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April 11, 2019

Volunteer makes a splash with conservation authority

For more information, contact:

  • Rosario Castanon Escobar
  • City Stream Watch Co-ordinator
  • 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1155
  • rosario.castanon.escobar@rvca.ca

April 11, 2019 - As volunteers go, Larry Hum’s a real humdinger.

The retired telecoms engineer has been volunteering with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) since 2015, helping staff remove invasive plants, survey streams and sample for aquatic animals.

“It’s something I always wanted to do, working in the field,” said Mr. Hum, who lives in Bells Corners. He didn’t excel in biology as a student, so he pursued engineering instead. But he still wanted to explore his childhood interest. “It’s an opportunity for me to work in bioscience without going into the heavy, heavy science.”

Since joining the volunteer crew Mr. Hum has helped with a number of City Stream Watch aquatic surveys, headwater sampling, lake and stream monitoring and benthic monitoring (assessing insect populations to indicate water pollution levels).

He’s also helped with tree planting projects, garbage clean-ups and invasive species removal.

Ripping out invasive plants is an especially satisfying job, he said.

“Sometimes the task seems insurmountable, but as we take it one season after season the results are encouraging,” Mr. Hum said. “And it always feels good when you yank out those undesirables.”

City Stream Watch co-ordinator Rosario Castanon Escobar said Mr. Hum has been an invaluable part of their team.

“He’s an enthusiastic volunteer,” said Ms. Castanon Escobar. “We love working with him.”

Growing up in urban Montreal, Mr. Hum’s family didn’t have the resources to go explore the countryside.

But he’s more than made up for that as an adult. On top of his RVCA work, he’s given considerable time to EarthWatch, an international environmental charity. With them he has spent time on the ground helping researchers study elephants in Africa and black bears in Minnesota. He also helped researchers study the effects of climate change in Trinidad.

In the spirit of National Volunteer Week (April 7 to 13), Mr. Hum encouraged watershed residents to get involved with their local conservation authority – even just one time.

“Give it a whirl. If you don’t like it, you can always stop,” he said. “I find it quite enjoyable and rewarding.”

There are many ways to volunteer with the RVCA this spring, starting with two community clean-ups on April 27 and May 4. Tree planters are also wanted for a shoreline naturalization project at Black Rapids on May 11.

To sign up to be a City Stream Watch volunteer, join the mailing list at https://www.rvca.ca/about-us/join-our-mailing-lists#city-stream-watch-mailing-list

A volunteer orientation will take place May 25. RSVPs are required for all events.

Keep an eye on our volunteer calendar for other opportunities throughout the year, as well: https://www.rvca.ca/calendar-of-events/monthcalendar/2019/4/82

 

Upcoming RVCA volunteer events:

Glad Clean up the Capital Event – Pinecrest Creek

When: Sat. April 27, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (RSVP required)

Where: Connaught Park – baseball diamond (Located at Connaught Avenue)

In partnership with the Queensway Terrace Community Association, City Stream Watch will be conducting a clean-up in Pinecrest Creek within the Connaught Park area along the National Capital Commission’s Pinecrest Creek Pathway. Participants will pick up litter from the stream and shorelines surrounding Pinecrest Creek. We will meet in the baseball diamond for 9:00AM.

What to wear: Dress for the weather! Wear waterproof boots, long socks (if wearing chest waders), long pants and a hat

What to bring: Bring a water bottle

What we will provide: We will have drinking water to replenish empty bottles, some snacks, chest waders, garbage bags and gloves.

 

Glad Clean up the Capital Event – Sawmill Creek

When: Sat. May 4, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (RSVP required)

Where: Towngate Shopping Plaza (Located at Bank St. and Hunt Club Rd. intersection)

In collaboration with the Canadian Forces Ottawa Fish and Game Club, City Stream Watch will be conducting a clean-up in Sawmill Creek along the Towngate Shopping Plaza region. Participants will pick up litter in the stream and shorelines surrounding Sawmill Creek. There are several areas in the region that tend to accumulate garbage, and we will divide the group out across these locations. We will meet up in the south (back end) of the Towngate parking lot for 9 a.m.

What to wear: Dress for the weather! Wear waterproof boots, long pants and a hat

What to bring: Bring your own water bottle

What we will provide: We will have drinking water to replenish empty bottles, some snacks, chest waders, garbage bags and gloves.

 

Shoreline Naturalization Project – Black Rapids Creek

When: Sat. May 11, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (RSVP required)

Where: Black Rapids Creek Site (near the Woodroffe Ave. and Fallowfield Rd. intersection, north of the train tracks)

The RVCA Shoreline Naturalization Program will be planting trees and shrubs along the shoreline of Black Rapids Creek. Participants will help plant trees and shrubs; a planting demonstration will be given beforehand. The site has difficult terrain to work in and is not suitable for young children. We will be meeting at 9 a.m. on site.

Meeting location: Park at the nearby Park and Ride and walk across Woodroffe Ave to the NCC Greenbelt Pathway. Follow it north until you cross the railway tracks. RVCA staff and vehicles will be along the path.

What to wear: Dress for the weather! Wear sturdy shoes (steel toe boots recommended but not required), long pants and a hat

What to bring: Bring your own water bottle

What we will provide: We will have drinking water to replenish empty bottles, some snacks, shovels and gloves.

 

Spring Orientation/Training Session – Sawmill Creek (Riverside Dr)

When: Sat. May 25, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (RSVP required)

Where: Rideau River Eastern Pathway – Parkland beside Sawmill Creek/Riverside Dr

Our annual City Stream Watch Spring Orientation and Training Session for new volunteers will take place along the shoreline of Sawmill Creek along Riverside Dr./Rideau River Eastern Pathway. If you have joined us for stream surveys in the past or have come out to a training session before, there is no need to attend the training session again. Also, if you are can’t attend but still want to help survey, we always provide on-the-job training.

Meeting location: We will be meeting on the Rideau River Eastern Pathway along the shoreline of Sawmill Creek. Park at Billings Bridge Shopping Centre, walk north on Bank Street to the Rideau River, turn right onto the Rideau River Eastern Pathway and walk towards Sawmill Creek. RVCA staff will be at that location.

What to wear: Dress for the weather! Wear sturdy shoes, socks, long pants and a hat

What to bring: Bring your own water bottle

What we will provide: We will have drinking water to replenish empty bottles, some snacks, chest waders, and equipment for the purpose of demonstrations.

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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:
info@rvca.ca

Hours:

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

Member of: conservation ontario