May Newsletter

  • Published on May 18 2017 |
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Join CPAWS-OV at the Great Glebe Garage Sale on Saturday May 27, 2017 from 8am - 3pm. The Great Glebe Garage Sale is a great way to connect with your community and a great way to find new-to-you treasures. Each year since 1986, thousands of people have flocked to the Glebe for the annual Great Glebe Garage Sale. Homeowners in the Glebe sell items on their front laws, driveways adn porches. collectively they make on giant sale that has become an annual community festival attracting thousands of people to hte neighbourhood.

Our next Monthly Hike will take place from 10:00am-1:00pm at the Crazy Horse Trail in Carp. We will explore a unique network of trails built by local volunteers on the Carp Ridge. This unique complex of wetlands, small ponds and forests provides habitat for countless species of plants and animals within a very short distance of intense development in the west end of Ottawa. This hike should last between 2-3 hours. Suggested donations $5.To register please e-mail Jesse at

On Saturday June 3, 2017 CPAWS-OV is hosting a Volunteer Appreciation Day and Mud Lake Cleanup. Join us from 10:00-12:00 at Mud Lake to improve the turtle nesting boxes and clean up garbage around the unique urban wilderness of mud lake. Then once the hard work is finished, join us at Britannia Beach from 12:00-2:00pm for a lunch to celebrate all the hard work our volunteers do for us to make our campaigns, out reach and education programs possible. To register please e-mail Jesse at jlever and notify us if you have dietary requirements.

Wold Environment Day will be on Monday June 5, 2017 but CPAWS-OV will be celebrating Wold Environment Week! Join us on June 8, 2017 from 10:00am-2:00pm on Sparks Street for EnviroCentre's Living Lightly event. CPAWS-OV will hold a both including an interactive game to learn about our Road Ecology program and our Gatineau Park campaign. 

Celebrate Fathers Day with CPAWS-OV and join us for a hike on June 18, 2017 beginning at the Limerick Forest Interpretive Centre from 10:00-1:00pm. We will be hiking the Chalet Loop trail. To register please e-mail Jesse at

CPAWS-OV will be at the Dragon Boat Festival from Thursday June 22 to Sunday June 25, 2017. The Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is a not for profit founded in 1993. The Festival, currently boasts 200 teams in competitive, corporate and community categories, and is one of the hottest sporting and entertainment events in the Nation's Capital. Would you like to volunteer with us? Contact Jesse at

Volunteer Opportunities

Would you like to learn more about conservation? Connect people to nature? Gain experience? Consider volutneering with CPAWS-OV!

One of the best ways to learn more about CPAWS-OV and connect people with nature is to join us at events! This summer we particularly need help with the Dragon Boat Festival from June 22-25 2017If you are interested in helping out at the Dragon Boat Festival please e-mail Jesse at

CPAWS-OV is looking for committee members for our Education Program Committee. We are looking for teachers, educators, parents, new canadians, Indigenous people and other concerned and knowledgble people to help advice us on our Education Program and help us grow. If you are interested please e-mail Leah at

Tranlators and French hike interpretors are always needed to help expand our programming in Quebec and reach for francophone audiences. We often need help translating brochures, promotional material, website content, documents and other materials. As we expand our educational program we will need help guiding hikes in french so we can reach more students and expand our programming. 

Road Ecology volunteers are needed to help CPAWS-OV with our Road Ecology Program which documents the impacts of roads on small animals that cross the roads in search of habitat, food or nesting areas. Volunteers will help collect data which will be placed in a database and used to produce a report given to interested stakeholders with suggested mitigation measures. Volunteering for this project will directly help CPAWS-OV conserve nature and protect the wildlife. 

Be A Summer Intern!

Are you currently a student, between the age of 15 and 30 with the intention of returning to school in the fall? CPAWS Ottawa Valley has exciting summer conservation internship opportunities available!

Join our dynamic, Gatineau-based team and help protect our region’s wild spaces. You’ll be helping to defend Gatineau Park, protect wild rivers like the Dumoine and educating others about wilderness.

