Marianne Wilkinson and the BMGCA’s Steve Nichols was critical to the multi-year project. Working with Nichols, OSC has provided guidance for studies by Carleton University students, developed interpretive sign information, built bee hotels and a bat box, and supported summer students from Algonquin College who carried out studies and removed invasive species.  Now this work can continue and expand with KNRegens becoming part of the OSC.

“Joining OSC provides the resources needed to make KNRegens successful,” says Wolf.  She is now working on getting the necessary approval from the City of Ottawa for stewardship activities in the corridor. “Our vision is to create vibrantly thriving native wildflower and meadow habitat to benefit pollinating species, while improving health and quality of life for people.”

Visit the KNRegens web site for information about their work.

Learn more about OSC’s work in the Morgan’s Grant corridor.

Learn more about KNRegens’ plans for the corridor.

OSC Bee Hotels in Hydro Corridor

The Ottawa Stewardship Council has been working with the Briar’s Brook Morgan’s Grant Community Association (BMGCA), Hydro One, and the City of Ottawa for over five years to make the hydro corridor into useful community green space.

This summer, OSC’s Bob McFetridge made four bee hotels, which were installed along a one kilometer section of the Morgan’s Grant hydro corridor.

Ottawa Stewardship Council made four bee hotels, which were installed in the Morgan's Grant hydro corridor in Kanata.
One of four bee hotels installed in Morgan’s Grant hydro corridor this summer.

BMGCA’s summer student monitored the activity in the four hotels. By the end of the summer, all of the hotels had eggs laid in them. Bee hotels must be properly constructed and maintained to ensure they are actually providing a benefit to the bees. Next year the hotels will be cleaned after this season’s eggs have hatched to help prevent mold and parasite infestation, and to make them ready for a new generation of bees.

Ottawa Stewardship Council provided a bat house to the hydro corridor.
Bat house in the hydro corridor. (Photo by S. Gore.)

OSC also supplied a bat house, which was installed on the corridor in mid-summer. The bat house was made by students at École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard as part of OSC’s urban natural area stewardship project in Chapman Mills West.

Learn More

For information on maintaining and managing a bee hotel, this is an excellent Canadian sourced guide: https://www.ealt.ca/blog/bee-hotel-maintenance

Morgan’s Grant Corridor Project Update

Morgan’s Grant has had a busy summer.  Using a second year of financial assistance from Hydro One, the Briarbrook and Morgan’s Grant Community Association hired a full time student to carry out a maintenance program in the hydro corridor this summer.

The student cleared wild parsnip from designated areas, removed a variety of noxious plants from around towers and areas where people were likely to access, and talked with visitors about the work and goals of making the corridor a community conservation area.

Wild Parsnip. (Photo G. Roy, 2020)

The student also ran a research project on the efficacy of mowing and of using chelated iron to control wild parsnip. Chelated iron is used primarily as a fertilizer but under certain conditions if it is applied in the wrong concentration can damage wide leaf plants such as wild parsnip. The tests were carried out over the summer on test plots offered by a land owner near Carp who was interested in the outcome. Although some success was observed, the general consensus was that more research needed to be done before the application of chelated iron could be considered as a means to control wild parsnip and other wide-leaf noxious plants.

Volunteers and the summer student also cleared the bases of several hydro towers of garbage, roots, and weeds to improve safety of access, increase opportunity for native species to expand and improve the general appearance of the area.  The results were clearly appreciated by Hydro One staff on their late summer tour of the corridor. Volunteer efforts like this do two important things:  they help maintain safety and security in the immediate areas around towers so that workers are less likely to be injured and they show to Hydro One and the City the potential of community stewardship as a vehicle by which these important urban environments can become healthy and safe greenspaces for the benefit of everyone.

You can find the student’s reports on controlling wild parsnip by mowing and using chelated iron here:  Morgan’s Grant Greenspace Revitalization.

The maintained area of the corridor is dominated by long grasses, native plants and flowers that support a healthy urban greenspace and pollinator meadow. The pollinator hotel donated by Hydro One is on the left. (Photo G. Roy, 2020)

Morgan’s Grant Hydro Corridor Visioning Workshop

On 30 November 2019, the Briarbrook and Morgan’s Grant Community Association (BMGCA) held a workshop to engage the community in a visioning exercise for future uses of a hydro corridor.  The corridor runs 1.5 km from Old Carp Road to Terry Fox Drive.  We have been working with BMGCA, Hydro One, and the City of Ottawa for four years to support the evolution of the corridor into green space that provides recreation and green infrastructure benefits.  Councillor Jenna Sudds and Hydro One’s Terry Tysick also attended the workshop.

