Happy New Year to you, your friends, and your family, from Ausable Bayfield Conservation.
This is the first newsletter of 2017 to update you about some of the events, programs, and services in your watershed community.
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F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R

Spring Tree Order Form available

Landowners plant tens of thousands of trees each year

Each spring, local landowners order tens of thousands of trees for planting through the Ausable Bayfield Conservation tree order program. Maple trees are among the native species that will be planted. The spring tree order form is now available online at this link: Spring Tree Order Form
Planting trees is a great way to commemorate milestones. You are encouraged to consider planting trees to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary Year in 2017.  “I think one of the best ways we could celebrate Canada 150 is by planting trees,” said Ian Jean, Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist. Maple trees available through the spring tree order form include Sugar (Hard) Maple; Silver (Soft) Maple; and Autumn Blaze (a red-silver hybrid Maple). Other available species include White Cedar; Norway, White, and Blue Spruce; Tamarack; Austrian Pine; Red and Bur Oak; Black Walnut; Black Cherry; Sycamore; and Tulip Tree. Shrubs and small trees are also available.
Order trees now

Iceculture Inc. feature artist at Conservation Dinner

The Conservation Dinner Committee has announced Iceculture, Inc., Hensall, Ontario as the featured artist at the gala fundraising dinner to be held at the South Huron Recreation Centre, Exeter on April 6, 2017.
“We are very proud of what Iceculture has accomplished as a local business and of the international reputation the company has earned overseas,” said Janet Clarke, Co-Chair of the Dinner Committee. “It is fitting to acknowledge the craftsmanship and artistry of their ice creations that are recognized throughout the world," she said.
To find out more visit this link: Iceculture named Feature Artist

Celebrate Canada's 150th with Maple Tree Photo Contest

The maple tree has played a major role in Canada’s history and the maple remains a powerful Canadian symbol today. We are encouraging people to post Maple tree photos and stories to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary Year in 2017. To help celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation, Ausable Bayfield Conservation is holding a photo contest this year to feature the maple tree.
You may submit your photo to the contest simply by posting your photo of your favourite maple tree on the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Facebook page or Twitter feed with this hashtag: #Maple150. Or, you could email your entry, with #Maple150 Photo Contest in the subject line, to To be eligible for the contest, photos should be posted or received by Friday, March 31, 2017 at noon. 
For contest rules visit the trees page at at this link: Maple150 Photo Contest

Water Response Team moves to Level 1 Low Water Advisory which remains in effect all winter

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) Water Response Team (WRT) has been in place for the 15 years of the Ontario Low Water Response and Drought Program. As in other dry years, the team has decided to keep a Level 1 Low Water Advisory in place over the winter. Maintaining a Level 1 Low Water Advisory is to serve as a reminder that the watershed is stressed and that the stresses could carry through the winter and into next spring. If this winter does not provide a lot of snowpack, the effects of 2016 could be compounded, according to the Water Response Team. 
A Level 1 Low Water Advisory asks for industries and individuals to voluntarily reduce water use by 10 per cent. Industry demand for water tends to decrease at this time of year but people’s help in reducing stress on the resource can help in the springtime when demand goes back up. 
To find out more visit this link: Low Water Advisories

Nominate Conservationist of the Year

Ausable Bayfield Conservation celebrated seven decades of partnerships (1946 to 2016) in its 70th anniversary year last year. The local conservation authority, for more than 30 of the past years, has honoured local Conservationists of the Year. The annual award returns in 2017. The nomination deadline is Tuesday, January 31, 2017. 
Ausable Bayfield Conservation is inviting you to nominate a person, farm, business, or organization doing positive work in the local watershed community.
To learn more, or to nominate, visit this link: Conservation Award

New video offers ways to protect drinking water sources through actions at work, home

A new local information video offers practical ways people can protect our water supply with positive actions at work and at home. The new video is the third one in a three-part series.
The video features water treatment and utility operators from two local municipalities. The production shares positive actions for homeowners and businesses to protect drinking water sources. The production gives special focus on best practices for industrial and commercial operations. The three videos in the information series have received more than 600 views. The newest video received more than 60 views in its first week.
For this three-minute video, please click on this link:
Ways to Protect Drinking Water Sources at Work and Home

Drinking Water Source Protection Videos:

Enjoy the annual Winter Walk

The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) welcomes you to their Annual Winter Walk on Saturday, January 14, 2017, at 11 a.m.
  • When: Hike starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2017 to noon.
  • Where: on Mavis’s Trail (or Taylor Trail), located at the Bluewater (Stanley) municipal complex, one kilometre west of Varna, 7 km east of Bayfield, on Mill Road
Guided hikes are led by BRVTA volunteers between 11 a.m. and noon along the Mavis Trail or Taylor Trail. Following the hikes, everyone is invited to warm up indoors with cider and hot dogs. 

While warming up in inside, there will be opportunity to learn more about:  
  • Main Bayfield Watershed Plan from Ausable Bayfield Conservation staff
  • The Bayfield Blue Community Project
  • The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy (HTLTC)
  • The Bayfield River Valley Flats Project
  • The Bayfield River Valley Trails Association. 
To find out more visit: Winter Walk

Port Franks turtle fencing project to protect turtles

Port Franks turtle fencing project to protect turtlesThere has been recent action to help protect turtles along Outer Drive in Port Franks. The Municipality of Lambton Shores, Eco-Kare International, Animex Fencing, and Ausable Bayfield Conservation joined in a project to install 280 metres of turtle exclusion fencing. 
The new fencing is to help to keep turtles off the road. The fencing is in place to direct turtles through the culvert, which connects to L Lake, or back into the wetland. Project partners, including the Municipality of Lambton Shores and Eco-Kare International on behalf of Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), installed the fencing along the guiderail in November. The fencing was manufactured by Animex Fencing.  The work of community volunteers to submit turtle sightings to Ausable Bayfield Conservation helped them to determine that this site was a good candidate for exclusion fencing.
For more information visit this link: Port Franks turtle fencing

Family Day WinterFest South Huron schedule posted online

Family Day WinterFest free family snowshoeingFriends of the South Huron Trail is bringing back free family snowshoeing to Family Day WinterFest South Huron on the Holiday Monday, February 20, 2017. The Family Day winter festival combines the return of popular events like snowshoeing along with exciting new additions such as interactive fencing, instructed by Canadian Olympic athlete Melanie McCann. Also new in 2017 is fun with martial arts for youths ages 4 to 12 with Sensei Peter Becker. 
WinterFest chairperson, and local volunteer, George Finch said the schedule of events for the Holiday Monday in February is growing and changing but currently planned events are now posted online at The wide range of Family Day events is only possible because of local businesses and service clubs and other generous donors along with volunteers, according to Finch. He encourages people to support the businesses and organizations listed on the event website. For the current schedule of events including registration details, and to find out which events are free and which events have prices, visit
Ways to Protect Drinking Water Sources at Work and Home
Enjoy this new video, from Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Drinking Water Source Protection and local municipalities, that offers practical and simple ways you can protect local drinking water sources – with positive actions and best practices at your place of work and your home.
Copyright © 2017 Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), All rights reserved.

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