FEBRUARY 1, 2017 – Boston Pizza has partnered with Kawartha Conservation to provide even greater value for students participating in Kawartha Conservation’s Outdoor Education Programs in 2017.
“Boston Pizza will be generously providing a free kids meal coupon for each student who participates in any of our Outdoor Education classes or programs,” said Nancy Aspden, Coordinator of Environmental Programs and GIS Specialist. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with a local business to provide this extra ‘thank you’ to our education program participants.”
Kawartha Conservation offers nearly 20 different classes and programs for students in Kindergarten to Grades 11 and 12, all in alignment with Ontario’s educational curriculum.
“We’re pleased to be able to partner with Kawartha Conservation on this initiative,” said John Fox, owner of Boston Pizza Lindsay. “Supporting local youth and families is important to us at Boston Pizza, and helping to support students in our community through the great education programs at Ken Reid Conservation Area is a perfect fit.”
Teachers and schools are encouraged to review the different four-season programs and classes offered at Ken Reid Conservation Area by visiting the Education tab on the Kawartha Conservation website at www.kawarthaconservation.com.
JANUARY 30, 2017 – Kawartha Conservation has extended the commenting period for the second draft of the Four Mile Lake Plan until mid-July. The commenting extension is meant to ensure seasonal residents who don’t have access to the revised documents Online can review and comment when they return to the area. An open house will also be held in early June to answer questions about the revised plan.
“We appreciate all of the comments we have received to date regarding the second draft of the Four Mile Lake Plan and would like to thank everyone who took the time to review the community-driven changes reflected in the second draft,” said Dave Pridham, Manager, Conservation Lands, Education and Stewardship Services. “We have been made aware that not all residents or seasonal residents have access to review the documents Online, and it is important we receive everyone’s input. We are also happy to meet individually with anyone who wishes to discuss any aspect of the plan or the lake or watershed study.”
The first draft of the plan was released for public comment in August of 2016 and included open houses in Coboconk and Burnt River.
Draft two of the Plan has taken into consideration all of the feedback Kawartha Conservation received throughout the initial public consultation process.
“The purpose of Plan is to summarize the ecological state of the watershed and to provide advice for lake stakeholders on how to maintain excellent water quality, recreational enjoyment, fish and wildlife populations, and monitoring on Four Mile Lake,” said Aquatic Biologist Brett Tregunno.
Posted on the website at www.KawarthaConservation.com along with the second draft will be an accompanying publication to the Plan entitled the Four Mile Lake Watershed Characterization Report; this provides more detailed technical information on several aspects of the Lake.
JANUARY 25, 2017 – Brock Township Regional Councillor Ted Smith was elected Chair of the Kawartha Conservation Board of Directors during the first meeting of 2017 on Wednesday. Coun. Smith served as vice-chair of the Board previously.
“I have been a member of the Kawartha Conservation Board of Directors for six years and have always admired and appreciated the good work that is done throughout our watershed,” said Coun. Smith. “There are a lot of challenges ahead of us and a lot of important work that will be happening, which I look forward to championing as we move forward.”
Municipality of Trent Lakes’ Peter Raymond was nominated and subsequently acclaimed as vice-chair of the Kawartha Conservation Board of Directors.
Returning to the Board for 2017 is Ron Hooper (Municipality of Clarington), Don Kett (Township of Scugog), Pat Dunn (City of Kawartha Lakes, Gord Miller (City of Kawartha Lakes), Peter Raymond (Municipality of Trent Lakes), Tom Rowett (Township of Scugog) and Jordan Landry (Township of Cavan Monaghan). Newly appointed member Isaac Breadner replaces outgoing member, and past-chair Heather Stauble, as the City of Kawartha Lakes third representative on the Board of Directors.
Kawartha Conservation’s mission is to be leaders in integrated watershed management and conservation with a focus on outstanding water quality and quantity management, supported by healthy landscapes through planning, stewardship, science and education.
January 23, 2017 – A new interactive drought map for the Kawartha Conservation watershed will allow residents and businesses to report areas that are experiencing well issues across the region.
The new tool is part of the Kawartha Water Response Team’s ongoing efforts to educate and inform watershed residents and businesses about low water conditions.
