Kawartha Conservation
December 19, 2014
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Winter sunset in Ken Reid Conservation Area
 
Happy Holidays!
Happy Holidays
All of us at Kawartha Conservation would like to wish you and your family a safe and wonderful holiday. 

Our Administrative Centre is closed from December 24 to January 2. We look forward to seeing you in the new year!
 
Conservation Areas Update
All of our conservation areas are open everyday from 8 am to 6 pm throughout the holidays and all winter, and are free to use! The trails are ungroomed and multi-use, available for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking. 

To report a downed tree or other issue, please contact our Conservation Areas Coordinator, Jessie James, by email or call 705.328.2271 ext. 212.
Fleetwood Creek Natural Area
Thinning of Red Pine plantations in Fleetwood Creek is underway, and expected to continue through January. The East and West Forest trails will have limited access while the thinning is taking place. 

Some of the trees are being removed to enhance overall forest health and wildlife habitat. Opening the pine canopy will allow the natural regeneration of native tree species, including White Pine, Sugar Maple, Black Cherry, and American Beech.

The road to the parking lots are not maintained, and the parking lot gate for the Valley Trail is now closed. Access is still possible by foot, snowshoe, and cross country skis.
Durham East Cross Forest Conservation Area
Snowmobile trail
The south parking lot is now closed for the winter, but the north parking lot, at 4560 Devitts Road, is open.

The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) will have a groomed trail through the conservation area. All snowmobiles must have an OFSC permit and stay on the OFSC marked trail.
Ken Reid Conservation Area
The main parking lot, across from the Administrative Centre, is open and plowed all winter. It also provides easy access to Howlers Corners Off-Leash Dog Park.
Windy Ridge Conservation Area
The parking lot remains open throughout the winter. Enjoy a hike to the lookout where you can see across the Fleetwood Creek wetlands to the Oak Ridges Moraine and Omemee Esker.
Pigeon River Headwaters Conservation Area
Access to the conservation area is limited as it is on an unassumed road. The parking lot is now closed. Access is still possible by foot, snowshoe, or cross-country ski.
New Property on Balsam Lake
Weldon property on Balsam Lake
Carl Weldon and Janet Guillard have donated a property on South Bay in Balsam Lake to Kawartha Conservaton through the Ecological Gifts Program.

The property is 72.3 acres of wetland located on the east side of Elm Tree Road with 1,547 feet of shoreline frontage on Balsam Lake. It is part of a much larger wetland complex which extends to the west, across Elm Tree Road, that has potential to form a large wetland conservation area for education, viewing, and interpretation purposes.

The federal Ecological Gifts Program provides tax incentives to people who donate ecologically significant lands meeting their criteria.

Much thanks to Mr. Weldon and Ms. Guillard for making the donation, and their commitment to conservation!
 
Drinking Water Source Protection
Plan approved
Trent Source Protection Plan cover

The Source Protection Plan for the Trent Conservation Coalition Source Protection Region has been approved by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. 

 

The plan, effective on January 1, 2015, sets out policies that will protect the water sources that supply the 22 municipal drinking water systems within our area.

 

The plan was developed over several years and is based on technical studies, collaborative policy development, and extensive public consultation. The process was guided by a Source Protection Committee made up of representatives from municipalities, business, industry, First Nations, landowners, and other stakeholders.

 

Policies in the Source Protection Plan includes a variety of approaches to manage and prevent risks to municipal drinking water. These approaches include education and outreach, the development of risk management plans, prohibitions of future instances of certain high-risk activities, land use planning, and monitoring. These policies will help to keep contaminants out of rivers, lakes, and groundwater aquifers that are sources of municipal drinking water.

 

The source protection planning process has been directed and funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. Municipalities will be responsible for implementing many of the policies outlined in the plan. Local Conservation Authorities provide additional technical, communications, and administrative support for the source protection planning process. For more information please visit trentsourceprotection.on.ca

 
Annual General Meeting
Join us on February 25!
Mark your calendar for our Annual General Meeting on February 25 from 4 to 6 pm at the Lindsay Golf and Country Club. Come out and meet our Board of Directors for the 2015-2018 term. We will also present Environmental Recognition Awards to outstanding people and organizations, and take a look back at all of the great things that happened across our watershed in 2014.
 
