Volunteers help plant rain gardens in Bayfield
About 50 students from Huron Centennial Public School in Brucefield and 15 community volunteers from the Bayfield area planted 300 plants at two new rain gardens at Pioneer Park in Bayfield on Tuesday, June 21. They did this to help protect local water in the village along Lake Huron’s shores.
The installation of the rain gardens is just one way watershed residents continue to implement the community-developed Main Bayfield Watershed Plan.
For more information visit: Bayfield rain gardens
Healthy Kids Community Challenge Huron launches Storytime Trail
Huron County families will have a chance to walk together and read together through the Storytime Trail, a new program launched on June 21, 2016.
A different story is to be posted on the trail monthly on each of eight new trail posts along the MacNaughton-Morrison Section of the South Huron Trail in Exeter. Families are invited to read the story as they hike the trail.
To find out more visit: Storytime Trail
Turtle colouring contest winners announced
Ausable Bayfield Conservation presented copies of the children’s book Never Give Up by Janet Everett to winning entries in the ages 6 and under category of the conservation authority’s first World Turtle Day Colouring Contest. The contest organizers presented the prize of Photo Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Ontario by Scott Gillingwater and Alistair MacKenzie, to the winners in the ages 7-12 category.
Mackenzie Harris, 5, of Exeter and Adelyn Berndt, 5, of Brucefield were the winners in the 6 and under category. Ages 7-12 category winners were Evan Hobbs, 9, of Thedford, and Amy Howes, 10, of Clinton.
To find out more visit: World Turtle Day Colouring Contest
$1,000 Student Environmental Award
The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation is offering a $1,000 cash award for a graduating secondary school student OR a student currently enrolled in university or college pursuing education in a conservation-related or environment-related course of study such as biology, ecology, geography, forestry, fish and wildlife, agriculture, or outdoor education. Deadline to apply is Thursday, June 30, 2016 by 4:30 p.m.
To find out more download: Application form and criteria
Two Huron County subwatersheds chosen
The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association’s (OSCIA) Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (GLASI) Priority Subwatershed Project has selected two subwatershed areas in Huron County to act as sites to help evaluate the effectiveness of agricultural stewardship in improving soil health and water quality. The areas are the Gully Creek watershed, just north of Bayfield, and the Garvey-Glenn watershed, north of Port Albert.
Landowners in these two watersheds are eligible for up to 80 per cent cost-share grants (up to $25,000 per year) and, in some cases, per-acre incentives. These incentives are for specific BMP projects under several categories.
To find out more visit: Reducing phosphorus loss
Conservation Dinner Committee names first Co-Chairs in 25 years; announces record of $62,500 at 2016 event
The Conservation Dinner gala auction continues to make history. Members of the community committee behind the charitable event learned has learned that the 2016 fundraiser set a new record. The 2016 Dinner raised almost $62,500 in net proceeds for community improvements such as parks, accessible trails, and nature education and recreation. That’s $1,000 more than the previous record set the year before.
The committee then continued to make history by electing two Co-Chairs, for the first time in a quarter of a century, to organize the 28th Conservation Dinner.
Community members Mary Ryan-Allen and Janet Clarke were elected Co-Chairs of 28th Conservation Dinner auction.
The committee also announced that next year’s event will get an early start on the spring season and is to be held on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at South Huron Recreation Centre in Exeter.
To find out more visit: Conservation Dinner
Seven volunteers in Ausable Bayfield Conservation watersheds recognized
Seven volunteers from Ausable Bayfield Conservation watersheds were among more than 11,000 volunteers to receive 2016 Ontario Volunteer Service Awards. The following recipients were nominated by Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA): Ten Years of Service: Sharon O’Toole; Carol Rideout; George Godbolt; and Raymond Letheren. Five Years of Service: George Finch and Troy Stellingwerff. Youth Nomination (Two to four years): Evan Krebs.
To find out more visit: Ontario Volunteer Service Awards
Lambton Shores Phragmites Community Group winner of Conservationist of the Year Award
The winner of the Conservationist of the Year Award is Lambton Shores Phragmites Community Group. When the award was presented, close to 80 people attended the event, including landowners, residents, and community group members; dignitaries; ministry and conservation authority staff; municipal representatives, and others.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation’s Manager of Stewardship, Land and Education, Kate Monk, made remarks introducing the award winners. “The group should be very proud of the work they’ve done in just a few short years and we should be very, very appreciative for the work that they’ve done,” Monk said. “They’re very engaged and they’re a very important part of the Ontario Phragmites Working Group and working with agencies and individuals across the
province to control Phragmites,” she said.
To find out more visit: Conservationist Award Winner
Great Lakes Program Coordinator with Environment and Climate Change Canada shares examples of successful coastal management
There are issues facing lakes, oceans, and ecosystems around the world. There are also successful examples of nations and interested people working together to address these issues, according to Janette Anderson, Great Lakes Program Coordinator with Environment and Climate Change Canada. She was guest speaker at Ausable Bayfield Conservation’s annual conservation awards evening. Anderson presented on the topic Collaboration Works: Lessons Learned from Global Review of Coastal Management.
The presenter pointed out that rivers, lakes, and ecological systems don’t recognize national borders and other boundaries of jurisdiction. She shared a number of national and international examples of governments and people working together to address shoreline issues and to reduce impacts to land, water, and habitat.
To “bring things home” in terms of the Lake Huron coastline “there were a number of success stories that were examined,” she said, including the Lake Huron - Georgian Bay Framework for Community Action (www.lakehuroncommunityaction.ca) and the Healthy Lake Huron: Clean Water, Clean Beaches initiative along Lake Huron’s southeast shoreline (www.healthylakehuron.ca).
Farther afield, the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan, for example, has achieved 40 per cent reduction in nitrogen and phosphorus discharges between 1987 and 2000 and a 50 per cent decrease in 50 hazardous substance discharges. That action plan has also improved swimming beaches and helped to recover some wildlife populations. That action plan has addressed issues such as excess nutrients, loss of biodiversity, hazardous substances, and food chain disruptions. Since that time, they have acknowledged that more work is needed to address the nutrient loading to the Baltic Sea and further measures need to be implemented urgently.
Governments, agencies, and interested people along coastlines are “recognizing the interconnected nature of their ecosystems, their respective contributions to a greater whole, and the need to take initiative on priority actions,” said Anderson.
The speaker acknowledged there are challenges coordinating a wide management area with zones of influence and impact. It’s difficult “taking an ecosystem approach when the ecosystem is large and comprised of extensive, land, water, rivers, lakes, wetlands, groundwater, and offshore waters, overlaid with human activity.” Some programs address specific issues in specific areas but coastal management is required for a large area with many partners involved in order to reduce impacts to the lake or ocean, nearshore and shoreline.
To learn more visit: Working together for the shoreline
Wonder, Investigate, Learn, and Discover (WILD) Nature Camp
To register for the July 25-29, 2016 Wonder, Investigate, Learn, and Discover (WILD) Nature Camp is for ages 10 to 12 at Morrison Dam Conservation Area visit the Summer Nature Day Camps Page.
The July 25 to 29 natre camp includes an overnight experience on the Thursday night in tents at Morrison Dam Conservation Area, east of Exeter.
Contact conservation education staff at Ausable Bayfield Conservation, through staff contacts page, or phone 519-235-2610, extension ext 255 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 for more information.