Available under ‘Highlights’ on the Kawartha Conservation website homepage (www.kawarthaconservation.com), the public is able to select a general area where their well is located, as well as provide comments, however no personal information is required.
“The interactive mapping tool allows residents and businesses to pinpoint where their wells are located and provide details on the well and problems they are experiencing,” explained Kawartha Conservation hydrologist Iryna Shulyarenko. “The information input both locally, and across the broader region, will provide Conservation Authority staff with greater detail as to what is happening with ground water levels within various locations in our watershed.
The interactive map is already available and has been used by residents and businesses in the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority and Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority watersheds in eastern Ontario.
“This is a great continuation of the interactive mapping which helps provide valuable information about where well issues are occurring across multiple Conservation Authority regions,” said Ms. Iryna Shulyarenko.
Residents and businesses on wells are able to visit the Kawartha Conservation website and select ‘Drought Map’ on the left hand side of the homepage. Once on the mapping tool, users can scroll to different geographic areas and zoom in and out close to their specific location.
Once the user has zoomed to the appropriate area, they can select the ‘User Input’ point from the Smart Editor, click in the desired map area, and add comments before saving.
January 13, 2017 – The freeze thaw cycle that has characterized much of early winter across the Kawartha Conservation watershed, bringing both rain and snow to the region, has helped to improve lake levels and water flows.
On Thursday, January 12, the Kawartha Water Response Team reduced the Level II low water condition declaration for the majority of the watershed to a Level I low water condition.
In the Township of Scugog, where drought conditions during much of 2016 resulted in the most severe Level III low water declaration, mixed precipitation during December and the early parts of January have improved water levels and water flows significantly, resulting in the move to a Level I low water condition.
“Recorded three month precipitation from October to December ranged from 66 percent in the north to 86 percent at Ken Reid Conservation Area,” explained Kawartha Conservation Hydrologist Iryna Shulyarenko. “However, actual December precipitation ranged from 110 percent of average December values in the north to 149 percent of December averages at Ken Reid Conservation Area.
“Our flow indicators for December also show that all of the watershed’s monitoring locations reported flows that are significantly higher than the long-term minimum monthly summer flow,” added Ms. Shulyarenko.
In December, the Pigeon River monitoring station showed flows at 113 percent of the Minimum monthly summer flow, while the Blackstock Creek monitoring station reported flows at 335 percent and Nonquon River, near Port Perry showed flows at 550 percent of the minimum monthly summer flow.
While the increased precipitation is good news for residents and businesses across the Kawartha Conservation watershed, ground water supplies are not likely to be significantly impacted until spring when air temperature returns to the stable above freezing mark.
“Those individuals with very, very shallow wells may notice some improvement, but we are not anticipating much improvement in the ground water supply until spring as the infiltration from melting snow becomes steady,” said Ms. Shulyarenko. “We are continuing to ask residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce their water consumption. Water is a shared resource and every little bit of water conservation will help make a difference for you and your neighbour.”
In response to the impact of the low water conditions on ground water supplies during 2016, Kawartha Conservation, in conjunction with the City of Kawartha Lakes, Farm & Food Care and the Ontario Ministry Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs are hosting a one-day Agricultural drought resilience workshop in Fenelon Falls on Tuesday, January 31.
“We’ve heard from members of our agricultural community about the challenges they have experienced over the last year,” said Ms. Shipclark. “This aim of this workshop is to provide valuable information from a variety of sources to area farmers and landowners. We have put together an agenda that will help address a lot of the questions and provide important and useful information for our agricultural community.”
The cost for the event is $20 and includes lunch. Interested persons must register Online in advance at www.KawarthaConservation.com/agwater or by contacting Kelly Maloney at the City of Kawartha Lakes, 705-324-9411 Ext. 1208.
JANUARY 11, 2017 - Kawartha Conservation has announced the start of its bulk tree seedling sale for spring 2017.
Landowners in the area – rural, agricultural, and shoreline – are invited to choose from a variety of species, along with a new selection of native shrubs that are suitable for shorelines.
The trees and shrubs are 1 to 3 years old and bare root. The prices for tree seedlings range from $0.60 to $1.95 per seedling and are available in units of 25 seedlings.
