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Super User

KARS-ON-THE-RIDEAU – June 21, 2024 – Dignitaries, donors, and special guests joined staff and board members from the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation (RVCF) and Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) to celebrate the Baxter Conservation Area’s flagship accessible bridge’s grand opening on Friday, June 21.

The 100-metre accessible bridge and two large education platforms embrace the gold standards of accessible design, including a 10-foot-wide deck, appropriate sight-lines for people in wheelchairs and strollers, gentle slopes, handrails and benches. 

The impressive span was made possible with generous support from the  Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), and the City of Ottawa’s Rural Community-Building Grant, as well as in-kind and financial support from the RVCF, RVCA, and their generous donors. 

“Accessibility improvements to this area and two new educational platforms will make this beautiful green space a safe and welcoming destination for all to enjoy,” the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario wrote in a prepared statement. “The Government of Canada is happy to have supported the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation.”

Rideau-Jock Councillor David Brown thanked the Nature For All committee, which brought its grand vision of an accessible nature destination to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority and its Foundation six years ago. Brown also recognized the hard work of the many RVCA and RVCF staff, volunteers and board members who have helped turn this vision into reality.

“This project was not easy,” Councillor Brown said. “What we’re looking at today really shows that hard work, the dedication and the consistent pressure to make life better out here for everyone of all ages and abilities.”

In total, Baxter’s accessible bridge project garnered more than $800,000 in support, including donations from 100 Women Who Care, 1st Greely Cubs, Fjällräven, FedEx Canada, Girl Gone Good, and The Gosling Foundation. The RVCA also contributed from its capital infrastructure funds.

“Each year, Baxter welcomes thousands of visitors and more than 4,000 students to its facilities to enjoy the trails, beach and outdoor education programming,” said RVCA Chair Kristin Strakerjan. “The new bridge will help visitors of all abilities enjoy an enhanced outdoor experience while taking advantage of the many physical and mental health benefits that go with it.”

The previous bridge was at the end of its life cycle and was closed for safety reasons in 2019. Cue Mike Nemesvary, an accessibility advocate located in Manotick who has been visiting Baxter Conservation Area in his power wheelchair for more than 20 years. An athlete and adventurist, Nemesvary had long dreamed of transforming Baxter into an accessible nature haven for people of all abilities. Working with the RVCA and RVCF, he founded the local Nature For All committee to bring his vision to life.

"My partner Maryann and I have been continual visitors to Baxter, which includes a sandy beachfront, five kilometres of nature trails, picnic areas, lookouts, marshlands, a nut grove and a multitude of ecologies," said Nemesvary as he addressed a crowd of 75 people gathered to open the bridge. “This unique bridge is the culmination of a grand vision, a dedicated committee and an outpouring of support from private and public sectors for the past six years."

And the accessibility transformation continues.

“There’s more work to be done, including rebuilding and replacing the 950 metres of accessible raised boardwalk and trails that will lead people of all abilities to this magnificent spot,” said RVCF Board Chair Andrew Harkness. “We are excited to continue Phase 2 of this shared mission with support from our partners and generous community members.”

To learn more about the Nature For All project visit

To learn more Baxter Conservation Area visit


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New this summer, Foley Mountain Conservation Area will offer an exciting suite of family and children's programming throughout July and August, including summer Forest School sessions for several age groups. Join our qualified and experienced outdoor educators for some summer fun in the forest! Registration is required and will close the Wednesday prior to the program date. Fees vary by program. All program fees are subject to applicable taxes.

Family Programs:

Join us the first Saturday of the month and two Fridays per month throughout the summer for our exciting family programs! All children must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required by the Wednesday prior to the event.

Submit a Family Program registration request form to get started. Upon completion of the form, we will send you a registration package, including payment instructions. Please note that filling out this form this does not necessarily guarantee a space in the program but begins the registration process.

