January 2020 – What We Accomplished in 2020
Our major activities in 2019 were twofold: adding almost 50m of new boardwalk to the Crazy Horse Trail and conducting a trail impact study on the Carp Barrens. The study confirmed the site’s high ecological quality, identified 20 regionally significant plant species, and documented evidence for the area being critical habitat for two Threatened Species at Risk: Blanding’s turtles and Eastern Whip-poor-will. For a complete list of our activities, read our post.
November 2019 – Carp Barrens Trail Study Phase 2 Report
Consulting ecologist Holly Bickerton has completed her Phase 2 report for the Carp Barrens Trail Study. Her focus was on determining the extent of turtle nesting, the presence of species at risk birds and rare/unusual plant species, and the impact of human use. You can read a summary of the report’s finding in our post: Carp Barrens Trail Study – Phase 2 Report.
The single largest impact of the trail network is the incursion of human presence into a previously inaccessible and regionally significant, high quality natural area. Cyclists, hikers, dog walkers and naturalists have all been observed using the area.
While it may be possible to mitigate some impacts, the effect of intensifying human presence on the critical habitat of species at risk and on the area’s high ecological integrity cannot. This issue will be addressed in the Phase 3 report.
27 October 2019 – New Boardwalk Completed
The new section of boardwalk beside the snowmobile track is now finished. With the efforts of Brian (Master Craftsman Extraordinaire) Roadhouse, Marc (Louis Cyr) Savard, and Julian (The Machine) Romeskie, we have installed 120 feet of new boardwalk. This involved clearing a new path on the west side of the snowmobile track, and adding an access ramp to the existing plank boardwalk, also on the west side of the snowmobile track. This new section is useful in keeping pedestrian traffic on City-owned land (away from private property), and getting over some chronically wet sections of the trail.
Funding for this project’s materials was provided by the City of Ottawa’s Rural Community Building Grant Program with support from Councillor Eli El-Chantiry. Built by skilled and dedicated volunteer labour. Thank you!
5 October 2019 – Fall Mushroom Guided Hike
Mycologist George White delighted a crowd of about 30 keen-eyed fungi enthusiasts on a beautiful autumn day on the Crazy Horse Trail. We found Earthstars, Velvetfoot, Cowboy’s Handkerchief, orange jellies, puffballs, and many more. For photos posted by the participants, check out our Facebook page.
July 2019 – Crazy Horse Trail Bridge Extended
FCH volunteers extended the bridge at the beaver pond. Rising water levels had left both ends of the existing bridge under water, making it challenging to cross and complete the loop around the pond.
For a “before” photo, see our Facebook page.
Thank you to our busy beavers: trail coordinator Bernard Proulx and carpenter extraordinaire Brian Roadhouse, who worked all day in the heat and mosquito clouds. Thanks also to Rich Russell for providing quick access to the bridge site through his property.
June 2019 – FCH Awarded Rural Community-Building Grant
The City of Ottawa has awarded the Friends of the Carp Hills a grant for its Carp Hills Trail System Project. The award is from the Rural Community-Building Grants Program. It will fund:
- enhancements to the Crazy Horse Trail for new boardwalks across wet areas;
- Phases 2 and 3 of the Carp Barrens Trail Study to evaluate the impact of human traffic and determine mitigation measures; and
- signs for the Carp Barrens to educate about its special, fragile ecology.
Thank you to Councillor El-Chantiry for his support of our work.
28 April 2019 – Spring Has Sprung in the Carp Hills
There were many highlights from the 3.5 hour guided nature hike on the Crazy Horse Trail. Canadian Wildlife Service biologist Rich Russell noted about 30 bird species, four frog species, and two turtle species. Some key finds: a Pied-billed Grebe, Chorus Frogs, Blanding’s turtles, Broad-winged Hawk, Pine Warblers, Swamp Sparrows, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.
Rich is a Carp Hills resident, wildlife biologist, and outdoors enthusiast. We were lucky to get some of Rich’s time before he headed up north in May. Thank you, Rich!
16 April 2019 – OFNC Awards Research Grant to Carp Barrens Study
We’re pleased to announce that the Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club has awarded FCH a research grant to support the Carp Barrens Trail Study, which will assess the ecological impact of human use on the Carp Barrens. We have also received a generous donation from the Macnamara Field Naturalists’ Club and have raised over $1500 from individual donors. To donate, please read about the study: Carp Barrens Trail Study.
3 April 2019 – Annual General Meeting and Public Briefing
About 40 people came out to our 6th annual public meeting and AGM. New directors Janet Campbell and Anne Chapman Wong, and returning director Chris Busby were elected to the board. Holly Bickerton delighted the crowd with her natural history presentation about the Carp Hills, and about the special plants and animals she discovered last summer on the Ducks Unlimited Canada property and the Crazy Horse Trail. We reached our goal of raising an additional $600 through donations to support our Carp Barrens Trail Study.
We’d like to thank our generous local businesses for providing door prizes for our meeting last night. Please support them.
Carp Massage Therapy and Yoga
Home Hardware(DEKA) Building Supplies
Alice’s Village Cafe
Christine and Eric Brackenbury
Ridge Rock Brewing Co.
Thank you to Karen Pritchard for visiting the businesses to request the prizes
March 2019 – Membership
Join us! Membership fees help make our work possible. Membership entitles you to participate in and to elect directors at our Annual General Meeting.
Membership runs on a calendar year basis. Three terms are available:
1 year – $20
2 years – $35
3 years – $45
We’ve added an online membership form and online payment through PayPal for new and renewing members. You can also renew/purchase a membership at our public meeting on 1 April or send us a cheque via post. See our Membership web page for details.
New membership applications must be approved by the Board of the Friends of the Carp Hills. By becoming a member, you are agreeing in general with the Vision, Mission, and Goals of the organization.
February 2019 – Carp Barrens Human Impact Study
We need to raise $6000 to conduct an ecological assessment of increased human activity on the Carp Barrens. Read out post here for more information about the study and how to donate or click the button below to go directly to the payment page.