Posted by: Oliver Waddington
If you have been active on the Old Ottawa South or Being Neighbourly Facebook groups lately you may have seen my posts surrounding the Brewer Pond Renaturalization Project Report that I wrote on behalf of the Enviro Crew of Old Ottawa South. In this article I will be discussing one of the aspects of the report, the re-naturalization of the trails around Brewer Pond.
Before I go into further details, I would like to mention that this report was written after extensive conversations with local scientists, experts and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.
Brewer Pond is an incredibly popular area for residents all over the city, in fact, while I was doing canvassing during the summer, I spoke to someone who had come down from their office in Gatineau just to walk around the area. However, this popularity has had an impact on the natural environment. What was once a clearly defined trail has over the years transformed into a much wider one (and in some cases 2 trails) with multiple offshoots. Now in many cases this would not be a problem, after all having more trails allows people to access previously inaccessible areas, meaning they can then see more of the flora and fauna this place has to offer. However, in this case some of these trails are leading to erosion, especially along the shoreline of the Rideau River. This is a problem because the shoreline is used by animals (especially turtles) as nesting areas as well as general shelter. If erosion continues unchecked then this valuable habitat will be vastly reduced if not lost completely.
However, there are solutions to these problems and that’s what I’m going to talk about now. If you have seen my report, or the various posts on Facebook, you may remember the 2-pronged approach of erosion prevention and trail protection that I have mentioned. Under the erosion prevention category, proposals include, a large-scale planting and renaturalization effort of the shoreline. This will help stabilize the shoreline and increase its ability to withstand flooding in the future. For the trail protection category, proposals include planting shrubs and seed mixes along and at the ends of the trail offshoots to block them off, and encourage natural plant growth in these areas.
Throughout the canvassing and report stage of my report the Enviro Crew received a lot of ideas and feedback from local scientists and experts. These ideas can be found within the report itself and go into more detail than this article.
Wetlands are some of the most important environments when it comes to climate change mitigation. They can sequester twice as much carbon as rainforests and also aid in flood prevention. With the effects of climate change becoming more obvious and extreme we need to protect these vital areas to ensure the survival of planet.
- Email Enviro Crew of OOS at envirocrewOOS@gmail.com
- Join the Facebook group: Environment Crew of Old Ottawa South
Oliver Waddington is a resident of OOS as well as a member of the Enviro Crew of OOS and a member of OSCA’S Environment and Climate Action Committee.
Featured in the February 2023 OSCAR.