2016 Projects

northumberlandchristianschoolAugust 2016 – Northumberland Christian School Society – grant awarded for the Revitalization of the Long Grass Area.
Project objectives: The proposal is to create an area that is both usable and versatile as an outdoor education space. We are looking to build an outdoor theatre space, classroom and aboriginal awareness location. This project will provide a third habitat on the property. It will also give the students a naturalized area that is safe to explore and learn about the species that are native to the tall grass prairie habitat. We also hope to encourage a greater diversity of wildlife on our property. Once the project is complete, we would open the area to local schools to come and learn about native species and the habitat in which they thrived. The site would also provide a location for outdoor speakers, performances and movies. Eventually, we will be a green haven in the midst of a housing development that will eventually surround our school property. Interim Report  Interim Report#2

HMK_water_festival_logoAugust 2016 – Haliburton-Muskoka-Kawartha Children’s Water Festival – grant awarded for HMKCWF in September 2016.
Project objectives: To provide an active, outdoor hands-on learning event which teaches elementary students the importance of water and water ecosystems and inspire water stewardship practices. The intention is that good water messages will be transferred back to childrens’ classrooms where teachers can draw upon these curriculum -linked messages. Children will also start acting on these important messages, becoming stewards in their homes and communities. Participants, including students, teachers and parent supervisors, learn that their actions and attitudes make a difference towards water and ecosystems, and that they are ultimately responsible for maintaining healthier water systems for future generations. Final Report

OntarioNatureAugust 2016 – Ontario Nature – grant awarded for promoting citizen science to monitor ecosystem change in northern Ontario.
Project objectivesThe purpose of this project is to identify the presence of reptiles and amphibians in the forests of northern Ontario and increase our collective understanding of their habitat requirements and range. While the range and habitat of reptile and amphibian species has been extensively studied in southern Ontario, there is a lack of data available for northern Ontario. To accomplish this goal, we will host a series of citizen science events across northwestern Ontario to introduce participants to the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas (ORAA), and to train them on recording and submitting observations. Final Report

crowe-valley-conservation-copyAugust 2016 – Crowe Valley Conservation Authority – grant awarded for the Explore the Wild Woods project.
Project objectivesThe Crowe Valley Conservation Authority (CVCA) has the opportunity to expand on the hiking trail system at the McGeachie Conservation Area. Since 2012, a diverse trail system has been created for the public to either go for a leisurely stroll through the forest or for the extremist who finds it a rush to hike or bike along steep rocky trails. There is even thought of being given to creating loops from trail to trail allowing hikers to customize the length of their excursion. The new hiking trail will veer off of one of the existing leisurely trails and will venture into 40 acres of untouched wilderness just waiting to be explored. These extra 40 acres will create an opportunity for the public to get outside, experience wilderness at its finest, and improve their physical and mental well-being. Final Report

invading_species_logo-2011-Revisedcolours-2August 2016 – Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program – grant awarded for the Outreach, Surveillance and Control of Invasive Water Soldier.
Project objectives: Eradicate Water Soldier from the Trent Severn Waterway. Water Soldier (Stratiotes aloides) is an aquatic invasive plant native to Europe and Northwest Asia. Most likely introduced by the disposal of water garden plants, Water Soldier was first discovered in the Trent Severn Waterway, near the Hamlet of Trent River, Ontario in 2008. The waterway is also home to hundreds of species of wildlife including birds, reptiles, fish and mammals, including some species at risk. This project aligns with the OFAH mandate in terms of preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species into new areas, and aiding in monitoring and control efforts to protect numerous wetlands/watersheds. These project goals align with the Invasive Species Strategic Plan in terms of: protecting and enhancing the biological integrity of aquatic ecosystems; promoting the sustainable use of fisheries resources; and, developing greater knowledge of fish habitat and aquatic ecosystems. Water Soldier has also been listed as a priority species by the Council of the Great Lakes Governors and Premiers due to its invasive nature. In the absence of control of Water Soldier populations, this invasive plant will spread and infest new areas of the Trent River. In the absence of control in 2012 and 2013 the Water Soldier populations grew exponentially from 60 ha in Lake Seymour to over 150 ha by 2014. Interim Report  – Final Report

