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December 13, 2023

2024 Budget and Work Plan

December 13, 2023

2024 RVCA Budget

RIDEAU LAKES, Dec. 13, 2023 – Butternuts and blue herons rejoice: a 65-acre heritage farm containing wetlands, forests and farm fields has been donated to the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation (RVCF) for perpetual protection along the shores of Big Rideau Lake. 

The picturesque property includes two acres of provincially significant wetland, 34 acres of mixed forest and 23 acres of rolling farm fields, some of which will be planted with endangered butternut trees. The donation also includes two small islands on Big Rideau Lake and 200 metres of waterfront.  

“We’re thrilled to accept this generous gift to the watershed, which will further protect the area’s natural corridors and ensure a brighter future for all who call the watershed home,” said RVCF executive director Diane Downey. “Every protected property is an important piece of the puzzle to support a healthy, functioning watershed.”

Downey said the property offers many opportunities for conservation and stewardship work. It even contains a confirmed colony of black ash trees, which are endangered due to the combined impacts of wetland loss and emerald ash borer damage.

“We’re excited to help this black ash population thrive in the face of an uncertain future,” Downey said.

The property was donated to the Foundation through the federal Ecological Gifts program this fall. It joins dozens of other properties protected by the Foundation and its partners at the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA), totalling more than 8,200 acres. Most of these lands have been donated by private landowners who wished to contribute to a more sustainable future while unlocking the value of their land. 

The anonymous donor received a fair-market charitable tax receipt for the value of the land, while sparing her beloved farm from the ongoing spread of residential development into the countryside. 

She said she’s thrilled the farm will continue to support the abundant wildlife and plants she’s relished since moving to the property in 1995. Wildlife sightings including bears, coyotes, beaver, porcupines, deer and swans, while native plants like Jack in the Pulpit and fiddleheads bring joy and delight each spring. In the end, she hopes her gift will create a natural refuge for animals and people alike. 

“It’s nice land for walking, so I hope people can enjoy it,” she said. “I want people to enjoy the property and not damage it.”

To learn more about land donation and how to get involved, visit https://www.rvcf.ca/ways-to-give/land-donation

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LOMBARDY, Dec. 4, 2023 – A broad swath of sensitive wetlands, forests and meadows will be protected in perpetuity thanks to a generous land donation near Hutton Marsh this fall. 

The private land donation from Bill and Heather Griffith will be rolled into the RVCA’s abutting Motts Mills Conservation Area, adding 215 acres of wetland, 70 acres of mature forest and 75 acres of meadows suitable for species at risk like bobolink and butternut. It will also protect another 2.4 km of natural shoreline in perpetuity.

It's the second time the Griffiths have donated land to the RVCA. The first donation in 2014 expanded Motts Mills Conservation Area from a mere 3.5 acres into an important 200-acre wetland conservation site. Now the Griffiths have contributed nearly all of their remaining land, reserving just 30 acres for their home and hobby farm. 

“Repeat donations, especially sizeable ones like this, really speak to the value of the program for landowners,” said Dan Cooper, Director of Conservation Lands at the RVCA. “This donor gets the double benefit of receiving a fair-market tax receipt for their property as well as peace of mind knowing the land will be preserved in its natural state for future generations.”

The donation was processed through the federal Ecological Gifts program, which further boosts available financial and tax benefits for the donor.

The expanded conservation property is critical to the RVCA’s ongoing efforts to rehabilitate Hutton Marsh to a more natural state. RVCA has been working with the Hutton Marsh Steering Committee, local landowners and stewardship groups since 2011 to improve the marsh by adding open water ponds and channels to increase biodiversity and to help naturally manage water levels in conjunction with the Hutton Marsh dam. 

RVCA and its charitable partner the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation (RVCF) actively seek suitable land donations to help preserve the watershed’s natural infrastructure that protects against flooding, erosion and climate change impacts. Donated properties can also be used to protect and create critical wildlife habitat at a time when global biodiversity is on the brink of collapse. 

The Griffith property is a perfect example: staff have observed endangered species such as monarch butterflies, bobolink, Eastern meadowlark, Blanding’s turtle and butternut trees on site. The site also contains habitat for other species at risk such as snapping turtles, the Eastern wood pewee, golden-winged warbler and the least bittern. 

“Land donation is such a win-win,” Cooper said. “Families can unlock the value of their property while protecting its natural legacy. And we can help the property reach its natural potential to support a thriving, functional watershed.”

The RVCA and RVCF currently own or protect more than 8,200 acres of critical green infrastructure, much of it acquired through private donations. To learn more about the benefits of land donation and how you can get involved visit https://www.rvcf.ca/ways-to-give/land-donation

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MONTAGUE, Oct. 27, 2023 – Local farmers, politicians and sustainability advocates came together with a common goal on Saturday, Oct. 21: to celebrate a new program supporting farmers in Lanark County. 

