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
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.

  1790 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
Nov
02

Meet Rose Fleguel, Eastern Ontario's resident butternut expert

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It was a cold, crisp day in December 2019 when Rosemary (Rose) Fleguel, RVCA's resident butternut expert, pulled up in her truck to meet North Grenville woodlot owner Warren Dool at his 47-acre property. Her mission? To find any and all living and healthy butternut trees - a cause to which she has dedicated the bulk of her long career.  

  4330 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Sep
09

From truckload to tote bin: An invasive species success story

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If you've ever been to Voyageur Provincial Park near Hawkesbury, you've seen European Water Chestnut in action. The ornamental pond plant likely hopped a fence nearby, establishing itself in dense mats in the Ottawa River and nearby tributaries around the park more than a decade ago.

Robust removal programs are in place, but getting ahead of it is as hard as the thorny seeds it throws into the riverbed to reproduce. 

  1691 Hits
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. 

  2386 Hits
May
19

Buzz in the air as planting begins at Barrhaven pollinator meadow

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.

  4457 Hits
May
03

Rooted in Partnership: Spotlight on Forests Ontario

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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.

  1344 Hits
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.

  6291 Hits
Jun
06

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. 

  12296 Hits
Nov
01

Meet Hal Stimson, long-time inspector and enforcement officer

There's a misconception out there that your local conservation authority is out to stop all development. But in reality the RVCA approves more than 90% of the applications it receives; our regulations inspectors and planners work with applicants to come up with plans that can suit the property owner, the provincial regulations and the watershed all at once. 

Not convinced? Meet Hal Stimson, long-time inspector with the RVCA:

  3362 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