2018 Events & News

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.
  • We continued an outreach to interested landowners to discuss conservation of their properties. Our partners for this initiative are Ducks Unlimited Canada and Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust.
  • 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.  

Logo Contest

Calling all artists!  We need a logo. We’re holding a contest and hope to inspire local graphic designers to capture the beauty of the Carp Hills in a simple, but distinctive symbol for our organization. The winner will receive — glory!  Also a ball cap sporting the logo and a three year membership in the FCH.
The design must meet the following requirements:

  • Use no more than two colours.
  • The logo must be easy to identify and render in a single colour to make it recognizable in black and white and in silhouette.
  • Incorporate the theme of the landscape as much as possible – hills, rock (Canadian Shield), water, trees, turtles, etc.
  • Incorporate the name “Friends of the Carp Hills”. Use Georgia font.
  • Fit within any shape, with or without a border – square, rectangle, circle, triangle, diamond, etc, – keeping in mind that it will be used on web sites, letterhead, social media, ball caps, etc.
  • Optional consideration: If the words “Friends of the Carp Hills” and a graphic are separate, then the shape of the graphic should be distinct and recognizable without the use of the words.

The deadline is 10 December.  The winner will be announced in the second week of January. Submit your contest entries to info@carphills.com. Please provide the following information in your contest entry:

  • a colour version of your logo in JPEG.
  • a single colour version of your logo in JPEG.
  • your name, address, email, and phone number.

You may submit as many logo entries as you like.

The winner will provide high and low resolution files in JPEG and PDF for the colour and single colour versions. The winner must sign over the rights to use the logo
We reserve the right not to select any entry.  

Fall Colours Hike on 21 Oct

We invite you to join us for a guided hike in the Carp Hills on Sunday, 21 October at 1:30pm.  We will start on private property at Donald B. Munro Drive, where we will ascend the escarpment for one of the best views of the Carp River valley.  We’ll then cross over onto city-owned land for a scenic view over a wetland near the Crazy Horse Trail, and return to where we started.

Make sure you wear hiking boots or other sturdy shoes. We will be crossing 15m of wetland on a narrow, temporary boardwalk. Some sections of the hike are wet.

We encourage everyone to bring their cameras and post their photos to our Facebook page.  The best photo (as judged by the FCH executive) will be used as our Facebook banner.

There is no need to pre-register.  The event will run rain or shine (unless it’s pouring!). A donation of $10 is appreciated to help cover our insurance costs.  Since we will be starting and ending on private land, participants must stay with the guides and group.  You will be asked to sign a waiver, which you can download and bring to the event.  We will have some paper copies on-site for those who forget to bring them.

To get there:  Park behind The Carp Cabin at 211 Donald B. Munro Drive.  Walk across the road, through the gate, and up the gravel track until you reach the open grassy area where you will register and gather before the hike. 

People participate in this event at their own risk.  Wear hiking boots and tuck your socks into your pants. The terrain is very rugged and the climb is steep.  The trail may be wet and slippery. You may hike through poison ivy.  Black-legged ticks are present and may carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

You can download and print the waiver (PDF) here.

Forest Therapy in the Carp Hills


In celebration of National Forest Week, we are pleased to offer some” Tree Time” on Tuesday September 25th from 1000 am to 1230 pm. As part of this fundraiser, we will be guided by certified Forest Therapy guide Andrea Prazmowski (http://www.foresttherapyottawa.ca). Over the course of this gentle 2.5 hour exploration, Andrea will invite us to deepen our connection to the forest and nature. Refreshed and calmed by the forest, we will end with snacks and tea.

Meet at the trailhead for the Crazy Horse Trail on March Road at Huntmar Drive. Come dressed with sturdy footwear and protection from possible mosquitoes and ticks.

Tickets are $20 (plus fees) and must be purchased in advance through Eventbrite. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/forest-therapy-in-the-carp-hills-tickets-50164205489

This is a rain or shine event. The forest never disappoints.

If you have any questions, please contact Maureen Rae.

