Fall 2016

MWC Founder Ken BlackMWC remembers Ken Black

MWC was saddened to learn of the passing of its founder and inaugural Chair, Ken Black, on August 29th. MWC paid tribute to Ken at the MWC meeting in September. Learn more about Ken and his numerous contributions to the Muskoka community on the MWC website.

Annual Paddling Event Taking Place October 8th

Paddlers from across the province and beyond will take to the Muskoka River in Bracebridge for the 6th annual Great Muskoka Paddling Experience October 8th. This event has become an important fundraising effort for the Muskoka Watershed Council with over $16,000 donated to the organization over the past five years.
The event is for all ages and skill levels, making it an ideal family activity for the Thanksgiving Long Weekend. With over 40 categories for canoeists, kayakers, and SUP paddlers, there is something for everyone.
Learn more about the Great Muskoka Paddling Experience at www.muskokapaddlingexperience.com.
Great Muskoka Paddling Experience

2016 Muskoka Summit on the Environment a Success!

Muskoka Summit on the EnvironmentThe 2016 Muskoka Summit on the Environment was held May 27-28th and featured a number of excellent speakers.
The Summit was well attended and received much media attention, including an episode on the CBC Radio show Ideas with Paul Kennedy, who moderated the panel session to close the summit on the second day. The Ideas episode aired September 22nd and you can listen to it here.
Cogeco subscribers can watch each presentation weekly or on-demand, where available. Copies of each presentation have also been posted on the MSE website at http://muskokasummit.org/2016-summit/speakers/.
Paul Kennedy moderates the closing panel discussion
A number of local high school students participated in the summit
Elizabeth May talks about how to tackle climate change
MSE organizer Andrea Smith and MSE speaker Andy Heinzman
Dr. Catherine Potvin talks about Sustainable Canada Dialogues

$7,500 MSE Research Award Given Out

The second MSE Research Award was presented in May to Trent University Graduate student Phaedra Cowden. The MSE Research Award, in the amount of $7,500, supports graduate student environmental research within the Muskoka River Watershed in the fields of environmental science, resource studies and/or policy.
Phaedra’s research proposal, titled Assessment of the Spatial Variability of Atmospheric Deposition Across the Muskoka Region, aims to create an extensive moss species catalogue for the Muskoka region, as well as collect the commonly used biomonitoring moss species (Hylocomium splendens and/or Pleurozium schreberi) at regular spaced locations throughout the watershed.
Phaedra CowdenThe objective of the project is to provide a high-resolution assessment of the spatial variability of atmospheric deposition across the Muskoka region. These data will also be submitted to the International Co-operative Programme (ICP) on Vegetation under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, as the Canadian submission to their regular repeat survey, which will set the Muskoka analysis in the context of the wide-scale European assessment.
Congratulations Phaedra!

Wrapping Up a Summer Spent on Three Mile Lake With the Love Your Lake Program

Love Your Lake on Three Mile Lake
What is the best way to spend the summer in Ontario, you may ask? How about spending it in Muskoka! Add a boat and some lakes, and your summer is sure to be a great one.
The Love Your Lake program provided the ideal summer job for a student in Muskoka. Being Canadian, winters are hard. We need our summer sun! Being of the current generation dealing with global Climate Change, environmentalism is an inherent part of who we are. Working in a job that has an environmental aspect is the cherry on top to a wonderful summer experience.
Love Your Lake
Volunteer Spotlight

