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Super User

August 23, 2016


Plan your outing around a picnic or take a break from all the other fun activities that you can enjoy at these Conservation Areas. Find a picnic table or just choose an attractive spot and throw down a blanket and break open the hamper. Planning a big group event? Consider the beautiful picnic area at Baxter Conservation Area.

Where to Enjoy this Activity


  • Take sunscreen, mosquito repellent and plenty of drinking water, as well as your picnicking goodies!
  • Take your litter home with you.
August 23, 2016


Walking along Conservation Area trails is a fun, safe and healthy way to experience the outdoors in the Rideau Watershed. There is much to explore, from woodland trails and marsh boardwalks to lakeside beaches and meandering waterways. Walking is an easy and enjoyable way to stay fit and healthy while enjoying the beautiful natural areas that the region has to offer? Why go to a gym to walk on a treadmill when there are 50 kilometres of trails in your own backyard?

Where to Enjoy this Activity


  • Go equipped with sunscreen, mosquito repellent and drinking water as well as comfortable shoes.
  • Do not venture off the trails.
  • Take your litter home with you.
  • Take nothing but pictures.
August 23, 2016


You don’t need to go far in the Rideau watershed to find a good fishing spot. Our region is home to many types of fish species and everyone can enjoy the excitement of awaiting a bite! Adults and children alike have fun and relax while experiencing this time-honoured tradition.

Where to Enjoy this Activity


  • Remember a valid Ontario Fishing License is required for those 18 years of age and over and Ontario Fishing regulations apply. See OMNRF site for more information.
  • If fishing from a boat, always wear a lifejacket.
August 23, 2016

Group Camping

Guides, Scouts and other groups are invited to enjoy our group camping areas. Get back to nature, sleep under the stars listening to the sounds of wildlife and wake up to the sun gently shining though the forest canopy. You don’t have to go far to have an overnight outdoor adventure.

Where to Enjoy this Activity


  • Take sunscreen, mosquito repellent and plenty of drinking water.
August 23, 2016


The watershed boasts a network of beautiful lakes, rivers, creeks and tributaries. Whether you enjoy motor boats, canoes, kayaks or other sports such as sailing and windsurfing, there are many local water based opportunities.

Where to Enjoy this Activity


  • Go equipped with sunscreen, mosquito repellent and drinking water as well as comfortable shoes.
  • Do not venture off the trails.
  • Take your litter home with you.
  • Take nothing but pictures.
August 23, 2016

Bird Watching

A fascinating pastime, bird watching is becoming increasingly popular. Our Conservation Areas are equipped with convenient parking areas, pleasant trails and good viewing areas. Some include viewing towers to help support in the pursuit of viewing our feathered friends.

Where to Enjoy this Activity


  • Bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent, water, binoculars and camera.
  • You may also want to take a bird identification reference book, a notebook and a pen.
  • To see the most diverse array of birds, generally best to arrive earlier in the morning.
  • Take your litter home with you.

1. Water Quality Protection

shorelines01Surface water runoff contains pollutants such as:

  • Fertilizers (nutrients) & pesticides
  • Soil particles (sediments)
  • Road salt
  • Vehicle fluids (gasoline, etc.)
  • Others (pet/livestock waste, septic leachate, etc.)

shorelines02These pollutants result in:

  • Algal blooms & excessive weed growth
  • Loss of recreation opportunities (swimming, boating, etc.)
  • Loss of fish and wildlife habitat
  • Overall contaminated watersources
  • Potential contamination of drinking water sources 

shorelines03Naturalized, vegetated shorelines with lots of native trees and shrubs reduce these effects by acting as a buffer to:

  • Absorb nutrients and contaminants
  • Trap sediments
  • Encourage infiltration

Benefits Natural_Shoreline


2. Improved Wildlife Habitatshorelines04

  • Native vegetation along waterways provides shelter, food and safe travel corridors for wildlife.
  • The berries of many shoreline shrubs provide a critical winter food source for birds and other animals.
  • Fallen trees and over-hanging branches and vegetation are a natural occurrence and provide excellent habitat and refuges for fish.
  • Shade provided by vegetation can significantly reduce water temperatures creating a more favourable environment for many fish species.
  • Healthy fish habitat and communities contribute significantly to the economic and social interests of many Ontario communities. Angling is a $2.4 billion industry (annually) in Ontario. (Ministry of Natural Resources)

3. Erosion Protection

shorelines05Soils along the shorelines of lakes, rivers and streams are gradually weathered, displaced and deposited by various means including wind, water, ice and gravity. Although erosion is a natural process, it can be dramatically accelerated by changes in land use such as the removal of shoreline vegetation.

