September Newsletter

  • Published on Sep 19 2017 |
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What wonderful weather to wrap up Summer! This is a good time to get outside and explore! September has been a month full of planning our fall activities. Bryan Dowkes and Elena Kreuzberg guided us on a fantastic foraging hike focused on mushrooms. We celebrated summer with our neighbours at Fête champêtre in Quartier Wright. Our fall Education Program is in full force and we are in the midst fo planning our CPAWS Soirée. CPAWS-OV staff also had the opportunity to visit the site of the new bridge being built across the Coulonge River. We are concerned about the negative impacts on the important north-south connection and are asking the Ministry to ensure that wildlife can safetly migrate under the bridge and wildlife monitoring is ongoing.

CPAWS-OV would also like to thank the hard work and dedication of Elena Kreuzberg, who has been with us since 2012. Elena has left the office to pursue work on road ecology in Asia. She has promised to come back and join us on hikes with her iconic enthusiasm and knowledge. 


September 26 – The City of Ottawa is hosting their next Wildlife Speaker Series from 7:00-9:00pm on Tuesday September 26, 2017 at Ottawa City Hall (110 Laurier Avenue West) to celebrate National Forest Week and National Tree Day. We will be celebrating some of our country’s iconic trees and plants with the guest speaker, Ken Farr of the Canadian Forest Service.

October 7 - Join CPAWS-OV for a vernisage from 1:00-4:00pm at Art Brûlant and Impressions in Shawville, Quebec for the opening of CPAWS-OV Art Exhibit - Featuring the Dumoine River. This event is free to the public.

October 16 - This month, our Cafe Scientifique we will discuss the importance of getting kids outside. Our key speaker is Kathleen Tanner, is a certified teacher, outdoor education instructor with the Ottawa Carleton district school board (OCDSB) and has worked for the board for 5 years, exploring in nature and learning along with her students. Leah Viau will discuss how we are continuing to build the CPAWS-OV Educaiton Program and how to take part.

October 23 - Join CPAWS Ottawa Valley at the Moore Farm for our CPAWS Soirée - An Evening with Robert Bateman and Ian Tamblyn. The evening will be a wonderful celebration of the connection between art and nature. Enjoy an intimate discussion with Canadian naturalist and artist Robert Bateman, as he shares his thoughts with us on the history, diversity, and natural wonder of our country.The evening will also feature the music of local musician, playwright and adventurer Ian Tamblyn. Tickets are $60 each. This event will sell out, don’t wait! 

October 28 - Join us for a hike at Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Cornwall this fall for a Halloween inspired hike. There are more then 8km of hiking trails and close to 150 different bird species. Details to come.

October 29 - Join CPAWS-OV in cheering on the racers at MEC Ottawa Race Five! From 8:30am-2:30pm at Camp Fortune (300 Ch Dunlop, Chelsea, QC). Up for a challenge? The scenic route through the trail of Gatineau Park is located just across the river from Ottawa and is easily accessible for those living in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. This trail race has something for everyone, from new trail runners to the most experienced. 

November 19 - Join CPAWS-OV and Bou the Caribou at the Help Santa toy Parade! Every year since 1969, the Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters' Association has been organizing the Help Santa Toy Parade and collecting toys along the parade route for distribution to the less fortunate children in Ottawa-Carleton.

Volunteers Needed!

CPAWS-OV is build on the hard work of volunteers! We are currently seeking volunteers to help us with our outreach events. Each month we try to engage with communitites across the Ottawa Valley and teach the public about our campaigns such as the Make it a Real Park Campaign or the Campaign for the Noire and Coulonge. It is important to inform the public and gain community support in order to create change. 

This October we need help on October 29 at the MEC Race Five in Gatineau Park and at the Help Santa Toy Parade on November 19th. We also need help promoting the CPAWS-OV Art Exhibit, the CPAWS-Soirée and the October 28 hike in Cornwall. If you would like to volunteer with us, please e-mail Jesse Lever at

CPAWS Soirée - An Evening with Robert Bateman and Ian Tamblyn

The evening will be a wonderful celebration of the connection between art and nature. Enjoy an intimate discussion with Canadian naturalist and artist Robert Bateman, as he shares his thoughts with us on the history, diversity, and natural wonder of our country.The evening will also feature the music of local musician, playwright and adventurer Ian Tamblyn.

This not to be missed event takes place on Monday, October 23, 2017 at the Moore Farm Estate in Gatineau. The Moore Farm is a beautifully restored heritage building surrounded by community gardens on a 35-hectare rural estate and features a bistro-boutique within.