Date Program Age Time Costs
Saturday, July 6 Weekend Wanders -
Outdoor Survival Skills
All Ages 10 - 11:30 a.m. $27/family
Friday, July 19 Forest Fridays -
Beaver Pond Bonanza
All Ages 10 - 11:30 a.m. $27/family
Friday, August 2 Forest Fridays -
Outdoor Survival Skills
All Ages 10 - 11:30 a.m. $27/family
Saturday, August 3 Weekend Wanders -
Beaver Pond Bonanza
All Ages 10 - 11:30 a.m. $27/family
Friday, August 9 Forest Fridays -
A Bug's Life
All Ages 10 - 11:30 a.m. $27/family
Friday, August 23 Forest Fridays -
GPS and Geocaching
All Ages 10 - 11:30 a.m. $27/family


Summer Forest School Programs:

If you've always wanted to try Forest School, this is your chance! We are offering one-day registrations for our bi-weekly Forest School programs, which are organized by age. You can register for all four sessions for your age group, or one at a time. 

Submit a Forest School registration request form to get started. Upon completion of the form, we will send you a registration package, including payment instructions. Please note that filling out this form this does not necessarily guarantee a space in the program but begins the registration process. 


(July 16, July 30, Aug 6, Aug 20)

Family Forest School

2 to 5, with guardians 

9:30 - 11:30 a.m.


(July 17, July 31, Aug 7, Aug 21)
Forest Kindergarten 4 to 5 9 a.m. - noon $30/child
(July 18, Aug 1, Aug 8, Aug 22)
School Age Forest School 6 to 10

Full day: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Half day: 9 a.m. - noon

Full day: $55/child
Half Day: $30/child

Our Community Partner



Rebecca Whitman
Foley Mountain Area Supervisor and Camp Director
Tel: 613-273- 3255
Fax: 613-692- 0831


EASTERN ONTARIO, June 7, 2024 – South Nation Conservation (SNC), Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) and the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) are welcoming public input on updated development policies and wetland mapping used in Conservation Authority permitting.

On April 1, 2024, the Government of Ontario replaced individual Conservation Authority Regulations under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act, with Ontario Regulation 41/24: Prohibited Activities, Exemptions and Permits. This update requires Conservation Authorities to regulate development activities within 30 metres of all wetlands, as defined by the new regulation. 

Conservation Authority staff have completed draft updates to policies, procedures and mapping in response to these provincial changes. Watershed residents are invited to schedule individual meetings (in-person or virtual) or attend an upcoming public open house to learn more about proposed development policy updates and wetland mapping. 

Civitan Club of Perth 
6787 County Road 43, Perth, Ontario 
Thursday, June 20, 2024

3:00 PM - 8:00 PM

R.J. Kennedy Community Centre 
1115 Dunning Road, Cumberland, Ontario
Tuesday, June 25, 2024

3:00 PM - 8:00 PM

RVCA Administrative Office 
3889 Rideau Valley Drive, Manotick, Ontario
Wednesday, June 26, 2024
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM

SNC Administrative Office 
38 Victoria Street, Finch, Ontario
Thursday, June 27, 2024

3:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Wetlands provide significant ecosystem services and benefits including flood attenuation,  
erosion protection, groundwater recharge, filtration of drinking water supplies, wildlife refuge,  
and forest cover, as well as recreational, educational, and research opportunities. Wetlands are 
also usually associated with unstable, organic soils and not always suited to development.

The Conservation Authority partners have regulated development activities within Provincially Significant Wetlands and certain Locally Significant Wetlands since 2006. With the new provincial regulation, most wetlands will now be regulated, however, the buffer around them where a development permit is required has been reduced from 120 metres to 30 metres.

“We recognize the important role of wetlands for the environment and our communities,” said SNC Managing Director, John Mesman. “We will work closely with property owners looking to develop their properties to help confirm wetland boundaries to ensure that future development is sustainable and protects the integrity of wetland habitat.”  

