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

With the support of a $7,500 donation from Enbridge, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) will be holding three, two-part watershed-wide workshops in Port Hope, Cobourg and Newcastle in March and April.  Funds will be used to support educational outreach programs, such as Greening Your Grounds workshops, which teach landowners how to enhance their property using the newest trends in residential landscaping. The funds will also contribute to the implementation of Low Impact Development pilot projects within the watershed to enhance water quality in urban areas.

“The donation from Enbridge will ensure we can carry out educational programs and pilot projects that benefit the community, and the environment we share,” said Kestrel Wraggett, stewardship technician with the GRCA. “We are grateful for Enbridge’s generous donation and support.”

Part one of the educational workshops teaches the basics of environmental landscaping and how it can benefit you and the environment. During part two of the workshop, hear from the experts on natural design and how to effectively and affordably green your grounds. Throughout the evening, expert advice will be shared by landscape designers, engineers, municipal planners and GRCA staff.

“It’s important to Enbridge to partner with organizations that share our commitment to protect the environment where we operate,” said Ken Hall, senior public affairs advisor with Enbridge. “The GRCA is essential to sustainable forest management, environmental conservation and watershed stewardship in the area. We’re proud to have the opportunity to help support them and their community outreach efforts.”

For more information on the Greening Your Grounds workshops, please contact Kestrel Wraggett at kwraggett@grca.on.ca or 905.885.8173. To register for the free two-part workshops, visit www.grca.on.ca/poster.pdf

Less than Two Weeks Left to Order Your Tree Seedlings

Have you considered planting trees on your property? If so, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority can provide assistance. Tree seedlings can now be ordered through the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority until March 2, 2015. This can be done through an easy to use and informative selection catalogue and order form. There is a minimum order of 25 seedlings, with increments of 25 seedlings per species. Seedlings costs range from $0.50 to $1.75 each.

When it comes to planting the seedlings, landowners can plant the seedlings themselves or have them planted through the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority’s Tree Planting Program.  Funding is also available to assist a tree planting project through the Clean Water – Healthy Land Financial Assistance Program.

Planting trees can provide many benefits to your property:
• Consider establishing a windbreak to help reduce home heating costs, or shade trees to reduce home cooling costs.
• Consider large scale reforestation on marginal land to increase wildlife habitat, or provide future additional income through timber management or other forest resources.
• Help increase forest connectivity by planting in areas that will increase the size of existing forest or woodlots.
• Enhance stream banks and river valleys by planting species that stabilize stream banks and increase stream shading.

For more information on how you can participate in the 2015 tree seedling program or the Clean Water – Healthy Land Financial Assistance Program, contact Kestrel Wraggett, Stewardship Technician at 905-885-8173 or kwraggett@grca.on.ca. The 2015 Tree Seedling Order Form can be found here.


Farm Stewardship Workshop a Success Despite Snow

An overflow crowd attended the 3rd Annual Kawartha Farm Stewardship Workshop last Saturday. The event was designed to celebrate on-farm stewardship achievements, and to inform the farming community about the many resources available to support them.

This full-day workshop featured presentations by farmers and industry professionals on topics such as: practical strategies for reducing neonicotinoid use (Greg Stewart, OMAFRA); creative options and solutions for livestock watering; the benefits of wetlands and biofilters in farm drainage andthe 4R’s of nutrient stewardship. as well as the many sources of funding and technical support available to farmers across the region from KFSC partners. Farmers identified more than two dozen projects they would like to undertake over the next couple of years, through a voluntary project intake process and conversation with partners in the Collaborative who provide funding and technical assistance.
If you didn’t make it to the workshop this year, visit the Collaborative’s web page, to get an idea of the many resources available to you. You can complete an online form at any time, and a member of the Collaborative will contact you to obtain more details and talk about support available.

The KFSC consists of eleven local and provincial partner organizations: Ducks Unlimited Canada, Farms at Work, Ganaraska Region Conservation, Kawartha Conservation, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, Lower Trent Conservation and Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Otonabee Conservation, and the Peterborough County Stewardship Council. The Collaborative has worked together for the last 5 years on projects valued at close to $1 million. For more information, visit
www.kawarthafarmstewardship.org or call Jay Adam at 705-743-7671.


Clean Water and Healthy Land in a Changing Climate

As global temperatures continue to rise as a result of Climate Change, and extreme weather events become more frequent, there are increased risks to personal safety and the health of our watersheds. However, there are preventative measures we can all take to help mitigate some of the negative impacts and ensure that our watersheds remain healthy and resilient to effects of climate change.

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) offers stewardship programs, including the Clean Water Healthy Land Financial Assistance Program to landowners who want to implement projects on their property that benefit the watershed. Many environmental projects are eligible for funding assistance, including tree planting. Tree planting projects increase natural cover and buffer sensitive natural features like streams and wetlands. Trees and shrubs help to stabilize soils which can minimize erosion, provide important shade cover to protect water from getting too warm, and enhance wildlife habitat. Every spring the GRCA enlists volunteer tree planters to help increase natural cover and build resiliency into their local watersheds.

Even in urban areas it is important to protect and enhance the natural environment. Mature trees provide shade to buildings reducing our reliance on air conditioning. Parks with clean trails and water create opportunities for healthy active recreation and increase habitat for wildlife.

On our own properties there are many ways to minimize our impact by creating a more natural landscape. Native plants are drought tolerant and locally adapted to thrive in your yard. They also provide habitat for insects and birds. If you need to water your yard or garden, take from a rain barrel instead of a hose to reduce water consumption. Municipalities use a lot of electricity to purify water and pump it to our neighborhoods.

Water runs off urban surfaces very quickly and picks up contaminants such as lawn fertilizer and road salts before entering local streams and Lake Ontario, which is our source of drinking water. Fortunately, we can slow down and treat that runoff to lessen the impact on natural flowing waters. Consider implementing one of the following to green your grounds and in turn, help protect your watershed and the natural features and functions it provides.

~ Direct your downspout away from hard surfaces and into a rain barrel or onto your lawn
~ Plant drought tolerant native plants to avoid unnecessary watering
~ Create a rain garden
~ Use eco-friendly lawn care practices
~ Use eco-friendly ice melter for winter safety
~ Dispose of waste responsibly; only rainwater goes into storm drains.
~ Try installing a green roof, they have many benefits!

The GRCA is offering free environmental landscaping workshops in your area to promote the environmental benefit and pleasing aesthetics of native plants and water conservation.

If you are interested in GRCA stewardship programs, creating a more natural landscape on your property or just have questions about your watershed, call the GRCA office at 905-885-8173 or visit www.grca.on.ca.

What steps are we taking? Read the GRCA Climate Change Strategy.  


26th Annual OFAH/GFC Conservation Dinner Tickets Now Available

On Saturday, April 11th 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 proves to be very successful and the 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 hand-sculpted art to weekend VIA Rail getaways, framed prints 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 Forest Centre houses programs for over 8,000 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 Outdoor Survival Skills 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. Get your tickets before March 11th and be included in the early-bird draw. For further information on supporting this annual event through donations or sponsorship, or to purchase tickets, please call the GRCA at 905.885.8173 or visit www.grca.on.ca.


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


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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