We are offering three different summer positions:

Dumoine River Art Camp Coordinator

This position involves supporting staff in the organization and execution of our first annual artists camp along the Dumoine River in western Quebec. In particular, the student would be responsible for coordinating site logistics, organizing a prior event for artists to meet, reaching out to local groups and the media as well as assisting with the day to day operations of the week-long camp, including cooking, camp management and supporting artists. The ideal candidate would have experience organizing events, excellent project management skills and an affinity for art and nature conservation. Bilingualism and First Aid and CPR training as well as experience camping would be assets.

Summer Outreach Assistant

The position involves conducting summer outreach in the local community, staffing information booths and educating the general public about nature conservation issues. The position also involves supporting our social media team and conducting a survey of our membership in order for us to learn more about our supporters. The ideal candidate would be someone who is very knowledgeable about and makes regular use of social media, is creative and has experience working with the public. Bilingualism is a requirement for this position.

Conservation Assistant

If you like being outside and getting your hands dirty, this position is for you! This position is partly based at our Gatineau office, but also involves working approximately 15 hours per week at the Mont O’Brien Biodiverstiy Reserve in Danford Lake, Quebec where the position involves creating educational material and leading hikes for the general public on week-ends. At the Gatineau office, the position involves supporting our conservation staff, in particular assisting with road ecology surveys and other conservation projects. The ideal candidate would have prior experience leading nature walks or at least a sound knowledge of local flora and fauna, reliable transportation and the ability to work with little supervision. Bilingualism is a requirement for the position.

Deadline: June 1, 2017

Breeding Bird Survey

Birds are reflective of the overall health of our environment and give a lens into how human influences, such as roads and pesticides, may be affecting the precious nature that enriches our everyday life. In 1966 the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) was created in partnership between the Canadian Wildlife Service and the U.S. based Patuxent Wildlife Research Centre to observe the wellbeing and diversity of North American bird species.

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Ottawa Valley Chapter contributes to this citizen science program using our knowledge and time, conducting Breeding Bird Surveys in the Algonquin Park area. Algonquin Park is an area of great interest for CPAWS-OV as it is a corridor for wildlife from the northern boreal forests.
CPAWS-OV’s Conservation Biologist Elena Kreuzberg and Road Ecology Technician Leah Viau conducted the survey for the first time in May last year. They performed a second survey in June. This year we already have a date booked at the end of May to visit Algonquin Park and continue the BBS for its 51 year. Setting foot upon the land in the early hours before sunrise, awaiting for the chorus that heralds each new day. As the sun wakes and stretches across the sky, the land becomes alive with the orchestra of bird song.

Elena possesses a profound knowledge of birds and how to identify them by sight and from their musical notes. Leah is learning these skills and how to use standard bird protocols to conduct bird surveys. Bird species have unique songs and birds use these songs for a number of purposes including claiming territory and proclaiming their eligibility to suitors. The Breeding Bird Survey in Algonquin Park includes 50 locations where Elena and Leah will stop for 3 minutes each to observe and listen to birds flying and singing in the area. Tracking the annual dynamics of bird species in Algonquin Park will help us determine which species are moving north possibly due to habitat loss, the effects of climate change, which are most common and which are of concern.

CPAWS-OV hopes to continue the work of the BBS for years to come and continue to learn about the lives and habits of bird species that live in boreal regions but migrate through our backyards.

Interview with Soren Antosz

What is your role with CPAWS-OV?

I’m the President of the CPAWS-OV Board, and I chair our Gatineau Park Committee.

How did you find out about CPAWS-OV?

I discovered CPAWS-OV online while looking for volunteer opportunities after moving to Ottawa.

What made you want to join CPAWS-OV?

I’ve always had an interest in nature, and a number of years back I decided I wanted to start volunteering my time to help protect natural areas. When I discovered CPAWS-OV and their campaigns to protect Gatineau Park (which at the time I had assumed was protected), the Dumoine Watershed, Temagami (as a few examples), I knew I wanted to become involved.

What do you do (school or work) outside of CPAWS-OV?

I work as a business analyst for the federal government.

What is your favorite thing about CPAWS-OV? A campaign, education, hikes etc…?

