Flooding in Ottawa-Gatineau

Thoughts go out to everyone affected by the flooding.

The City of Ottawa and the City of Gatineau have posted information about the flooding, how to stay safe in flood conditions (around the water, near electricity and with drinking water), and where to obtain assistance.

Other information available:

How to volunteer to help with flooding recovery over the next few weeks: https://ottawa.ca/en/register-volunteer-flooding-efforts

Where to donate to support recovery efforts through the Salvation Army or Canadian Red Cross: http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/older-adults/safety/emergency-preparedness/emergency-notifications-flooding-information#-donations

Where to get help for coping with stress, worry and other mental health needs (links for the Distress Centre, Tel-Aide Outaouais, Walk-In Counselling Clinics and other supports): http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/older-adults/safety/emergency-preparedness/emergency-notifications-flooding-information#responding-stressful-events

The Ottawa Riverkeeper also has information and links on what to do and where to get help.

Stay safe, everyone.

Posted by Denise Deby.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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.

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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.

 

 

Nature Scene at the Canadian Museum of Nature

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Posted by Denise Deby.

Why nature matters: that’s the focus of this week’s symposium, Nature Scene, at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

First up is a talk by Richard Louv on the need for nature in our high-tech lives. Richard Louv is the author of Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life, The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age, and Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder. He’s also co-founder of the Children & Nature Network and honorary co-chair of Canada’s Child in Nature Alliance. His keynote is on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, 7-9 p.m.

The Nature Scene symposium features speakers on healthy living, nature activities, children in nature, and urban dwellers in nature; hands-on activities; an Indigenous walking tour; and information displays from Nature Canada, OCDSB Eco Schools, Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club, Ecology Ottawa, The Wild Garden and many others. It’s on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016 from 9-4:45 p.m.

Nature Scene is geared toward understanding why nature matters for health and well-being, and what we can do to sustain and enhance our engagement with nature.

See the Museum of Nature’s website for further details and registration.

Here’s an interview with Richard Louv talking about “Vitamin N”—nature—on CKCU FM 93.1’s Friday Special Blend.

 

Organic Master Gardener Course

ottawaomgflier_fall2016

Posted by Denise Deby. Thanks to Julia Dupuis, Canadian Organic Growers for the information.

What better time than the fall to upgrade your gardening skills?

Canadian Organic Gardeners is once again hosting its Organic Master Gardener course, running Saturdays from October 22 to December 3, 2016.

The course is for seasoned and new gardeners—really, anyone interested in and willing to invest in learning how to maintain a vegetable garden, container garden, ornamental garden, lawn or other patch of soil in an eco-friendly way, without pesticides or a lot of watering. The course helps understand the connections between soil, plant, human and environmental health, and shares practical knowledge such as plant selection, watering and composting.

For details and to register, visit COG’s website, or email them at office[at]cog.ca or phone 888-375-7383.

 

Celebrating Trees

Written by Denise Deby.

Healthy Trees--Healthy City: A Celebration of National Tree Day image courtesy City of Ottawa
Healthy Trees–Healthy City: A Celebration of National Tree Day image courtesy City of Ottawa

Ottawa is celebrating trees this month.

The Ottawa Fall Tree Festival continues until Oct. 15. Every Saturday, Tree Fest Ottawa is hosting a photography exhibit, walks and other activities that celebrate the people and groups working to protect and promote trees in our city. The Festival happens in Brewer Park; see the website for details.

The Healthy Trees—Healthy City event, hosted by the City of Ottawa in collaboration with Ottawa Public Health and Tree Fest Ottawa, is happening on National Tree Day, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. A Healthy Communities Expo with community organizations starts at 6 p.m.; at 7 p.m. there’s a talk by University of Chicago professor Marc Berman, who led a multi-country study on the health effects of increasing the urban tree canopy. Tree Fest Ottawa’s new photography exhibit, PhotoSynthesis 2, launches the same evening. Find more information on the City’s website.

The Champlain Oaks Project is a great example of what community members can do to support trees and tree habitat. Residents and the community association have reached an agreement with the NCC to restore the natural forest in their urban neighbourhood. Check out their latest post.