On November 25, 2020, a new subgroup of the Enviro Crew of OOS – the Tree/Urban Canopy Subgroup – was formed when 16 motivated and talented residents of Old Ottawa South and beyond met virtually for the first time. Discussion covered the subgroup’s concept and vision, functions and roles, terms of reference and next steps, but the most inspiring part of the meeting was hearing about everyone’s interests and experiences. The diversity of skills, knowledge, and interest represented was very impressive and included: founding and operating charities, journalism and writing, studying impacts of trees on human health, environmental policy and planning, biology, landscape architecture, advocacy, community reforestation, and conducting tree censuses. Our collective passion for trees and forests and the many benefits they provide to individuals and society was very motivating, and there are high hopes for what this group of dedicated tree huggers can achieve together!
We love our trees. All summer they absorb sunlight, carbon dioxide, and nutrients from the soil and turn them into new green leaves that shade us on hot days, keep moisture in the air and soil, and harbour a huge number of living organisms.
As the days get shorter and cooler, all those leaves will soon become a liability. They can no longer photosynthesize as the temperature drops, but they still lose water, especially when it’s windy. No problem. Deciduous trees in our part of the world have adapted to winter by sending some of the nutrients from their leaves back down into the roots for storage. That’s why they turn colour, by the way – chlorophyll components break down, revealing the previously masked oranges, yellows, and reds of other chemicals.
Greg Bulté, an instructor in the Department of Biology at Carleton University, is studying the behaviour and conservation of turtles. He is putting together a project blending citizen science, research, and education centred on urban turtles, and it includes a nest protection program. Our observations will provide valuable background information.
A name, a Facebook page, an Earth Day event – slowly, but with great enthusiasm, our neighbourhood environment group is taking shape.
Neighbourhood environment group now on Facebook
The Enviro Crew of Old Ottawa South is a group of OOS neighbours interested in furthering environmental initiatives in our community.