MARGARETE CAMERON, Communications Committee

Margarete CameronMargarete Cameron recently retired from a forty year career in education which ended with a nine year appointment as an Education Officer at the Ministry of Education. She is the second generation of her family to reside on Stewart Lake near Foot’s Bay, and she and her husband became full-time residents in 2011. 
Margarete has been active on the Stewart Lake Association Board of Directors for three years, and has focused her work in that capacity on member education and environmental initiatives. She is particularly proud of the annual “Buckeye BBQ Silent Auction” that she started which raises the funds the Association uses to support these endeavours.
Margarete answered a few questions from Christy Doyle, MWC's Director of Environmental and Watershed Programs.
What drew you to volunteer with MWC?
One of my personal mantras is “Think globally; act locally”. I am passionate about preserving the natural environment for future generations, and constantly think about the type of world I want my grandchildren to be able to experience. When the opportunity of volunteering with MWC presented itself, I saw it as an opportunity to bring together my personal interests and act on a local and regional level, and in some small way address some of the pressing environmental global issues of our day.
What MWC projects are you involved in?
I’m serving as a member of the Communications Committee and in that role, am attending the meetings of the Report Card Working Group. I will also be collating MWC resources that can be supplied to Lake and Cottage associations for inclusion in their newsletters, at key points throughout the year. Most recently, I represented MWC at the Children’s Water Festival that was held on Sept. 26 and 17 at the Kinark Outdoor Centre located near Carnarvon.
Tell us about the Stewart Lake renaturalization project.
The village of MacTier sits on the north shore of Stewart Lake, and the District constructed a water treatment plant in the town about six years ago. When construction was completed vegetation was not restored and the resulting lawn was quite out of character with the natural shoreline that borders most of the lake.
The Stewart Lake Association was able to collaborate with the District and MWC and, together, renaturalized this stretch of shoreline. The District provided the funding and staff assistance, MWC provided landscaping expertise and project leadership and the Association provided the volunteer labour to get the job done. Northway Gardeners provided the native vegetation and expertise. Together, we all transformed the shoreline of the treatment plant – on one of the hottest days in June! We planted a total of 96 trees, shrubs and wildflowers and then Stewart Lake assumed responsibility for watering the new plantings throughout the remainder of the summer.
We now have a model of renaturalizing shorelines that interested shoreline residents can use as a starting point for their own projects, and at the same time have provided an enhanced environment for wildlife and pollinators in the Stewart Lake area.
What is your favourite part of living in Muskoka?
I love living by the lake full-time and being able to witness and enjoy the seasons in a very personal way. Kayaking during the early mornings and sunsets of the summer; observing the gradual changes in the foliage and hiking during the fall; making the first snowshoe tracks and feeding the birds in the winter; and enjoying the many shades of green as the forest wakes up once more in the spring. It really doesn’t get much better than that!
MWC volunteer Margarete Cameron recently represented MWC at the Haliburton-Muskoka-Kawartha Children's Water Festival at the Kinark Outdoor Centre.
2016 Great Muskoka Paddling Experience

Learning About How Muskoka's Climate is Changing

Since the release of the MWC publication Planning for Climate Change in Muskoka this past spring, dedicated MWC volunteer and Past-Chair Peter Sale has been presenting the findings to various community groups, municipal councils and lake associations. The presentation outlines what Muskoka's climate will likely by like in 2050, how this changing climate will affect Muskoka's lakes, forests and communities, and provides a number of recommendations for municipalities, organizations and individuals to take to prepare for this new Muskoka.
Presentations on Muskoka' changing climate have been delivered for:
  • Muskoka District Council
  • Huntsville Earth Week
  • Windermere Lions Club
  • Muskoka Summit on the Environment
  • Bracebridge Probus
  • Lake of Bays Association AGM
  • Muskoka Discovery Centre
  • Stewardship Seguin Speakers Series
  • Muskoka Lakes Association
  • Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario Conference
  • UPCOMING: Rotary Conference (Oct 29)
  • UPCOMING: Environment Haliburton (Dec 13)

Muskoka Watershed Council has Moved!

Please stop by and see us at our new space at located at the District of Muskoka administration building at 70 Pine Street in Bracebridge. You can now reach us by phone at 705-645-2100 x387.

Species at Risk Spotlight

Chordeiles minor
Status: Special Concern
 SAR Factsheet - Common Nighthawk
There are 42 Species at Risk in the Muskoka-Parry Sound area, including the Common Nighthawk, a medium-sized, ground-nesting bird that overwinters in South America.

Learn about this species at risk, where you're likely to find it in Muskoka, and how you can help protect it and its habitat in the Species at Risk Factsheet.
Planning for Climate Change in Muskoka
What will Muskoka’s climate be like in 40 years and how will it affect our lakes, forests, and communities? What can we do now to prepare for this future?
Get a copy of the MWC publication Planning for Climate Change in Muskoka online for FREE or you can purchase a hard copy for just $20 at the MWC office located at 70 Pine Street in Bracebridge.

Events Calendar

  • October 8 - Great Muskoka Paddling Experience. A fun paddling event for all ages and skill levels. Annie Williams Park in Bracebridge. http://www.muskokapaddlingexperience.com/
  • October 14 - Muskoka Watershed Council meeting. 1:00 pm in the Pine Room at the District of Muskoka. Presentations about the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation and the Muskoka Love Your Lake program. All are welcome to attend!
  • November 18 - Muskoka Watershed Council meeting. 1:00 pm in the Council Chambers at the District of Muskoka. Presentations about predicting algae bloom dynamics in a changing climate and the Muskoka Official Plan review. All are welcome to attend!
  • 2017 MWC Meeting Dates:
    • January 27
    • February 17
    • March 17
    • April 21
    • June 2
Interested in helping MWC address environmental issues facing Muskoka and beyond?
Call us at 705-645-2100 x278!
Copyright © 2016 Muskoka Watershed Council, All rights reserved.
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