This newsletter is to keep you informed about what is happening in the Ausable Bayfield watershed community. We thank you for your interest and your actions to protect soil, water, and living things. Thanks for having provided consent to receive this newsletter. If you wish to unsubscribe at any time, please click the 'unsubscribe' button at the bottom of this e-mail.

You are invited to Thursday, July 24 technical workshop

Find out about progress on the Rural Stormwater Management Model (RSWMM) project; Register now; Morning and afternoon sessions are free

Healthy Lake Huron is inviting interested people to attend a technical workshop in Goderich on Thursday, July 24, 2014. The partnership is hosting the workshop to provide an update about the project to create a new Rural Stormwater Management Model (RSWMM). 
To find out more or to register now visit this page: News about the Rural Stormwater Management Model Project Technical Workshop 
The workshop will take place at Trinity Christian Reformed Church, 245 Mill Road, Goderich, Ontario, Canada on Thursday, July 24, 2014.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. for the morning session which will include background on Healthy Lake Huron and the new computer model in development. The morning session runs from 9:00 a.m. – 12 noon. The afternoon session will include more technical discussion about the model and this runs from 12:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Admission is free for the morning and afternoon sessions. A light lunch option is available for purchase for $15 as part of the pre-registration process.
When storms happen, melting snow or falling rain can build up and run quickly over parking lots, streets, fields, and lawns. That stormwater runoff can then travel to storm drains, creeks, rivers, and the lake. The runoff can erode land, take away topsoil, and carry bacteria, nitrogen, and phosphorus into water sources that are used for drinking, swimming, and recreation. The Healthy Lake Huron:
Clean Water, Clean Beaches partnership is working to find and use new tools to slow that runoff down and let it soak into the ground to be filtered before the water reaches the lake. One of those tools is a new computer model being designed to better understand and manage stormwater runoff along Lake Huron’s southeast shoreline, in a largely rural area stretching from Sarnia to Tobermory.


Bayfield Main Beach Community Meeting
Thursday, July 31, 7 to 9 p.m.

What is your vision for the Bayfield Main Beach? You are invited to a community meeting on Thursday, July 31 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Bayfield Town Hall. The Blue Flag Beach Management Committee is interested in hearing your views about the Bayfield Main Beach. Please help them identify local issues and needs relating to water quality, environmental management, safety and services. Light refreshments will be provided. Space is limited. To register, please contact Arlene Parker, Municipality of Bluewater, at 519-236-4351, extension 235. Sponsored by the members of the Blue Flag Beach Management Committee, including: Municipality of Bluewater; County of Huron; and Ausable Bayfield Conservation.
For more information visit: 

September 20 is 50th Anniversary of Sylvan Conservation Program at Camp Sylan

You are invited for campfire, fellowship at 50th anniversary event for conservation education program at Camp Sylvan

Public invited to rekindle fond memories of staying overnight in chuckwagons at Camp Sylvan at 50th Anniversary evening on Saturday, September 20, 2014; School children have been learning about nature for 50 years through the Sylvan Conservation Program at Camp Sylvan:  Thousands of children can fondly remember sleeping overnight in chuckwagons, looking for aquatic critters in the pond, and playing
active educational games in the woods through one of Ontario’s longest-running outdoor education programs with an overnight stay component. Camp Sylvan is a Scouts Canada property of nearly 240 acres, near the Thomas Tract, and is located in Sylvan, Ontario, near Thedford.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) began running the Sylvan Conservation Program there in 1964.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation invites the public to relive some of their camping and outdoor nature learning memories and make some new memories on Saturday, September 20, 2014 with gates opening at 6 p.m. and ceremony beginning at 7 p.m.
“Fifty years of student learning in the great outdoors is something worth celebrating,” said Julie Stellingwerff, Conservation Educator and Team Leader with Ausable Bayfield Conservation. “This is a way of thanking all the schools, principals, and teachers who have supported this important nature and conservation education experience over the past five decades.”
The September 20 event includes:
– 6 p.m. – Informal chance for people to visit and wander through Frontierland, take a walk down memory lane, and reminisce.
– 7 p.m. – Welcoming ceremony at the campfire, storytelling, skits and songs
– The evening is to end with hot chocolate, light snack, and old-fashioned reminiscing in the Frontierhouse dining hall.
Organizers invite people to bring copies of old photos to share.
For more information, visit or phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.
Camp Sylvan is located at Camp Sylvan in the hamlet of Sylvan, 32098 Scout Road, West Williams, Municipality of North Middlesex, between
Parkhill and Thedford.For more information visit this link: You are invited for campfire and fellowship at 50th Anniversary of Sylvan Conservation Program at Camp Sylvan

