Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Kintail Country Christmas 2008

Kintail Country Christmas

Press Release from MVC

It’s a riverside yuletide at the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area on Saturday, December 13 from noon to 6 p.m.

Join us for Kintail Country Christmas and step into the wonderful world of holidays past. From Father Christmas to the Valley Voices experience the simpler side of the season with music, laughter and the great outdoors. Take a stroll, or sleigh ride through the lantern-lit walkways or strap on your blades and go for a spin around the outdoor skating rink. Enjoy stories by the fire, a Children Only Gift Shop, complete with wrapping elves. There’s hot apple cider and home baking too.

Hosted by Mississippi Valley Conservation at the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area, this second annual event has something for everyone.

“Last year was a great success. We are so excited to host this event again this year,” says Museum Manager Stephanie Kolsters.

The holidays are a time when you appreciate what you have, and what we have is a beautiful outdoor site, heritage buildings and a wonderful group of supporters.

Enjoy performances by both the Valley Players and Valley Voices in the Gatehouse at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists will be hosting outdoor activities throughout the day while the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum and artist Jennifer Ryder-Jones provide ornament and craft making activities. Sleigh rides, courtesy of the Wolf Grove Ryed-hers, are a wonderful way to see the site. Free hot apple cider is provided courtesy of the Ottawa Region Media Group. Lily White will tell stories by the fire in the museum at 12:30, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Weather permitting, the outdoor skating will be open for all.

Kintail Country Christmas is truly a community event celebrating this exciting and fun time of year.

“Family and friends are what this magical season is all about. We invite you to enjoy all the traditions of the holiday season and spend time with your loved ones surrounded by the beauty of the conservation area,” says Kolsters.

Father Christmas will also be visiting the Mill of Kintail conservation area on December 13. Visit him in the museum gallery; each family receives a free photograph.

The festivities run from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 13. Admission is only $10 per vehicle. For more information call Stephanie at 613-256-3610 ext. 2, visit  or look for us at the Pakenham and Almonte Christmas parades, December 6 and 7, for a detailed schedule of events and site map. Schedules and site maps will also be available at the entrance and online.

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MVC: Fisheries Survey

Like to fish? Whether you are constantly searching for that elusive trophy or just taking the family out for a fun day of fishing, your observations and experiences are important to us.

Mississippi Valley Conservation (MVC) has partnered with Queen’s University in a research project titled “Fish, Fisheries, and Water Resources: Adapting to Ontario’s Changing Climate”, and invites you to contribute to this groundbreaking work by completing a survey. Results from this research will allow us to gauge past, present, and future resource use, and to make recommendations that will take into consideration social and economic concerns of resource users in relation to local climate change and adaptation. Working closely with resource users and having a better understanding of their willingness to adapt will enable us to provide sound scientific recommendations and management strategies.

We urge you to take some time and contribute your knowledge to this vital initiative; your participation is important to its success. By submitting your completed survey, you could win a two night stay for four at Tumblehome Lodge on Crotch Lake,.

The survey can be accessed at A hard copy can be picked up at MVC’s Lanark office on Hwy. 511, or mailed to you by contacting Lucian Marcogliese by e-mail at , or by phone at (613) 961-1529.

Funded by Natural Resources Canada, the fisheries survey is one of four subcomponents of the larger Climate Change and Adaptation project which is currently underway.

The study of fish and water resources is an important component of MVC’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Through research and input from multiple stakeholders the plan will identify how we can best respond to our changing local climate. Working with our many partners, MVC will work towards the continued health of the watershed by exploring and developing responsive, integrated resource management solutions.

For more information on the survey or MVC’s climate change adaptation project please contact project coordinator Jackie Oblak at . or visit our website at

Nicole Guthrie
Community Relations Coordinator
Mississippi Valley Conservation

4175 Hwy.511, RR#2
Lanark, Ontario K0G 1K0
t. 613.259.2421 ext.225 f. 613.259.3468

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Field Naturalists Took Temperature of Mississippi River Watershed

Field Naturalists Took Temperature of Mississippi River Watershed

August 17, 2006

by Cliff Bennett

When a child is showing signs of stress, we naturally take its temperature. With the potential of climate change to stress the Mississippi River watershed, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) decided to take its temperature. So, from Upper Lake Mazinaw at one end, to the Ottawa River at the other, we took the temperature of lakes and rivers of the watershed. The volunteer driven water-temperature survey, conducted on the August holiday weekend, was one of 75 projects celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Ontario Nature, formerly The Federation of Ontario Naturalists. As an outreach project, the goal was to engage the public in considering the implications of future climate change for the Mississippi River.
The health of our lakes and rivers is important to us: the watershed is where we live and play. Water temperature, levels, flow patterns and distribution of flora and fauna are not static; change can occur quickly in response to various environmental stresses. Water temperature, specifically maximum surface-water temperature, usually occurring during the first week of August in our watershed, is one important control on the distribution of aquatic plants and animals which can be measured.

Eighty to one hundred people, MVFN members and other volunteers, thermometers and home-made water-samplers in hand, set out in canoes, row boats and motor boats to take the watersheds’ temperature in the perfect weather of August 5-7th. From families in rented canoes, people in motor boats, and those sampling from bridges and docks, we thank all participants who helped make the survey a success! Please send in your location and temperature data if you have not already done so, as information on all lakes and river sections within the watershed is valuable. Raw data will be archived with MVC and the field naturalists.

The water-temperature survey project was a result of nearly a year of planning by MVFN organizers, coordinated by Cliff Bennett and including Paul Eggington, Michael Macpherson, Michael McPhail, Howard Robinson and Pauline Donaldson. Of course, MVFN could not have completed this Herculean effort without partnerships with Lake Associations, local Fish and Game Clubs, and volunteers from NRCan, to which heartfelt thanks and congratulations are extended. Special thanks go to Mississippi Valley Conservation (MVC) staff member Susan Lee and summer student Tom Thistle, whose efforts in contacting and encouraging the Lake Associations were outstanding.

In all, an estimated 500 plus temperature readings were collected, both at the surface and one metre deep across the watershed. Collected at a single point in time they will provide a baseline of data on temperature distribution across the watershed. The baseline can be used for assessing future change. In addition, lake associations and other groups can use the data in a more specific way, for example to look at temperature variations within their lake or river area to locate useful sites where data loggers could record future change as it happens. Already, as a result of this project, temperature loggers were installed by lake conservationists in Buckshot Lake, Clayton Lake and White Lake, and plans are underway to install them in additional places. Valuable ongoing monitoring work also continues to be done by volunteers such as Lake Stewards and organizations such as MVC and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Future climate change is only one environmental stress which may change our watershed. The provincial government and MVC have now begun serious consideration of the implications of future climate change. Hopefully, our work will encourage the local public to engage in discussions about how we can manage future change. Just what is at risk and how can we best adapt to changes that are already underway?

Once all of the water temperature results are in, MVFN will prepare a summary report of the 2006 water-temperature survey for public release. Copies will also be sent to participating groups and individuals and posted on our website at For further information on this or other MVFN projects, please contact MVFN President Michael McPhail at 613-256-7211 or .

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