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TAY VALLEY, Jan. 28, 2021 – A beautiful piece of Tay Valley shoreline will be preserved in perpetuity thanks to a generous land donation to the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation (RVCF). 

The 12-acre swath of forest and wetland is part of a thriving ecosystem and home to countless creatures – some of them currently at risk in Ontario. 

It is classic grey ratsnake territory, supporting an important species at risk in the Frontenac Arch biosphere. The Eastern wood-pewee, a species of special concern in Ontario, has also been spotted nearby. 

The property is mostly mixed hardwood forest, with a small patch of wetland. It’s well known to local residents for its unique rocky outcrop and its distinctive red oaks overlooking the lake. 

Under local zoning bylaws, the undeveloped property could have legally seen more than an acre cleared for buildings, roads and other development, only 30 metres from the shore. But now that will be avoided, preserving important habitat and environmental services on the lake forever.

“These kinds of medium-sized donations are important for conservation because they link to other natural lands and weave a tapestry of habitat and green infrastructure throughout the watershed,” said RVCF Director Diane Downey. “We are honoured to care for this property on behalf of the donor family in perpetuity.”

The Foundation has an active land securement plan and strong track record in managing donated land.

Forests and wetlands filter stormwater to keep our lakes and rivers clean, store water to prevent floods and drought, capture carbon and clean the air.

The RVCF prioritizes waterfront properties when accepting donations and places high value on properties that include wetlands, forest cover, floodplain, steep slopes, unstable soils, species at risk, ecological restoration potential or that link to another public property or natural area.

Depending on the property, donations could be eligible for considerable charitable tax benefits through the Ecological Gifts program. 

If you don’t have property to donate but want to support the conservation land program, donations to the Steve Simmering Conservation Land Endowment Fund are always welcomed to help cover annual property costs like taxes, insurance and on-the-ground maintenance like fencing and signage. 

For more information about land donations, contact .

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WCS – R01/2021)

January 13, 2021 – Environment Canada is forecasting mild temperatures for the remainder of this week, with daily temperatures above zero each day and some rain expected on Friday and Saturday. This follows a warmer than usual December and a mild January to date. As a result of a significant rain event on December 24 and 25, water levels are above normal for this time of year in the some of the lakes and rivers in the Rideau Lakes and Tay Valley sub-watersheds. Generally, water levels are at normal levels for the remainder of the watershed. 

Although no significant flooding is anticipated at this time, it is expected that water levels and flows will continue to fluctuate across the watershed with the continued warmer-than-normal conditions and forecasted rain later this week. As a result, ice thickness can change drastically and be unpredictable. The shoreline adjacent to lakes, rivers and creeks is also very slippery and poses a serious hazard. Falling into open water can result in hypothermia or drowning.

The RVCA reminds the public to exercise extreme caution around all waterbodies by:

  • Regularly testing ice thickness and staying off ice that may cover flowing water
  • Reminding children about the dangers of playing on or near ice covered surfaces and open water
  • Keeping pets on leash near frozen water bodies.

Ice Safety Ice Depth

RVCA does not monitor or maintain ice conditions anywhere, including its 11 public conservation areas. This includes the Rideau River and its tributaries, as well as the ponds, lakes and other bodies of water within our parks.

This watershed conditions statement is in effect until Monday, February 1, 2021 at 5 PM or until an update has been issued.


"Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is a partnership of municipalities within the Rideau Valley watershed created under the Conservation Authorities Act to deliver a range of programs in watershed management and natural resource conservation."

 RVCA Watershed Conditions Statements:

  • Water Safety – High flows, unstable banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.
  • Flood Outlook – Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts, calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams and/or lakeshore flooding or erosion.
  • Flood Watch – Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individuals in flood prone areas should prepare.
  • Flood Warning – Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities.

OTTAWA, JAN. 11, 2020 – We know that outdoor spaces matter right now more than ever: your mental and physical health depend on them. That's why we are proud to keep our 11 conservation areas and 42 km of trails open for you during this time.

