Column: March 30, 2017

Wildlife Speaker Series

As part of the Wildlife Strategy, the City of Ottawa initiated a Wildlife Speaker Series to increase residents' knowledge and appreciation of wildlife, and promote coexistence through understanding and respect. Two events are planned for 2017, and the first one is taking place on Thursday, April 6, 2017 and is called "Celebrating Canada's Wildlife." In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, and leading up to National Wildlife Week (April 9 to 15), the City invites residents to learn more about Canada’s iconic wildlife.

The event will include displays by local organizations and a presentation by renowned naturalist Michael Runtz. Canada’s rich diversity of wildlife is part of our national heritage, and continues to shape our country’s global identity. Beavers, loons and moose are all readily recognized as Canadian symbols, and can all be found living in Ottawa.

The event is being held at Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, and begins at 6pm with a Wildlife Expo and then opening remarks and presentation at 7pm. Admission is free. Register online at ottawa.ca.

Camp FFIT

Ottawa Fire Services, in partnership with Fire Service Women Ontario, is pleased to announce an application call for Camp FFIT (Female Firefighters in Training) 2017. Young women between the ages of 15 and 19, who meet the application criteria, are invited to apply. Camp FFIT is designed to educate young women about the career of firefighting. Applications are available now at ottawa.ca and must be returned to Ottawa Fire Services Training Centre located at 898 Industrial Avenue no later than May 26, 2017. Camp FFIT takes place August 21 to 25, 2017, 8am-5pm, at the Ottawa Fire Services Training Centre, 898 Industrial Avenue.

Participants will have an opportunity to speak to women and men who work at Ottawa Fire Services, as well as firefighters from neighbouring communities and students who have graduated from a Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training Program. Instruction will be offered in English. For questions, email campffit@ottawa.ca or call 613-580-2424 ext 29621.

Pancake breakfast in support of West Carleton Food Access Centre

The West Carleton Food Access Centre (WCFAC) is hosting a free pancake breakfast on Saturday, April 1, from 8:30-10:30am, at the Kinburn Community Centre, 3045 Kinburn Side Road. Kindly bring a non-perishable, non-expired food item to help support WCFAC.

Column: April 7, 2016

Wildlife Speaker Series returns
 
The Wildlife Speaker Series is back for 2016, helping raise awareness about the importance of nature in making Ottawa a liveable City. The first session, on Tuesday, April 12, will focus on citizen science. From stream watch to tracking butterfly migration, citizen science is drawing ordinary people into some of the most important and transformative research of the 21st century.
 
Propelled by new technologies, especially social media, researchers are relying on residents to help collect and analyze scientific data at scales and in volumes never before feasible or affordable. Local conservation authorities, universities, conservation groups, naturalists clubs, provincial and national governments all have citizen science projects whose volunteers collect data on wildlife. In Ottawa, projects include monitoring birds, butterflies, bees, reptiles, frogs, water quality in streams and bio blitzes in natural areas.
 
Find out more on April 12 at Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive. Starting at 6pm attendees can browse displays by local organizations active in citizen science, and then listen to presentations by two impressive speakers at 7pm:

  • Dr. Jeremy Kerr of the University of Ottawa, and the co-founder of Bumblebeewatch.org, will discuss how the public can become involved in ongoing research programs.
  • Andy Kenney, from the University of Toronto, will present a community-based approach to the stewardship of urban forests.

For more information on the Wildlife Speaker Series visit ottawa.ca.
 
Managing conflicts with wildlife
 
I recently received feedback from a resident who had a coyote visit her property. As this type of encounter is quite common in the rural setting, I thought it would be appropriate to provide some basic information on how to best manage living with wildlife.
 
Our wild neighbours have the same basic needs as we do: food, water and shelter. Sometimes, this can lead to conflicts. Homeowners need to animal proof their homes and property to try and prevent wild animals from moving into their walls or attics, rummaging through their compost bins, or visiting their yards. Visit ottawa.ca and ontario.ca/page/wildlife-and-nature for useful tips on managing wildlife conflicts. Residents can also go to the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre (wildlifeinfo.ca/conflicts.html) for humane and cost-effective solutions to common wildlife concerns.