International Migratory Bird Day

International Migratory Bird Day comes to Ottawa on Saturday, May 13, 2017. 

Nature Canada and the Canadian Biodiversity Institute will host a series of fun events at Brewer Park to mark the day. They include guided bird watching walks, a visual nature scavenger hunt, a predatory bird show, storytelling, and displays about birds and how to help protect them.

From the organizers:

Nature Canada and the Canadian Biodiversity Institute invite you to join us for International Migratory Bird Day in Brewer Park on Saturday May 13, 2017 from 10am – 1pm.

This international event celebrates migratory birds making the long trip back from their wintering grounds in Central and South America to their nesting grounds here in North America. The theme for this free, family-friendly and fun event is “Helping Birds along the Way.”

Activities include guided bird-watching walks along the Rideau River and, especially for the kids, a scavenger hunt, storytelling, and crafts.

Falcon-Ed will bring trained hawks and owls for a raptor (predatory bird) demonstration, showing them flying as well as perched.

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority will give a tour of its revitalized pond project.

There will also be an information tent featuring local organizations that focus on birds and many aspects of their interesting lives. Bring just yourself or the whole family and have a free, fun, interesting and educational experience that will open a door to the fascinating world of birds!

For more information visit: http://naturecanada.ca/news/blog/ottawa-bird-day-2017/

To get to Brewer Park across from Carleton University:

Bus Routes 4, 7, 104, or take the O-Train Trillium Line to Carleton University and walk across Bronson. There is also limited parking on-site and at Carleton University.

Jane’s Walk Ottawa 2017

It’s Jane’s Walk time!

This annual series of walks explores and celebrates well-known and not-so-well-known public spaces, connects people with the built and natural environments around them, and sheds light on what makes for a liveable city.

Update: Jane’s Walk Ottawa is still on despite the rain, but check the Jane’s Walk Ottawa website to make sure the walk you want to attend hasn’t been cancelled due to wet conditions or flooding.

What makes Jane’s Walk particularly compelling is that the walks are led by local residents: storytellers, historians, scientists, community organizers, neighbours and others who volunteer to share their perspectives on parts of the city they know. The walks are free and open to everyone.

This year, Jane’s Walk in Ottawa-Gatineau takes place May 6-7. The 50+ local walks happen at the same time as thousands more around the world, all commemorating the ideas of writer and activist Jane Jacobs. Jacobs advocated for people-centred urban planning, building on the “intricate sidewalk ballet” of informal neighbourhood activities, for example, and for vibrant, accessible neighbourhoods.

There are so many great walks this weekend that it’s hard to list them here, so check out the full schedule at janeswalkottawa.ca. Here’s just a sample of what’s available to discover:

  • Envision Elgin St., Stittsville Main St., Rideau St. or Bank St. as redesigned lively, walkable community streets;
  • Take a foodie tour focused on local, organic food in Centretown;
  • See downtown through the eyes of an Indigenous woman, or from the points of view of people who have experienced homelessness, or from other perspectives;
  • Examine the past, present and future of Lebreton Flats; land use in the Central Experimental Farm; or the shift of a disused railway line into a green corridor;
  • Learn about Indigenous people’s relationship with the Ottawa and Gatineau Rivers, colonialism, industrialization, urban planning, resistance and resurgence;
  • Find wild, edible plants growing in the heart of the city;
  • Check out Little Free Libraries in the Glebe;
  • Discover how downtown buildings can be made more bird-friendly;
  • Explore the connections between urban design and health in the Carling/Merivale area;
  • Learn about the ecology and restoration of the Pinhey Sand Dunes.

Also see the Jane’s Walk Ottawa and Jane’s Walk websites for more information about Jane Jacobs’ life and work. (Check out Ten Big Ideas drawn from Jane Jacob’s work.)

Hope to see you on a walk!

Posted by Denise Deby.

 

 

Earth Day Every Day

Earth Day Flag by John McConnell (flag designer) NASA (Earth photograph) SiBr4 (flag image) The Earth seen from Apollo 17 with transparent background

Written by Denise Deby.

Earth Day 2017 has come and gone, but if you’re looking to make good on any “Earth Day resolutions,” or keep up focus on the environment, here are some suggestions:

Get involved with an environmental organization

Katherine Forster over at Wild. Here. has launched a new resource on her website: a listing of volunteer opportunities at nature organizations. It contains an impressive number of ways to get involved, such as helping maintain or advocate for our city’s wild and natural spaces. Katherine explains, “There are so many local organizations doing such great work to help nature and our environment and it’s also fun for locals to get outdoors and lend a hand!” Do check out this great site.

Re-energize for living sustainably

Spring is a good time to reconnect with the earth, renew a commitment to living lightly and re-energize for the journey. Sign up for Bike to Work Month and the 30×30 Nature Challenge, both in May, or take a walk in one of the above-mentioned natural areas.

Keep showing your support for the environment

The People’s Climate March is happening on Saturday, Apr. 29, 2017 in Ottawa and other cities. Here in Ottawa, it’s from 12:30-3 p.m. starting at Confederation Park. Details here.

Please let us know of other suggestions you have.

 

More April Events

Posted by Denise Deby.

Photo of Diana Beresford-Kroeger courtesy Call of the Forest Film / Treespeak Films http://calloftheforest.ca/

Call of the Forest Film – Wednesday, Apr. 12 – Saturday, Apr. 15, 2017

This documentary features amazing local author and environmental scientist Diana Beresford-Kroeger and her journeys to explore and share the history, legacy and contributions of ancient northern forests, and our connection to them. She also examines native species, how to plant them and the medicinal and ecological benefits they provide. Call of the Forest – The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees is on at the ByTowne Cinema; see their website for times.

