Column: June 6, 2019

Urgent call for volunteers

On Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, volunteers of all abilities, age 12 and over, are urgently needed for sandbag and debris removal at flood-affected properties in West Carleton-March. Work will take place between 9am and 7pm both days. If you are able to help, please report to the Volunteer Registration Centre located at the Constance and Buckham’s Bay Community Centre, 262 Len Purcell Drive. Registration is from 9am to 4:30pm. There will be a shuttle bus option from the Innovation Park & Ride (1321-3043 Innovation Drive). The first bus departs at 8:30am and the last bus leaves at 4pm.Volunteers will be supplied with gloves and may be required to lift up to 22kg/50lbs. Comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing with long sleeves, pants and boots is recommended. Clothing may get dirty, wet or damaged. Volunteers may bring food. Water and snacks will be provided. Volunteers under 18 need a parent or legal guardian to sign their registration forms and must be supervised by an adult on site. Updates about the daily need for volunteers will be made through www.ottawa.ca and the City’s social media channels. During the weekdays there is no City-led volunteer management on site. Anyone wanting to volunteer on weekdays before this coming weekend should register directly with Samaritan’s Purse online at www.samaritanspurse.ca or by calling 1-844-547-2664.2019

Wild Parsnip Strategy

Wild Parsnip is an invasive plant that is increasingly common within the City of Ottawa in areas of uncultivated land, roadside ditches, nature trails, as well as on and surrounding rural and residential properties. Wild parsnip may pose a health risk to humans. The plant sap contains chemicals that may cause skin and eye irritation and make the skin prone to burning and blistering when exposed to the sun. The City's Wild Parsnip Program for this season has begun and will end in October. Similar to past years, the goal is to reduce the growth of wild parsnip in areas city-wide along rural and suburban roadsides. The 2019 Strategy consists of using Clearview Herbicide (PCP #29752, containing aminopyralid and metsulfuron-methyl) and Gateway adjuvant (PCP# 31470, containing mineral oil – paraffin base [adjuvants], surfactant blend) under the Pest Control Products Act (Canada). The City's Public Works and Environmental Services Department has been proactively mapping out wild parsnip infestation levels across the city along roadsides, parkland and pathways. The strategy includes monitoring, mapping, the use of herbicides, mowing and evaluation. To notify the public of the herbicide application, “Notice of Herbicide Use” advertisements appeared in local newspapers on May 13. Also, given the large number of public access points for parks, signs will continue to be posted every 100 m. Similar to last year, rural residents who do not wish to have the roadside adjacent to their property sprayed have been given the option to “OPT OUT” of the Wild Parsnip program. The best way to avoid contact with Wild Parsnip is to become familiar with what the plant looks like. Visit ottawa.ca for more information on this plant.

Carp stormwater pond maintenance

A dry pond stormwater facility located on Juanita Avenue in Carp requires landscaping maintenance. The City plans to go in and grub out some willows that are growing in the bottom of the facility. They have coordinated with the Forestry Department to confirm that this planned maintenance would not conflict with their reforestation activities. Once the work is completed, staff will be able to repair a concrete headwall that has been damaged. The work is estimated commence in coming few weeks.

Column: June 8, 2017

Wild Parsnip Strategy

The Wild Parsnip Program for 2017 has started, the goal of which is to reduce the growth of wild parsnip in areas that are highly infested while ensuring that environmentally sensitive areas and public safety are not adversely impacted. The strategy includes monitoring, mapping, herbicide use, mowing and evaluation.

Approximately 800 kms of roadsides and over 60 locations of passive parkland will be treated this year. Roadside cutting is underway and additional herbicide application will be considered again for the fall season, if needed. The treatment area map and program details, including how opt out of the program, may be accessed on ottawa.ca/wildparsnip.

Wild parsnip is an invasive plant that is common in areas of uncultivated land, roadside ditches, nature trails, and on and surrounding rural and residential properties. It may pose a health risk to humans, as the sap contains chemicals that may cause skin and eye irritation and make the skin prone to burning and blistering when exposed to the sun

Rural coach houses

Rural coach houses may soon be found on smaller properties after the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC), on June 1, 2017, received recommendations to modify current requirements. These modified requirements will be incorporated in the Official Plan, Zoning By-law and Site Plan Control By-law, allowing small, detached dwellings on existing rural lots as small as 0.65 hectares – and even smaller, with minor variance applications. The report also recommends not requiring site plan control for lots smaller than 0.65 hectares, where a Committee of Adjustment approval would be required, and for lots with municipal water connections. Staff will now initiate the formal public process to bring the amended Official Plan, Zoning By-law and Site Plan By-law forward to ARAC and Council for consideration and approval.

