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Celebrate Earth Day, Everyday

April welcomes the beginning of warm spring weather, as well as the all-important Earth Day. Even though we set out a specific day to think more about our planet and how to protect it, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) is encouraging everyone to celebrate Earth Day everyday! Each small action that individuals take-on daily to protect our local watersheds makes a difference in enhancing and protecting our natural environment. Pick one environmental action that you and your family can change, and continue it year round. The GRCA has a few suggestions for you:

• Conserve water by using less water each day. Fix leaky faucets, purchase a rain barrel so you can use rainwater in your gardens, or install a soaker hose in your garden
• Replace a harsh cleaning product with a green cleaning product, or try making your own
• Plan to visit your local hazardous waste day to dispose of your household hazardous wastes
• Test your private well water with a kit obtained through the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit or the Durham Health Department
• Clean litter from storm drains, road side ditches, or streams on your property
• Plan to add native plants to your gardens, or plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds
• Plan to avoid cutting your lawn along streams, creeks or rivers that flow throughout your property
• Visit one of the nine conservation areas within the Ganaraska Region watershed or the Ganaraska Forest
• Visit Corbett’s Dam fish ladder on the Ganaraska River to see rainbow trout swim upstream to spawn

Staff at the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority participate in an Earth Day Clean-Up each year, where they pick up garbage and debris surrounding the GRCA office and Ganaraska Millennium Conservation Area.

For more information on these everyday actions you can do to enjoy, enhance and protect your local environment, contact the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority at 905-885-8173 or visit www.grca.on.ca


27th Annual OFAH/GFC Conservation Dinner Tickets Available

On Saturday, April 9th the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) will be holding their annual conservation dinner and auction at the Cobourg Lions Community Centre. Each year outdoes the last, and the Conservation Authority is anticipating another great event, with funds supporting the outdoor education program at the Ganaraska Forest Centre (GFC).

An average of 300 people take in the evening of great food, raffle draws, and both silent and live auctions; all showing their support for such a worthy investment. Auction items ranging from sports collectibles to weekend VIA Rail getaways, restaurant gift certificates to wine packages, are taken home by guests who enjoy a night out mingling with fellow community members and supporters of the Conservation Authority and outdoor education centre. The featured piece of the event will be an original framed oil painting (“Above Rosneath Landing”) by local artist Jerry Albert.

The Forest Centre houses programs for thousands of students each year and holds many public programs for visitors of all ages from the surrounding communities. The 25-plus programs offered to the school children range from Trappers and Traders to Alternative Energy, all meeting the Ontario educational curriculum and taught by Ontario-certified instructors.

Tickets are on sale now for this special evening at a price of $70.00 and must be purchased in advance. For further information on supporting this annual event through donations or sponsorship, or to purchase tickets, please call the GRCA at 905.885.8173.

 


LUSI Supports GRCA

Throughout 2015, Lakefront Utility Services Inc. (LUSI) encouraged its customers to switch to electronic billing and offered incentives and environmentally friendly reasons to persuade customers to forgo the paper bill.

...read more

 

 


GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement

Flood Potential: Low 

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that a messy winter storm is moving into southern Ontario bringing with it periods of mixed precipitation that will increase flows in local streams.

The watersheds of the GRCA are snow free, but the ground is generally saturated and will not absorb much precipitation. A wet snow mix will begin this evening and may change over to freezing rain by morning. Any accumulation of ice or snow will be melting as the rainfall arrives Thursday evening adding runoff to local streams. Total rainfall of 10-20mm is expected by Friday morning with another early spring storm expected on Monday.

This storm is expected to deliver 20-30mm of mixed precipitation that due to the saturated ground conditions will runoff quickly causing all water bodies, including ponds, streams and many ditches to be flowing higher than normal. No flooding is anticipated at this time.

Additionally, slippery stream banks, and fast flowing, cold water will create hazardous conditions around bodies of water. As a result, local streams and rivers will become dangerous, especially in the vicinity of culverts and bridges. Children should be warned to stay away from all watercourses. 

This Watershed Conditions Statement will be in effect through Tuesday, March 29, 2016. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor watershed conditions and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.


Mike Smith                                                      Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                                Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator


The Sugar Shack is Open!

Join the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) for some classic Canadian maple syrup fun at the GRCA’s Maple Syrup Day.  Make sure to mark Saturday March 26th 2016 on your calendar so that you don’t miss out on a great day out with the family at the Ganaraska Forest Centre (GFC) from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm.

Through site tours, demonstrations, stories and games, learn all about the sweet tradition of syrup production. Let the children create crafts and have their faces pained, while you enjoy live music before settling in for a pancake feast. Ferguson Farms, out of Garden Hill, will be there with syrup and other sweet products to purchase.