More than 1 in 3 ticks testing positive for Lyme Disease

From CTV News, 26 June 2017

Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa
Published Monday, June 26, 2017 5:16PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 26, 2017 6:45PM EDT

An Ottawa researcher is trying to figure out why the west end of our city is seeing a dramatic rise in the number of ticks carrying Lyme disease.  Epidemiologist Dr. Manisha Kulkarni says her research shows that at least one in every three ticks is carrying the bacteria that can cause a chronic and debilitating illness. The research so far shows about 30 to 40 percent of those west end ticks are testing positive for Lyme disease but Dr. Kulkarni believes it could be higher than that.

Brown bagging it has a whole new meaning at this University of Ottawa lab.

“So these are the samples that have come in from Ottawa Public Health,” says Dr. Kulkarni, as she opens a fridge in her uOttawa lab. 

“This is a weeks’ worth, so we’re probably looking at about 15 ticks per week,” she explains. 

They are ticks sent to Ottawa Public Health from members of the public, taken off themselves or their children.  They end up in Dr. Kulkarni’s lab for testing.

This year she says, there are far more ticks submitted than last year and many more testing positive for Lyme disease, especially those from Kanata, Carp and Stittsville. 

“We’re seeing a higher proportion of ticks from certain parts of west end,” she says, “more than 30 to 40% are positive in some areas.”

Dr. Kulkarni’s research project, funded in part by the Public health Agency of Canada, is trying to figure out why recreational trails, provincial and municipal parks in the west end are seeing a dramatic rise in the number of ticks. The thinking is that it is connected to a growing problem south of us, a problem creeping up a wooded corridor in the Kingston area that has a long-established tick problem.

“It does seem to be a corridor coming up from St. Lawrence Valley,” she says, “There’s a wooded corridor that seems to really prone to tick populations.”

Dr. Kulkarni’s students are monitoring that population in the Ottawa area by dragging for ticks in 19 parks and recreational paths across this city.  Charles Thickstun, who is a Masters students in Epidemiology says he and his two colleagues found no ticks today at the Rideau River Eastern Pathway park in Ottawa’s north east end but,

“The Greenbelt pathway, Stony Swamp and down Smiths Falls by Murphy Point,” he says, “We found quite a few there.”

That’s no surprise to Lesley Fleming.  She has Lyme disease and a keen interest in where those Lyme-carrying ticks are.  She dragged for ticks at the NCC recreational pathway behind the DND building off Moodie Drive a few weeks ago.  Of the two ticks she found, both tested positive for Lyme disease. The path is popular with both DND employees and dog walkers.

“I used to bring my dog here,” Fleming says, “and a year and a half ago; we found 7 ticks on her so I’ve never been back.”

She also dragged for ticks at a popular bird-watching spot in Shirley’s Bay.  One of the three ticks collected tested positive for Lyme.  Now, alongside the no-smoking and poison ivy signs, she’s pushing for signage to warn of ticks.

“The warning signs need to say there are ticks present that carry a high percentage of Lyme disease,” Fleming says, “with references to prevention material where people can find out how to take precautions

Ottawa Public Health says with the wet weather, it has yet to begin dragging for ticks but plans to start June 28th in Carp, Stittsville and Rockcliffe Park.  Later this summer, it will do tick drags in all areas of the city including east and south ends. OPH says to date, 88 ticks from the Ottawa area have been submitted and 17 or 19.3% have tested positive for Lyme disease.

Tree Cutting Near Hidden Lake Park

Updates to the Post made on 26 April are in Blue.

Summary:  It appears that the cutting occurred in an area zoned for development, probably without proper regard for consulting MVCA or MNRF or telling the neighbours, but generally it is lawful.

This post is meant to provide information about the property near Hidden Lake Park where tree cutting started on 23 April 2018.  Zoning Information is sourced from GeoOttawa and is current (confirmed).

First, the property consists of 35 acres (14 ha).  In the map below, it is shown in blue.  It has narrow road frontage on Carp Road shown in the bottom left.  The property is next to Hidden Lake Park, shown in purple on the the right hand side.

