Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

MVFN Lecture by Dr. Paul Keddy- Earth, Water, Fire: Lanark County’s Natural Heritage

Press Release

Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists

October 6, 2008

Submitted by Pauline Donaldson

Ecologist Paul Keddy to share his passion for Lanark County’s natural heritage and special places

MVFN’s lecture series From the Ground, Up: Celebrating the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ First 20 Years continues Thursday, October 16th. The lecture Earth, Water, Fire: Lanark County’s Natural Heritage by Canadian ecologist Paul Keddy, should open hearts and minds to the inherent natural beauty of Lanark County.

Dr. Paul Keddy has been a Professor of Biology at the University of Guelph, University of Ottawa and Southeastern Louisiana University. He is author of several prize-winning books on ecology and a recipient of a National Wetlands Award for Science Research. Although his career studying wetlands, forests and other upland communities has taken him around Ontario and far away to the swamps of Louisiana, his love and appreciation for the local Lanark natural environment has been ever present. So much so that in 1999 he wrote Earth, Water, Fire: An Ecological Profile of Lanark County, one of the most comprehensive books on the ecology of our area – a must-read for newcomers and a plea to protect natural spaces. Paul Keddy continues to champion local natural conservation efforts and occasionally lead nature walks.

In some ways, Lanark County can be thought of as a model in miniature for all of Eastern Ontario. Regions once flooded by the Champlain Sea share features with areas east to Montreal. Landforms and forests of the northwestern parts are reminiscent of Algonquin Park, and some areas of rich agricultural land are not unlike southern Ontario. In other ways, Lanark County is unique. The number of breeding birds is higher here than almost anywhere else in Ontario. The Frontenac Axis rivals the Niagara Escarpment in its beauty and biological significance. It is gratifying and exciting to learn more about the special and often fragile places here – areas where the loggerhead shrike may nest, the Purdon Orchid Fen, Pakenham Mountain, and Wolf Grove, to name a few. As we explore Lanark, we will see which of its features are typical of the Ottawa Valley, and which are unique.

The lecture by Paul Keddy takes place at 7:30 PM, October 16th at the Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St., Almonte. Free for MVFN members and $5 for guests. All are welcome. For further information, please contact MVFN’s Program Chair Cathy Keddy at 613-257-3089 or see MVFN’s website at www.mvfn.ca .