“Many of the wetlands in our region connect to major waterways and are found within our Natural Heritage Systems,” said RRCA General Manager Alison McDonald. “These areas provide important natural cover, wildlife habitat, and mitigate the impacts of climate change, including flooding and drought.” 

“Having updated policies and wetland mapping that reflects the new legislation will also streamline approvals and standardize approaches,” said RVCA General Manager Sommer Casgrain-Robertson. “Policies and mapping are used by staff, municipalities, and property owners to ensure that development is undertaken in a way that protects people and their property from natural hazards while also protecting wetlands and watercourses.

Policy information, draft maps and meeting request links are available online:

Conservation Authorities work on behalf of their member municipalities to help manage, conserve and restore natural resources and guide sustainable development activities through permitting. 

Through acquiring ecologically significant property, managing conservation lands, permitting sustainable development, and providing technical advice and cost-share funding for habitat improvement projects, there are a variety of ways to help improve wetlands and biodiversity within the region. Residents interested in learning more about land donations and project funding are encouraged to contact their local Conservation Authority. 


South Nation Conservation
Erin Thorne, Communications Specialist, 
1-877-984-2948 | .

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
Diane Downey, Director, Communications and Outreach, 
1-800-257-3504, ext.1126 | 

Raisin Region Conservation Authority
Lisa Van De Ligt, Team Lead, Communications and Stewardship, 
613-938-3611 ext. 223 | 

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Les offices de protection de la nature sollicitent l'avis du public sur la mise à jour des politiques de développement et de la cartographie des zones humides dans l'Est de l'Ontario 

EST DE L'ONTARIO, le 7 juin 2024 : La Conservation de la Nation Sud (CNS), l'Office de protection de la nature de la vallée Rideau (RVCA) et l'Office de protection de la nature de la région Raisin (RRCA) accueillent les commentaires du public sur la mise à jour des politiques de développement et de la cartographie des zones humides dans l'Est de l'Ontario. Les politiques de développement et la cartographie des zones humides sont utilisées dans les permis délivrés par les offices de protection de la nature.

Le 1er avril 2024, le gouvernement de l'Ontario a remplacé les différents règlements des offices de protection de la nature en vertu de l'article 28 de la Loi sur les offices de protection de la nature par le Règlement de l'Ontario 41/24 : Activités interdites, exemptions et permis. Cette mise à jour exige que les offices de protection de la nature réglementent les activités d'aménagement dans un rayon de 30 mètres de toutes les terres humides, tel que défini par le nouveau règlement.

Le personnel de l'Office de protection de la nature a terminé l'ébauche de mises à jour des politiques, des procédures et de la cartographie en réponse à ces changements provinciaux. Les résidents du bassin versant sont invités à planifier des réunions individuelles (en personne ou virtuellement) ou à assister à une prochaine journée portes ouvertes pour en savoir plus sur les mises à jour proposées des politiques de développement et de la cartographie des zones humides.

Club Civitan de Perth 
6787, chemin de comté 43, Perth, ON
Jeudi 20 juin 2024 
de 15h00 à 20h00 

Centre communautaire RJ Kennedy 
1115, chemin Dunning, Cumberland, ON
 Mardi 25 juin 2024

de 15h00 à 20h00

Bureau administratif de RVCA 
3889, promenade Rideau Valley, Manotick, ON 
Mercredi 26 juin 2024
de 15h00 à 20h00

Bureau administratif de la CNS 
38, rue Victoria, Finch, ON
Jeudi 27 juin 2024, 

de 15h00 à 20h00 

Les zones humides fournissent d'importants services et avantages écosystémiques, notamment l'atténuation des inondations, la protection contre l'érosion, la recharge des eaux souterraines, la filtration des réserves d'eau potable, les refuges fauniques, et le couvert forestier, ainsi que des opportunités de loisirs, d'éducation et de recherche. Les zones humides sont également généralement associées à des sols organiques instables et pas toujours adaptés au développement.

