Christmas trees spread good cheer and habitat in Wolfe Lake

Christmas has come early for the fish of Wolfe Lake.

RVCA staff and volunteers could be spotted sinking bundles of old Christmas trees into the Westport-area lake on Sept. 5.

But this wasn't just an extreme head-start on underwater holiday décor; the donated brush bundles will also provide valuable habitat for several fish species in the lake, according to RVCA aquatic biologist Jennifer Lamoureux.

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Fall is coming. Embrace it at picturesque Mill Pond!


Autumn is beginning to paint the watershed red, and if you're looking to catch the fall splendour in a quiet, uncrowded location, you can't go wrong at Mill Pond Conservation Area this season.

What Mill Pond CA may lack in hayrides and pumpkin patches it makes up for with 1,300 acres of maple forests, wetlands and natural shoreline around Mill Pond near Big Rideau Lake.

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Angling for a walleye recovery: habitat project targets Wolfe Lake fishery


 The RVCA and its partners are angling to help walleye stocks recover in Wolfe Lake.

With a generous grant from the TD Friends of the Environment Fund, RVCA staff teamed up with volunteers from the Wolfe Lake Association and the Westport Area Outdoors Association to create two new spawning beds on Scanlan Creek at the end of August.

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Explore the wonders of nature right in our backyard


Award: Best Kept Secret! 

 Sometimes we're so busy dreaming of far-off places, we miss the wonders right in front of our nose.

That could be the case with Perth Wildlife Reserve Conservation Area, a 635-acre natural area along the Tay Marsh and river just five minutes from downtown Perth.

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Whine-proof your family fun at Baxter Conservation Area!


Award: Family favourite! 

 Every parent wants to keep their kids engaged and entertained – and for as long as possible without complaints.

Well, you won't hear any whining at Baxter Conservation Area: it delivers hours of family fun, no matter the season.

Located 15 minutes south of Barrhaven along the Rideau River, Baxter offers five kilometres of trails, beach and picnic areas, a unique nut grove and an interpretive centre where outdoor educators offer tons of student programming.

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The wilds and wildlife of Foley Mountain


Award: Coolest wildlife!

Going into the wild is easy when we have Foley Mountain right in our backyard.

This conservation area in Westport is 833 acres of naturalist's heaven: located in the heart of the Frontenac Arch, the unique region is a magnet for migrating birds and animals, species at risk, common Canadian forest friends and, of course, the humans hoping to catch a glimpse of them.

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Restored Black Rapids wetland keeping Rideau River clean

No Swim advisories are no fun, but our aquatic experts are working hard to keep our water and beaches clean – one wetland restoration at a time.

The Black Rapids wetland project is a perfect example of how a natural feature like a wetland can act as a water treatment plant to filter pollution out of the water - reducing the impact on our summer fun at the same time.

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Best beach alert! Rideau Ferry a must-visit for sun worshippers


Award: Best Beach! 

 If you're looking for warm sand, cool water and a picturesque place to soak up the sun this summer, we've got your answer: Rideau Ferry Yacht Club Conservation Area.

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Wildlife reclaiming wetlands near DND campus

You know what they say: "If you build it, they will come." But that old adage isn't just for haunted baseball fields – it also applies to wetland projects right in the heart of Ottawa's greenbelt.

Last fall, staff at the RVCA and the National Capital Commission created 10,000 square metres of new wetland habitat along Stillwater Creek, just south of the new DND headquarters off Moodie Drive and Highway 417.

Thanks to observations from the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre, which is located nearby, staff at the NCC and RVCA discovered the wetland had been suffering annually from extreme low water conditions. Most of the year the wetland was completely dry, dominated by long, reedy grasses that don't encourage much biodiversity.

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History and ecology intersect at Motts Mills Conservation Area


Award: Coolest history!

 If the land could talk, imagine its stories.

Thankfully, at Motts Mills Conservation Area we can at least tell you about the past 200 years, and how the historic dam has long shaped the Hutton Marsh wetland and the community it serves. 

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High-tech solutions saving time, money for conservation authority


Custom-built smartphone apps are changing the way staff at Rideau Valley Conservation Authority get their work done – and saving time, money and headaches in the process.

This spring, the RVCA launched its latest app, this one for classifying shorelines – something no other conservation group is doing digitally.