A coach house is a separate dwelling unit that is subsidiary to and located on the same lot as an associated principal dwelling unit, but is contained in its own building that may also contain uses accessory to the principal dwelling.

Mayor's Canada Day Celebration for Seniors

I have a limited number of tickets available to give to seniors in Ward 5 who are interested in attending Mayor Watson's Canada Day Celebration for Seniors at Lansdowne Park on July 1. If interested, contact Sylvia Bell at sylvia.bell@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424 x32272.

Column: July 23, 2015

Ward 5 culvert replacements

Beginning in late July, the City will be replacing nine small culverts in Ward 5 as follows:

  • Kinburn Side Road culvert 0.7 km from Timmins Road to Dominion Springs Road
  • Dunrobin Road culvert 0.62 km from Constance Bay Road to Kilmaurs Side Road
  • Dunrobin Road culvert 0.24 km from Kilmaurs Side Road to Constance Bay Road
  • Donald B. Munro Drive culvert 0.35 km from March Road to Carp Road
  • Weatherly Drive culvert 0.47 km from Maley Lane to Second Line Road
  • Barlow Crescent culverts 1.3 km North of Thomas A. Dolan Parkway
  • Spruce Ridge Road culverts 0.58km South of McGee Side Road

To minimize the impact on traffic, there will be road closures and signed detours. Construction will conclude in November 2015.

20th Annual Mid-Summer Herbfest

The Herb Garden, at 3840 Old Almonte Road, is holding their 20th Annual Mid-Summer Herbfest on Sunday, July 26 from 9am to 5pm. This will be the last year for this event, so make sure to attend and enjoy!

The event will feature live music, dance performances, herb growing demonstrations, kids activities, herb walks and more. As well, there will be great local food vendors and ABC Brewery beer. As well, there will be over 80 local artisan vendors. Visit www.herbfest.ca for more information and directions.

Wild Parsnip

My office has received inquiries from residents regarding wild parsnip. This plant is a significant concern for the City and staff have been working on the best strategy for controlling this invasive and noxious weed.

The Public Works Department has a strategy in place for 2015 and they have completed approximately 260km of roadside spraying city-wide in areas highly infested based on observations from 2014. They are now finishing the same exercise for 2015 and will be scheduling some additional roadside spraying based on those observations and an environmental analysis. Once additional areas for spraying have been confirmed, residents with property adjacent to the roadsides being sprayed will be notified and signage posted in advance.  

Crews are currently cutting rural roadsides and will be directed to do some cutting in areas that can be easily accessed by mowing equipment.

Column: May 14, 2015

Summer roadwork in Ward 5

West Carleton residents will notice that a number of roads in our area will be undergoing work as part of the 2015 road upgrade program. The roads listed below have been tendered and contracts awarded, and work will commence shortly:

Kinburn Side Road from Woodkilton Road to 80m west of Hwy17
Golden Line Road from Hamilton Side Road to 760m North of Old Almonte Road
Baskins Beach Road from Vance’s Side Road to the dead-end
Loggers Way from Mississippi Drive to Galetta Side Road
Spruce Ridge Road from Richardson Side Road to Speedway Road
Old Almonte Road from Beavertail Road to Corkery Road
Richardson Side Road from Carp Road to Beavertail Road

There is more roadwork that will be happening shortly, and when I receive confirmation an update will be provided in a future column.

Wild Parsnip Strategy

At the Agricultural & Rural Affairs meeting on May 7, city staff introduced a report outlining the 2015 wild parsnip strategy. (The full report is available for review on ottawa.ca). The focus of the strategy will be to pilot several tools while monitoring for environmental impacts. It will consist of identifying several locations for herbicide application, increased mowing frequency, a monitoring project and an education and public health awareness campaign.

Wild parsnip is an invasive plant that is commonly found within the rural areas, such as uncultivated land, roadside ditches, nature trails, and areas surrounding rural and residential properties. Wild parsnip may pose a health risk to humans as the plant’s sap contains chemicals that will cause skin irritation and make the skin prone to severe burning and blistering when exposed to sunlight. The blisters typically occur one to two days after contact with the plant and can result in long-term scarring of the skin. Children should be reminded to be careful when picking wild flowers – make sure they can identify it in order to avoid exposure.

Visit www.invadingspecies.com for detailed images as well as information on how to protect yourself from exposure.