There was some discussion about how Morgan’s Grant can act as a model for other publicly owned hydro corridors in Ottawa.  Corridors can serve many community needs:  recreation, sustainable mobility, physical and mental health, natural heritage, biodiversity, food security, and ecosystem services like storm water absorption.  The design must be resilient to access by Hydro One for maintenance and repairs, and to withstand extremes of weather.

Key issues discussed during the workshop include:

  • making the corridor more available for winter recreation;
  • enhancing natural heritage features – adding more local native shrubs and plants, including those that provide food like wild berries;
  • connecting the corridor trail into the network of Kanata North trails that can be used by bike commuters (a north/south link to tech business), and recreation bikers and walkers;
  • serving a broad demographic (children, adults, seniors);
  • adding benches and a place for meditation; and
  • adding crosswalk markings to bisecting roads to improve safety.

In 2017 Hydro One seeded the corridor with a pollinator mix designed by the University of Guelph. The mix consisted of:

  • 32% oats
  • 20% blue stem grass
  • 14% Virginia wild rye
  • 6% purple cone flower (rudbeckia)
  • 5% lanceleaf coreopsis
  • 4% common sunflower
  • 3% yarrow
  • 3% black-eyed susan
  • 3% showy tick trefoil
  • 3% common milkweed
  • 2% wild bergamot

Hydro One bought and installed two pollinator hotels in the corridor and provided funding for a summer student in 2019, who removed wild parsnip, set up and monitored test plots, and documented flora and fauna in iNaturalist.

Hydro Corridor in July 2018

Hydro Corridor in August 2019

Morgan’s Grant hydro corridor: vacant land or abundant potential for nature and community?

A meadow’s sunset within Collingwood, Ontario. Courtesy of Hillary Hale
A meadow’s sunset within Collingwood, Ontario. Courtesy of Hillary Hale.






By Hillary Hale, Carleton University

[Hillary Hale was a student in the 2018 Environmental Science group research project course at Carleton University. Her group’s project was Pollinators in an Urban Meadow, which studied the Morgan’s Grant hydro corridor in partnership with Briarbrook Brookside and Morgan’s Grant Community Association. This is her blog from the project.]

I spent a pleasant afternoon visiting the Morgan’s Grant hydro corridor last Autumn and observed a variety of interactions between nature and humans. What I noticed as I walked along the corridor highlighted its potential. The corridor could very well blossom into a beautifully vibrant area where nature and community flourish.

A swallowtail butterfly (pollinator) resting in a Barrie, Ontario meadow. Courtesy of Hillary Hale.
A swallowtail butterfly (pollinator) resting in a Barrie, Ontario meadow. Courtesy of Hillary Hale.

As I walked down the path surrounded by fluttering butterflies, I observed many insects flying from flower to flower pollinating plants, and at times, it felt magical. I also witnessed the joy of others. The laugher shared between a father and son riding their bikes along the pathway, families walking their dogs, even observing the contentment on one’s face while taking a stroll. All of these observations illustrated the innate desire for pollinators and people to use the area. But how could the space be improved, and would the benefits be fruitful?

A Key Aspect to Improvement? Pollinators.

To enhance ecosystem health pollinators are key, yet pollinators depend on flowering plants. By having a variety of pollinator friendly flowers, ecosystem diversity and colour are enriched (United States Department of Agriculture, no date). This creates an enticing community space as research on urban meadows shows people prefer colourful areas containing many flowering plant species (Hoyle, 2017).

Pollinators assist in plant reproduction by fertilizing plants (Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, 2015), and we humans rely heavily on them. Globally, 217 billion dollars is generated from pollinators representing one-third of food consumed (Pollinator Partnership, 2018). Urbanization, habitat loss and pesticide are a threat to pollinators worldwide (United States Department of Agriculture, no date). The hydro corridor could be a haven for pollinators. We can develop this ecosystem to combat the decline of pollinators locally while also developing our community.

A healthy ecosystem, a healthy community

A pollinating bumblebee. Courtesy of Hillary Hale
A pollinating bumblebee. Courtesy of Hillary Hale.

Nature is beautiful and the studies show that health benefits include reduced stress, psychological wellbeing and reconnection with ourselves and others (University of Minnesota, 2016). Pollinators may not be the only ones benefitting from a rich ecosystem, our health and community would too. Research shows that green spaces provide neighbourhoods with a sense of community, acting as gathering place and fostering social interactions, improved well-being and increased safety (Landscape Ontario, no date). We can further community engagement locally building on, for example, the community gardens.