Les partenaires de l'Office de protection de la nature réglementent les activités de développement dans les zones humides d'importance provinciale et dans certaines zones humides d'importance locale depuis 2006. Avec la nouvelle réglementation provinciale, la plupart des zones humides seront désormais réglementées, cependant, la zone tampon autour d'elles où un permis d'aménagement est requis a été réduite de 120 mètres à 30 mètres.

« Nous reconnaissons le rôle important des zones humides pour l'environnement et nos communautés », a déclaré John Mesman, directeur, Terres protégées, de la CNS. « Nous travaillerons en étroite collaboration avec les propriétaires fonciers qui cherchent à développer leurs propriétés pour aider à confirmer les limites des zones humides afin de garantir que le développement futur soit durable et protège l'intégrité. d’habitats de zones humides.

« De nombreuses zones humides de notre région sont reliées aux principaux cours d'eau et se trouvent au sein de nos systèmes de patrimoine naturel », a déclaré la directrice générale de la RRCA, Alison McDonald. « Ces zones fournissent une couverture naturelle importante, un habitat faunique et atténuent les impacts du changement climatique, notamment les inondations et la sécheresse. »

« La mise à jour des politiques et de la cartographie des zones humides qui reflètent la nouvelle législation rationalisera également les approbations et normalisera les approches », a déclaré Sommer Casgrain-Robertson, directrice générale de RVCA. « Les politiques et la cartographie sont utilisées par le personnel, les municipalités et les propriétaires fonciers pour garantir que le développement est entrepris de manière à protéger les personnes et leurs propriétés contre les risques naturels, tout en protégeant les zones humides et les cours d'eau.

Des informations politiques, des projets de cartes et des liens de demande de réunion sont disponibles en ligne :

Les offices de protection de la nature travaillent au nom de leurs municipalités membres pour aider à gérer, conserver et restaurer les ressources naturelles et guider les activités de développement durable au moyen de permis.

En acquérant des propriétés d'importance écologique, en gérant des terres protégées, en permettant le développement durable et en fournissant des conseils techniques et un financement à frais partagés pour des projets d'amélioration de l'habitat, il existe diverses façons d'aider à améliorer les zones humides et la biodiversité dans la région. Les résidents souhaitant en savoir plus sur les dons de terres et le financement de projets sont encouragés à contacter leur office de protection de la nature local.


Conservation de la Nation Sud 
Erin Thorne, spécialiste des communications
1-877-984-2948 |  

Office de protection de la nature de la vallée Rideau 
Diane Downey, directrice des communications et de la sensibilisation
1-800-257-3504, poste 200. 1126 |  

Office de protection de la nature de la région Raisin
Lisa Van De Ligt, chef d'équipe, Communications et intendance
613-938-3611 ext. 223 |  

- fin -

The RVCA holds public consultation periods for numerous watershed projects. We are currently inviting public input for:


RIDEAU VALLEY, June 3, 2024 – In many ways, 2023 was the Year of the Bridge for the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.

In its recently released annual report, it’s clear that 2023 was an extremely busy and productive year for all departments as they built bridges both real and figurative across the watershed.

In the most literal sense, staff completed the construction of two much-needed accessible pedestrian bridges at Baxter Conservation Area and Chapman Mills Conservation Areas, which will benefit the community for decades to come. 

But staff also spent time connecting with valued partners, expanding their knowledge of the watershed and ensuring the RVCA’s services remain relevant, valuable and accessible to everyone who calls the Rideau Valley home. 

