Owl logo The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club

Bulletin board

Celebrating the Carp Hills

Sunday, September 13, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
150 Donald B. Munro Drive, Carp
A donation of $5 per person, $10 per family is requested

Join the Friends of Huntley Highlands in “Celebrating the Hills”, a public event on a 50-acre private property in the Carp Hills near the village of Carp. Surrounded by an old forest with rocky outcrops of rugged Canadian Shield, participants can enjoy many activities, explore nature trails, and climb to an exceptional view overlooking the Carp River valley. An art show and sale, guided and self-guided nature walks, music, refreshments, and children’s activities are planned. The West Carleton War Memorial bronze sculpture by artist Ron Cowle will be on display. Guided nature hikes by Dr. Owen Clarkin.

More information

Green cities and the challenge of achieving 100% renewable energy use

September 16, 2015
Jean Pigott Place, City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W
Doors open for a reception at 6 pm and the speaking event begins at 7 pm

Please join us to hear Andrea Reimer, Deputy Mayor of Vancouver; Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; and David Chernushenko, Ottawa’s Chair of the Environment Committee as they discuss the move to green cities and the challenge of achieving 100% renewable energy use.

Andrea Reimer is one of the most progressive environmental voices in Canadian municipal politics and a highly sought-after public speaker. She was elected to Vancouver City Council in 2008, -11, and -14, is the lead for Vancouver’s award-winning Greenest City Action Plan and has been awarded the Queen's Jubilee medal for that leadership. Vancouver City Council has officially adopted a goal of their city being powered by 100% renewable energy by 2050 and Andrea Reimer has spoken internationally on the topic, describing Vancouver’s plans and encouraging other cities to do the same. She is a member of the Green Municipal Fund Council of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and is renowned as a climate change champion familiar with the challenges that municipalities face.

Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which shared the Peace Prize with her that year. In 2004, Williams was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world in the publication of its first such annual list. She has long advocated for the increased use of renewable energy and in 2012 led an international delegation along the proposed route of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, learning from women along the way the local impacts of fossil fuel dependency. In 2011, she co-authored with fellow Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu an opinion editorial calling on President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline and fulfill his promise to support investment in clean, renewable energy. Her long experience and success in changing things for the better makes her an exciting speaker with much to contribute on the topic of making cities green and renewable.

David Chernushenko is serving his second term as City Councillor in Ottawa, having campaigned on moving the city toward a 100% renewable energy target by 2050. He served for three years on the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, and for six years on the International Olympic Committee’s Sport and Environment Commission. He is also a co-founder of the national charity Clean Air Champions. He is a “green building” professional accredited by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification program and has written three books on sustainable management practices. His role as Environment Committee Chair driving the City of Ottawa’s renewable energy strategy will allow him to reflect authoritatively on how Andrea Reimer’s and Jody Williams’ thoughts apply locally.

Click here to RSVP now!

The transition to 100% renewable energy means that we will stop using oil, gas and coal; and that objective was agreed to by the G7 and our Canadian government this past summer. At a municipal level, not only has Vancouver committed to 100% renewable energy but so have a growing number of cities around the world, including Ontario, where Oxford County west of Toronto has made the commitment.

Climate change is a problem caused by people and so it makes sense that, since most people live in cities, much of what causes climate change happens in cities. According to Andrea Reimer, 70% to 75% of greenhouse gases from energy use comes from urban areas. According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, city governments have jurisdiction over as much as half of the activities contributing to these energy uses (heating, cooling and powering buildings, transportation, etc.).

One of the latest buzzwords in the climate change movement is “subnational governments.” Cities, regions and provinces are taking action not only because the pace of progress at an international level is so frustratingly slow, but also because it is now clear that local governments have real power to make change.

Support a Private Nature Reserve application near Aylmer, Quebec

The Laidlaw family invites OFNC members to visit and explore their 122-acre farm property on the Ottawa River just west of Aylmer, Quebec. There is a maple-cedar forest on the shale escarpment of the river, a forest of old beech, maple and conifers at the north end of the property, a small creek, temporary ponds and two marsh areas, as well as fields and pastures.

Biologists are monitoring the site for the red-headed woodpecker and western chorus frog. Jamie Laidlaw is applying to have Quebec recognize this property as a Private Nature Reserve. Our interest, observations and photographs can help him describe natural features of the farm that warrant preservation and deserve protection from development pressures.

To learn more or to arrange a visit, please contact Jamie at 819-332-1705 or jamielaidlaw@videotron.ca.

Encourage the government to do the right thing!

You have probably heard that the government of Ontario has proposed a dramatic reduction in the use of neonicontinoid pesticides. The Grain Farmers of Ontario are against limiting the use of these pesticides and have launched ads in a number of newspapers asking people to complain to the provincial government that farmers are under attack.

If you think neonics should be banned or limited, take a minute and send the premier an email. There will be a lot of pressure on the government to cave in to the farmers' demands. The government needs to see there is widespread support for limiting these toxic pesticides.

We like to complain when the government does the wrong things, but we also need to encourage them to do the right things. Email Kathleen Wynne at premier@ontario.ca.

Birds and Windows Project

The University of Alberta has developed the Birds and Windows Project to study bird window collisions at your home. We encourage everyone - whether you've had a bird collision or not - to take a look at our website and participate in the study.

What is the issue?
It has been estimated up to 1 billion birds are killed in North America each year as a result of bird window collisions! This is one of the largest threats to bird populations, with residential homes representing the majority of building-related mortality.

Get involved!
To better understand what can be done to reduce bird window collisions, the University of Alberta has developed this project to actively involve YOU in data collection. We are asking you to think about bird window collisions you have observed in the past and would like you to regularly search around your residence for evidence of bird window collisions in the future. By collecting this data we hope to identify the factors that make some windows more risky for birds than others.

As a citizen scientist you can help!
Visit the website - http://birdswindows.biology.ualberta.ca/.

The project consists of a brief survey (10 minutes) on the characteristics of your home and any previous history of bird window collisions. After this is completed you are encouraged to actively participate in the study for an extended period by completing daily perimeter searches around your home. Each time you complete a perimeter search we'd like you to enter your observation into our online calendar (which the survey will link you to once you've completed the first stage). If daily searches do not fit you lifestyle we still encourage you to participate. As well, there is no limit to how long you can participate.

Thank you for helping us make our homes a healthy habitat for us and all our neighbours!

Top of Page

© Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club
This page was revised on 3 September 2015
Contact the OFNC