When visiting our sites, your safety and the safety of others is our top priority. Please remember:

  • Stay 2 metres from people outside your household, or wear a mask if that’s not possible;
  • Follow all directional signs on trails (many are now one-way loops to limit passing);
  • No more than 25 people in gathering areas like parking lots, trailheads, viewing areas and toboggan hills;
  • Mask required when congregating at parking lots, trailheads, viewing areas and toboggan hills;
  • If the park looks busy, be prepared to come back another time;
  • Stay on the trails and park only in designated areas;
  • Keep dogs on leash at all times;
  • Ice conditions are not monitored and may be unsafe;
  • All conservation areas close at dusk.

Please note that parking fees apply in some parks. Annual passes are also available at paybyphone.com (code 5222).

Thank you for your continued commitment to keeping our community safe and healthy.

Happy trails!

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For more information:
Chelsey Ellis
Conservation Lands Planner

 

(WCS – R07/2020)

December 24, 2020 — Environment Canada is forecasting between 30 and 50 mm of rain starting today and continuing overnight throughout the Rideau Valley watershed. 

Although no significant flooding is anticipated, water levels and flows are expected to increase in all waterways in the Rideau Valley Watershed. Depending on how much rain falls, residents who are adjacent to the smaller creeks and streams are advised to keep a close watch on water levels and flows and should take the necessary precautions to protect their property, such as:

  • Ensuring sump pump is clear, in good working condition and has a backwater valve
  • Ensuring easy access to a portable backup generator and pump

With the expected increase in water levels and flows in the coming days, ice cover on lakes, ditches, local streams and rivers will be unstable. Extreme caution should be exercised by everyone when near local waterbodies. Parents should inform their children of the risks and provide appropriate supervision.

This watershed conditions statement is in effect until Monday January 4, 2020 at 5 PM or until an update has been issued.

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"Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is a partnership of municipalities within the Rideau Valley watershed created under the Conservation Authorities Act to deliver a range of programs in watershed management and natural resource conservation."

 RVCA Watershed Conditions Statements:

  • Water Safety – High flows, unstable banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.
  • Flood Outlook – Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts, calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams and/or lakeshore flooding or erosion.
  • Flood Watch – Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individuals in flood prone areas should prepare.
  • Flood Warning – Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities.
December 21, 2020

2021 Budget and Work Plan

TAY VALLEY TOWNSHIP, Nov. 30, 2020 – Towering white pines, maple groves and rocky outcrops overlook a provincially significant wetland in a new property donated to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) this fall. 

The 1.55-acre parcel connects to Long Lake beside the RVCA’s Mica Mines conservation area, further protecting the lakeshore and provincially significant wetland that stretches to Big Rideau Lake. While the property isn’t huge, donor Martin von Mirbach recognized its ecological value soon after purchasing a 35-acre swath of land along the lake in 2017. 

“I spend a lot of time right across from the donated property, and it’s completely wetland,” von Mirbach said. “It’s not especially useful to me, but I have enjoyed watching the blue herons, ospreys and trumpeter swans who use it. I’d like to ensure that they can continue to make use of this wetland.”

RVCA’s Conservation Lands Planner Chelsey Ellis said the ecological value of the property will only grow with time. 

“This is perpetual protection. As development and growth continues, the significance of these small protected areas gets bigger,” Ellis said. “Over time, the benefit per acre is huge.”

Whip-poor-wills, a species at risk in Ontario, have been found on the site. The property also features 300 metres of unaltered shoreline, which is vital for wildlife, key to maintaining good water quality and important for flood reduction.

Von Mirbach said it gave him “great satisfaction” to donate this sliver of property that, as it turned out, was already severed from his acreage and a hassle come tax time. 

Besides reducing his own red tape, he was happy knowing how much good protecting it will do for the local wetland complex. 

Von Mirbach encouraged other landowners to call the RVCA if they suspect their surplus land is worth donating. 

The RVCA and the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation prioritize waterfront properties, and place high value on properties that include wetlands, forest cover, floodplain, steep slopes, unstable soils, species at risk, ecological restoration potential or that connect to another public property or natural area. Depending on the property, donations could be eligible for considerable charitable tax benefits through the Ecological Gifts program. 