Throughout 2023, RVCA staff: 

  • Welcomed more than 8,100 students to outdoor education programs at Baxter and Foley Mountain conservation areas;
  • Planted 214,030 trees in partnership with private landowners, with $484,000 in external grant support;
  • Funded 211 clean water projects on rural and farm properties, providing $642,935 in landowner grants; 
  • Naturalized 1,719 metres of shoreline with more than 9,300 native plants, including more than 1,000 planted at Last Duel Park in Perth;
  • Sampled 39 lakes and 119 stream sites for surface water quality;
  • Surveyed 361 stream sections to assess aquatic habitat conditions;
  • Completed a once-in-a-decade Watershed Conditions Report to bridge the gap between data collection and scientific analysis;
  • Began data collection for new flood mapping on several upper watershed lakes and initiated the development of a new hydrologic model of the watershed;
  • Accepted 199 hectares of conservation land donations from local landowners; 
  • Processed 319 Section 28 permit applications (with 98% approved or on hold), issuing decisions for all but 2 within provincial timelines;
  • Reviewed 1,952 planning applications, providing natural hazard comments to municipalities;
  • Processed 944 septic permit applications (usually within half the provincial timeline) and re-inspected 651 septic systems around lakes. 

“I am so proud of our staff as they continue to provide quality conservation services to our watershed municipalities, residents and partners,” said RVCA General Manager Sommer Casgrain-Robertson. “We are committed to bringing value and expertise to all of our partners, and 2023 was a great example of that.”

To read the full report online or contact the front desk at 613-692-3571 to request a hard copy. 

RVCA is one of Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities responsible for furthering the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources in the watershed. Through the provincial Conservation Authorities Act, the RVCA is responsible for protecting people and property from natural hazards like flooding and erosion and managing natural resources within the Rideau Valley.

Learn more at


RIDEAU VALLEY, May 28, 2024 – With this year’s spring planting behind us, now’s the time to secure your spot for the 2025 season. Whether you want to plant trees on your idle or marginal land or plant shrubs to naturalize your shoreline, RVCA is now booking site visits to get the process started.

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) offers generous grants to help landowners protect and enhance the watershed’s natural resources: tree planting is subsidized to between $0.15 and $0.40 per tree, while shoreline naturalization costs may be covered up to 90%.

Tree planting and shoreline naturalization projects support a thriving watershed by slowing down and filtering stormwater runoff, reducing erosion, mitigating floods and storing carbon to reduce the impacts of climate change. And there are benefits for the landowners, too: depending on the project, they may see reduced property maintenance, increased privacy, lower heating and cooling costs, fewer nuisance geese and increased property value. 

“It’s really a win-win for everyone,” said RVCA Forestry Manager Ian Cochrane. “These projects become a legacy that landowners can gift to the next generation in the form of a clean environment, thriving biodiversity and a beautiful natural place to visit.”

The RVCA plants more than 200,000 native trees across the Mississippi and Rideau Valley watersheds every year, and approximately 10,000 native shoreline trees, shrubs and flowers around Rideau Valley lakes and rivers. 

Site visits ensure eligibility and will allow staff to craft a custom planting plan to suit your needs. Once your project is booked, staff will order the plants and work towards the 2025 spring planting season. Staff will also return for several years to ensure the survival of your project and refill where necessary.

To book a tree planting site visit contact Ian Cochrane at . To book a shoreline naturalization site visit contact Meaghan McDonald at 

Tree Planting Eligibility: 

Our large-scale tree planting program is available to all landowners in the Rideau Valley and Mississippi Valley watersheds, provided they meet minimum planting requirements. Outside the City of Ottawa, landowners must have at least 1.25 acres of suitable land and must order at least 1,000 trees. Within the City of Ottawa’s portion of the MVCA and RVCA watersheds, tree planting minimums have been lowered to 500 trees for 2025. This means Ottawa properties with 0.62 acres (0.25 hectares) of suitable land or more may now be eligible to participate. 

Shoreline Naturalization Eligibility: 

All lake- and river-front landowners within the Rideau Valley watershed are eligible for subsidized shoreline naturalization along the “ribbon of life” where land meets water. Staff work with landowners to create a custom plan that preserves their water access and views while adding a natural buffer along the shore. Landowners can choose to do the planting themselves or have RVCA staff assist. 