owl_foundation_logoAugust 2016 – The Owl Foundation – grant awarded for Owl feeding project.
Project objectives: The Owl Foundation specializes in helping injured or orphaned owls. We strive to return them to the wild. We currently house over 90 owls including resident owls, resident foster parent owls, owls in different stages of recovery from injuries, home hatched baby owls from our residents, and orphaned owls being cared for by our owl foster parent residents. In 2015 we admitted over 150 birds of prey. One of our largest expenses is owl food. We receive over 1,100 live mice and 100 frozen mice each week. In 2015 we spent over $20,000 on owl food alone; not factoring in the cost of owl food food (mouse chow for the live mice) and mouse bedding. Many man hours are involved in caring for the mice. We try to use volunteers as much as possible for the routine cleaning, watering, feeding and caring of the mice. Final Report

otcc-copyAugust 2016 – Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre – grant awarded for the Educational Outreach and Organizational Sustainability project.
Project objectives: To build the OTCC educational outreach program to ensure the long-term success of conservation goals, while increasing and diversifying the OTCC’s funding base. The top priority of this project is to staff the education centre so it can be opened to visitors, schools and other groups; thereby ensuring citizen involvement in turtle and wetland conservation. This initiative will also have a direct effect on the OTCC’s financial sustainability by increasing funds raised through program fees, memberships, donations and merchandise sales; thereby growing and diversifying our funding base. Interim Report   Final Report

bbbs-logoAugust 2016- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph – grant awarded for the 2016 Environ-Mentoring Program.
Project objectives: To foster a sense of environmental stewardship in the at-risk youth of our community, while providing the benefits of mentoring that are present in all of our programs. Over the course of the 2016 calendar year, up to 240 children will be able to take part in the Environ-Mentoring Program. The participating children will have access to the educational programming offered by the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA). Through this programming, provided by trained nature interpreters, it is the hope of BBBSG that the youth develop a sense of environmental stewardship, and learn the importance of: improving water quality, reducing flood damages, maintaining a reliable water supply, facilitating watershed planning, and protecting natural areas and biodiversity. Final Report

campkawarthaAugust 2016 – Camp Kawartha – grant awarded for the Be a Watershed Steward: Powering Pollination project.
Project objectivesCamp Kawartha, an award winning not-for-profit charitable organization, is partnering with the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority (ORCA) and other community organizations in a unique initiative called “Be a Watershed Steward.” The intent of the program is to promote watershed awareness along with direct action for wildlife. Students learn about water conservation, watershed ecology, and sustainable living. These same students, with the help of ORCA Educators, establish a pollinator’s garden in their own school yard as a way to enhance watershed health. Students receive a Watershed Certificate upon completion of all the elements of the program. Camp Kawartha and its partners will also deliver two workshops per year to area educators focusing on strategies and techniques to integrate watershed and pollinator education into their classroom teaching. We will also provide a handbook to help teachers and students learn how to successfully maintain their pollinator gardens, and we’ll share this approach to watershed stewardship with other jurisdictions. Final Report  2nd year report

natureconservancyAugust 2016 – The Nature Conservancy of Canada (Ontario Region) – grant awarded for the Restoring Tallgrass Prairie in Rice Lake Plains project.
Project objectives: Restore tallgrass prairie on Rice Lake Plains by planting native species on two acres of land, and improve habitat for species at risk and other species that require tallgrass prairie. The Rice Lake Plains is an area of roughly 100,000 acres (40,470 hectares) located southeast of Peterborough. Located along the eastern flank of the Oak Ridges Moraine, the Rice Lake Plains contains the largest remnants of black oak savannah and tallgrass prairie in the Great Lakes region. Historically, the Rice Lake Plains were covered with tallgrass prairies and oak savannah, dominated by massive black and white oak, where grasses like big bluestem, Indian grass and switchgrass grew more than two metres high, and a diverse range of wildflowers such as butterfly milkweed, wild bergamot and slender blazing star blossomed. Today, these habitats are globally rare and are considered among the most endangered ecological communities in North America. The oak savannah and tallgrass prairie of the Rice Lake Plains are badly fragmented, and in the Great Lakes Region less than one percent remains. In the Rice Lake Plains, grassland birds such as bobolink and eastern meadowlark require tallgrass prairie and savannah habitats to survive, as they are unable to adapt to other ecosystems. Grassland bird populations have shown steep, geographically-widespread and consistent decline in North America, largely due to habitat loss. In addition to grassland birds, the Rice Lake Plains provides habitat for rare species such as the ghost tiger beetle, prairie buttercup, wild lupine, and eastern hog-nosed snake. Final Report

