Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Caring for our Homeplace

 

 

By Dr. Gray Merriam

Dr. Gray Merriam, a well-known local ecologist, has published a new book titled Caring for our Homeplace. The book consists of forty-five essays on an array of topics giving insights for folks who care about their surroundings. Essays are presented in focal groups of Natural Riches, Stewardship of Our Natural Heritage, and Our Future. Essays vary in length from one to several pages, some with black and white illustrations.

The author’s 50 years of experience as a professional ecologist give rise to a diversity of approaches to topics. Flavours vary from simple enjoyment of nature to effects of natural riches on future Canadian policy and even to the morality of stewardship. The essays raise questions in need of answers by probing familiar topics in natural history, stewardship of lands and waters, and the futures of natural riches.

The Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust is offering Caring for our Homeplace for sale for the price of $20 per book plus $5 for shipping (where applicable), with proceeds from the sales going into the general revenues of the Land Trust. If you choose to pick the book up from a local volunteer or at the MMLT office in Carleton Place you can save shipping costs.

To order on-line, go to their website.

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Natural Heritage Plan Workshop

The Municipality of Mississippi Mills is holding a workshop on March 1st,  to share the Natural Heritage Plan for the municipality and to obtain public input to the plan. Details below and at the town website at  http://www.mississippimills.ca/en/news/index.aspx?newsId=8427c6f5-420c-4185-91d4-1e4ac746dd48

For further information about the Natural Heritage System concept and MVFN’s role, under the leadership of Dr. Tineke Kuiper, in development of a plan for Mississippi Mills, see this description in an article by Dr. Kuiper:  http://mvfn.ca/upcoming-council-vote-on-the-adoption-of-the-natural-heritage-system-concept-plan/

NATURAL HERITAGE PLAN WORKSHOP DETAILS:

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Almonte Old Town Hall, 14 Bridge Street, Almonte, ON

ALL MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC are invited to attend a workshop to review and comment on the Municipality of Mississippi Mills Natural Heritage Plan Workshop.

THIS WORKSHOP is an opportunity to review the preliminary information and material associated with the Natural Heritage Plan, as well as a chance to discuss and comment on the Natural Heritage Plan.  Please join us in order to provide your insight.

THE WORKSHOP will be held on:  Wednesday, March 1, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Almonte Old Town Hall, 14 Bridge Street, Almonte, ON.

If you require additional information, please contact the Municipal Planner, Stephen Stirling, at (613) 256-2064 ext.259.

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Town of Mississippi Mills set to hear your views on environmental zoning for Burnt Lands Alvar

NOTE: Featured photo with this post is of the wildflower Hairy Beardtongue (Penstemon hirsutus). photo by Ken Allison

One of the most effective ways you can help protect natural areas is to support municipal government when they consider policy changes to enhance protection of natural areas or restrict development in these areas.

If you live in the Town of Mississippi Mills, you have that chance Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Council is set to consider public opinion on their proposed rezoning of  much of Burnt Lands Alvar as an environmental protection zone. This is a good thing! If you agree, then attend the public meeting in support of the rezoning (or write to tell Council that you support this rezoning. Details for submitting comments are found below and on the Public Meeting Notice). Even if you do not intend to speak, attendance at the meeting would afford you the opportunity to hand deliver your written views or to simply be an observer and register your name to be informed of the Council decision, which will be made at a later date. If you cannot attend, you may wish to make your opinion known to the town by submitting your written comment, as mentioned.

When: May 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm.

Where: Town of Mississippi Mills Council Chambers, 3131 Old Perth Road, Almonte, Ontario.

What:

  • THE PURPOSE AND INTENT of the Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments are to provide environmental protection for the Burnt Land ANSI from intensive rural development by amending rural development policies in the Community Official Plan and placing the lands within the Burnt Lands ANSI within an Environmental Protection (EP) Zone.
  • ANY PERSON may attend the public meeting and/or make written or verbal representation either in support of or in opposition to the proposed Official Plan Amendment and the Zoning By-law Amendment. Written submissions regarding the proposed amendments are to be filed with the Town Clerk at the Town of Mississippi Mills Municipal Office, 3131 Old Perth Road, R.R. #2, P.O. Box 400, Almonte, Ontario, K0A 1A0.

Further information about the Burnt Lands Alvar may be found elsewhere on our website; as well as an opportunity to donate to our Burnt Lands Alvar Campaign.