Famous turtle returns home

Famous rescued snapping turtle returns to Port Franks: Porter the Turtle’s rescue made province-wide headlines. One year later, wildlife rescue agencies returned him to his home in the Port Franks area.
Porter is home. Porter is a famous Snapping Turtle from the Port Franks area. He made headlines across Ontario one year ago when volunteers in Port Franks and area, and around the province, joined to rescue Porter and save his life.
This newsworthy reptile suffered multiple jaw fractures in May of 2013, after an encounter with a car on the road. Port Frank’s Bill Mallett discovered the badly injured turtle and, after Porter looked him in the eyes, the Port Franks man knew he had to help the animal. Mallett took the turtle for help to Heaven’s Wildlife Rescue in Oil Springs. The turtle was then airlifted, by Pilots N Paws Canada volunteer pilot and Windsor resident Rick Woodall, to Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre (KTTC) in Peterborough. Porter underwent surgery there for his injuries and the adult turtle has been rehabilitating at the trauma centre for the past year.
That’s yesterday’s news, however. This province-wide news story took a heartwarming new turn this past week. Turtle Trauma Centre volunteer Kate Siena drove Porter from Peterborough on Tuesday, May 27 to release him back home in his native Port Franks. Mallett, who had found the turtle and started the chain of events that saved the animal’s life, was able to assist at Porter’s release back into the wild. “There’s a definite connection” between Bill and the turtle, Siena said. She took Porter out of his large container in the car and gently set him in the water to return him to his local habitat. It didn’t take long for Porter to swim into the water and make it home again.
For more information visit this link: The Return of Porter the Turtle

Huron County and landowner support helps complete more than 1,600 projects

Huron County landowners are helping to protect water quality with the support of the Huron County Clean Water Project: The Huron County Clean Water Project provides grants in Huron County for stewardship projects. You can help to:
  • Preserve valuable topsoil.
  • Limit erosion.
  • Improve water quality.
Huron County landowners have completed more than 1,600 projects to date, with the support of Huron County Clean Water Project.
Call Kate at Ausable Bayfield Conservation at 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 to find out more about grants for your stewardship projects.

Erb Family Foundation provides more support for work of Bayfield and area community to protect, improve water quality

Foundation in U.S. to provide $100,000 more to help implement Main Bayfield Watershed Plan:

The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation is to provide a second grant of $100,000 to help protect and improve water quality in the Bayfield area. The grant will support the community’s continued work to put into action the Main Bayfield Watershed Plan. The Foundation is to provide this funding to Ausable Bayfield Conservation over a three-year period.
The Erb Family Foundation is a U.S. foundation dedicated to nurturing environmentally healthy and culturally vibrant communities in metropolitan Detroit and supporting initiatives to restore the Great Lakes Basin.
For more information visit: Announcement of support for more Main Bayfield Watershed Plan implementation.
Ainslie Willock is the President of the Bayfield Ratepayers Association and a member of the Main Bayfield Watershed Plan Steering Committee. She expressed thanks to the Erb Family Foundation. “I’d like to thank the Erb family for their commitment to the Main Bayfield Watershed and the Great Lakes Basin,” she said. “The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation continues to demonstrate their commitment to improving the environmental health of the Great Lakes Basin by donating $100,000 over three years to help implement the Main Bayfield Watershed Plan. It is through their generous support that our communities can work together to get natural ecological systems functioning to restore the wetlands, tributaries, and rivers that ultimately end up in the lake.”