HFHCAugust 2016 – Mario Cortellucci Hunting and Fishing Heritage Centre – grant awarded for the Outdoor Classroom for Conservation Education project
Project objectives: To continue building on our outdoor classroom area for use with groups visiting the Heritage Centre, and to enhance and engage the groups through hands-on natural experiences. With our outdoor classroom we will be truly connecting youth with nature by utilizing hands-on outdoor education. This classroom will be used by the more than 100 classroom educational field trips and community groups that visit our facility each year. Studies have shown that the retention rate of learning by doing is 75 percent compared with just five percent for lecture-based learning (Bethel Learning Institute Study). An outdoor classroom provides many new and exciting ways to complement existing lesson plans and create a new environment for youth and adults to learn about our great Canadian outdoors. It will provide an opportunity for youth to learn hands-on about insects, flowers, trees and their ecosystems, and instill the qualities necessary for them to become the next generation of nature stewards. Final Report

ducAugust 2016 – Ducks Unlimited Canada – grant awarded for the European Water Chestnut Control on Wolfe Island project.
Project objectivesWolfe Island is a designated international Important Bird Area (IBA) providing critical habitat for thousands of dabbling and diving ducks. This lush 30,000 acre island provides continentally important habitat for ducks and geese and hundreds of species of other fish and wildlife. Unfortunately, it has also been a target of the invasive European Water Chestnut. European Water Chestnut is an aggressive, annual aquatic plant that chokes the life out of wetlands and shallow bays by reducing the amount of light that penetrates the water’s surface. This prohibits the growth of native plants which decreases plant biodiversity. Reduced light penetration and plant growth beneath the Water Chestnut canopy, combined with a large amount of decomposing vegetation, leads to decreased oxygen, causing much less productive waters, and greatly reduces their value to waterfowl, fish and other wildlife. To eradicate this invasive plant, it is necessary to maintain monitoring and control so it does not impact the physical, biological or economic benefits of these coastal bay wetlands. Final Report

August 2016 – Toronto Wildlife Centre – grant awarded for the Saving Migratory Songbirds through Medical Care, Rehabilitation and Public Education project.
Project objectives: To provide rehabilitation and medical treatment to injured migratory songbirds found in the GTA and beyond, and release them back to the wild as soon as they are healthy. We use patient stories to educate the public on the threats to migratory songbirds through our social media channels, e-newsletter and blog. Migratory birds need our help; high casualty numbers are affecting populations and most bird species are in decline. As of April, 2016, 89 species of birds are considered to be endangered, threatened, of special concern or extirpated. In Ontario, 25 species of migratory birds are listed on the Species at Risk Ontario list (SARO). The populations of many other bird species are also decreasing. Interim Report  Final Report

tu-sfAugust 2016 – Trent University and Simon Fraser University – grant awarded for the Impact of Wastewater Treatment Plants on Brook Trout and Rainbow Trout.
Project objectives: To evaluate the impacts that wastewater treatment plants may pose to the local salmonid populations. There are currently three wastewater treatment plants that are located on the Credit River and its tributaries, supporting the cities of Acton, Georgetown, and Orangeville. Such facilities treat municipal and industrial wastewater from the local urban areas. In these areas downstream from the wastewater treatment plants live a variety of fish species. Of the species of salmonids that live in the Credit River and its tributaries, Brook Trout are of particular interest for this project. Brook Trout inhabit only pristine environments, in cold water habitats. They are unable to tolerate moderate to high levels of pollution. Local Brook Trout populations along the tributaries of Lake Ontario have been disappearing and there are a number of factors that are the cause of this issue: introduction of invasive species; an increase in water temperature; eutrophication; and an increasing amount of pollutants. Wastewater treatment plants have been known to place a variety of pressures on fish communities. There are thousands of chemicals that are poured down municipal drains as wastewater. Their destination is inevitably the city’s treatment facility. Report