August Newsletter

  • Published on Aug 23 2017 |
  • This article is tagged as:

Leaves are falling and Autumn is Calling! August is wrapping up and school is just around the corner! During the first week of August CPAWS-OV staff was on the Dumoine River with 15 exceptional artists for our first Dumoine River Art Camp. Our summer Outreach Intern was busy at the office attending events such as Marche Vieux Aylmer, International Buskers Festival, MosaiCanada 150 and Festival de la Principal Aylmer. With fall just around the corner, CPAWS-OV is excited to resume our Education Program and once again take school children out into nature to inspire them to look, listen and appreciate our natural surroundings. 


August 26 –  CPAWS-OV will have an info booth at Festival d’eau vive de la Haute-Gatineau in Maniwaki, Quebec to celebrate the magnificent Gatineau River and the many recreational activities the region has to offer. We will be at the festival from 1:00-7:00pm.

September 4 – Labour Day!

September 9Bryan Dowkes will lead us on a guided foraging hike from 10:00-2:00pm in Mayo, Quebec. Meet in the parking lot of St-Malachy’s Church in Mayo and we will carpool to the hike. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about edible plants and fungi in your own background! Space is limited so RSVP with Jesse at

September 11 – CPAWS-OV Café Scientifique begins again. This September we will highlight the international work our Conservation Biologist, Elena Kreuzberg has been doing on Road Ecology in the Ottawa Valley and abroad!

September 16 – Join CPAWS-OV at Parc Larocque in Hull from 11:00-3:00pm for Wrightville’s Annual Fête Champêtre. We will have an information booth, sell t-shirts and inform the public about our campaigns and initiatives.

September 24-30 – Join CPAWS-OV in celebrating National Forest Week!

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.

Volunteers are always needed to help make these events a success. Please contact Jesse at to help organize events.

Education Program

As the warm days begin to cool and the leaves begin to change, it is the perfect time of year to get outside and explore nature’s beauty. Fall is also when we begin our Education Program! Are you a teacher looking to bring your students out into nature? CPAWS-OV leads hikes that are curriculum based and age appropriate for elementary students. We are currently looking to expand our Education Program and we are creating an Education Program Committee to help us with this big step forward. If you are interested in learning more about this committee please e-mail our Education Coordinator, Leah Viau at

Dumoine River Art Camp

During the first week of August, CPAWS-OV staff and volunteers took 15 artists out to the Dumoine River to capture its beauty and share their perspectives with a wider audience. The artists had the opportunity to hike up to the Grandes Chutes, canoed down to Red Pine Rapides and explore Robinson Lake, along the Dumoine River. Some artists created a prolific amount of work, while others quietly studied their surroundings and took sketches and photographs back to their studios. Many of the artists shared their art, techniques and strategies. Eva Gallagher even gave a course on how to work with clay! In addition to the exquisite art produced, we also had biologists to help us collect data about the Dumoine River, its flaura and its fauna.

CPAWS-OV will be displaying the art created on the Dumoine River at Art Brulant and Impressions from October 7-21, 2017. Please come out and see how the magnificence of the Dumoine River has been captured by 15 different perspectives. We will also be posting the pieces on our website when they are completed.

CPAWS-OV Conservation Plan

A newly constituted Conservation Plan for the Ottawa Valley chapter is under review by the Chapter Board. A Conservation Committee consisting of a few Board members and selected members met and drew up a plan through 2020.

The Conservation plan recognizes asa first priority, the establishment and management of protected areas in the Valley. Such areas are expected to contribute to the Canadian commitment to having 17% of Canada’s terrestrial area under protection by 2020. The protection of the Dumoine River and Coulonge River watershed is a focus for the plan. And, of course, making Gatineau Park a real Park is in our sights. Indeed we are focused that all protected areas in the Valley are managed to the highest standards. But, when protected areas, even those managed to the highest levels, are isolated the challenge in maintaining ecological integrity is magnified. Therefore ecological connectivity is also a focus for the Plan. The plan commits to working with established initiatives such as the Adirondack to Algonquin Corridor organization, indigenous communities and others.

Conservation depends on people supporting investments in establishing protected areas and stewardship. The future depends on people appreciating the value of nature and hence wanting to protect nature. Accordingly, the Plan addresses a commitment to nature focused education by providing nature based experiences.
Once the Plan is approved it will be available on the Ottawa Valley Web site. However, more importantly, it will take volunteers to assure its achievements. So, please identify where you can lend a hand in making our plan a reality.

Interview with Brandon Castilla – Our Summer Co-op Student

How did you find out about CPAWS-OV?

I found out about CPAWS through my mom’s friends Karen Turner, who works for CPAWS national. She recommended it and thought it would be a great opportunity for me.

What made you want to join CPAWS-OV?

It was my love for the outdoors that encouraged me to volunteer.

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

I am volunteering for the road ecology program. I help survey the Gatineau Park area and Roger Stevens Drive for wildlife near the roads. Back at the office, I help out with data entries.

What do you do outside of CPAWS-OV?

I am a student at Sacred-Heart Catholic High School going into grade 12. I am in a Specialist High School Major program that focuses in the environment. I’m working with CPAWS as a part of a summer cooperative education program.

What is your favorite thing about CPAWS-OV?

I love how involved CPAWS is with the public and how much they encourage people to come and experience nature first-hand. I’ve also enjoyed the numerous hikes I’ve been on.

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

My favorite moment so far was being able to rescue a red-eft newt from the road. That was my first time seeing and holding one.

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

I’ve learned that there’s a lot more to road ecology than what meets the eye. Some people may notice the odd porcupine or deer on the road, but we have to be very thorough with the surveys, down to finding small animals like a newt or tiny frog.

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

There are many co-op students in highschool who are focusing their placements towards the environment. Keep encouraging students to go outdoors and learn about the environment.

What is your favorite way to connect to nature?

Being on or around the water. I love swimming, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.

Do you have any adventures planned in your future?

I’m hoping to do a ton of fishing as well as canoe camping with my friend this summer.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

For all the nature lovers out there, I encourage you to volunteer for CPAWS. It’s an amazing opportunity to help out an organization who really enjoys and protects nature.