July Newsletter

  • Published on Jul 25 2017 |
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July has been a busy month! Our Summer Outreach Intern Fatima Diallo Alvarenga has been attending community events and is preparing for more this summer. She was at the Heart of Orléans Marché Sunday July 2 and Centretown Movies at Dundonald Park on Saturday July 22. We also hosted a guided hike for Canada's Parks Day on July 15, 2017 from Parking Lot 16 to Healey Cabin. Our Road Ecology Program is in full force with a team of staff and volunteers. Please continue reading to learn more about our Road Ecology program. CPAWS-OV staff has also made several trips to the Dumoine River in preparation for our Dumoine River Art Camp from August 2-7 and we are sorting our final logicists before we leave next week!


July 28 - Begin canvassing around City Hall at 10:00am for Day 2 of La Machine 

July 30 - CPAWS-OV will be at Marché Vieux Aylmer from 10:00am - 3:00pm. Come stop by and learn more about CPAWS-OV, our campaigns and how you can help protect wilderness in your own backyard.

August 2-7 - CPAWS-OV will be hosting our first Dumoine River Art Camp. The art camp will bring together artists working in different mediums and from communities across Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. We will explore the Dumoine River, create works of art, share stories and become inspired by this magnificent landscape. The camp will be closed to the public but we will be hosting an Open House on August 6th.

August 6 - Meet the artists at the Dumoine River Art Camp! The Dumoine River Art Camp Open House will be hosted at Robinson Lake beginning at 10:00am. CPAWS-OV would like to invite everyone to come to our Dumoine River Art Camp to experience the Dumoine River, meet the artists and be inspired by the natural landscape. The artists will be working closer to camp so that the public can come and see what they are working on. We will host a guided hike and other family friendly activities.

Please RSVP with Jesse at jlever@cpaws.org so we can provide you with directions and more information.

August 6 - Join CPAWS-OV in cheering on the racers at MEC Ottawa Race Four! From 7:00am-3:00pm 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.

August 7 - CPAWS-OV will canvass during Buskerfest in Downtown Ottawa. Ottawa is full of amazing entertainment and outdoor spaces.

August 12 - CPAWS-OV will be at Art in the Park at McNabb Park in downtown Ottawa from 11-3. Come by and see what amazing art Ottawa has to offer and learn more about CPAWS-OV and our Dumoine River Art Camp.

To learn about upcoming events please see our website, facebook, instagram and twitter pages.

Volunteer Opportunities

Events -  CPAWS-OV will be participating in various events this summer and we will need help managing all the booths and canvassing opportunitites! In addition to the above mentioned events, we are in the process of scheduling more events throughout the summer. If you are interested in helping us inform the public about our campaigns, collect signatures for our Make it a real park campaign, connect people to nature or just tell people how much you love wildlife, send Jesse an e-mail at jlever@cpaws.org

Fundraising Committee - As mentioned in our June Newsletter, we are launching a new Fundraising Committee and we are currently seeking passionate individuals to help us develop and implement new and expanded fundraising policies. For more information or to volunteer, please contact John McDonnell at jmcdonnell@cpaws.org

Educaiton Committee - As mentioned in our June Newsletter we are launching a new Education Committee. We are still looking for 1-2 new Canadians who are parents and/or passionate about education to help guide our Education Program. If you are interested please e-mail Leah at lviau@cpaws.org

Translators - Reaching our fracophone audiance is important to spreading our message and working on our campaigns. 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. If you are interested in helping us with translation, please e-mail Jesse at jlever@cpaws.org.

Update on Road Ecology

Ensuring the ecological integrity of natural ecosystems and preventing the decline of any species in the Ottawa Valley is one of our biggest goals. Roads not only cause habitat loss and fragmentation, but they also cause road mortality. Our Road Ecology program aims to engage citizens to maintain and restore connections across landscapes, between parks and protected areas.

This is the second year where you can often find staff and volunteers out on the roads in Gatineau Park and the National Capital Greenbelt between May and November conducting Road Ecology. Staff and volunteers drive and walk along pre-designated areas of road where we are concerned about road mortality. They mark the species they find, whether they are found dead, alive or injured, how many individuals they find, they record the location on a GPS and note the general environmental conditions before removing the species from the road. 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.

The weather these first two years of our Road Ecology program could not have been more different. This year will be remembered for its rain and flooding while last summer we experienced a drought. Last year we identified frogs as being the most impacted. The frogs likely were losing habitat due to the drought and were attempting to find other water sources. This year more turtles were identified while less snakes and amphibians were found. New species were also identified including the blue jay, 4 new salamander species and we found the red eft newt for the first time on Roger Stevens Drive.