The community gardens hold abundant potential of engagement through group gardening, a potential farmer’s market, and learning opportunities – especially for youth (Landscape Ontario, no date). The corridor represents a multidimensional space budding with potential. If we provide pollinators with the right plants to enhance their ecosystem, we can also enhance our community. Two goals which benefit nature’s well-being, as well as our own.

Community garden within Morgan’s Grant hydro corridor. Courtesy of Hillary Hale
Community garden within Morgan’s Grant hydro corridor. Courtesy of Hillary Hale


The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum provides a quick and light interactive webpage which provides a high-level overview of bee pollination including diagrams and other informative photos.

Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. (2015) Pollination: The importance of bees: pollinationCanadian Agriculture and Food Museum. Accessed: October 29, 2018.

This policy includes a detailed fact sheet regarding how urban meadows affect people and wildlife. The information presented is organized and concise which promptly equips readers with important information and resources.

Hoyle, H. (2016) Improving urban grassland for people and wildlifeUniversity of Sheffield Departments of Landscape and Animal and Plant Science: Living with Environmental Change. Accessed: October 29, 2018.

The Landscape Ontario webpage contains information regarding the social benefits of green spaces with sources provided. It is a quick way to understand and gather the social benefits of green spaces.

Landscape Ontario. (No date) The Social Benefits of Green Spaces. Landscape Ontario. Accessed: October 29, 2018.

Pollinator Partnership provides the breakdown of the pollination process including what pollination is, its importance, who and what are pollinators, as well as approaches to help pollination. The webpage is very rich in additional sources which allow audiences to continue their learning about pollination.

Pollinator Partnership. (2018) Pollinators need you. You need pollinators.Pollinator Partnership.  Accessed: October 29, 2018.

Although this webpage is targeted toward pollinators within Pennsylvania, the materials presented are still very informative and transferable. This resource also provides tips for maintaining a pollinator friendly area and links that pertain to pollination, conservation and additional readings.

United States Department of Agriculture. (No date) The importance of pollinatorsUnited States Department of Agriculture: Natural Resources Conservation Service Pennsylvania. Accessed: October 29, 2018.

A detailed overview of the various ways in which nature affects our wellbeing. Links to additional resources are provided within.

University of Minnesota. (2016) How does nature impact our wellbeing? University of Minnesota: Taking Charge of your Health & Wellbeing.  Accessed: October 29, 2018.

Additional Reading

A publically available research paper that discusses the benefits associated with green spaces, such as health and well-being. The paper is interesting and detailed.

Braubach, M., A. Egorov, P. Mudu, T. Wolf, C.W. Thompson, and M. Martuzzi. (2017) Effects of Urban Green Space on Environmental Heath, Equity and Resilience. Nature-Base Solutions to Climate Change Adaption in Urban Areas. 187-205. Accessed: October 29, 2018.

The research described by Chee Keng Lee et al.includes a detailed breakdown of how urban green spaces promote various health benefits. This research paper is publically accessible.

Chee Keng Lee, A.H., H.C Jordan, and J. Horsley. (2015) Value of Urban Green Spaces in Promoting Healthy Living and Wellbeing: Prospects for PlanningRisk Management Healthcare Policy. 8: 131-137. Accessed: October 29, 2018.

The Forest Research article is an informative and digestible read which discusses the habitats of wildflower meadows, their advantages and case studies.

Forest Research. (No date) Wildflower Meadow Habitats. Forest Research.  Accessed: October 29, 2018.

Huerta (2017) compares and contrasts lawns and meadows and explains the benefits meadows in enhancing biodiversity, soil productivity and supporting pollinators.

Huerta, H. (2017). Meadowscaping – Benefits Above and Below the SurfaceBenton Soil and Water Conservation District. Accessed: October 29, 2018.

Roadside Wildflower Meadowsis a publically available research paper which discusses the various aspects of roadside wildflower meadows including ecological, economic, and aesthetic benefits. It provides insights with respect to the importance and benefits of incorporating more wildflowers within an urban meadow.

Jack, A., C.A. Niedner, and A. Barker. (No date) Roadside Wildflower Meadows: Summary of Benefits and Guidelines to Successful Establishment and Management. Transportation Research Record. 1334: 46-53. Accessed: October 29, 2018.