Apr
19

Conquer climate anxiety with climate action

Earth Day tree planting Small actions can add up!

As Earth Day approaches, it's easy to get caught up in climate change anxiety. With regular reports of raging wildfires and warming oceans, it can feel daunting and even pointless to take any climate action at all – as if it's already too little, too late.

  465 Hits
Dec
10

Green Gift Guide: Give the gift of conservation!

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Stumped for gift ideas? Why not plant a tree, adopt an acre or support water quality protection right here in the Rideau Valley?

The Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation works hard to conserve our local wetlands and forests, support tree planting and promote pristine water quality. You can keep the momentum going when you shop for green gifts for everyone on your nice list this holiday! Complete your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your couch and get a tax receipt, to boot. 

Check out these five green gift ideas:

  2478 Hits
Jun
29

Many happy childhoods forged on Foley Mountain

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Long-time Westport residents remember life before the park

 To Pat Brown, Foley Mountain has always meant freedom.

Born at the base of the famous ridge in Westport, ON, the 85-year-old spent her childhood in the 1940s and 50s roaming the wild lands and open cattle pastures that overlooked Upper Rideau Lake.

Any chance she got, she'd head up the footpath in the morning and return home when the Catholic church bell rang at 6 p.m.

"I could have been anywhere up there," Brown laughed. 

Sometimes she would drag her dolls up the mountain to play house on a carpet of pine needles. Other times she'd dress up and perform elaborate concerts for imaginary audiences.

"I don't know who I expected to come out of the bushes to watch," Brown smiled.

  1789 Hits
Jun
28

10 things to do at our conservation areas this summer

Summer is short – embrace it at our 11 conservation areas! From fishing to frog-catching to finding fairy homes, there's fun for the whole family.  

  1654 Hits
May
25

Foley’s Forest Family: Meet Rebecca Whitman

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To think Rebecca Whitman once planned to be a doctor.

Today, Foley Mountain's long-time site supervisor can't imagine doing anything but her dream job: living on Westport's beloved wild mountain and delivering outdoor education programs for hundreds of school children, day campers and families each year.

"I look at my life and think it's a dream," said Whitman, who has also been raising her three children on site since she and her husband arrived 16 years ago. "It's just such an ideal scenario for us. It comes with its challenges, but it has so many benefits." 

  1365 Hits
Mar
01

A Home on Foley Mountain

A home on Foley Mountain Peri McQuay was gifted an unexpected life on Foley Mountain, as wife of the property's caretaker Barry McQuay.

Living an unexpected life in a public park

Foley Mountain is home to so many creatures: the chipmunks and beavers, the dragonflies and salamanders, the famous grey rat snakes, the red-tailed hawks.

It's home for the Forest School students who, after just a few weeks, feel like part of the ecosystem. It's home for the locals who routinely traverse the same old trails, somehow always finding something new.

But for Peri McQuay, Foley Mountain has been more than a home, more than the place she lived for 30 years, writing and raising her children.

For Peri McQuay, Foley Mountain has been an unexpected and miraculous gift.

  2192 Hits
Dec
05

Sheep farmers step up sustainability with help from ALUS, RVCA

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Cait and Kyle White may be sheep farmers, but they're taking a lion's approach when it comes to sustainability.

Earlier this year, the owners of Milkhouse Farm & Dairy in Smiths Falls not only kicked off construction on two acres' worth of new wetlands, but also installed new livestock exclusion fencing, completed a Nutrient Management Plan, began work on a manure storage facility, are replacing their aging well and plan to decommission their existing well.

  1594 Hits
Dec
01

Family's wetland donation shores up west Ottawa ecosystem

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It's not very often a 50-acre swath of provincially-significant wetland becomes available in the City of Ottawa – but when it does, the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation is keen to protect it. 

The Foundation accepted the substantial section of Manion Corners Wetland this fall from siblings Paul Lackner and Colleen Green, who decided their family's natural property – lovingly referred to as "the farm" – belonged in a land trust for perpetual protection. 

  781 Hits
Aug
10

Ice Cream Float serves scoops of joy at Baxter Beach

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On a hot summer day on Baxter Beach, some interesting activity can be spotted across the Rideau River: a brightly-clad person coming and going off a dock, mysterious buckets lifted into a blue-roofed pontoon, flags fluttering in the wind.

It's nearing 1 p.m. and kids in the know are keeping a watchful eye. They can sense it's almost time, and excitement is growing.

Then: distant revving wafts across the water, and a ripple runs through the children. Suddenly every kid is on their feet, craning their necks, watching as the infamous Ice Cream Float putters its way across the water to the beach. 