Stunning artwork created at the CPAWS-OV Dumoine River Art Camp will also be showcased and available for auction. In August CPAWS-OV hosted the art camp, which brought together artists working in different mediums and from communities across Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. The artists had an opportunity to explore the Dumoine River, create various works of art, share stories and become inspired by this magnificent landscape. Their art will be displayed at Art Brûlant and Impressions in Shawville, Quebec from October 7-21, 2017 and can also be viewed on our website.

Guests will receive a complimentary signature cocktail upon entry, and enjoy fine finger foods locally sourced and created at the Moore Farm. Cash bar also available. Doors open at 6:30pm, come enjoy the space before the evening begins at 7:00pm with a welcome and opening prayer by Algonquin Elder Claudette Commanda.

This event will sell out, don’t wait! Tickets are $60 each, purchase your tickets here.

Proceeds from our CPAWS Soiree - An evening with Robert Bateman and Ian Tamblyn will support CPAWS-OV's wilderness conservation efforts including protecting Quebec's Dumoine, Noire and Coulonge rivers and securing legislated protection for Gatineau Park.

See you there!

New Coulonge Bridge

On September 12, we had the opportunity to visit the site of a new bridge under construction across the Coulonge River in the Lac Nigault Unorganized territory of the Pontiac region. The new bridge aims to facilitate the movement of forest products between harvesting areas in the Pontiac and processing facilities in Maniwaki. While we understand the importance of the forest industry to the local economy and the need to efficiently move wood from one site to another, this bridge and the subsequent 8 km of new roads which will connect the bridge to the existing road network will have a negative impact on critical north-south connections which exist along the Coulonge River.

You will recall that through our efforts, Quebec granted some protection to portions of the Coulonge River, including the site of the bridge, in 2016. We are concerned that this new bridge will lead to proposals to widen and expand other roads in the region, in particular in the Noire and Dumoine watersheds in order to eventually connect Maniwaki with the town of Temiscaming. We are working closely with the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks in Quebec to ensure that this bridge is built in such a way to minimize its impacts on the environment and we will be making regular visits to the site to ensure that those steps are taken.

What can you do? You can take a few moments to send a message to Luc Blanchette, Minister of Forests to share your views on this project with his office. Please feel free to contact us for more information about this project. The Minister’s office may be reached at:

Education Program and Education Committee

The fall education program is in full swing! CPAWS-OV provides free guided tours for school groups in Ottawa including Gatineau Park, Mud Lake, Mer Bleue and many other locations! We cater our programs to the needs of the schools and students including ability, length of trail, fitness, hike interpretation and games. 

The Education Committee had its first meeting last week. The committee plans to meet regularly to discuss pedogogy, costs, targeted grade and age groups and program development. In order to meet the needs of all communitites in the Ottawa Valley we have aimed to have a diverse committee including experienced teachers, parents and new canadians. We are still seeking an Indigenous person on the committee. If you are interested in our Education Committee or Education Program in general, please contac Leah Viau at

Interview with Elena Kreuzberg

How did you find out about CPAWS-OV?

First of all, I knew about CPAWS – Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - before I moved to Canada, because I always visited CPAWS boosths during international conferences – IUCN meetings and World Park Congresses and always was inspired by the level of protected area management in Canada and role of community in organizing and management of protected areas. I knew about CPAWS-OV during Eco-Canada course for newcomers with environmental education background, when explored opportunities for volunteering. I wrote to John McDonnell and he immediately responded to me. I had chance to meet with him to talk about volunteering opportunity and started to volunteer in April 2012.

What made you want to join CPAWS-OV?

I am a conservationist by education, by all my life practices and all my experience in Canada and abroad. I cannot imagine my life with work, which is not relevant to biology and nature conservation. But at that time, I was looking for job after the death of my husband in February 2012 and it was a good opportunity to bridge into environmental jobs.

What is your role with CPAWS-OV? What do you do and what have you done?

I joined to CPAWS-OV as a volunteer to explore the situation along Highways 60 in Algonquin Park and Highway 5 near Gatineau Park; I conducted an independent survey along Highway 60 and gathered data about road-kill animals, found relevant literature, analyzed data and prepared the report. But after completion of the report and few months of engagement in CPAWS-OV activities, I understood that volunteering without ideas and own actions is a way to “nowhere”. Then, I explored the opportunities and conducted the kind of “feasibility study” for the organization development, which clearly indicated that organization with staff of 1.5 person and very small budget needs to move in the direction of capacity building and raising funds for activities. Three areas of activities were evident almost without any feasibility: conservation, education and outreach. After discussion with John McDonnell, cooperating and asking suggestions and advice when necessary, I explored the data base of granting organizations, compiled a list, defined deadlines and started to write the project proposals on two main topics: conservation and education. One of the first applications was supported in February 2013 by Telus for project on ecological education, since this time I was employed by CPAWS-OV, firstly, as a contractor and since 2015 as a staff member – a Conservation Biologist, but only part-time due to limited financing. So, I can tell that I was at the beginning of education and conservation programs of the Chapter and contributed my knowledge to the Chapter’s capacity building.   