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The Same River Twice: Nature, Media, and Philosophy in the Anthropocene – Wednesday, Apr. 12, 2017

Carleton Climate Commons Working Group presents this talk by Dr. Etienne Turpin on urban ecologies, human understandings of nature and much more (see the website for details). At Carleton University, 132 Azrieli Pavilion from 3-4:30 p.m.

* * *

Zero Waste Talk with Bea Johnson – Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017

​Bea Johnson’s zero waste lifestyle launched a movement on living waste-free. The creator of Zero Waste Home will be speaking at this session hosted by NU Grocery—Ottawa’s first zero waste grocery store—in collaboration with city councillors David Chernushenko, Catherine McKenney, Jeff Leiper, Mathieu Fleury and Tobi Nussbaum, EnviroCentre and EcoLead. At First Baptist Church, 7-9:30 p.m. See Eventbrite for details.

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Urban Organic Gardening Seminars 2017 – Tuesday, Apr. 18 – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Canadian Organic Growers Ottawa – St. Lawrence – Outaouais (COG-OSO) presents its spring series of seminars on growing organic vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. Topics include getting started, healthy soils, in-ground and container gardening, pest management, vertical gardening and more–you can sign up for one seminar, or the whole series. At City Hall, 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. See the schedule and registration information on the COG-OSO website.

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April 2017 Events

Posted by Denise Deby.

More April events this week!

Urban Forum, in partnership with loveOttawa, is holding I Love Ottawa, an evening about what people around our city love about Ottawa and why. It’s on Wednesday, Apr. 5, 2017, 7-9 p.m. at the Champlain Room, Ottawa City Hall. Presenters include Ottawa River Keeper Meredith Brown, Ottawa writer Phil Jenkins, Ecology Ottawa’s Graham Saul, cycling advocate Hans Moor, photographers and creative city builders Dwayne Brown and Anita Ruivo of the loveOttawa project, and other people you’d love to hear and see from. Urban Forum is presented by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute, Ontario Association of Landscape Architects, Ottawa Regional Society of Architects, Institute of Transportation Engineers and City of Ottawa.

Also on Wednesday, Apr. 5, the Carleton Climate Commons Group presents Climate Politics: Trudeau, Trump, Political In/Action, and Alternative Forms of Political Mobilization. Speakers from climate, university and environmental groups will lead the discussion on strategies for change in the current political environment. It’s 7-9 p.m. at the James St. Pub (390 Bank St.)

The City of Ottawa continues its Wildlife Speaker Series with A Celebration of Canada’s Wildlife on Thursday, Apr. 6, including a Wildlife Expo at 6 p.m. and a presentation by naturalist Michael Runtz of Carleton University at 7 p.m.

The NCC’s Capital Urbanism Lab – Youth Engagement in City Building on Thursday, Apr. 6 is all about how youth are engaged in creating the city through housing, transportation and community development, from the perspective of groups from California, Edmonton and Gatineau. It’s from 6-8 p.m. at 40 Elgin St., 2nd floor (and will be livestreamed on YouTube).

Added: Just Food presents a discussion on growing (and eating) vegetables, seasonal eating and wild foraging with Stephen Barstow, author of Around the World in 80 Plants. On Thursday, Apr. 6 at Centretown United Church, 6-9 p.m. 

If you’ve ever wanted to learn skills in repairing and making stuff rather than throwing out or buying new, the Ottawa Tool Library and Makerspace North have a deal for you. On Saturday, Apr. 8 from 11-4, they’re hosting a Repair Café, where you can bring your items that need repairing (or share your repairing skills), and a Make-a-Thon, where you can reserve space to work on your project—and borrow tools from the library, of course. Check the website for more information and to register.

Learn more about the connections between the environment and health at Upstream’s Closing the Gap: Better Health for All conference on Saturday, Apr. 8. It’s from 1-5 p.m. with evening speakers scheduled as well. If you register to attend, you can also access the livestream of the event.

Stay tuned for more April events as we approach Earth Day, April 22.

 

 

Protecting Gatineau Park

Posted by Denise Deby.

Gatineau Park has 361 square kms of wilderness habitats and striking geological features, 50 lakes, thousands of species (including 50 mammal, 10 reptile, 15 amphibian, 230 bird and more than 1000 plant species) and 140 species at risk–but it doesn’t have the same protection as a national or provincial park.

For many years, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-Ottawa Valley, through its Make it a Real Park campaign, has been calling for legislation and action to protect Gatineau Park.

CPAWS-OV is hosting a Café Scientifique–an informal conversation over refreshments–to explain the Make it a Real Park campaign.

The Café Scientifique is on Monday, Mar. 13, 2017 from 7-9 p.m. at Fox and Feather (283 Elgin St.).

Learn more on CPAWS-OV’s website.

Awakening to Ottawa’s Chaudière Falls

 

Chaudière Falls, Ottawa, ON, 1870 by William Notman (1826-1891) Musée McCord Museum on Flickr Creative Commons No known restrcitions
Chaudière Falls, Ottawa, ON, 1870 by
William Notman (1826-1891) Musée McCord Museum on Flickr Creative Commons No known restrictions  https://www.flickr.com/photos/museemccordmuseum/2918568677/in/photostream/

Posted by Denise Deby.

On Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, see Awakening, a film about the late Algonquin Elder William Commanda’s celebrated vision for the Chaudière Falls and islands as an international gathering site.

Authors David Mulholland and Romola Thumbadoo will also share reflections that shed light on Ottawa as Algonquin territory, and on Elder Commanda’s legacy.

It’s at Kitchissippi United Church (630 Island Park Drive), 7-9:30 p.m. Details here: http://ottawastart.com/events/film-documenting-indigenous-vision-for-chaudiere-falls-to-be-shown-at-kitchissippi-united-church/

See more on the Falls vision and area here: https://freethefalls.ca/