2014 Events & News

January 2015 – What We Accomplished in 2014

We have a major new initiative to announce and many activities planned for 2015, which we will be publicizing in the weeks to come.  Looking back to our inaugural year of 2014, we reached out to the community and began to a build an organization.  Here’s a list of what we accomplished in 2014:

  • We held a public meeting in March 2014.  Over 80 people attended and voiced their concerns and ideas.
  • We developed a Manifesto from the community feedback, which includes three key actions that guide our activities.
  • To raise awareness we created a video with comments from people in the community about what the Carp Hills mean to them.  Thank you to our producer, Oliver Brackenbury.
  • We started a newsletter, which now has over 100 subscribers.
  • The Mountain Equipment Coop ran a bike race in West Carleton/Lanark that raised awareness and funds.
  • We forged a partnership with the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust for land conservation – more about this in 2015.
  • We began work on developing the “Crazy Horse” trail – more about this 2015.
  • We held the Carp Hills’ Biggest Tree Contest to encourage landowners and recreational enthusiasts in the Hills to take a real look at the nature around them.   The winner will be announced in a few weeks.

December 2014 – 13 Biggest Tree Contest Entries

The Carp Hills Biggest Tree Contest is now closed.  Thirteen trees with arboreal brawn were submitted for the championship title of Biggest Tree:  6 sugar maples, 2 red oaks, 3 bur oaks, 1 basswood, and 1 elm.  We’ve measured the top 5 entries (largest diameters) and will be publishing the results early in the new year.

Check out photos of the contest entries on our Biggest Tree web page.  Read the article in the 19 February edition of the West Carleton Review by Jessica Cunha:  Towering Red Oak Takes Title of Biggest Tree.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to send us photos and submit their trees.

7 November 2014 – The Beaver, A Canadian Icon: Pest or Eco-hero?

Photo by Michael Runtz

On Friday, November 7th, the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) will hold its Annual Dinner and Benefit Auction at the Almonte Civitan Club Community Hall in Almonte. Michael Runtz is the honoured guest speaker.  The event also features a Benefit Auction offering a wide range of useful and uniquely interesting items, with proceeds going to help support the important work of the Land Trust.

18 October 2014 – Geoheritage Day Tour of South March Highlands

Carleton University’s Department of Earth Sciences is running a set of geological tours across the Ottawa area on Saturday, 18 October. One site is the South March Highlands, which is the southern expression of the geological feature that forms the Carp Hills. See the Explore Geoheritage Day web site for details.

14 September 2014 – MEC Bike Ride Benefits the Carp Hills

MEC Fund RaiserOver 200 cyclists participated in the first Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) Century Ride held on Sunday, 14 September.  The event benefited the Friends of Huntley Highlands and the Friends of the Carp River to support the preservation of natural areas in Carp for conservation, recreation, and the mutual benefit of human and wildlife communities.

With the start/finish situated in Carp at the WE Johnston Arena, cyclists enjoyed a ride through the beautiful countryside of West Carleton and Lanark County and finished with a BBQ lunch at Alice’s Village Cafe afterward.

Thank you to MECAlice’s Village CafeBeau’s All Natural Brewing Co., and VRTUCAR for their generous support for this event.

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21 August 2014 – “Caring About the Carp Hills” Article Published

The West Carleton Review published an excellent article on the “I Care About the Carp Hills” video written and produced by Oliver Brackenbury.  The article, Caring About the Carp Hills, was published in the 21 August edition and written by Jessica Cunha.  It highlights how recent development on the edge of the Hills spurred Oliver to create a short film that would capture peoples’ attention and raise awareness about the threat of adjacent development and population growth on this beautiful natural area.

9 July 2014 – Carp Hills Video Released

We have released a short, professionally made video, “I Care About the Carp Hills”, to raise awareness about what makes the area special and how changes may be threatening it.

The video was produced and directed by Oliver Brackenbury. Currently a writer and filmmaker living in downtown Toronto, Oliver grew up in Carp not five minutes walk from Hidden Lake before it was developed. He has never forgotten his many formative experiences in the Carp Hills. Starting with his kindergarten class trip to Hidden Lake where he saw his first beaver, Oliver benefited greatly from access to such a wealth of nature’s beauty. His affection for the land and desire to see others benefit as he has drew him back to Carp earlier this year to offer his skills pro bono in the production of a short promotional video for the Friends of Huntley Highlands.

“I couldn’t agree more strongly with the group’s goal to protect this area from irresponsible use”, states Oliver. If we lose the Carp Hills there’ll be no getting it back. It might happen in dribs and drabs of unmanaged change, all the easier to forget about or ignore, but the result will be the same. I sincerely hope citizens of the surrounding area will be inspired to lend a hand as well. They needn’t be a specialist like myself; there are several ways in which anybody at all can volunteer their time to help.”

The video is a powerful tool for raising awareness about how special the Carp Hills are and about our action plan for preserving them. We are fortunate that a talented professional like Oliver volunteered to make the video, because a high quality product has more impact.


10 April 2014Our Manifesto

We held a meeting with the community on 5 March.  We listened.  The result is declaration of our organization’s motivations and intentions.


10 April 2014South March Highlands and Carp Hills Geoheritage Event – One Billion Years in One Day – Second date scheduled due to overwhelming response

Sunday, June 1st 2014
Presentation: 1:00 PM Doors Open |  1:30 PM Start Time
Location: 359 Terry Fox Drive, Suite 210
Field Trip: 3:15 PM
Location: South March Highlands Trailhead  (Old Second Line Rd., near Klondike)
Cost: FREE!
For more information go to: www.ottawagatineaugeoheritage.ca

To register go to: www.eventbrite.com (search for the event name)
*** Please note: if you have already registered for the April 27th event, we kindly request to please attend on that day.  Thank you! ***

Everyone is invited to join Dr. Allan DONALDSON and Ottawa-Gatineau Geoheritage for an exciting geological trip through time!  We will begin with a lively interactive presentation to provide an overview of impressive geological features within the National Capital Region, emphasizing those within the South March-Carp Hills region. Rock specimens and poster displays will be available to allow attendees to become acquainted with features mentioned in the talk. If the weather is suitable, this educational exchange will be followed by a fun and informative to view several nearby rock exposures within the stunning South March Highlands.  For more information: www.ottawagatineaugeoheritage.ca or contact Ann at arocks2002@hotmail.com.

Explore the geology within the South March Highlands and Carp Hills!
Discover why these rocks have revolutionized our understanding of our geological history!
Learn to read the rocks in your neighbourhood!


10 March 2014 – Thank you to everyone who came out to the meeting last Wednesday.  We are reviewing all the comments and will be contacting those who expressed interest in helping with various activities.  Please see the Contact Us page for volunteer opportunities.


12 Febrary 2014 – Send us your photos of the Highlands. Tell us your name and where and when you took the photo and if there’s a story behind it. We’ll post this information on our Photos page.