"He's coming!" they shout as they race to their parents, hands outstretched, looking for toonies and loonies. They scramble to be first in line at the designated parking spot, tossing their shoes indiscriminately across the sand to prepare for their watery walk.

  3839 Hits
Jul
20

Gator Aid: Deep South decoy deters beachgoing geese

If you spot an alligator lurking near Rideau Ferry beach this summer, don't be alarmed – he isn't here for you.

Unless, of course, you're a Canada Goose.

  3344 Hits
Jun
21

Beach Day! Three sandy spots to explore this summer

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If it's a warm, sandy beach you're after this summer, we've got you covered.

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority maintains three beautiful public beaches across the watershed: Baxter Conservation Area in Osgoode, Rideau Ferry Yacht Club Conservation Area near Smiths Falls and Foley Mountain Conservation Area in Westport - each of them offering a unique beach experience away from the downtown Ottawa crowds.

  2802 Hits
May
17

Brewer Pond’s mysterious root wads a sign of maturity

Our little pond is growing up.

This spring, residents in Old Ottawa South have noticed mysterious logs and root wads rising out of Brewer Pond – something they've never witnessed since the RVCA and its partners restored the pond to a functioning wetland in 2014. 

  2165 Hits
May
05

Photography exhibit speaks language of the landscape

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When photographer Jon Stuart first visited the Stillwater wetland off Moodie Drive in the early days of the pandemic, he could tell something was a little off.

Tree branches stuck out of the water, but there were no trees nearby. In the distanced towered a lone mature elm tree – an unusual wetland resident. 

  1161 Hits
Apr
25

Toxic Tackle: Wolfe Lake program promotes lead-free fishing

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The Wolfe Lake Association is making it easier for anglers to get the lead out of their tackleboxes – and out of the ecosystem.

For the next year, anglers who hand in their toxic lead sinkers, jigs and other lead tackle at participating retailers will receive a $10 voucher to spend on alternative lead-free gear. They can also exchange their old lead gear for lead-free tackle at various community events planned throughout 2022.

  10501 Hits
Apr
21

Conservation Areas: Hard at Work for People and Planet

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Imagine: it's mid-morning on a warm spring day. You follow a trail through a sun-streaked forest. Migrating warblers send trills through the treetops and delicate blossoms decorate the forest floor. You look up to see a red squirrel peering back at you, or, if you're lucky, a shy barred owl. 

Passing through dappled sunlight and cedar-scented shadow, the trail leads to a thrumming wetland. There, the marshlands overtake your senses: cattails bowing to the gentle wind, turtles plunking off their sunbaked logs; red-winged blackbirds sending warnings from their reedy watchtowers. 

The Rideau River laps at your feet while the blossoming sun warms your chest and fills your soul. 

  1050 Hits
Apr
04

Buttressing the butternut: RVCA welcomes federal partnership

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When Rose Fleguel first surveyed the Canadian Wildlife Service's butternut population at a federally protected site last year, she was surprised to see so many healthy butternut trees.

As a butternut specialist for more than 16 years, rarely had she seen a population so diverse in age and so many individuals relatively free of the deadly fungal canker disease that has nearly wiped this native nut species off the map. 

  1502 Hits
Mar
22

Groundwater: Making the invisible visible

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It's a bright sunny morning on March 22. You've woken up in Eastern Ontario to warming and lengthening days but also to soggy ground, rising creeks and rivers, swollen wetlands, and cold rain in the days before and ahead. 

What does all this water have in common? Groundwater, of course - but you knew that, at least you knew it intuitively in the depths of your watery core. 

  1668 Hits
Feb
17

Welcome to the Matrix: How we designed to the gold standard of trail accessibility

20220207-200250mike.maryanne.blog2 Accessibility on Baxter's trails includes everyone.

Feb. 17, 2022 – You may already know that Baxter Conservation Area's new boardwalk and bridge will offer the gold standard of universal accessibility. But what is this standard exactly, and how was it created?

That's a question for Marnie Peters, renowned accessibility consultant in the Ottawa Valley. 

  1518 Hits
Dec
01

Someone else’s shoes: Cubs take “accessibility hike” in support of Nature For All

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You've heard it before: to understand a person, you must walk a mile in their shoes.

A local Cub Scouts pack did just that recently when they walked – and rolled – in the shoes of people with disabilities at Baxter Conservation Area south of Manotick. 

  832 Hits
Nov
16

Stage 2 LRT delivers win for Stillwater wetland

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NEPEAN, October 9, 2021 – An unhealthy section of creek and a dried-up wetland have gotten an extreme makeover thanks to great community partnerships and a nearby Stage 2 LRT construction project along Moodie Drive.

  2534 Hits

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