Holly Shipclark, Kawartha Conservation Stewardship Coordinator, said that there is information included as part of the order form that will help landowners to make informed decisions about which trees to plant for their property type. There is also more detailed information about choosing the right tree available on the Kawartha Conservation Seedling Program page.
“Often, landowners ask about what to plant, where the best planting locations are, and how to plant. By helping them to locate detailed information on plant species and their characteristics, preferred planting sites, and the benefits of each species, we hope to make it easy to decide,” said Ms. Shipclark.
There are a number of benefits to planting trees and shrubs - saving on heating and cooling costs when planted near your home, blocking highway traffic noise, greater privacy, and a higher property value. Environmental benefits include reduced soil erosion, healthier shorelines, more oxygen, less carbon dioxide, additional wildlife habitat, cleaner water, and a healthier watershed.
Over the past 36 years, Kawartha Conservation has helped distribute over 600,000 seedlings across the watershed.
Landowners can find detailed guidelines for selecting the best plants for their properties at www.KawarthaConservation.com/seedling-distribution.
For orders exceeding $250, a payment of 50% is required at least two weeks prior to the pickup date, tentatively scheduled for April 29 & 30, 2017 in Ken Reid Conservation Area (277 Kenrei Rd., Lindsay) and Willowtree Farm at 975 Regional Road 21, Port Perry.
December 21, 2016 – According to Environment Canada, residents in the Kawartha Conservation watershed can expect a winter season with lots of snow. So when it comes to keeping your walkways and driveways clear, the Kawartha Region Conservation Authority (KRCA) would like to remind you that more salt doesn’t equal better safety.
Based on monitoring the Lake Simcoe Regional Conservation Authority (LSRCA) does in rivers and streams, it’s now known that too much salt has a detrimental effect on rivers, streams, fish, wildlife and ultimately lakes across the Kawartha Conservation watershed. When winter snow and ice melt, the runoff carries road salt, chloride and other contaminants into area rivers and streams. Eventually these pollutants can end up in our groundwater systems and in area lakes.
Based on the observed impacts that salt and other contaminants have on our watersheds, KRCA has recently included chloride in the watershed’s water quality monitoring.
More and more municipalities are taking action to reduce their salt use on roads and at public facilities, and KRCA is working with industry and businesses to get the message out about the impacts of salt and alternate ways of ensuring public safety. It’s also important to let residents know that they can chip in and choose different ways to manage snow and ice to maintain safety around their home.
Following are ways to minimize the amount of salt you apply through the winter, while keeping your family and visitors safe:
It is the mission of the Kawartha Region Conservation Authority to work with our community to protect and restore the Kawartha Conservation watershed by leading research policy and action.
December 19, 2016 – Kawartha Conservation has released the second draft of the Four Mile Lake Plan for public comment.
The first draft of the plan was released for public comment in August and included open houses in Coboconk and Burnt River.
“Draft two of the Plan has taken into consideration all of the feedback we received throughout the initial public consultation process,” explained Aquatic Biologist Brett Tregunno. “We have undertaken a thorough consideration of all comments received and have made significant changes to the revised Plan that reflect the desires and concerns expressed by the public.”
During the first round of public input, Kawartha Conservation staff heard specifically about the need to remove a number of strategic planning elements and reinforce the current special policies in the official plan. Staff have also responded to the need to add aquatic plant control recommendations, more invasive species control and septic system maintenance recommendations.
The purpose of Plan is to summarize the current state of the lake, objectives for maintaining excellent water quality, recreational enjoyment, and monitoring, among others, and a suite of recommendations for all lake stakeholders to consider undertaking to ensure a healthy lake is maintained.
“We are in the final stages of the Four Mile Lake Plan,” said Mr. Tregunno. “This process began four years ago in 2012 and we appreciate everyone who has been involved and taken the time to share their thoughts and views with us throughout this process. We are proud of this document and this Plan and we look forward to hearing from the public regarding the revised Plan.”
Posted on the website at www.KawarthaConservation.com along with the second draft will be an accompanying publication to the Plan entitled the Four Mile Lake Watershed Characterization Report; this provides more detailed technical information on several aspects of the Lake including: Land Use, Socio-economics, Water Quality, Water Quantity, Aquatic Resources, and Terrestrial Natural Heritage.
