Is your personal paradise protecting the lake you love? Or are you accidentally disrupting the natural systems nearby? If you're unsure, don't despair: we've got a quiz to help you find out.
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.
We get it: summer is brief, and aquatic plants and algae can be annoying when you're trying to make the most of #docklife. It can be tempting to rip them out, install an expensive water circulator or even use an herbicide to get rid of them.
But many of the plants growing in and around your shoreline are actually good for you, the water and the thriving ecosystem that makes your waterfront getaway so great.
A 15-acre swath of Hydro Ottawa land will soon be a buzzing metropolis of bees, birds and butterflies as the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) helps plant one of the largest pollinator meadows in Eastern Ontario.
The RVCA's tree planting program has many branches of support, but it's the sturdy trunk of Forests Ontario that holds it all together.
The provincial not-for-profit manages the 50 Million Tree Program, which provides two-thirds of RVCA's tree planting funding each year to help private landowners undertake largescale afforestation (the creation of new forests) for just pennies per tree.
Water quality in our local lakes and rivers start right at home, where you wash your car, walk your dog and plant your gardens. The more you can reduce the amount of rain, meltwater and chemicals like fertilizers and detergents that drain into the storm sewer, the better our water quality will be.
Check out our interactive graphic to see which side of the street you're on.
Ian Cochrane has a family history of forestry and conservation. As the RVCA's new forestry manager, he has fully embraced his calling – bugs and all – to plant more than 200,000 trees a year for a more resilient community, planet and future.
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.
We all know it: the holidays can be stressful, expensive and wasteful. All that running around buying things people don't need, trying to read everyone's minds, bracing for Boxing Day returns once everything's been unwrapped.
Why not skip the hassle and give the gift of conservation instead?
Simon Lunn knew he needed to drill a new well and decommission his old one. What he didn't figure was that the conservation authority would hand him $1,000 towards his costs.
Mr. Lunn, a long-time Smiths Falls resident near the Smiths Falls Golf and Country Club, received the funds through the Rural Clean Water Grants program, which covers up to 90 per cent of costs for projects that protect water resources in the watershed.
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.
Waterfront living can be so relaxing: always mowing the lawn, raking weeds out of your swimming area and stepping in goose poop...Wait, what?! That's not what owning a waterfront property is all about. But for too many people, that's the reality.
Cottages can become second homes, with all the annoying lawn work and maintenance that comes with them. But it doesn't have to be this way. With a few tweaks, you can get on the path to "the good side" and a more natural waterfront property. So: which side are you on? Scroll over the purple flags to learn how to turn your waterfront property a natural oasis.
Like any good legacy, there comes a time when you must take a deep breath and leave it in the hands of the next generation.
That's precisely what Ashton farmers Arn and Jan Snyder will do this summer after 32 years of painstakingly sculpting their land into an environmental haven for people, animals and trees.
So, you're building a new dock. But what kind is best? What's going to require the least amount of maintenance, protect the shoreline, get quick approval and still allow you to live that decadent #docklife you deserve this summer?
Answer: the floating dock. *cue choir of angels*