Learn more about our stewardship programs at



The Conservation Authorities Act requires all conservation authorities to regulate development that may impact natural hazards, wetlands, shorelines and watercourses. Since 2006, each conservation authority had its own development regulation under the Act that guided development in that watershed. RVCA’s regulation was Ontario Regulation 174/06 and the RVCA applied its regulation to the following wetlands:

  • Provincially significant wetlands; and
  • Other wetlands identified in municipal Official Plans and/or zoning.

On April 1, 2024, the province replaced all 36 individual conservation authority regulations (including 174/06) with Ontario Regulation 41/24: Prohibited Activities, Exemptions and Permits. This standardized regulation requires conservation authorities to regulate all wetlands plus a 30 metre buffer (which is reduced from 120 metres) and prohibits development activities in this area unless a permit is issued by the conservation authority.


On April 1, 2024, the Government of Ontario replaced individual Conservation Authority Regulations under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act, with Ontario Regulation 41/24: Prohibited Activities, Exemptions and Permits. The goal of this legislative change was to streamline approvals and establish a standardized approach to the regulation of natural hazards, wetlands, watercourses and shorelines across Ontario.

The RVCA has updated its development policies to comply with the new regulation and be more user-friendly by:

    • Improving transparency of the permit process.
    • Consolidating all applicable policies into one document.
    • Maintaining a consistent standard for review and thresholds for approvals.
    • Enhancing the functionality of the document as a reference tool and technical guide.
    • Increasing responsiveness of the document by annual updating to address emerging trends, legislative changes, and innovations in natural hazard protection.

The RVCA’s Draft Development Activity Policies and Procedures: Policies and Procedures for Development Activity permit applications made under Section 28.1 of the Conservation Authorities Act is now available for public consultation.

This process also includes updated regulatory wetland mapping, which is open for public consultation during the same time period. More information can be found here:

For more details, contact us:

Phone: 613.692.3571 or 1.800.267.3504

May 17, 2024

Dylan Pfaff

MISSISSIPPI-RIDEAU, May 16, 2024 – Just in time for cottage season, the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region (MRSPR) has released a series of short educational videos about keeping your drinking water safe when drawing directly from a lake or river. 

Drinking surface water is not uncommon on waterfront properties, but comes with unique risks, including increased potential for harmful algal blooms, pathogens and chemical contaminants to impact drinking water safety.

The MRSPR’s new four-part video series addresses these issues, discussing the pros and cons of available at-home water treatment options and even taking viewers on a tour of an Otter Lake resident’s water treatment setup.

“Drinking water safety is paramount for lake residents, but it can be difficult to find reliable information to ensure you’re taking the right actions to keep your family safe,” said Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Program Manager Marika Livingston. “We hope these videos can shed some light on the risks and offer easy solutions to help residents manage them.”

A recent study of private drinking water supplies on seven major lakes in the Upper and Middle Rideau Valley watershed found that approximately 1,000 residential properties draw water directly from their lake. About one third of these properties reported they are drinking that surface water.  
The study recommended more public education for users of private surface water and groundwater systems, with a focus on the rising issue of harmful algae blooms on lakes and how to choose an appropriate private water treatment system for your property to ensure safe drinking water. This may include a combination of filters, chemical disinfectants, UV light disinfection, water softening or reverse osmosis. Each system comes with its own benefits and limitations, including the little-known fact that UV light disinfection is not effective for removing the toxic bacteria present during a harmful algal bloom (sometimes called a blue-green algae bloom). 

The video series can be found here:

More information about drinking water protection in general – including how residents can help keep contaminants out of their drinking water sources – can be found at


More to explore: 

The MRSPR, in partnership with local conservation authorities and neighbouring source protection regions, helps produce the Drinking Water Wise webinar series focused on informing residents about drinking water issues. Find recordings of past webinars and sign up on the mailing list to hear about upcoming dates here:


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Contact Us

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
3889 Rideau Valley Drive
Manotick, Ontario K4M 1A5

613-692-3571, 1-800-267-3504



Regular Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Member of: conservation ontario