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Climate Change and Implications for Health and Well-Being

Climate Change and Implications for Health and Well-Being at next MVFN talk

On Thursday, November 20, 2014, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) will present the third lecture of their current series based on the theme “When a Tree Falls in the Forest, Does Anyone Hear?” This event will be held in the Social Hall of Almonte United Church at 106 Elgin St., Almonte, Ontario at 7:30 pm.

Guest speaker for the evening will be Anita Payne, full-time Climate Activist and a local leader in The Climate Reality Project Canada. Anita’s presentation is entitled “Climate Change and Implications for Health and Well-Being”.

“The debate involving the reality of climate change and global warming has been ongoing for many years. At the November meeting of MVFN, the following questions will inspire your thoughts: What is the scientific explanation and evidence for global warming and climate change? What effects are we seeing locally and globally? What are the implications to the health and well-being of the human race as well as our wildlife population?  Is it too late to stop climate change? Can anything still be done? …We are all in this together and we all, in our own way, need to address the crisis created by climate change”. –Anita Payne

For many years, Anita has been dedicated to the call for action to address the global crisis inherent in climate change, not just for future generations but for all life, now,on planet Earth, our only home. Her thought-provoking presentation will include not only the implications for human health and the health of our natural world, but also what can still be done to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. She will share with us her recent experiences during The Great March for Climate Action in the USA, including a number of in-person meetings with ‘climate refugees’. From the information presented in this lecture, perhaps we will each discover a contribution we can make to help reverse climate change.

Arrival in Washington D.C.

Local climate change action leader Anita Payne  arrives in LaFayette Park, Washington D.C. on November 1, 2014 along with other marchers in The Great March for Climate Action.  Charles Chandler (left)  helped carry the banner part of the way.

Refreshments and discussion will follow the talk. Free for MVFN members, or $5 at the door. For further information, please contact MVFN’s Program Chair, Gretta Bradley at .

 

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Appleton Wetland Report kicks off new MVFN series

Poster for our September talk

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) natural history lecture series resumes for a new season Thursday, September 18 in Almonte. The theme for this year’s series is a twist on the conundrum “When A Tree Falls in the Forest, Does Anyone Hear?”  If no one is there to hear the sound of a tree as it crashes through the undergrowth to the forest floor, was it ever there?” Nature teaches us that when we ignore the ‘crashing trees’, we do so at our own peril. Like a stone dropped into a pond, the impacts of changes to our natural environment grow in an ever-widening circle, reaching into every aspect of our lives. This year’s speakers will challenge us to inform ourselves and engage or perhaps reengage with important issues affecting our natural world.

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The Appleton Silver Maple Swamp. photo by Al Seaman

The series begins with an issue close to home with a talk based on the Appleton Wetlands and the findings outlined in an MVFN report The Appleton Wetland: Its Decline, Cause and Recommended Action released last month. The Appleton silver maple swamp, which has been flooded each spring for generations, is designated as a provincially significant wetland and an ANSI, or area of natural and scientific interest – declared by the provincial government in recognition of its unique ecological features. By 2006 however, extensive damage to the flood-tolerant trees in the wetland became obvious.  Concerns about the decline were raised to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority  to no avail. In 2011, and again in 2013, MVFN formed a research group to examine the possible causes of damage to the trees, including the possibility of adverse effects due to continually high water levels as a result of ongoing power generation operations in Almonte.

Speaker for The Appleton Wetland Report presentation will be Al Seaman, a Professional Engineer, and member of MVFN’s Appleton Wetland Research Group and lead author of the report released in August. Mr. Seaman, an Almonte resident and native of the northwestern Quebec mining town of Noranda, graduated from McGill University as an Electrical Engineer.  Early on in his career Al realized that goals of industry do not always respect the requirements of pristine nature.

Seaman’s lecture topic is ‘The River’, specifically the Mississippi River with a focus on the stretch from Almonte to Appleton. Mr. Seaman will endeavour to demonstrate the impact of changing water levels on the extensive Appleton wetland.

All are welcome to this MVFN presentation. Find out why water levels matter and get answers to all your questions about the detailed findings of the research group! The talk takes place at 7:30 pm, Thursday, September 18, 2014 at the Almonte United Church Social Hall, 106 Elgin St., Almonte, ON. There is a non-member fee of $5. Refreshments will be available. For further information, please contact MVFN’s Program Chair Gretta Bradley at .

 

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