Healthy Hikes

Take the Healthy Hikes Challenge; Visit one of our conservation areas today

The year 2014 marks the Tenth Anniversary of the MacNaughton-Morrison Section of the South Huron Trail. A special celebration ceremony is to take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 27, 2014 as part of the Harvest Festival weekend. We hope to see you there. 
A community anniversary steering committee is hard at work this year to honour the achievement of this trail. The committee has already created a beautiful new brochure about the South Huron Trail, a series of columns, wildflower and tree videos, and more. Stay tuned for announcements about more events and products during this special year.
Whether you're hiking the South Huron Trail or any one of our conservation areas, consider taking part in Healthy Hikes.
Visit to find out more: Participants in the Healthy Hikes Challenge may take part in the contest by visiting and logging time spent hiking or walking at any conservation area in the province of Ontario that is owned and/or operated by one of Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities. Visit or  for more information.

Rotary Club of Grand Bend donates to local tree planting through Carbon Footprints to Forests Program

Local community groups, businesses can compensate for greenhouse gases created by travel to meetings and workshops by donating through new program that plants trees locally to capture carbon: Kate Monk, on behalf of Carbon Footprints to Forests, receives a cheque in the amount of $38.50 from the Rotary Club of Grand Bend, presented by Max Morden and Tom Prout. This amount will make possible the planting of seven trees, sufficient to compensate for the greenhouse gases created by travel to Earth Rises: How to live on a changing planet. From left in photo, Kate Monk is Manager of Stewardship, Land, and Education, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority; Max Morden is a Rotarian and Climate Reality Presenter; Tom Prout, Past Chair of Grand Bend Community Foundation, was moderator of the Earth Rises panel.
Earth Rises took place at Huron Country Playhouse on May 23, attracting almost 300 people. The event focused on the challenges posed by climate change, caused in part by the emission of carbon and other greenhouse gases. One way to reduce carbon in our atmosphere is by the planting of trees. The County of Huron’s Carbon Footprints to Forests is a new program delivered by the Maitland Valley and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authorities. The program includes a carbon calculator in its easy-to-use website at
Monk calculated that attendees at Earth Rises travelled approximately 7,500 kilometres in total for the event, translating into 2.31 tonnes of greenhouse gases. The planting of seven conifer seedlings on the east edge of Hay Swamp will counterbalance these emissions. “It would be wonderful if community groups and businesses started to include carbon compensation in the planning of their events,” said Monk. “We would love to have people donate in order to compensate
for all of their carbon footprint, but we are thankful for all donations, large and small. Every tree counts.”
Earth Rises was hosted by the Rotary Club of Grand Bend, in partnership with the Grand Bend Community Foundation, the County of Lambton Creative County Fund, the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority, and the Municipality of South Huron.
When people travel by car, van, or truck to meetings and workshops, they produce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Those gases can add to the challenges posed by climate change. Local community groups and businesses are now able to compensate for those greenhouse gases by donating to a new, local project to plant trees that can capture and store carbon.
The Carbon Footprints to Forests program includes an easy-to-use website at where people can use a carbon calculator. Local residents can find out how many tonnes of greenhouse gas are created by the use of their car, van, or truck, the energy used to heat and power their home, and the tonnes of gas from plane trips, if they travel by air. They can also find out how many trees it will take to compensate for that carbon footprint and how much it would cost to plant those trees. If they choose to donate all or part of that amount, trees will be planted locally with their donation.
Among the first community groups to donate through Carbon Footprints to Forests is Rotary Club of Grand Bend.
Organizers of the Forum say they were pleased to find that with a donation of less than $40 they could plant about seven trees locally and compensate for the greenhouse gases emitted by travel to the event.
If your community group or business is interested in compensating for greenhouse gases released through travel to your meeting or event, visit You can use the carbon calculator and, by entering the number of kilometres travelled by participants and using the drop-down menu for a ‘one-time event,’ you can find out how much greenhouse gas has been produced, how many trees would be needed to capture that carbon, and how big (or small) a donation would be to compensate for the carbon footprint. You may also call Ausable Bayfield Conservation at 519-235-2610 or Maitland Valley Conservation Authority at 519-335-3557 for more information.

