Holiday Planning with the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority

With the holidays just around the corner and thoughts of what to get that special someone on everyone’s mind, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) has some unique gift giving ideas to help you get prepared. 

Does your special someone like to cross-country ski, hike, or mountain bike?  Why not give them with an annual membership to the Ganaraska Forest? Multiple different membership levels are available that provide a pass into the magnificent forest, where visitors can take advantage of the many recreational activities. The GRCA suggests that people of all ages take the time to be active year-round; keep busy with physical activities and lead by example with hikes, skiing, and other outdoor adventures. 

For a small donation, you can present your loved one with a tree that will be planted in the Ganaraska Forest. You will be provided with a framed tree certificate acknowledging the individual in honour or memory. This one-of-a-kind gift expresses your consideration towards the environment, provides wildlife habitat, and increases forest connectivity by adding to the existing 11,000 acre Ganaraska Forest.

Does your loved one have a special connection to the environment? Present them with an 8x8 paver stone engraved with their name or a special message.  The stones line the entrance way to the Ganaraska Forest Outdoor Education Centre located in the heart of the Ganaraska Forest. This personalized tribute will be a gift that lasts for years to come.

Looking for a unique stocking stuffer? A rain gauge is a great idea! The recipient will then have the opportunity to track our local precipitation patterns.

Please call us for information on the multi-use Ganaraska Forest Centre, to take advantage of these one-of-a-kind gift ideas, or to learn more on how you can support you local Conservation Authority.

Rocky Ramp Improves Local Fish Passage

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA), in partnership with the County of Northumberland and Floatfishing.net Conservation Group, and through funding provided by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, completed a project to improve fish passage over perched culvert on the west branch of Cobourg Creek at Dale Road. The project involved mitigating a 20” drop that was a partial barrier to upstream fish passage, particularly to non-jumping fish species. “This project will help improve fish passage, resulting in an improvement to the health of the fish community within Cobourg Creek,” states Brian Morrison, GRCA Fisheries Biologist.

In the summer of 2014, the GRCA and the County of Northumberland completed the construction of a rocky ramp fishway at the dam. A rocky ramp fishway is a layer of rock placed over the obstruction in a manner that resembles natural riffle and pool features. The project allows for unimpeded upstream fish access to approximately 40km2 km of additional high quality stream habitat. Shortly after completing the project, several different species of fish were observed using the rocky ramp to access upstream habitats.  This project supports the 2010 rocky ramp that was constructed downstream to enhance fish access within the west branch of Cobourg Creek.


Union Gas and GRCA partner to protect Ganaraska River

With a $2,000.00 grant generously donated by Union Gas and the help of Union Gas employees, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority planted approximately 250 Spruce and Tamarack trees along the east shore of the Ganaraska River just North of Port Hope yesterday. The river runs under Dale Road, a highway with fairly heavy traffic and the trees will contribute to the filtering of water runoff from the urban environment, including Dale Road, before it gets discharged into the river. The planting will also provide shade and habitat to critical cold water fish species.

The Ganaraska River drains a total area of 278 square kilometers (km2). The main branch of the Ganaraska River is joined by 10 other tributaries; the largest being the North Ganaraska Branch. Protection of the Ganaraska River watershed has been influenced by surface water studies such as floodplain mapping and hydraulic studies. Regulations are also in place to protect people and property from flood waters, such as the flood that occurred in 1980, and to protect the natural features of the watershed. Flows in the Ganaraska River are generally resilient to stresses such as drought and water use, and adequately provide for aquatic habitat and human use. However, currently the river is at risk of erosion due to the lack of trees and planting the trees along the shore will help stabilize the bank and reduce erosion.

“We care about the environment. The nature of Union Gas is reflected in our company culture, whether we are building a pipeline or erecting an energy-efficient office building,” said Ed Gouweloos, Union Gas Utility Services Construction Manager, Cobourg. “That’s why we support important environmental programs in the communities we serve. Planting trees along the Ganaraska River will make a difference, and that is important to us at Union Gas.”

