Sep
04

Fall is coming. Embrace it at picturesque Mill Pond!

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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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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.

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Jun
28

Meisel Woods is a nature workout unicorn

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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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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.

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Jul
17

Soak up the summer storms: Reducing runoff at home

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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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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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Sep
21

Five tips for a flawless fall Foley trip

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Pumpkin spice is back on the menu, which means you're probably planning your annual fall colours roadtrip to Spy Rock! Foley Mountain Conservation Area is a popular spot this time of year, and crowds are bound to happen. We're making adjustments to manage the rush, but you can also take these simple steps to make sure your visit is a hit:

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Sep
21

Beyond Spy Rock: Three fabulous fall hikes at Foley Mountain

Spy Rock is famous for its fall views, but it's also famous for crowds - especially during the fall colour frenzy. This year, break away from the pack and get your fall fix from these lesser-known hikes inside the park:

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Nov
09

It’s a pandemic. Conservation areas have never been so important.

Fresh air. Open space. A mental balm. Or perhaps just somewhere – anywhere – to take the kids. Yes, outdoor spaces have been the saviours of the pandemic.

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Aug
02

History and ecology intersect at Motts Mills Conservation Area

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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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Aug
09

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

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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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May
10

Foley Mountain Friends continue support despite pandemic challenges

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We get by with a little help from our friends, and Foley Mountain Conservation Area is no exception.

Friends of Foley Mountain, a charitable group that has aided the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority's Westport site since 1996, has continued its support despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Jan
26

Winter wetlands: what's happening under the ice?

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Compared to the thrum of a thriving summer wetland, winter wetlands may seem as silent as outer space.

But they're not empty, nor are they vacant – life's just a little slower, a little less showy, in an ice-covered marsh or swamp.

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Dec
14

Want a whine-free winter walk? Try these tricks

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If your kids start complaining the moment you say "walk," the snowsuit struggle might not seem worth it. But inside every kid is an outdoorsperson waiting to blossom – and these tricks might just help! Try these activities at one of our 11 conservation areas and let us know what got them moving.

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Dec
10

Give the gift of conservation this holiday season

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'Twas the week before Christmas

Quarantined in your house

When you finished your shopping

With the click of a mouse! 

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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:

Hours:

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

Member of: conservation ontario