OSC at Pinhey Dunes event

The Ottawa Stewardship Council participated in a very successful public event organized by Biodiversity Conservation International (BCI) at the Pinhey sand dunes on Saturday August 26.

After several brief presentations about the singular importance of the dunes in the Ottawa area and some discussion on the importance of volunteer stewardship in its success, participants got a chance to walk about with scientific experts from BCI, to ask questions and gain greater insights into this unique ecosystem.

Working closely with BCI, we have been an active supporter of their dune restoration project through cooperative study projects with Carleton University, and Algonquin College. We have also worked with Hydro One to ensure its maintenance program along the hydro corridor was supportive of the goals and objectives of the Pinhey sand dunes conservation program.

The Ottawa Stewardship Council participated in the Pinhey Dunes outreach event in Ottawa on 26 August 2023.
The Pinhey Dunes outreach event was well attended by the public.

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

Rock Elm: A Native Species in Decline?

Carleton University third year Environmental Science students made their group project presentations last week.  One of the projects we sponsored, in partnership with the Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club, was about Rock Elms (Ulmus thomasii).  The project team examined whether Rock Elm is a species in decline due to Dutch Elm Disease (DED) using data in iNaturalist.  They also reviewed the strengths and limitations of citizen science, the natural history of Rock Elm, tree species recovery programs, and the history of DED in North America.
From the data available, the team concluded that the Rock Elm mortality rate seemed better in 2017-2020 than between 2012-2016; however, they recognized the likelihood of sampling bias.  They also confirmed that the proximity to a dying or dead Rock Elm increases the likelihood that surrounding Rock Elms will also be dead or declining.
We thank the students for their excellent work demonstrating the scientific method and for highlighting the need for a Rock Elm recovery program.

Image of Rock Elm observations in Ontario.
Image of Rock Elm observations from the students’ presentation.

Learn more about Rock Elm.