For more information on the Ganaraska River, as well as other important projects the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority is undertaking in our watershed, please contact the Conservation Authority at 905-885-8173 or visit www.grca.on.ca.

 Ed Gouweloos (Union Gas Utility Services Construction Manager, Cobourg), Linda Laliberte (CAO-Secretary-Treasurer, GRCA) and Forrest Rowden (Chair, GRCA Full Authority)

Birds of Prey in the Ganaraska Forest

The Ganaraska Forest and surrounding area is home to many species of birds of prey. The Barred Owl is the most commonly seen owl but Great Horned Owls, Screech Owls and the diminutive Saw Whet Owl can all be found here.
The large soaring hawks, also known as Buteos, are what most people relate to when it comes to these raptors. The Red-tailed Hawk is the most commonly seen species. Other Buteos found in the area include the Red-shouldered Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk and Rough-legged Hawk.
Accipiters are smaller woodland hawks known for their agile darting flight through dense forest cover. Cooper’s Hawks can be frequently seen in the Ganaraska Forest, but usually only for an instant, as this secretive bird swiftly maneuvers its way through the trees. The Sharp-shinned Hawk and Northern Goshawk are less commonly seen Accipiters.
On Saturday, November 15th, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm, the Ganaraska Forest Centre is hosting a new event, Ontario’s Birds of Prey. Staff from the Ontario Specialized Species Centre will give an interactive and educational discussion about these amazing animals that we call raptors. Headlining the event are a variety of live hawks, owls and a falcon.

Why is it important to increase awareness of these amazing creatures? Raptors are “specialized species” meaning they are highly adapted to their particular habitat, food source, climate conditions, etc. If any of these specific requirements change, then that species is particularly vulnerable to population decline. These, and other mainly human-related interferences, have resulted in many of these beautiful birds finding their way onto the threatened or endangered list. 

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to get up close to these highly refined and localized birds of prey. Call the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority at 905-885-8173 to register.


Ganaraska and Trent Source Protection Plans Approved

The Source Protection Plans for the Trent Conservation Coalition Source Protection Region have been approved by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. These plans, effective on January 1, 2015, set out policies that will protect the water sources that supply 53 municipal drinking water systems within a planning region stretching from Algonquin Park to Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte; including the 6 drinking water systems within the Ganaraska Region Watershed. The plans are a requirement of Ontario’s Clean Water Act, which was passed as a response to the Province’s inquiry into the Walkerton drinking water tragedy.

The Source Protection Plans were developed over several years and are based on technical studies, collaborative policy development, and extensive public consultation. The process was guided by a Source Protection Committee made up representatives from municipalities, business, industry, First Nations, landowners, and other stakeholders.

“We are proud of the work of our team of twenty-eight members of the Source Protection Committee and our regional Source Protection Staff in achieving this goal,” said Jim Hunt, Chair of the Source Protection Committee. “Our work with our municipal partners and the province has enabled us to produce these comprehensive living documents which will serve to reduce risk to municipal drinking water systems through the introduction of policies designed to protect sources of municipal water supply. The process is collaborative and science-based and will provide ongoing protection for municipal source water by emphasizing minimizing the risk to water supplies from land use activities. We look forward to continuing with our partners into the future in our efforts to protect existing and future sources of Drinking Water.”

Policies in the Source Protection Plans include a variety of approaches to manage and prevent risks to municipal drinking water. These approaches include education and outreach, the development of risk management plans, prohibitions of future instances of certain high-risk activities, land use planning, and monitoring. These policies will help to keep contaminants out of rivers, lakes, and groundwater aquifers that are sources of municipal drinking water.

The source protection planning process is directed and funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change in conjunction with municipalities. Local Conservation Authorities provide technical, communications and administrative support for the source protection planning process. For more information please visit our website:



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


Township of Alnwick Haldimand Township of Cavan Monaghan Clarington Town of Cobourg Region of Durham Hamilton Township Port Hope City of Kawartha Lakes Conservation Ontario
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