Our most recent projects are described below. We’ve also included three detailed reports from past projects.
The Friends of Petrie Island, in partnership with the Ottawa Stewardship Council and Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club (OFNC), is conducting a tree inventory over three years from 2019 through 2021. Learn more.
Carleton University – Environmental Science Projects
Since 2016 we have worked with Carleton University to sponsor local stewardship projects for the Group Research in Environmental Science Project course for third year students. Learn more.
Since 2016 we have worked with Hydro One, the Briarbrook and Morgan’s Grant Community Association (BMGCA), and the City of Ottawa to make the neighbourhood hydro corridor a multi-use community green space. In 2017 Hydro One cleared part of the corridor and seeded it with rye grass and wildflowers. The corridor is now filled with blooms. Hydro One has also installed two pollinator hotels and donated funds to BMGCA for use in the corridor. Learn more.
On 28 June 2017 Ottawa City Council approved the Urban Forest Management Plan, which provides for a strategic and planned approach to caring for and enhancing our city’s wooded areas such as in parks, on streets, in natural areas, and on private property. The OSC will be a member of the new External Urban Forest Working Group. Learn more.
OSC is working with the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) and Friends of the Carp River to support development of a wetland education program at the Carp River Conservation Area in Kanata. The Carp River Living Classroom will have many education elements, but one will be a mobile app called EcoTrekr, which is aimed at families and children in elementary/middle school. Learn more.
OSC continues to explore avenues of cooperation with Hydro One to effect greater community input and stewardship during and following routine maintenance along its approximately 275 kms of hydro corridors in the City of Ottawa. Learn more.
In spring 2017 and 2019, we coordinated the planting of 70 Butternut trees from RVCA’s Butternut Recovery Program. The trees were planted in areas where large numbers of dead ash trees had been removed. Learn more.
We are working with Dr. Andy Kenney to develop a Neighbourwoods© Stewardship Plan (NSP) process and template. The NSP provides the means for a community to develop a strategic vision and plan for managing its urban forest in a manner that supports the goals of the neighbourhood and aligns with Ottawa’s Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP). Learn more.
Bat Boxes for Golf Courses
The City of Ottawa awarded us a grant for materials to build bat roosting boxes. Boxes were donated to interested golf courses, who agreed 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. Sixty boxes were built by Sacred Heart High School in Stittsville. The students received community service volunteer hours for their work.
The Ottawa Stewardship Council acknowledges the financial support from the City of Ottawa’s Community Environmental Project Grant Program (CEPGP).
Stewardship of Urban Natural Areas
The City of Ottawa has numerous natural areas, parks or “woodlots”, which are under stress (e.g. from the emerald ash borer) and/or neglected. Each year the OSC, in partnership with the City of Ottawa, picks a City-owned urban or suburban natural area on which to direct stewardship activities. Some areas may require multi-year commitment depending on the area’s size and the scope of required stewardship. At the end of the project, responsibility for sustained stewardship activities are taken on by a community group and/or school.
Please read about our Stittsville project in Kemp Woodland, a forest with cedar trees over two hundred years old, where we’re working with Sacred Heart High School.
In 2015 we added a new City-owned woodlot, Chapman Mills West, in Barrhaven. Our community partner was École secondaire catholique Pierre-Savard.
The City of Ottawa has many natural, green spaces both rural and urban/suburban. These areas support a large variety of plants, insects, and wildlife some of which are considered Species at Risk. To raise awareness of these species living within the City’s boundaries and to provide a general reference the Ottawa Stewardship Council, in conjunction with key contributors and partners, has created an illustrated Species at Risk Handbook. The Handbook provides a photo, description, and habitat for all native species currently listed under both the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the Ontario Endangered Species Act (ESA), 2007 living in the City of Ottawa.
The OSC funded the purchase of over 1000 trees and shrubs that were planted in May 2014 by volunteers and MVCA staff along the Carp River and one of its tributaries. The expected impacts of this project include filtering agricultural runoff from entering the Carp River and stabilizing the banks to prevent further erosion. Both of these issues contribute to the poor water quality. The shrubs/trees planted will also create new habitat for wildlife with food and shelter.
A Few More Past Projects
In 2013 the OSC translated the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resource’s “Preparing for Emerald Ash Borer: A Landowner’s Guide For Managing Ash Forests” into French.
In the spring of 2013 the OSC constructed bird and bat boxes, which we handed out to interested landowners from our booth at the Ottawa Green Living Expo 2013.