Admission to this event is $12 per adult and $6 per child (16 and under). Pre-registration is not required; simply purchase your tickets at the Gatehouse upon entry to GFC grounds. For further information please call the Ganaraska Forest Centre at 905.797.2721 or the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority at 905.885.8173 or email info@grca.on.ca

How to find us:  If you’re travelling from the west, exit north onto Hwy 115 from Hwy 401 and exit onto Durham Road 9 and travel east, approximately 10 km. Turn left on Cold Springs Camp Road and proceed 4 km to the GFC.  From the east, travel west off County Road 28 onto County Road 9 and proceed about 2 km west of Elizabethville, then turn right at Cold Springs Camp Road and proceed 4 km to the GFC.

 


Hands-on Learning is the Best Learning

Research shows that children learn best when they are engaged in real-life, hands-on activities. The formal name is Experiential Education, and the Ganaraska Forest Centre’s Outdoor Education program has been engaging children in this type of learning since 1978. Recognizing the value and positive impact of experiential education, the Ministry of Education has recently developed a policy framework called Community-Connected Experiential Learning, intending to offer every student more, outside-of-the-classroom opportunities, like those provided at the Ganaraska Forest Centre.

Experiential learning fosters student engagement by creating relevant experiences that spark student curiosity and inspire them to follow their passions. Child care providers have long understood that young children learn best through play and utilize a complex curriculum that is based on child-led interests. Play-based or immersed learning for students of all ages, leads to broader subject understanding and provides psychological and social benefits, including deeper engagement, increased self-esteem, higher motivation and the development of leadership skills. Students are more successful when they can connect what they are learning to real-life situations that they care about.

As an example, the Forest Centre recently participated in an experiential learning project that saw grade seven students actively engage in a simulated flood of the Ganaraska River. The students stood on the river bottom to measure flow rates, water depths and record and analyze shoreline impacts. The students were fully engaged in the activity and were excited that they were participating in a real-life experience that provided practical solutions to the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) that might help prevent future flooding.

It is encouraging that the ministry is recognizing the value and authenticity of the type of quality programming that the GRCA has been providing for almost 40 years. The community is invited to help support these educational practices by attending the 27th annual Ganaraska Forest Centre fundraising dinner and auction scheduled for April 9, at the Cobourg Lions Centre. Please call 905-885-8173 for more information about the fundraiser, or how to support your local Conservation Authority and the Ganaraska Forest Centre.


Spring Flows: Stay Clear of Creeks, Ponds and Lakes

With warmer weather arriving this week and March break right around the corner, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority would like to remind residents and especially children of the dangers that exist around local streams, rivers, ponds and lakes during the spring breakup.

We have experienced a winter with alternating weather patterns bringing us a few days of fresh snow and cold air, followed by mild temperatures, rain and melting snow. Total snowfall amounts for the winter have been below normal and very little accumulation remains; but with more rain and mild air in the forecast, local waterways will be flowing high and fast in the next few days.

As spring approaches, we look forward to getting outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather. However, the onset of spring will again bring melting snow, rain and breakup of ice along rivers, streams, ponds and lakes. During this time of year we can expect higher, faster flowing water in most watercourses.  In addition, slippery and unstable stream banks and extremely cold water temperatures can lead to very hazardous conditions close to any water body.

Please exercise caution and keep an eye out for children in your care around all bodies of water over the next few weeks and help make this a safe and enjoyable spring.

The Conservation Authority will continue to monitor stream conditions and will issue messages when necessary.  If you notice an ice jam or potential flooding hazard please contact the GRCA office at (905) 885-8173. 

Mike Smith                                                                    Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                                              Flood Forecasting and Warning Supervisor


GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement

Water Safety
Flood Potential: Low
 

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that a messy winter storm is moving into southern Ontario bringing with it periods of heavy rain, snow and mixed precipitation.

Previous mid-winter thaws have completely melted the snowpack in the lower half of the watersheds while some patchy snow remains in the headwaters in shaded areas, forests and fence rows. With the rainfall and temperatures rising above zero this remaining snow will be melting. Also, the ground is frozen and will not absorb the rainfall causing it to runoff more rapidly to local watercourses.

With total rainfall amounts forecast to be in the range of 15 to 35 mm over the next 36 hours, water levels and flows in local streams will be on the rise. The melting snowpack and frozen ground conditions will likely exacerbate the situation causing all water bodies, including ponds, streams and many ditches to be flowing higher than normal. No flooding is anticipated at this time.

