Ottawa South residents and guests can enjoy the soothing sights and sounds of nature along the newly upgraded Chapman Mills Conservation Area trails and boardwalk. Dignitaries and special guests gathered at the site today to celebrate and help with the installation of the final pieces of wooden boardwalk.
Owned by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA), Chapman Mills is an exceptional example of conservation parkland with river shoreline, wetland and flood plain areas that are unique and vital to our local community.
“Chapman Mills is one of Ottawa’s most ecologically significant natural areas,” said Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) Chair Lyle Pederson. “It's our hope that with this newly upgraded trail, residents of all ages and abilities will be able to enjoy this wonderful shoreline environment."
Over 600 metres of boardwalk have been widened and now include turnaround areas to allow for increased accessibility. Some 50 metres of trails have also been upgraded to offer a smoother surface and gradual grading (where possible) to allow for improved recreational use. Steeper areas do exist, but now include guardrails and barriers for improved safety. Interpretive signs were also installed at both ends of the trail. New erosion control features will also ensure path stability and longevity for years to come.
These upgrades were completed over the past two years thanks to funding of up to $32,000 from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, and donations from Movati Athletic Group and the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation.
“The Chapman Mills Conservation Area project is a great example of what the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program is all about,” said Chandra Arya, Member of Parliament for Nepean. “Supporting improvements to the places where families go to spend quality time together is an ideal way to invest in our communities so that they can be enjoyed by Canadians for years to come.”
“Movati Athletic Group is delighted to support outdoor recreation and promote physical activity of all kinds,” said Sean Whittal, Area Director, Movati Athletic Group who unfortunately could not attend but sent greetings. “We hope these improvements will allow everyone to experience the beauty of nature and environmental conservation first hand.”
“This project builds on years of work, including community and business investments,” said Jason Kelly, Chair of the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation. “We are delighted to see these investments in popular community areas, especially those as unique and as valuable as at Chapman Mills.”
This 23-acre parcel of conservation land is located on the west bank of the Rideau River on Prince of Wales Drive between Winding Way and Lodge Road. The site boasts a picnic shelter, scenic lookouts along the trail, walkways and boardwalks that lead pedestrians on a 1.8 kilometre stroll through sensitive and beautiful habitats.
The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program is providing up to $300 million nationally to support the renovation, expansion and improvement of existing community and cultural infrastructure as part of the Government of Canada’s activities to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation in 2017.
Operating since 1997, Movati Athletic Group has four facilities in Ottawa (a fifth opening in late fall 2017 in Nepean) and employs over 500 full-time and part-time employees.
The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in the Province of Ontario. RVCA looks to work with the watershed community to protect, restore and restore the Rideau watershed.
The Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation is a registered environmental charity working to help protect and conserve the lands and waters of the valley of the Rideau River in Eastern Ontario.
OTTAWA, July 19, 2017 — Six of Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s (RVCA) biggest City Stream Watch volunteers were recognized in June with the presentation of Ontario Volunteer Service Awards. The Ontario Volunteer Service Awards recognize volunteers for providing committed and dedicated service to an organization.
Congratulations to Sidney Arnold, Rebecca Cameron, Bruce Douglas Clarke, Francois Yvon Deslauriers, Peter Melvin and Peter Stewart-Burton. These six representatives regularly give their time to monitor and restore the health of Ottawa’s city streams through the City Stream Watch Program.
“We are grateful for their time and devotion to the program,” says Rosario Castanon Escobar, City Stream Watch Coordinator. “Thanks to their help, and many other special volunteers, we are able to collect value information about our city streams, undertake clean-ups, remove invasive species and complete restoration projects.”
The City Stream Watch Program (CSW) is a community-based partnership that includes the RVCA, Heron Park Community Association, Ottawa Flyfishers Society, Rideau Roundtable, Canadian Forces Fish and Game Club, Ottawa Stewardship Council, City of Ottawa and the National Capital Commission. The program focuses on 25 of Ottawa’s urban streams corridors within the Rideau watershed.
“These urban streams desperately need our attention,” says Castanon Escobar, saying that there are many natural gems hidden in the concrete jungle.
Since CSW’s inception in 2003, volunteer numbers have grown from 26 to over four hundred. This adds up to over 2,653 hours of volunteer work over the last 14 years.
“We are delighted to see so many people participating and connecting to these valuable natural features in the heart of the city,” says Castanon Escobar.