Gone are the bulky clipboards and windswept papers of previous surveys. And vanquished are the days of tedious data entry after a long season on the water.

These days, with the tap of an app staff can quickly analyze a shoreline, take a photo and input all the relevant data into a digital database, all from the palm of their hand – and from the middle of a river.

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Chapman Mills: The great outdoors in your backyard


Award: Most accessible!

 Welcome to Chapman Mills Conservation Area: an urban oasis in the heart of South Ottawa, easily walkable for nearby Barrhaven and Riverside South communities and a short drive for tens of thousands more in the Ottawa South region.

It's our most accessible conservation area for so many reasons: urban location, access to the Rideau River, easy-to-use boardwalk trails, excellent seating options and free entry and parking.

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Hidden gem in a gem of a village: Richmond Conservation Area


Award: Hidden Gem!

Nestled among the historic streets of Richmond Village sits a lovely little park, complete with picnic tables, a wooded trail and a public dock on the Jock River.

Richmond Conservation Area is a true hidden gem: walkable for local residents, free parking for visitors, and the perfect place to host your next family picnic or escape the demands of modern living for a while.

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Soak up the summer storms: Reducing runoff at home


You may not have heard of runoff, but you've definitely seen it.

It's those curbside streams rushing into thirsty drains during a big rainstorm; the steady trickle down a soapy driveway as you wash your car. 

Runoff is surface water that can't absorb into the ground before it reaches a waterway. In developed areas, more pavement means fewer opportunities for the water to soak in.

Runoff picks up all the oils, chemicals, dirt and pollution it finds on the road and other paved surfaces and washes them down the storm drain. Those contaminants flow into the nearest catch basin, which ultimately drains into nearby lakes and rivers. 

This can pollute the water and upset the local ecosystem. The excess water can even contribute to flooding.

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Stop and smell the wildflowers at Portland Bay Conservation Area


Award: Best pit stop!


Every good road trip needs scenic pit stops along the way. Portland Bay Conservation Area delivers that in spades: it offers a unique lakeside spot to stop and smell the wildflowers while you enjoy your picnic lunch.

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Cast your line at W.A. Taylor Conservation Area this summer


Award: Best Fishing! 

Misty mornings, sun-dappled afternoons or dazzling dusks: it's always a good time to cast your line from the docks at W.A. Taylor Conservation Area in Osgoode.

Nestled on the eastern banks of the Rideau River's Long Reach – the longest lock-free stretch of water along the Rideau Canal system – this serene slice of waterfront green space offers an exceptional respite from the daily grind, only 20 minutes from urban Ottawa.

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Meisel Woods is a nature workout unicorn


Award: Best Workout!

When it comes to scenic, secluded places to burn a few calories, Meisel Woods Conservation Area is a true unicorn: no crowds, free parking, vista views, and more than its fair share of tough trails to get your heart pumping. Hard to believe, right?!

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Cute cows and clean water: you really can have it all!

Meet Roy and Carole Robinson: they raise sustainable, grass-fed Scottish highlander beef and grow seasonal vegetables on their farm near Smiths Falls, near the banks of the Rideau River.

The Robinsons founded Seanic Farms in 2003. As they've transitioned the old, dormant farmland into to a more environmentally-friendly operation, they've made great use of the RVCA's landowner stewardship programs, including our Rural Clean Water Grant program. 

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Protecting people and property, one partner at a time


Conservation authorities, at their core, are tasked with protecting people and property from flooding and other hazards along a waterway. Our planning and regulation staff review development applications that impact wetlands, rivers and other waterways, or that involve flood plains and unstable slopes. We continually update and create new hazard maps to make sure development is out of the way of rising waters, and we work hard to keep residents informed about flood risks. 

But we also rely on our community partners to help us reach out to residents. 

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Butternut recovery at risk under Endangered Species Act changes

A new batch of butternut seedlings have been sent into the world to help pull the endangered tree back from the brink – but this spring's lot may have been the last.

Landowners flocked to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority's specialized cold storage facility on Dilworth Road this spring to pick up their baby butternut trees, carefully grown at the Ferguson Forestry Centre from resilient seeds harvested across Eastern Ontario.

Butternut trees in Canada and the US have been decimated by the butternut canker, an incurable fungal disease scientists believe originated in Asia. 

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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