My favourite thing about CPAWS-OV is the people I get to work with, and learning from the various backgrounds and personalities.  I’ve been volunteering with CPAWS-OV for over six years, and every year has exposed me to new friendships and opportunities. As for a campaign, the Gatineau Park campaign particularly resonates with me, really for the same reasons. There is such a dedicated group of people working to establish protection for the park, and I’m grateful to be a part of it.

What have you learned from your time with CPAWS-OV?

That nothing is more rewarding than helping people (especially youth) build their relationship with nature.  And that one never stops learning. 

What do you foresee in the upcoming year at CPAWS-OV?

Our programs have continued to grow year after year, and this year promises to be no different.  In particular, our newly developed education program has been very well received, so we’re looking forward to getting into an increasing number of schools to talk with students about connecting with nature. Of course we’ll also continue pursuing the creation of protected areas via our Dumoine and Gatineau Park campaigns (as two primary examples), and we certainly expect to achieve successes in the near future.

What is your favorite way to connect to nature?

That’s a tough one, really anytime I can feel active and be out in nature I’m truly happy. I love to hike, canoe/kayak, camp, and since I’ve moved to the area I’ve discovered a love of cross-country skiing.

Do you have any adventures planned in your future? (hikes, canoe trips, travelling etc…)

Hoping to get out to BC this summer and do some hiking and camping. I also have some trips planned to Algonquin Park, and down to Vermont. Suggestions always welcome...

Is there anything else you would like to share?

The experiences I’ve had and relationships I’ve made through CPAWS are invaluable. If you have the slightest interest in protecting nature, please come volunteer with us. 

Road Ecology Program

People love seeing nature and often travel to spend time in parks, secret sanctuaries and natural landscapes. Finding peace in nature and connecting with wildlife is so important in our technological driven lives. However we must be considerate of nature as we travel and be mindful of the impact of our presence in nature, our garbage, our noise and our roads. Animals cross roads for food, finding a mate, or searching for new habitats. Where once these animals roamed freely they must now contend with lengthening roadways that fragment the forests, wetlands and greenspaces that the animals call home.

In 2014 CPAWS-OV took part in the Road Ecology Conference in Ottawa along with numerous partners to facilitate public engagement, including the collection of science through citizen science and public input on the implementation of mitigation measures. In 2015, CPAWS-OV started the Road Ecology Project to evaluate and manage the impact of roads on wildlife in Ottawa and Gatineau Park. CPAWS-OV collects data on all animals affected by roads, but focuses on small-size animals, which are often invisible. From May to November, CPAWS-OV staff and volunteers go out on the roads, collecting data and documenting the impacts of roadways in our own communities.

Many interesting common and not very common species live in our own backyard. We most often find amphibians, reptiles, birds and small mammals along the roads. In the past few weeks Leah and Elena already found 4 threatened Blanding’s Turtle that were killed on the road as it made its journey from its hibernation place to its summer wetland habitat. CPAWS-OV has been collecting this type of information to document the impacts of roads on wildlife to find where common and not very common species are most harmed and locations where animals are most impacted. The process is simple. Drive along pre-determined roads looking for roadkill and in areas of concern, walk along the road to record the GPS coordinate, environmental conditions and species of the roadkill. This data will then be compiled into a database, analyzed, summarized and given to interested stakeholders, including the City of Ottawa and the NCC with suggested mitigation measures to prevent such roadkill.

Mitigation measures range from simple fences to culverts to wildlife bridges that help wildlife cross large roadways. In 2015 CPAWS-OV succeeded in working with partners to re-design the curbs to be sloped and allow turtles in Mud Lake to cross the road to lay their eggs and make it safely back to the lake. These small changes are cost-effective, improves the safety of drivers and preserves the unique wildlife of Canada. Protecting the natural spaces that we enjoy, work in and travel through is necessary to protect the wildlife that calls those places home. It is our responsibility to be respectful of wildlife and co-exist with nature.

If you are concerned about the effect of roads on wildlife and would like to volunteer with our Road Ecology program, please e-mail our Road Ecology Technician, Leah Viau at

CPAWS-OV would like to thank Sorley O'Neill for his help in writing content for this month's newsletter. We are always looking for new voices to help share our passion of nature.