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Old Ottawa South Community Association

Brewer Park - Shoreline Rehabilitation Work

Brewer Park - Shoreline Rehabilitation Work

As part of the Stage 2 O-Train South Extension project, Brewer Park is getting an upgrade to the shoreline that will benefit aquatic life and the community.

Construction crews will carve out a horseshoe-shaped section of land at Brewer Park to create an inlet and a small island, or embayment. This inlet will help offset the impacted shoreline at the site of the Rideau River Pedestrian Bridge, while helping to manage the flow of the river, mitigate flooding and create additional aquatic habitats. Stumps and roots of trees required to be removed for the installation of the Rideau River Pedestrian Bridge will be strategically placed in the river in order to create an improved aquatic habitat.

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The Brewer Pond willow.

Brewer Pond’s Indestructible Willow

It narrowly escaped destruction during an early 90s development project. Volunteers replanted it; annual spring flooding along the Rideau River flattened it; and now its neighbours—who live in the beaver lodge down the bank—happily feast on it.

Each of its five, massive trunks—which snake in all directions from its core—sends up enough sinewy limbs to seem as if this one tree is growing an entire forest, all on its own. One of those limbs is arched like a secret doorway. Several have large chunks chewed out of them. Others, toppled and hanging on by strips, still sprout viable branches rippling with leaves.

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Photo by Sandra Garland.

Leave the Leaves

Some Alternatives

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.

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Keeping Rain Where it Belongs

Keeping Rain Where it Belongs

Once upon a time, there was a small settlement on the banks of a beautiful river. It was a lovely site, with many trees, open meadows of wildflowers and grasses, and a marsh where water plants grew and many different kinds of insects, birds, butterflies, and small animals lived. When it rained, the water seeped into the ground where tree roots could reach it, and it replenished the marsh.

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Brewer Park April 2014.

Brewer Pavilion Gone!

The building perched on the edge of Brewer Pond has been demolished as of December 2017. The pavilion once served as the canteen and change-area for the beach at Brewer Pond.

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