Additionally, slippery stream banks, and fast flowing, cold water will create hazardous conditions around bodies of water. As a result, local streams and rivers will become dangerous, especially in the vicinity of culverts and bridges. Children should be warned to stay away from all watercourses. 

This Watershed Conditions Statement will be in effect through Friday, February 26, 2016. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor watershed conditions and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.

Mike Smith                                                      Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                                Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator

 


Why We Do What We Do in the Ganaraska Forest

If you have walked the trails of the Ganaraska Forest, you have probably noticed the many stands of Pine plantations, with some that are marked with orange paint. These Pine plantations, which cover over 5,000 acres of the 11,000 acre Ganaraska Forest, are being managed to allow them to become a healthier and more diverse forest.

In the early 20th century, Ganaraska Forest lands were almost entirely covered by barren, rapidly-eroding blowsands, the result of early, destructive farming practices. The Red Pine in particular could survive in such harsh conditions, stabilizing the blowing sands, and growing into healthy forests to manage for timber production. The trees also provide source water protection for the Ganaraska Watershed. Over time, the conifers have grown and have enriched the soil; and now, the selective thinning process will allow other species to regenerate to create a more diverse and resilient forest for the future.

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) is managing these forests on top of the Oak Ridges Moraine to maintain their health and productivity, fulfilling its mandate of “Clean Water, Healthy Land for Healthy Communities”. A small portion of the conifer overstorey will be removed every 10-20 years. These thinnings gradually allow more light into the understorey of the stand and encourage more shade-loving species to establish, survive, and thrive. Good forest management will ensure that the Ganaraska Forest can continually provide sustainable, renewable, locally-sourced wood – the lumber for your house, the paper in your favourite book,  and the utility poles that bring us electricity and phone service -  just to mention a few .

While efforts are made to conduct harvesting operations in ways that reduce impacts on recreational forest uses and on the environment, visitors to the Ganaraska Forest should be aware that logging activity takes place annually from mid-summer through the winter months. To learn more about how and why the GRCA is sustainably managing the forest for your continued benefit and enjoyment, please contact us. We’re happy to discuss the history and the future management of southern Ontario’s largest, contiguous forest.

Written By: Fraser Smith, GRCA Forester


more...

What's Happening Around the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority

GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement - February 2016

GRCA’s Family Cross-Country Ski Day Postponed Due to Lack of Snow 

4th Annual Kawartha Farm Stewardship Workshop 

Roughing in in Winter - The Ruffed Grouse 

GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement - January 2016 

The GRCA Invites You to Come and Learn! 

Coyote Incident in Cobourg Conservation Area: Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority Issues Reminder to Keep Dogs on Leash 

Birds of a Feather Flock Together at the Ganaraska Forest Centre 

Fish on Drugs? 

Union Gas and Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority Partner to Make the Ganaraska Millennium Conservation Area Picnic Shelter Wheelchair Assessable

GRCA Seeking Unusual Donations 

Interning at the GRCA - A Lesson in Stewardship 

Give the Gift of Nature Before Your Child Goes Back to School 

When Household Pets Become Invasive Pests 

Conservation Authorities Act Under Discussion and Review 

Get Out and Get Active! 

Giant Hogweed Clean-Up 

The Ultimate Outdoor Lover's Summer Camp is Coming! 

Turtle Time 

Want Healthier Kids? Let Them Play Outdoors! 

A Week in the Great Outdoors?! Yes Please.

Grassroots Ecology: Promoting Green Grounds in Ganaraska 

Spring E-News from the GRCA 

A Year in Review - 2014 

GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement 

Spring Water Safety 

Guaranteed Sweet Family Fun at the Ganaraska Forest Centre 

Trees for Rural Roads Applications Due Soon 

Spring Flows: Stay Clear of Creeks, Ponds and Lakes 

Clean Water and Healthy Land in a Changing Climate 

26th Annual OFAH/Ganaraska Forest Centre Conservation Dinner 

Fishes of the Ganaraska Region 

Enbridge and Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority Partner to Offer Free Workshops to Landowners to Help Enhance Green Landscaping throughout the Community 

Kawartha Farm Stewardship Workshop a Success, Despite Snow

Less Than Two Weeks Left to Order Tree Seedlings 

3rd Annual Kawartha Farm Stewardship Workshop 

GRCA Offers Several Funding Options for Spring Tree Planting 

Holiday Planning with the GRCA 

Rocky Ramp Improves Local Fish Passage 

Union Gas and GRCA Partner to Protect Ganaraska River 

Birds of Prey in the Ganaraska Forest 

Ganaraska and Trent Source Protection Plan Approved

Planning on Building on the Oak Ridges Moraine? What You Need to Know.

Sampling fish from the watercourses within the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority are: A Shocking Story

 


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