Special thank you and congratulations to our Ontario Volunteer Service Award recipients:
10+ Years Volunteers:
Orleans resident Bruce Clarke has been a dedicated CSW volunteer for over 12 years. He is also a volunteer on the CSW Collaborative that guides and promotes the program partnership. As a member of the Ottawa Flyfishers Society, Bruce has participated in many CSW events including CSW training, invasive water chestnut identification and removal, and flyfishing demonstrations.
Peter Stewart-Burton, from Ottawa South, has been a long-standing volunteer for over 12 years. As a member of the Canadian Forces Ottawa Fish & Game Club, he is a volunteer member of CSW Collaborative. He helps find funds to support the program and has been heavily involved in many creek garbage clean-up events and has a keen interest on the health of Ottawa South’s Sawmill Creek.
5+ Years Volunteers:
Francois Yvon Deslauriers has been a volunteer for over 7 years. As an Orleans resident, Francois has played a vital role as a member of the Adopt-a-Stream program in Green’s Creek. Last year he brought to our attention a massive debris jam that was eventually cleared by the City of Ottawa thanks to his watchful eyes.
Sidney Arnold is a knowledgeable volunteer that has assisted with many stream surveys and fish sampling sessions. Over the last five years, this Nepean resident has helped with projects on Black Rapids, Cardinal, Hunt Club, Mosquito, Mud, Ramsey, Sawmill and Stillwater Creeks.
Nepean’s Peter Melvin has been a long-standing involved stream watcher. His passion for the CSW program encouraged his son to get involved. He helped on stream surveys, garbage clean ups, tree plantings, and invasive species removal events in Black Rapids, Nepean, Ramsay, Sawmill, Steven’s, Taylor and West Bilberry Creeks.
Youth Commitment Category:
Rebecca Cameron is a recent graduate from the University of Guelph’s Environmental Sciences Program who has volunteered for the last two years with CSW during her summer vacations. Her passion to participate has made her an excellent recruiter. Since joining the CSW teams, she has encouraged both her father Murray and brother Joe to volunteer — making it a fun family affair!
Congratulations and thank you to our exceptional volunteers.
To learn more about the City Stream Watch program, the urban creeks and ways to get involved visit www.rvca.ca or contact Rosario Castanon Escobar at 613-692-3571 ext. 1155.
How healthy is the Jock River? Readers can learn all about it in the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s (RVCA) Jock River Subwatershed Report. This information-loaded report summarizes the subwatershed’s health by looking at four indicators: forests, wetlands, shorelines and water quality. This is the second subwatershed report for the Jock River and compares baseline information collected from 2004 to 2015. Changes are small, but understanding how to prevent cumulative long-term changes is essential.
The Jock River starts in the lush headwater wetlands in Beckwith and Montague Townships near Franktown. It then flows on through rich agricultural lands in the former municipalities of Goulbourn and Nepean before heading into the suburban community of Barrhaven before joining the Rideau River just north of Manotick as part of the Lower Rideau Subwatershed. The subwatershed drains over 555 square kilometres with its tributaries stretching 888 kilometres and the main Jock River stretching 66 kilometres.
RVCA’s monitoring efforts help us better understand watershed trends and help focus stewardship activities where they are needed the most. These subwatershed reports summarize RVCA information and are valuable tools for decision-makers at all levels — individuals, families, municipalities, counties and the province.
Conditions along the Jock River vary from the upper sections to the lower sections. These conditions clearly reflect human demands and their impacts on the natural environment. Now is the time to take important steps to maintain, protect and improve our current conditions.
Efforts can be simple things like keeping shorelines natural and planting trees to more complicated municipal planning and development projects that protect surface water quality and aquatic habitat through the creation of riparian buffers, and application of stormwater best management practices. The report identifies what the RVCA, municipalities, residents, businesses, community groups and agricultural associations can do to help make environmental gains.
For landowners looking to do their part, the RVCA provides a number of stewardship programs designed to improve watershed health. The programs provide technical expertise, grants and manpower. By connecting with landowners, the goal is to make real, on-the-ground improvements. Landowners who are interested in learning about possible projects can call the RVCA for details.
This report is part of a series including reports on the Tay River (2011), Lower Rideau (2012), Kemptville Creek (2013), Rideau Lakes (2014) and Middle Rideau (2015). Next year, similar comparisons on watershed health will be made for the Tay River Subwatershed.
For your copy of this and other subwatershed reports, call the RVCA at 613-692-3571 ext. 1177 or visit watersheds.rvca.ca. For those looking for more scientific information, monitoring results are available through the detailed catchment reports which are also available online at watersheds.rvca.ca.