14 December 2017 – Comments on the Kanata Highlands Development
Richcraft Homes held a public information meeting on 12 December to share three preliminary concept plans for the envelope of land – about 27 hectares – available for development out of a total of 77 hectares on the south side of Terry Fox Drive. Information about this project, including past comments from the public, is available at the City of Ottawa’s Urban Expansion Study for the Kanata Highlands. The three concepts can be downloaded here.
- management of flood and surface water, and
- addressing the species at risk on the site, especially the Blanding’s Turtle population.
The site borders the stretch of the Carp River between Richardson Side Road and the railroad crossing at Huntmar Road. Flood plain mapping was last done in 1983, but significant development has occurred upstream since that time. Blanding’s Turtles cross the site from the adjacent South March Highlands to reach the river. We sent our comments to the City and you can download them here.
5 December 2017 – Carleton University Student Project Completed
In an update to our October post below, the third year Carleton University Environmental Science students completed their project about the Carp River Restoration area along Terry Fox Drive in Kanata. The students outlined four recommendations related to the restoration:
- adding interpretive signs to educate and engage the community;
- monitoring water quality, particularly conductivity, which is a result of metal ions and toxins from road salting that can adversely affect some species causing infertility or death;
- monitoring by “citizen scientists” of the changing ecosystem of plants, animals, invasive species, and water quality as the site matures; and
- engaging schools in nature education programs on the site including building bird and bat boxes, and recording species.
The students prepared a short video about the site, which can be viewed in the link below. The view shown in the link is from a point halfway along the restored river, looking north from over the Queensway. Terry Fox Drive is to the right.
October 2017 – Blanding’s Turtles at the Oakleigh Wetland Restoration Site
In 2015, Ducks Unlimited Canada completed a 4 acre wetland restoration along 600 meters of Carp River shoreline at Oakleigh near Huntmar Road. They also constructed a turtle nesting area for the Blanding’s turtles that use the Carp River as a corridor. Blanding’s turtles are a Species at Risk (Threatened status). This summer landowner Sue Prior observed this mature Blanding’s turtle on her property. Read about the project in DUC’s October newsletter.
October 2017 – Carp River Restoration Project Study
In fall 2017 a student team from the Group Research in Environmental Science Project at Carleton University are undertaking a study that will form the basis for monitoring programs and future research projects.
The Carp River Restoration Project commenced in 2016 and incorporates approximately 6000 metres of stream restoration, habitat improvements (ponds and wet meadows), and recreational pathways in a large, rapidly urbanizing area running parallel to Terry Fox Drive in Kanata.
The student’s project will assemble available information about the Carp River before and after the restoration to establish a baseline description of the restored section. The baseline information and the restoration’s objectives will serve as the foundation on which to base an educational and interpretive program, begin monitoring programs, and conduct research projects related to the efficacy of the restoration.
We are partnered with the Ottawa Stewardship Council, who is the lead for the project. Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority is provided subject matter expertise.
July 2017 – Flood
What a difference a year makes. Between 22 June and 2 July we received 189 mm (7.5 inches) of rain near the village of Carp. Volunteers have been taking measurements at gauges along the river. Readings show that the river is at levels consistent with high spring flooding.
June 2017 – Turtles are on the Move