January 2019 – What We Accomplished in 2018
2018 stands out as the year we accomplished one of our top strategic goals: to secure the 440 acre Honeywell property near the village for conservation and recreation. Thanks to a three year effort by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the City of Ottawa, the land was acquired in early 2018 to be protected in perpetuity.
Here’s what we and our dedicated volunteers accomplished in 2018:
We ran three events in 2018: a moonlit snowshoe, a spring ephemerals guided walk, and a fall colours hike.
Certified guide Andrea Prazmowski conducted two popular Forest Therapy walks on the Crazy Horse Trail in the fall, one of which was featured on the BBC radio show Health Check.
We held our fifth public meeting in March 2018. Over 35 people attended, including Councillor El-Chantiry.
With grant funding from the Community Foundation of Ottawa, we continued to enhance the Crazy Horse Trail by bridging wet areas.
With the securement of the 440 acre property in 2018, we signed an agreement with Ducks Unlimited Canada to be their local partners in stewardship of their property. DUC conducted an ecological study and reported the results at their public meeting in November.
We also agreed to assist the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust with stewardship and monitoring of their Whaleback Woodland Reserve acquired in early 2018.
We held a public meeting in June to discuss the impact of increasing human use of the Carp Barrens. The City of Ottawa issued Interim Conservation Measures in response to the feedback we received. Stay tuned for our plans for 2019.
In partnership with the Ottawa Stewardship Council, we sponsored a project for third year Environmental Science students at Carleton University for options on how to communicate interpretive information along the Crazy Horse Trail.
We published another article about the “History of the Hills” and continued to interview “old timers” about what they can remember about the Carp Hills.
Our Facebook group grew by close to 100 members to 412 at the end of 2018.
We sent out 6 newsletters during the year to a subscriber base that grew to 259 by the end of 2018.
We ran a logo contest and will be announcing the results some time in January.
Nine people are contributing observations of flora and fauna in the Carp Hills using iNaturalist.
11 December 2018 – FCH Logo Contest
We received 13 beautiful submissions for our logo contest. Thank you to everyone who took the time to capture the spirit of the Carp Hills in their swoops, swirls, and swooshes. We will announce the results in January. For more information about the contest, please read our Logo Contest post.
27 November 2018 – Ducks Unlimited Canada Public Meeting
Well over 70 people came out to Ducks Unlimited Canada’s meeting last night to hear about the ecological assessment done this year on their 440 acre Carp Hills property. DUC emphasized that the land is private property and was bought for conservation as the number one priority. With assistance from FCH, DUC will develop a management plan for recreation on the property. People were able to provide comments and ask questions. We have posted DUC’s presentation and our notes from the meeting. Thank you to Councillor El-Chantiry and Nick Stow from the City of Ottawa for attending and being available to answer questions.
Prior to the meeting, CBC Radio interviewed Mark Gloutney of DUC and Janet Mason of FCH about the Carp Hills and the DUC property.
DUC acquired the 440 acre property in early 2018 for conservation purposes and held its first public forum in May to receive community feedback on ideas for the property. DUC committed to completing an ecological assessment of the site before developing a property management plan. View the presentation and Q&A from this meeting here.
24 October 2018 – FCH and DUC Sign Agreement
The Friends of the Carp Hills has signed an agreement with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) to support stewardship of DUC’s 440 acre (178 hectare) property in the Carp Hills. Read more in our post here.
21 October 2018 – Fall Colours Guided Hike
The sun didn’t shine, but we enjoyed the warmth of good company in our invigorating hike up the Carp escarpment to look out over the Carp River valley. We then headed into the hills for scenic views of giant boulders, wetlands, ponds, mosses, and colourful leaves, and finished back where we started with a bonfire. Thank you to landowner Greg for opening his property to the public, and to guides Brian and Bernard for leading the group.
13 October 2018 – Forest Therapy Walk in the Carp Hills
Due to demand, we ran another Forest Therapy Walk on the Crazy Horse Trail on Saturday, 13 October from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm. Tickets were $22 (plus fees). A portion of the proceeds went to the Friends of the Carp Hills.
Once again we were led by certified Forest Therapy guide Andrea Prazmowski (http://www.foresttherapyottawa.ca). Over the course of the gentle 2.5 hour exploration, Andrea invited the participants to deepen their connection to the forest and nature. Refreshed and calmed by the forest, the walk ended with snacks and tea.
One of the participants in our first forest therapy walk made a lovely video of her experience, which you can view here.
30 September 2018 – Interim Conservation Measures for the Carp Barrens
As a result of the public meeting we held and the feedback we received about the Carp Barrens, the City of Ottawa has instituted Interim Conservation Measures to protect the land that it owns in this ecologically sensitive area. On 13 September the City sent a letter outlining these measures to organizations connected to or known to use the Carp Barrens. Read the letter in our post.
25 September 2018 – SOLD OUT – Forest Therapy Event in the Carp Hills
May the Forest be with you! Certified Forest Therapy guide Andrea Prazmowski generously donated her time to lead a walk on the Crazy Horse Trail for peace, reflection, and spiritual health. We had so much interest in this event that we may run another one this fall.