How else can I help?

No land? No problem! Donations to the Steve Simmering Conservation Land Endowment Fund help the RVCA and its charitable foundation cover annual maintenance costs like property taxes, fencing and signage. 

With your help, we can continue to protect our 6,578 acres of ecologically important properties, and also feel financially prepared to accept important new land donations in the future.

And between Nov. 20 and Dec. 1, you can double your impact thanks to a matching promise from Enbridge Gas.

To make a donation, visit https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/11994 and choose Steve Simmering Conservation Land Endowment Fund.

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For more information:
Chelsey Ellis
Conservation Lands Planner

 

Nov. 25, 2020 – Municipalities have joined the call to remove proposed changes to conservation authorities from the provincial budget bill – and now we need you to add your voice to the growing list of groups and organizations speaking up. 

More than just a budget, Bill 229 proposes legislative changes that will weaken conservation authorities’ ability to protect people, property and the environment. 

Such changes do not belong in a budget bill, which is exempt from consultation on the Environmental Registry of Ontario. That’s why many municipalities are calling for Schedule 6 to be withdrawn from the budget bill and for the province to engage in meaningful consultation on the proposed changes. 

“We understand that the province has a desire to improve conservation authorities,” said Sommer Casgrain-Robertson, General Manager of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA). “But we need the Province to work with conservation authorities and municipalities on those changes, to ensure they are effective and do not jeopardize our fundamental ability to protect people and the environment – a responsibility Rideau Valley communities have relied on us to deliver for more than 50 years.”

Conservation authorities have identified several major concerns with the proposed changes, which will directly affect municipalities, residents and watersheds. These include changes to Board governance, including who a municipality can appoint to represent them; new powers enabling the Minister to override a conservation authority and issue a development permit in a watershed without a hearing and with no appeal; the removal of enforcement tools and a conservation authority’s ability to appeal planning decisions; potential provincial interference in local budgets and fees; and limitations on programs, with a decreased focus on environmental monitoring, stewardship and outdoor education.

In short, these are not small changes. They will bring increased administrative costs and burden for municipalities and conservation authorities, an erosion of local decision-making, patchwork program delivery across watersheds, decreased resources for capital renewal, and an undermining of the integrity, transparency and effectiveness of our planning and permitting processes. 

Residents, groups and associations who are concerned about these changes need to make their voices heard this week before the bill goes to Standing Committee. 

You are encouraged to:

  • Contact your local MPP and Ontario’s Minister of Finance (Hon. Rod Phillips)
  • You can also contact Ontario’s Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks (Hon. Jeff Yurek), Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Hon. Steve Clark) and Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry (Hon. John Yakabuski).
  • Written comments can also be submitted to Ontario’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs here

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MEDIA CONTACT: 

Diane Downey
Director of Communications and Outreach
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
Tel: 613-698-9453
Email: 

MORE INFORMATION: 

Canadian Environmental Law Association: 
https://cela.ca/action-alert-we-need-our-conservation-authorities/ 

Ontario Nature: 
https://ontarionature.good.do/conservationauthorities/send/

Conservation Ontario: 
https://conservationontario.ca/policy-priorities/conservation-authorities-act

An absolutely stunning 1.55-acre parcel on Long Lake has been added to the conservation lands fold! This property abuts Mica Mines and is part of the North Shore Big Rideau Lake provincially significant wetland. It’s home to important species at risk like whip-poor-wills and butternut trees. This thoughtful and generous donation from the von Mirbach family ensures this land will remain undeveloped and in its natural state in perpetuity. To support the maintenance and continued protection of our important conservation lands, donate to the Steve Simmering Conservation Land Endowment Fund. For more information contact DAN at .


If you enjoyed this story, why not read the rest of the Around the Rideau newsletter, or better yet, subscibe and the next edition will be waiting for you in your inbox! Subscribe here. 

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Contact Us

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

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

Email:

Hours:

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

Member of: conservation ontario