November 22, 2016 – Drought conditions are continuing across the Kawartha Conservation watershed with significantly-reduced precipitation in October and through the first half of November.
On Monday, November 21, the Kawartha Water Response Team continued the Level II low water condition declaration for the majority of the watershed with a Level III low water condition declaration for the Township of Scugog.
“Recorded three month precipitation from August to October was below the average precipitation for this period throughout the watershed,” explained Kawartha Conservation Hydrologist Iryna Shulyarenko. “Our flow indicators for October show that with the exception of Blackstock Creek, all of the watershed’s monitoring locations reported flows that are significantly lower than the long-term minimum monthly summer flow.”
Making matters worse, for the first 18 days of November, Port Perry had received only 12.6 percent of the average November precipitation while Indian Point Provincial Park had registered just about 7 percent.
“On average, Port Perry receives 92mm of precipitation in November and Indian Point receives 109.3mm of precipitation,” said Ms. Shulyarenko. “For the first 18 days of November only 12.6mm was recorded by the Port Perry weather monitoring station and only 7.6mm was recorded at Indian Point Provincial Park.”
Kawartha Water Response Team members are hoping for significant precipitation before the ground freezes to help replenish the ground water supply. Unfortunately, officials with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry note their weather models show above average temperatures and below average precipitation into December before temperatures drop to below seasonal averages and the ground freezes.
“We are continuing to ask residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce their water consumption,” said Ms. Shulyarenko. “Water is a shared resource and every little bit of water conservation will help make a difference for you and your neighbour. This is especially important for residents with shallow wells as ongoing conservation practices can make a significant difference after the ground freezes and aquifer recharge will be greatly reduced.”
In response to the continued negative impact of the low water conditions on ground water supplies, the Kawartha Conservation Water Response Team is presenting free water well workshops with a focus on managing your well to maintain a reliable source of high quality water for domestic use.
“On Monday, December 5 we will be hosting a workshop at the Blackstock Recreation Complex from 7 to 9 p.m.,” said Kawartha Conservation Stewardship Technician Mackenzie Kirkham. “The two-hour session will include a talk with Greg Bullock of Eades Well Drilling who will be discussing how to conduct a water well self-assessment, among other things.” Kawartha Conservation staff will explain outdoor water conservation techniques in response to the current low water conditions.”
Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend the free water well workshop on December 5. Additional water well workshops will be announced early in the New Year.
Lindsay, ON – Kawartha Conservation staff have launched an 18-month project to update the Burnt River Flood Plain Mapping, last completed in 1991.
City of Kawartha Lakes and Conservation Authority staff were informed in late October they had received a 50 percent grant from the federal government towards the $133,000 project.
“Once completed the Burnt River Flood Plain Mapping update will allow us to address development in a smart, planned way,” explained Kawartha Lakes Ward 3 Councillor Gord Miller. “Not only will it help protect new people moving into the area, it will also protect the people that are already there.”
Technology has improved dramatically since the flood plain mapping was last completed in 1991.
Kawartha Conservation and City staff both agree, when complete, the updated flood plain mapping will provide better emergency management and planning information.
“This project will serve as an important update to the existing flood plain mapping for the area,” said Mark Majchrowski, Director of Integrated Watershed Management and Science. “Ultimately with newer technology and processes we will be able to refine the Burnt River flood plain mapping with new detailed topographical information.
“Given the historic flooding issues along the Burnt River watershed, this new detailed flood plain mapping will aid in ensuring safe planning and development work and help provide invaluable information moving forward,” he continued.
Coun. Miller added that all of the updated learning and information that is provided through flood plain mapping puts the municipality and partner agencies in a better position to address potential issues.
“With the improved technology, the data from the updated flood plain mapping will allow us to be much more prepared for potential threats,” said Coun. Miller. “We will be able to share the information and data with partner agencies like Trent Severn Waterway and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry so that we can all address challenges as they arise.”
Work on the updated Burnt River flood plain mapping has already begun with the work expected to wrap up by the end of March 2018.