Tenth year for Arkona Lions Classic Car Show

Mix of vintage cars, nostalgic music, and natural surrounding makes this car show different; This tenth annual family-friendly community event is on Saturday, September 20, 2014 and is free to spectators: Local people and tourists continue to enjoy the community spirit of the Arkona Lions Classic Car Show, which celebrates its tenth year in 2014.
The Tenth Annual Arkona Lions Car Show and Community Day takes place Saturday, September 20, 2014 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
This is a car show with a difference. It offers vintage automobiles next to gorgeous nature areas. Each year the Arkona Lions and Lioness clubs sponsor this community attraction and, in partnership with Ausable Bayfield Conservation, provide spectators with a rare chance for free admission to Rock Glen Conservation Area, located at 8680 Rock Glen Road, Arkona. This popular tourist destination is home to majestic Rock Glen Falls and the Arkona Lions Museum and Information Centre. The museum attracts visitors from around the world to see its extensive displays of fossils (many donated by Ted Baxter) and artifacts.
For more information visit: Arkona Lions Classic Car Show and Community Day

Community helps with planting, launch of floating wetlands in Grand Bend area

Grand Bend Community Foundation provided grant for Ausable Bayfield Conservation project to create two floating wetlands in Old Ausable Channel to reduce excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus: Ausable Bayfield Conservation and community partners worked together to launch two floating wetlands in the Old Ausable Channel (OAC) in Grand Bend on Wednesday, June 18. A short launch ceremony for the floating wetlands took place at the Southcott Pines Park Association (SPPA) clubhouse, off Lakeview Road.
Community volunteers from the Southcott Pines neighborhood and the Grand Bend Community Foundation attended in the morning to help plant
plugs into the burlap and soil material that are part of the floating wetlands. The volunteers planted wetland-friendly plants such as Marsh Marigold, Monkey Flower, Sedges, and Bulrush. These plants in the floating wetlands are to take up nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus.
Volunteer Mark Lowenstine, of Denfield, helped design the floating wetlands. Ausable Bayfield Conservation summer-student employees Joe
Vandenberg and Austin Spencer built the two structures that are like rafts. Each raft includes a cedar frame that holds recycled two-litre pop bottles to help it float. Ausable Bayfield Conservation staff were at Southcott Pines to facilitate the launch.
Floating wetlands are a relatively new way to improve aquatic health. These floating islands were placed in the OAC in the Grand Bend area with the help of local volunteers. The Grand Bend Community Foundation provided funding for this pilot project.
“These two floating wetlands should help to reduce nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, that can lead to the dense growth of aquatic plants,” said Kari Jean, Aquatic Biologist with Ausable Bayfield Conservation.
For more information visit: Ausable Bayfield Conservation installs its first floating wetlands

Charity golf tournament raises more than $3,500 for South Huron Trail

Community continues support as 14 teams take part in ninth golf tournament, this one held during the Tenth Anniversary Year of the MacNaughton-Morrison Section of the South Huron Trail: The 2014 Friends of the South Huron Trail Charity Golf Tournament has raised more than $3,500 for the South Huron Trail. The charitable
fundraiser was held for the ninth year in a row with 14 teams taking part. The tourney took place at Ironwood Golf Club on Monday, June 2, 2014 during the Tenth Anniversary Year of the MacNaughton-Morrison Section of the South Huron Trail.
The winning team was Rob Dionne, Ron Holmes, Joe Laurie, and Tosh Yamamoto. Other winners included Ila Mathers (closest-to-the-pin – women) and Jim Tomlinson (closest-to-the-pin – men). The longest drives were Kate Monk (women’s category) and Dave Desjardine (men’s category). Putting contest winners were Craig Scott (first) and Paul Ross (second) with honourable mention to Joe Laurie.
This year’s total brings the tournament’s success to more than $40,000 raised by the tourney over the past nine years for trail development and maintenance. The tournament was started by community volunteers and they have continued to be vital to its success since Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation took over the reins four years ago, according to Bob Radtke, Chairman of the Conservation Foundation. He also thanked the sponsors and donors who have made it possible for the tournament to support the health, social, environmental, and recreational benefits of the popular trail.
For more information on the tournament visit
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