ALUS Lanark was officially launched at Milkhouse Farm + Dairy in Montague during the sheep farm’s popular Open Farm event. Officials from Lanark County, Climate Network Lanark, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) and Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) joined Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston MPP John Jordan, Ducks Unlimited staff, neighbouring farmers and other guests to tour the farm and learn more about its new ALUS project, one of the first to be completed in the county.

Milkhouse owners Cait and Kyle White worked with ALUS Lanark to add two new wetlands in areas where it was already too wet to mow or graze their sheep. ALUS Lanark covered construction costs and will provide annual compensation for the ecosystem services the wetlands provide, such as cleaner air and water.

“We saw an opportunity to create some habitat that would contribute to a more interesting and diverse farm,” said Kyle White, who sells their cheese, grass-fed lamb and wool products at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market. “It's been great for us. We always wanted to create these wetlands, but we needed the financial support to get it done."

Guests could see the completed wetlands were already hard at work storing runoff, filtering contaminants and providing flood storage.

“This is really a win-win for everyone,” said Derek Matheson, ALUS Lanark co-ordinator for RVCA. “Farmers can put otherwise marginal land to work while supporting better water quality and a healthier environment.”

ALUS is a national non-profit organization that works with local farmers to help them undertake environmental stewardship projects on their farms. ALUS communities are overseen by local partnership advisory committees (PACs) and administered by local organizations. In the case of ALUS Lanark, RVCA and MVCA administer programs on the ground alongside their other longstanding stewardship programs.

The push to bring the program to Lanark County was spearheaded by Climate Network Lanark, which got Lanark County officials on board before approaching the conservation authorities to administer the program. Since the program was officially created in January 2022, ALUS Lanark has recruited a PAC comprised of local farmers, business owners and residents, and set project priorities for the county. Matheson and his MVCA counterpart Marissa Okum have already sought out and approved 26 projects to receive ALUS funding, for a total projects value of more than $202,000. More than half those costs have been covered by ALUS Lanark, with RVCA, Ducks Unlimited and Environment and Climate Change Canada covering almost everything else. 

To learn more about ALUS Lanark or to apply, visit https://www.rvca.ca/stewardship-grants/rural-clean-water-grants/clean-water-grants

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RIDEAU LAKES, Oct. 12, 2023 – Book it to Foley Mountain Conservation Area this fall to catch its latest family feature: a permanent Story Trail near the Interpretive Centre. 

Thanks to generous community funding with support from the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation (RVCF), this new activity includes a series of permanent, weather-proof displays installed along the Jack Herbert Mobility Trail. Each stop displays a new page of the featured book so families can readSupporters unveil the trailhead of Foley Mountain's new story trail
 along as they follow the 400-metre accessible path. 

“We’re excited to bring so many of Foley Mountain’s core values into one project,” said site supervisor Rebecca Whitman, who helped unveil the new Story Trail on Sept. 22. “Story Trails encourage literacy, getting outside and learning about nature in a really accessible way, and we’re thrilled that we’ve been able to make it permanent for all families to enjoy.”

Foley Mountain first installed a temporary Story Trail during the early days of the pandemic to help families get outside in the absence of formal programming. It was so popular, staff began to look for ways to make it permanent. Thanks to generous support from the Lawson Foundation, Westport Lions Club, Friends of Foley Mountain and the RVCF, the dream has finally become a reality.

“We’re so grateful to have such supportive partners in the community,” Whitman said. “Our visitors benefit so much from their ongoing generosity.”

The current book is A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer, which follows the fate of an oak tree that has fallen in a storm. As the giant log slowly returns to the soil, new life springs forth in its place. 

“The Story Trail is a fantastic opportunity to introduce concepts that tie into what families are seeing around them in the forest,” Whitman said. “It really is just the perfect activity on so many levels.”

The featured book will be changed with the seasons and the trail will be open year-round. Learn more about Foley Mountain and plan your visit: https://www.rvca.ca/conservation-areas/fee-required/foley-mountain-ca

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RIDEAU LAKES, Oct. 5, 2023 – Mill Pond Conservation Area will close in mid-October while forestry operations are completed on the property. 

The 1,300-acre conservation area on Briton-Houghton Bay Road is owned and operated by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA). It includes a red pine plantation which requires routine maintenance. For public safety, the entire property will be closed to the public while this work is carried out. 

The work will take between seven and 10 days to complete, and will likely begin the week of Oct. 16. Dates will be confirmed closer to the time at www.rvca.ca and on our social media channels: 

       Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RideauValleyConservationAuthority 

       Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rideauvalleyca/

       Twitter: https://twitter.com/RideauValleyCA 

For more information contact RVCA at  or 613-692-3571. To learn more about Mill Pond Conservation Area visit https://www.rvca.ca/conservation-areas/no-fee-required/mill-pond-ca.

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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