OTTAWA, July 19, 2017 — Six of Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s (RVCA) biggest City Stream Watch volunteers were recognized in June with the presentation of Ontario Volunteer Service Awards. The Ontario Volunteer Service Awards recognize volunteers for providing committed and dedicated service to an organization.
Congratulations to Sidney Arnold, Rebecca Cameron, Bruce Douglas Clarke, Francois Yvon Deslauriers, Peter Melvin and Peter Stewart-Burton. These six representatives regularly give their time to monitor and restore the health of Ottawa’s city streams through the City Stream Watch Program.
“We are grateful for their time and devotion to the program,” says Rosario Castanon Escobar, City Stream Watch Coordinator. “Thanks to their help, and many other special volunteers, we are able to collect value information about our city streams, undertake clean-ups, remove invasive species and complete restoration projects.”
The City Stream Watch Program (CSW) is a community-based partnership that includes the RVCA, Heron Park Community Association, Ottawa Flyfishers Society, Rideau Roundtable, Canadian Forces Fish and Game Club, Ottawa Stewardship Council, City of Ottawa and the National Capital Commission. The program focuses on 25 of Ottawa’s urban streams corridors within the Rideau watershed.
“These urban streams desperately need our attention,” says Castanon Escobar, saying that there are many natural gems hidden in the concrete jungle.
Since CSW’s inception in 2003, volunteer numbers have grown from 26 to over four hundred. This adds up to over 2,653 hours of volunteer work over the last 14 years.
“We are delighted to see so many people participating and connecting to these valuable natural features in the heart of the city,” says Castanon Escobar.
Special thank you and congratulations to our Ontario Volunteer Service Award recipients:
10+ Years Volunteers:
Orleans resident Bruce Clarke has been a dedicated CSW volunteer for over 12 years. He is also a volunteer on the CSW Collaborative that guides and promotes the program partnership. As a member of the Ottawa Flyfishers Society, Bruce has participated in many CSW events including CSW training, invasive water chestnut identification and removal, and flyfishing demonstrations.
Peter Stewart-Burton, from Ottawa South, has been a long-standing volunteer for over 12 years. As a member of the Canadian Forces Ottawa Fish & Game Club, he is a volunteer member of CSW Collaborative. He helps find funds to support the program and has been heavily involved in many creek garbage clean-up events and has a keen interest on the health of Ottawa South’s Sawmill Creek.
5+ Years Volunteers:
Francois Yvon Deslauriers has been a volunteer for over 7 years. As an Orleans resident, Francois has played a vital role as a member of the Adopt-a-Stream program in Green’s Creek. Last year he brought to our attention a massive debris jam that was eventually cleared by the City of Ottawa thanks to his watchful eyes.
Sidney Arnold is a knowledgeable volunteer that has assisted with many stream surveys and fish sampling sessions. Over the last five years, this Nepean resident has helped with projects on Black Rapids, Cardinal, Hunt Club, Mosquito, Mud, Ramsey, Sawmill and Stillwater Creeks.
Nepean’s Peter Melvin has been a long-standing involved stream watcher. His passion for the CSW program encouraged his son to get involved. He helped on stream surveys, garbage clean ups, tree plantings, and invasive species removal events in Black Rapids, Nepean, Ramsay, Sawmill, Steven’s, Taylor and West Bilberry Creeks.
Youth Commitment Category:
Rebecca Cameron is a recent graduate from the University of Guelph’s Environmental Sciences Program who has volunteered for the last two years with CSW during her summer vacations. Her passion to participate has made her an excellent recruiter. Since joining the CSW teams, she has encouraged both her father Murray and brother Joe to volunteer — making it a fun family affair!
Congratulations and thank you to our exceptional volunteers.
To learn more about the City Stream Watch program, the urban creeks and ways to get involved visit www.rvca.ca or contact Rosario Castanon Escobar at 613-692-3571 ext. 1155.