|Put Some Spring In Your Step!|
With spring in the air, what better way to welcome the long awaited season than with a nature walk in the Ganaraska Forest? The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) is hosting its annual Put Some Spring In Your Step! event at the Ganaraska Forest Centre on Sunday May 3rd.
Join the GRCA’s Terrestrial Ecologist, Ken Towle, on a guided and informative walk through the forest beginning at 8:00 a.m. Everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy the fresh air in the hardwood forest, which is full of the sweet smells of spring and the sounds of returning songbirds after the long, cold winter.
Pre-registration and payment are required for this guided walk by contacting the GRCA administrative office at 905-885-8173. The event will be held rain or shine. Don’t forget your binoculars and birding and flower guides; many different species can be found in the Ganaraska Forest! The cost for this event is $12.00 per adult and $6.00 per child.
The Ganaraska Forest Centre is located about 20 minutes from Port Hope and Orono. Coming from the west, exit Hwy. 115 and travel east about 10 km on County Road 9. Turn left at the Cold Springs Camp Road sign and proceed 4 km to the Forest Centre. From the east, travel west off County Road 28 onto County Road 9 and proceed about 2 km west of Elizabethville. Turn right onto Cold Springs Camp Road and follow until you see the signs for the Ganaraska Forest Centre.
|GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement|
WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT: WATER SAFETY
Flood Potential: Low
The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that a weather system will begin pushing into the watershed tomorrow bringing mixed precipitation at first with a good chance of freezing rain. As the system intensifies on Thursday, heavier rainfall is forecast for the afternoon and overnight into Friday.
With total rainfall amounts forecast to be in the range of 40 to 50 mm over the next three days, water levels and flows in local streams will be on the rise. The remaining snowpack will also be melting and adding runoff to local streams. All water bodies, including ponds, streams and many ditches will 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 Saturday, April 11, 2015.
|Spring Water Safety|
It is important to know about the natural hazards we could encounter during this time of year, when the warmer weather is upon us. Activities like ice fishing, pond hockey and hiking along stream side trails can be perfectly safe while everything is good and frozen; but when mild temperatures begin to become a daily occurrence, the nice weather begins the melting of the built up snow and ice, and this is when the hazards become more of a concern.
Typically, ice break-up and fast flowing waters wouldn’t happen until well into spring, but in the past few years we have had significant mid-winter thaws that melt snow, causing high flows and ice breakup. Whether we have conditions like these or a standard spring thaw, the rivers and creeks in the Ganaraska region react quickly to the conditions with increased runoff. Under these circumstances, ice cover becomes thin and cracks, and the water beneath the ice starts moving faster and higher. The most dangerous scenario occurs when flows have increased but ice cover is still intact. On the surface, everything looks safe, meanwhile beneath the ice there is fast moving, very cold water. The average temperature of melting snow and ice water is 0-5o. River banks can get very slick, and the danger of slipping down one or falling through the ice into the water is minor compared to what happens soon after.
When one is emerged in cold water, hypothermia can set in very quickly. Being aware of the dangers and educated about this is very important. Hypothermia can occur in the matter of 5-10 minutes; your body loses heat rapidly and soon the blood from all of your extremities will travel to your heart and internal organs in an attempt to keep you alive. It limits your ability to keep yourself afloat, causes unclear thinking, lack of motor skills, and eventually, unconsciousness occurs. Hypothermia is life threatening; immersion in water at or near freezing can result in death within 15 minutes.
Please remember that water bodies of all sizes, from ditches to rivers, can become dangerous under spring-like conditions. They may look safe, but we all should just stay away from them. Always keep in mind how quickly something can happen. Stay safe, stay informed, be cautious, and make sure children are aware of the dangers when it comes to the spring thaw. The most important message to be passed along is to just “Stay Away!”
|Guaranteed Sweet Family Fun at the Ganaraska Forest Centre|
The Sugar Shack is open once again for the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority’s (GRCA) Annual Maple Syrup Program. Mark Saturday, March 28th on your calendar so that you don’t miss out on this fun-filled day at the Ganaraska Forest Centre (GFC). There are activities planned for the whole family from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm.
Enjoy a guided tour of the Maple Valley sap-collecting route, then listen to tales of traditional maple syrup making around the campfire as the sap boils in the outdoor cauldron. There will be demonstrations of native pioneer syrup making methods and modern sap collection systems, then take a visit to the sugar shack operation and learn how a sap evaporator works. Children can participate in craft making and face painting before everyone sits down and enjoys a classic pancake breakfast.
Admission rates for this annual event are $12 per adult, $6 per child (ages 16 & under). Pre-registration is not required; simply stop at the gatehouse on your way in to purchase your tickets. For further information please call the Ganaraska Forest Centre at 905.797.2721 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact GRCA at 905.885.8173 or email@example.com
The Ganaraska Forest Centre is approximately a 20 minute drive from both Port Hope and Orono. If you’re travelling from the west, exit Highway 115 and travel east about 10 km on Durham Road 9, then turn left on Cold Springs Camp Road and proceed 4 km to the Forest Centre. 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 Forest Centre.
|A Year in Review at the GRCA|
The GRCA was formed in October 1946 under the Conservation Authorities Act and is one of the oldest conservation authorities in Ontario. February marked the celebration of the 68th year in operation, and what a year it was - eventful, inspiring, successful and rewarding.
Everything from tree planting to water sampling; guided forest hikes to electrofishing; Authority staff were on the go throughout 2014.
Three large initiatives were completed last year. The GRCA Climate Change Strategy, which provides direct, meaningful and strategic actions addressing climate change; providing information required to integrate climate change considerations into programs and operations of the Conservation Authority. Board and staff also completed the GRCA Strategic Plan - Vision 2020 - which is a roadmap for the future; it will lead the Conservation Authority from today to where it would like to be tomorrow and beyond. The Drinking Water Source Protection Plan was also approved; implementation of this plan is starting this year.
Many projects and services were added to the Conservation Authority’s list of accomplishments as well. To name a few - 36 stewardship projects approved; over 46,000 tree seedlings planted across the region; 700 trees supplied to Clarington residents and 400 to Municipality of Port Hope landowners. Several fisheries habitat projects completed; installation of metal panels in the bottom openings of the Ganaraska River railings to protect users of the walkways from the dangers of falling into the channelization. An inventory of all flood plain mapping in Ontario began; the Authority successfully completed the Showcasing Water Innovations (SWI) project which saw multi-year match funding awarded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to explore new and innovative ways of developing digital elevation data for floodplain mapping. The 36 year-old Ganaraska Forest Centre Outdoor Education program continued to grow; the Centre has welcomed over 50,000 visitors - from school children to community groups; corporate guests to wedding parties since 2009. Partnerships were formed here, there and everywhere – which the GRCA is continuously thankful for.
The GRCA is moving into its 69th year as a leading environmental organization with a mission to enhance and conserve across the Ganaraska Region Watershed by serving, educating, informing and engaging.
It is important to continue the connection between a healthy watershed and healthy, strong sustainable communities. The GRCA wishes to thank the communities they serve for their continued support. As they move into 2015, they do so setting a course for ambitious, innovative and bold watershed management.
Please review the 2014 Annual Report