April 9, 2019 - Close your eyes. Can you picture six million trees? We can – because that’s how many we’ve planted since 1984.
The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) has released its 2018 annual report, and among our many accomplishments from the past year, the planting of our six millionth tree stands tall.
“Every year we partner with landowners to reforest abandoned farm fields and other unused land,” said Scott Danford, manager of the reforestation program at RVCA. “Putting this land to work promotes wildlife and biodiversity, protects soil from erosion and improves water quality, while improving the look and value of these private properties.”
And that’s just one program of many at the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, which monitors watershed health across a vast swath of land from Central Frontenac to Merrickville-Wolford and all the way to downtown Ottawa.
Under the Conservation Authorities Act, the RVCA is responsible for furthering the “conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources in the watershed.” Its mission is to understand, manage, protect, restore and enhance the 4,000 km2 Rideau watershed through science, stewardship, education, policy and leadership.
“We need natural features like forests, wetlands, shoreline buffers and floodplains if we want clean water and robust tourism, recreation and agriculture sectors,” said Sommer Casgrain-Robertson, RVCA General Manager. “We also need these features to help protect people and property from flooding and erosion as natural features absorb and slow the movement of water in addition to filtering out contaminants.”
Other highlights from 2018 include:
- 200,000 visitors to RVCA’s 11 conservation areas, which offer 42 kilometres of public trails
- 10,000 student visitors to the authority’s outdoor education programs at Baxter and Foley Mountain conservation areas, and the launch of a new Forest School kindergarten program at Foley Mountain
- 70 km of streams and tributaries surveyed and 39 lakes, 13 wells and 163 stream sites sampled
- 159 clean water projects funded with nearly $400,000 in grants
- Heart’s Desire Weir in the Jock River replaced with a river-friendly rocky ramp
- 11,433 native trees and shrubs planted, naturalizing 79 shorelines
- Demonstration rain garden installed at Baxter Conservation Area to reduce stormwater runoff
- 18 flood messages and 10 low water response messages issued
- 52 nest boxes monitored for ducks, a 1,600 m2 fish habitat created at the Perth Wildlife Reserve, and six new habitat features for species at risk completed across the watershed
- Tay River subwatershed report released
- 88 km of new hazard mapping completed to guide development applications
- 1,366 Planning Act applications reviewed (site plan control, minor variances, severances, subdivision reviews and other development needs)
- 1,107 septic system applications and inspections processed
- 1,636 inquiries, applications, complaints and violations processed under the Conservation Authorities Act.
In other words, we were busy!
“Investing in local watershed health today ensures a sustainable future for our local communities and economies,” said Ms. Casgrain-Robertson. “Thank you to our staff, municipalities, partners and volunteers who helped us achieve our 2018 goals, and we look forward to a successful 2019.”
For your copy of the RVCA 2018 Annual Report, visit www.rvca.ca or call 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 for a hard copy.
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