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

As I remember I never had spare time in my life, I always was busy with realization of projects and ideas, reading literature relevant and not-relevant to your topics, communication with friends, writing, hiking, visiting museums and other interesting places, etc. Besides, I am a passionate wildlife photographer since my childhood, but only in Canada I had chance to get good equipment for nature photography and spend more time for observation of amazing moments of nature life. 

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

Many good things, but for me, perhaps, friendship and warm atmosphere in the chapter, opportunity to teach young people and share experience and my love of wilderness and natural things. I am thankful to Chapter for support to participate in the Breeding Bird Survey around and in Algonquin Provincial Park, I am thankful to two young ladies who assisted me during this survey last year and this year under heavy rain. I am also thankful to Chapter for the freedom of creativity in various nature conservation activities and open opportunities for development your skills and gaining knowledge. 

Can you tell us a highlight story of working with CPAWS-OV?

I have several highlight stories: survey of Highway 60 in 2012; organizing of road-ecology meeting in Ottawa in 2014; outing to Gatineau Park in 2016 and bear on the trail in the place, where our volunteer prepared to talk about bear policies and behaviour; cooperation with many partners (Nature Conservancy, Vitesse, Mississippi and Madawaska Land Trust, O’Brien Community, etc.). However, I think that discovery of Dumoine River and touching the real wilderness in Western Quebec is one of the most significant highlights.  Dumoine River is located not far north, it is accessible in a 3-hour driving and it is surprisingly pristine and untouched area with many natural attractions like waterfalls and wilderness, which is not spoiled yet by human civilization. This is really one of the pearls in Quebec that needs better protection to safe pristine environmental conditions, furious nature of waterfalls and rapids, confiding wildlife and many natural elements of southern boreal forest. I feel that CPAWS-OV moves in the right direction working not only on political arena that to ensure conservation of this area, but engaging people through bioblitz and art-camps, building awareness about Dumoine, Noire and Coulonge rivers.  

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

Capacity building is a long process, it requires lots of efforts, communication, cooperation, learning and other associated skills that to achieve positive results. So, I learned a lot from CPAWS-OV. First of all, this is understanding how non-profit non-governmental organizations survive and operate in quite competitive environment. Secondly, this is an umbrella structure of organization and work of Board of Directors and Committees on planning, development and implementation of plans and programs. Third, this is perseverance and patience on the way to achieve positive outcomes of the campaigns and programs. For example, the campaign on Gatineau Park preservation started with birth of organization, more than 45 years ago, and from the outside it may seem that the goals of the CPAWS-OV in Gatineau Park were not achieved. However, the situation changed a lot and work of CPAWS-OV was not in vain, because it built consensus, found many allies, raised awareness about Park’s issues, a positive dialogue with NCC was established and many associated questions solved in the working order.   

If you could give CPAWS-OV advice, what would it be?

Don’t stop on the way of capacity building. We live in very challenging time of transition, when our society and all humanity should understand the limits of Earth development. We need to move from scenario “business as usual”, which drives all our economies, culture and environment to more optimistic way, where the human society will give chance of equality for developing world and space for natural ecosystems, ensuring balance and wildlife surviving in the developing World. Nature really does need half. Therefore we need to understand that we deliver the message to local communities about how to live in harmony with environment in Ottawa Valley, how to ensure better protection of natural jewels, which we have, how to engage more people in conservation, especially youth, how to deliver the Canadian culture of nature conservation to next generations, etc. 

What is your favorite way to connect to nature?

Observations and studies, even now, I always try to explain any natural phenomena, which I could observe, linking species to their habitats, looking for communities and relationships, etc. I also like birdwatching and nature watching, just for pleasure… 

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

I am leaving for my next assignment to Nepal, however, I think that when I will be back it will be good time that to look for tremendous fall migration of snow geese in Ottawa Valley and I am planning to visit several places for geese observations. I also plan to visit BC next spring and, possibly, I will drive there through Canada with my family or friends. I also planning to visit several places in northern Ontario and Quebec for photography next spring and I hope to join CPAWS-OV team for next bioblitz/art-camp on Dumoine River.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Yes, some of my photography works….