22 July 2018 – Carp Barrens Public Feedback
We’ve published the feedback from our public meeting, survey, and request for comments on human use of the Carp Barrens. See our Carp Barrens Survey Post.
11 June 2018 – Public Meeting on Use of the Carp Barrens
The Friends of the Carp Hills (FCH) invite you to a public meeting at the Huntley Community Centre Mess Hall at 2240 Craig Side Road, on 11 June at 7 p.m. to share your views on the conservation and use of the Carp Barrens on land owned by the City of Ottawa. Councillor El-Chantiry and City staff will be on hand to participate and answer questions.
Public use of the Carp Barrens has increased substantially. Users have created and marked new trails without City authorization. The sensitive vegetation and wildlife of the area have experienced damage and disturbance. Parking on the narrow shoulder of Thomas A. Dolan Parkway creates a safety hazard.
City staff will consider feedback from this meeting in a review of its management practices for sensitive habitats.
For more information about this meeting and how you can participate, please see our Carp Barrens Post.
9 May 2018 – Public Meeting About New DUC Acquisition in the Carp Hills
To see the presentation and the Q&A from the meeting, see our post DUC Carp Hills Property.
5 May 2018 – Ephemeral Nature of Spring Guided Hike
We had perfect weather, no bugs, and a capacity crowd for our spring ephemeral nature hike. Thank you to our guides: ecologist Cathy Keddy and vocally-challenged field naturalist Art Goldsmith, and to Karen Kreuger who gave voice to Art’s bird sightings and information. Thanks also to everyone who came out and to those who helped with a donation. Highlights of the tour were the Yellow-rumped Warbler, the Painted Turtles sunning themselves next to a nesting Canada Goose, and all the beautiful wildflowers: Hepaticas, Trout Lilies, Bloodroot, and Wild Ginger. Photos can be viewed on our Facebook page.
April 2018 – Hidden Lake
The beautiful 121 acre Hidden Lake property will soon have a new resident. Meet Greg Bell, a young farmer who purchased the land at the end of 2013. “I was searching for farm land and for some reason the agent brought me to see the Hidden Lake property,” said Greg. “Although not suitable for farming, its natural beauty and tranquillity resonated with me. I wanted to live there.” Read more about Greg and his property.
23 April 2018 – DUC Announces Acquisition of 440 Acres in the Carp Hills
Ducks Unlimited Canada, the City of Ottawa, the Government of Canada and several private donors have joined forces to ensure that a 178 hectare (440-acres) property in the Carp Hills landscape, will remain pristine for wildlife and for people – now, and into the future. Read DUC’s News Release and more information about this new protected property in the Carp Hills.
20 April 2018 – Whaleback Woodland Reserve Commemoration Ceremony
The Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) honoured Carolyn Canfield for her generous donation of the 15.7 acre Whaleback Woodland Reserve in the Carp Hills. Carolyn gave a passionate speech about the importance of preserving our biodiversity and letting the land evolve naturally. Read more about Whaleback Woodland Reserve here.
30 March 2018 – MMLT Acquires Conservation Property in the Carp Hills
The Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) announced at its AGM last night that it has acquired through donation a 15.7 acre property in the Carp Hills called the Whaleback Woodland Reserve. MMLT will announce further details about the property later in April. The Friends of the Carp Hills are partnered with MMLT for land conservation. For more information, see Preserving the Carp Hills.
27 March 2018 – Door Prizes and Ducks Unlimited Canada at our AGM and Public Meeting
Over thirty people came out to our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Public Meeting on Tuesday night at the Carp Memorial Hall to hear about what we accomplished last year and what we plan for 2018+. Our guest speaker was Mark Gloutney, Regional Director for Ducks Unlimited Canada, who told us about DUC’s conservation mandate, its activities in the area, and its partnership with Friends of the Carp Hills to conserve land.
Mark tantalized the audience with his comment that there will be a significant announcement on 23 April about the Carp Hills. Stay tuned!
We were able to raise over $200 with the generous donation of door prizes from many local Carp businesses. Many thanks to the following donors:
- DEKA Home Hardware – bird feeder and bag of bird seed
- Carp Ag. Society – 2 admission tickets to the Carp Fair
- Pawsh Pets – free dog grooming certificate
- Gloss Hair Salon – $25 gift certificate
- Pizza Workz – $25 gift certificate
- Juke Joint – $25 gift certificate
- Moonstones Gallery and Markerplace (formerly at The Hive, moving soon to D. B. Munro) – lavender candle
- Carp Bakery – box of a dozen delicious baked goods
- Maureen Rae – jar of her own maple syrup
28 January 2018 – Celebrate the Winter Blues Moonlight Snowshoe Event
The Blue Moon sailed among the drifting clouds and lit our way over the forest trail. About twenty people donned snowshoes and crampons to trek a packed snow trail on a mild night at the Carp EcoWellness Centre. Thank you to our host, Katherine, and to our volunteers for the après snowshoe hot chocolate and goodies.