Stewardship
Protecting water quality during the winter
Beach season has become a memory, and our canoes and docks have been packed away. Most of us, except for a few brave winter anglers, will not do much on our lakes and rivers until the weather becomes much warmer. This doesn't mean that we should stop thinking about our water resource. During the wintertime, it is important to remember our role as water stewards. Whether you live in the country, on a farm, in town, or on the shoreline, each of us is responsible for protecting our water quality all year round. 

Two things that we can all do to protect water quality during the winter months are to follow appropriate ice management practices and prevent erosion during snow melt.

Dealing with ice


When managing icy surfaces on your property, one of the biggest concerns is the application of salt and salt-alternative de-icers. These products, whether they contain salt or salt alternatives, have the potential to be a water contaminant - even some that are labelled 'eco-friendly.'

Anything we put on the ground can be picked up by run-off and carried into our lakes and rivers. This is why, if you must use a de-icing product, it is important to research and chose one that has the least harmful ingredients, along with minimizing the use of de-icers where appropriate.

Here are some tips to help minimize de-icers:
  • Avoid de-icing surfaces unnecessarily - if nobody will be venturing onto a surface, there is no need to apply de-icer.
  • Remove snow diligently - to the best of your ability, remove snow and slush from surfaces as soon as it falls, this will minimize the need for de-icing when the temperature drops.
  • Scatter birdseed or sand - this won't melt the ice but will provide some traction.
  • Don't over apply - follow the recommendations on your de-icer packaging, then use a shovel or plow to remove the loosened ice and snow.
  • Consider removing impermeable surfaces from your property - this is a project to consider when preparing your property for next winter. If a surface is permeable, there is less opportunity for water to pool and later freeze. Consider replacing impermeable, paved surfaces with plants, gravel, permeable pavers, grid systems, or permeable pavement.
Preventing erosion

Erosion can occur during snowmelt and when there are higher water levels along water courses. Whenever erosion occurs, soil, dirt, and other material flow overland and into storm drains. Eventually, the material can flow into local lakes and rivers. You can help keep sediments and the nutrients they contain out of storm drains by preventing erosion on your property.

The winter and early spring months are a great time to closely observe your property. Does erosion occur anywhere when snow melts or when water levels fluctuate? Now is the time to take notes, and begin creating a plan to improve your property and prevent future erosion. 

Your plan may simply involve the addition of plants with deep, substantial roots to the areas experiencing erosion. These plants will help slow down water and hold sediments and soils in place. Native grasses, such as Bottlebrush, Canada Wild Rye, and Indiangrass, are excellent choices for erosion control.

 
Kawartha Conservation Foundation
Logo contest continues
How would you represent people connecting to nature through a logo?

The Kawartha Conservation Foundation is searching for a logo. If you have a great idea for a logo design, please send in your design by the end of February 1, 2015.
 
Workshops
Kawartha Farm Stewardship Collaborative - 3rd Annual Farm Stewardship Workshop

Saturday, February 7, 2015 from 9 am to 3 pm

Brought to you by the partners in the Kawartha Farm Stewardship Collaborative, this full day workshop features presentations by farmers and stewardship professionals on topics including:

  • Practical Strategies to Reduce Neonicotinoid Use: Greg Stewart, OMAFRA
  • Livestock Watering: Creative Options and Ideas
  • Benefits of Wetlands and Biofilters in Farm Drainage
  • The 4R's of Nutrient Stewardship
  • Funding and Support for Farmers.
Kawartha Lakes (Lindsay) Woodlot Conference

Saturday, February 21, 2014 from 9 am to 4 pm

The Conference features speakers on the theme of Hands-On Woodlot Management, looking at the woodlot from a holistic and systems perspective and providing you with the information and resource contacts for you to address issues of interest or concern to you.
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