  • Without the presence of a healthy vegetated buffer, shorelines have reduced resistance against erosion, potentially resulting in a loss of habitat, soil stability and land.
  • Excess sediment in the water caused by erosion can be problematic for aquatic wildlife by reducing clarity, burying fish spawning grounds, clogging gills and limiting plant growth.
  • Natural, vegetated shorelines help prevent erosion because the roots of trees and shrubs trap soil in place, stabilize the bank and help to absorb wave energy.

4. Others

Requires Less Maintenance

  • Naturalized shorelines require less maintenance than alternatives such as turf grass and can be left to grow on its own with minimal pruning or trimming to maintain views.

Flood Abatement

  • Shoreline vegetation helps to slow down surface water runoff and encourages infiltration into the ground. This helps to reduce peak water flow and flooding during storm events and spring melts. It also helps with ground water recharge.
  • Stored water is released slowly during drier periods helping to maintain water levels.

Discourages Nuisance Geese

  • Shoreline trees and shrubs discourage the presence of nuisance geese by obstructing their sight lines to the water.
  • Discouraging geese prevents the accumulation of goose waste which contains e. coli and nutrients harmful to water quality.

Wind Breaks

Shoreline vegetation can help protect your property from wind by acting as a windbreak. Wind breaks have many benefits including:

  • erosion protection
  • reduced heating costs in winter
  • reduced noise and dust
August 22, 2016

Want to Learn More?

Phone : 613-692-3571
Toll-free : 1-800-267-3504
Email :

The City of Ottawa's Rural Clean Water Program looks to improve water quality in our local rivers, streams and creeks by reducing pollution and the volume of water running off the land. Teaming up with rural residents, the City offers financial support and technical assistance for on-the-ground projects that improve and protect water quality.

The program was developed in partnership with local farm and rural organizations, government agencies, municipalities and universities. The Conservation Authorities of Ottawa assist with program delivery.

To learn more about the program and available funding, or to submit an application form, please visit the City of Ottawa’s webpage.


It’s time for a shoreline makeover!

Want to fight erosion, discourage geese and spruce up your boring shoreline – all without breaking the bank? The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority offers a full-service, subsidized Shoreline Naturalization Program for waterfront property owners. We offer technical guidance, project management and financial assistance to help you get the job done!

Shoreline at Work 1What’s in it for you?

Naturalizing a shoreline can have many practical and environmental benefits:

  • Reduces water run-off that causes algae blooms and excessive weed growth;
  • Significantly reduces shoreline erosion and makes your shoreline more resilient;
  • Much cheaper and more eco-friendly than rock-based “rip rap” shorelines;
  • Discourages geese;
  • Invites more wildlife to your backyard paradise;
  • Leaves less lawn to mow and more time to relax and enjoy the view.

Why naturalize?

Ninety per cent of all lake and river life depends on a healthy shoreline to survive. But this “ribbon of life” also plays a crucial role in filtering out pollutants, reducing erosion and easing flood risks. By adding a natural buffer between your home and the water, you are protecting the health of our drinking water, ecosystems and shores.

What about my water access?

We know that convenient water access is paramount to an idyllic waterfront experience. Staff will work with you to prepare a customized plan that maintains your water access and your view.

What’s involved?

1. Site visit: RVCA staff will visit your property to discuss your vision and assess planting potential. Site visits can be scheduled for June through October.

2. Custom planting plan:  Staff will work with you to develop a unique plan for your property, including recommendations for the best native species for your property’s growing conditions. They’ll discuss how you’d like to maintain your water access, seating areas and your view.

3. Choose your plants:  You can choose which native trees and shrubs you’d like based on your custom planting plan and the RVCA’s available species list, and we’ll order them for you. The cost of the plants is subsidized.

4. Delivery and planting assistance:  In spring, we’ll deliver your plants and, if you choose, we can even do the planting for you!

Who is eligible?

  • Waterfront landowners along wetlands, streams, rivers and lakes within the Rideau watershed, who commit to maintaining a healthy shoreline;
  • Lake associations, river groups or other not-for-profit groups within the Rideau watershed interested in completing shoreline demonstration sites, community plant hand-outs, or other shoreline stewardship projects.

Scroll over the pins to learn more about healthy shoreline habits:

Want to learn more? Contact:

613-692-3571 ext. 1192 or 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1192 or 



The Shoreline Naturalization Program works closely with many volunteer groups to restore shoreline areas including Scouts, High Schools and corporate groups. Individuals interested in helping plant can register through the City Stream Watch Program.

Check out some before-and-after photos of recent projects:

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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