There are three zonings on the property, which are outlined in RED:

  • V2B – an L-shaped area where residences can be built,
  • DR1 – development reserve, a pie-shaped area where residences can be built, and
  • EP3 – environmental protection level 3 where a single residence can be built subject to various constraints.

(Speculation) There looks to be an option for a road from the DR1 zoned area between 157 and 165 Hidden Lake Crescent.

The next map shows that the V2B and the DR1 areas fall within the Community Design Plan for the village of Carp – see the pink overlay. Combined with the zoning, these areas are available for development at a density consistent with other development in the village.  (Note: The EP3 area does not fall within the CDP area.)

A Provincially Significant Wetland lies within the EP3 boundary. Permission of the conservation authority, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority in this case, must be given for any alteration of the wetland or any alteration of its hydrological function within120m of the wetland.  Part of the DR1 zoned area falls within the 120m boundary.  Councillor El-Chantiry has asked MVCA to visit the site to determine if there has been an impact on the wetland function.

The mica mine in Hidden Lake Park is located at the easternmost corner (right side) of the DR1 zoned area.  Looking at the logged area on 25 April from this vantage point, it would appear (this is opinion, not a fact) that logging has cleared the V2B and DR1 portions.

This City has confirmed that is has not received a planning application for this property, and thus cannot regulate tree cutting.  Ottawa’s Tree Conservation Bylaw only applies to the urban area and Carp lies outside the urban boundary.

So, what can we conclude?

  • Development of V2B and (part of) DR1 was a given.  Trees were going to be removed sometime.
  • Since there is currently no planning application, the City has no authority over the removal of the trees.
  • If there is no alteration of the wetland’s hydrological function within the 120m area, then there is no violation of regulations.

What’s in questions are:

Where?  Hidden Lake is a known nesting area for Species at Risk (SAR) Blanding’s turtles (Threatened status).  Under the Endangered Species Act, habitat cannot be damaged or destroyed, but the guidelines are flexible and require quite a bit of on-the-ground knowledge about the extent of the population and its habits in the area. 

When?  At the federal level the Migratory Bird Act comes into play as we’re into nesting season. In addition, the City has a Protocol for Wildlife Construction during Construction, but this does not apply to this property since there is no planning application.

How? (This is speculation) It is likely that the clearing of this property has been done without consultation with MVCA or MNRF.  Permission from the City was not required.

Who?  We want to make clear that the owner of this property is NOT the owner of the Hidden Lake property where the new house is being built behind Charlie’s Lane.  Please see our Post about Hidden Lake.

This is all the information we have at this point.  Updates will be made as more information becomes available.

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.”

Other than building his house in an environmentally sensitive manner, Greg’s number one priority is conserving the landscape.  He plans no other structures or alterations to the property.  He shares the Friends of the Carp Hills’ goal to protect the Carp Hills and sees himself as a steward of the land. 

Greg knows that in the past residents have enjoyed walking and skiing in Hidden Lake, but the property is private and not open to the public.  Greg will be posting signs to ensure that people know where the boundaries are and they don’t inadvertently trespass.  ATVs and hunting on the northern side of the property to shoot waterfowl are also not permitted.

People can still experience Hidden Lake in the City-owned 10 acre park next to Greg’s property.  Hidden Lake Park has a short trail that can be accessed from Charlie’s Lane or Hidden Lake Crescent and has a nice view of the lake.  The one kilometre trail is clearly marked by crushed gravel and has two interpretive signs.  When entering the park from Charlie’s Lane, turn left to follow the trail, otherwise you’ll enter private property.

Greg farms 50 acres on Marchurst Road called March Meadow Farms, growing pesticide-free vegetables for roadside and market sales.  Stop by and visit him at the farm. The address is 1490 Murphy’s Side Road.  Like his March Meadow Farms Facebook page to follow what’s happening.  Let’s give Greg a warm welcome to our friendly village of Carp.