Road mortality is a major reason many species of turtles are declining. In eastern Ontario, two species at risk turtles face significant threat from road mortality: Blanding’s Turtle and Snapping Turtle. To date we have found over 100 turtles, including the Blanding’s Turtle and the Snapping Turtle. Identifying areas where these species and others are most significantly affected are known as “hotspots.” Identifying hotspots is an essential first step in mitigating these areas. Mitigation measures include simple fences to divert wildlife, culverts to allow wildlife to travel under roads, wildlife bridges that help wildlife cross large roadways.

Conducting this type of research can be difficult for staff and volunteers alike. Roads are quite difficult for most animals to cross successfully and seeing injured or dead animals can be traumatic. However, there are days where we are able to rescue live species. Brandon Castilla, our summer co-op student interested in pursuing a career in biology has been helping with our road ecology project this summer and recalls finding a live salamander that he had the opportunity to relocate safely off of the road. Brandon was most impacted by how much roads and traffic affect wildlife on a daily basis. Many people do not notice the extent of roadkill because small animals such as frogs, turtles and snakes are not easily seen while in a moving vehicle. He suggests anyone concerned with wildlife and conservation to volunteer with projects like our Road Ecology program to better understand the impacts of expanding communities on local wildlife populations.

Our Road Ecology program will continue through to the end of October. For more information on our Road Ecology program please contact Leah Viau at lviau@cpaws.org.

Canada's Parks Day

On Saturday, July 15th, 2017, CPAWS-OV took led a trip to Gatineau Park in order to celebrate Canada's Parks Day. Hikers had a guided hike to Healey Cabin beginning at parking lot 16 to experience the beauty and see the wildlife of Gatineau Park. Canada's Parks Day activities highlight the important role that parks play in maintaining healthy and resilient ecosystems, protecting critical habitat for species-at-risk and contributing to human health and well-being.

We chose to highlight Gatineau Park for Canada's Parks Day because Gatineau Park is a park in name only. This means that the park does not have any legislated boundaries and a mandate like most legally protected provincial and federal parks do. CPAWS-OV has been fighting for and defending Gatineau Park over the last 50 years to protect the park and ensure its’ natural beauty. This lack of protection for Gatineau Park is extremely disappointing considering all the things it has to offer. The park serves as an excellent attraction for tourists and locals who are looking to get close to nature while taking in the beautiful sceneries.

Soren, President of the Board and Chair of the Gatineau Park Committee gave a warm welcome and a short presentation on the importance of Gatineau Park. Several volunteers hiked up to Healey Cabin early to prepare watermelon, juice, snacks. crafts and games. It was the perfect day for a hike as it was around 25 degrees in the morning; one of the nicest days Ottawa has seen this year! Once we were deeper into the woods, the looming trees provided a refreshing and cool shade that prevented anyone from overheating. Leah Viau, our hike guide, provided us with brief explanations of local flora and fauna and included an engaging lesson on bear safety. We noticed many species along the 5km hike including ruffled grouse, frogs, squirles, a vole and a snake.

Upon arrival to Healey Cabin, our four volunteers who had gone up ahead had already set up the activities, snacks and refreshments. This was perhaps one of the most pleasing aspects of the hike as everyone seemed quite excited to finally get a chance to relax and eat some food! After a little while of chit-chatting, relaxing, and learning more about Healey Cabin, the group got ready to head back down to the parking lot marking the end of our day. 

CPAWS-OV is very pleased with the outcome of our event and we look forward to the next one!

Interview with our Summer Outreach Intern Fatima Diallo Alvarenga

How did you find out about CPAWS-OV?

Through an email sent out by my academic advisor at Carleton University.

What made you want to join CPAWS-OV?

I love nature and the outdoors and CPAWS had an open position for something in my field so I knew I had to join.

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

My first role with CPAWS-OV was as a community outreach assistant. I go to different events and meet with the community in order to educate them about this organization. I host activities to play with kids, I sell t-shirts and I collect signatures for our petitions, as well as donations. I also help manage our social media sites and I occasionally write blogs for the newsletter and website.

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

I’m going into my last year of my undergraduate at Carleton, I run my own online blog  and I also work part time for TD bank.

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

I love how involved it is with the outdoors and how the majority of events take place outside. It’s a great way to get active and stay active as well as get closer to nature.

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

Definitely the Canada’s Parks Day event. It was a really fun and great hike!

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

I’ve learned a lot about the campaigns, specifically the Make it a Real Park campaign. I didn’t know that Gatineau Park was not protected in the same way as most federal and provincial parks are.

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

Social media is the best way to grow your audience!

What is your favorite way to connect to nature?

I love to go camping and I love swimming in lakes.

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

I hope to travel and going camping as much as possible.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would recommend volunteering or working with CPAWS-OV to anyone who loves nature! It’s an excellent organization.