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  • DANIEL BUCKLES

Celebrating Biodiversity

Updated: Oct 4


Some 15 hardy souls braved the cool wet weather on Saturday, October 2, 2021 to plant more than 40 trees into our latest “Tiny Forest”, including a collection of “Carolinian Forest” species to complement our “Native Pollinator Garden”.


See details on each through the links above, and tour the site with local experts on Wednesday, October 6 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. Location? The north end of Champlain Park, at Pontiac and Cowley Avenue in Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa. Plant acorns from our Heritage Bur Oaks and share ideas on how to start your own neighbourhood biodiversity and tree canopy projects.


Provincial and Municipal COVID-19 Outdoor Rules apply: Distanced or Masked.


Photo: Planting the new terrace with a "Tiny Forest"

On Saturday we extended the Eastern Tiny Forest (120 trees planted in the spring of 2021) into our new planting site across from Champlain Park. An Eastern Pheobe kept us company under overcast skies. See links above for details on what was planted, and why.


Photo: Eastern Pheobe overlooking a Black Gum tree.


The event also offered us an opportunity to honour the many volunteers, and thank the various donors.


The year’s work built on the new greenspace created by the 2019 de-paving of Pontiac Avenue between Carleton and Cowley Avenues, supported by Councillor Jeff Leiper, the Champlain Park Community Association (CPCA), the Envirocentre and the National Capital Commission. Since then,


1. The Association’s ‘pit crew’ removed fences, stumps and landscaped the site with soil and a rock border, starting in October 2020 and continuing through the summer of 2021. Kris Phillips led the crew, helped by Long Truong and with funding for soil, plants and plant protection from the Champlain Park Community Association and various private donors. Hydro Ottawa and its contractor Asplundh provided clean chips from trimming work they do in the area, to help improve and cover the soil.


Photo: Catherine Shearer and Kris Phillips, breaking ground in 2020.


2. We obtained bare root saplings from the Ferguson Tree Nursery with funding from the City of Ottawa’s Community Environmental Projects Grant Program, and grew others indoors from wild seed and in back yard nurseries. Catherine Shearer, John Arnason and Daniel Buckles planned and implemented this phase, which included establishing a ”Native Pollinator Garden and the Eastern “Tiny Forest” in the spring of 2021. Joscelyn Coolican kept tabs on trees nursed in backyards over the summer by various residents.


Photo: Eastern Bumblebee and Golden cosmos, by Grace Nault, a young resident of Champlain Park

3. In 2020 we planted more trees and shrubs at Trout Lily Lane (across from St. George’s School) and Black Walnut Grove (along Patricia near Clearview) using a novel tree planting method called Hugelkültur (mounds of dead branches and soil). This work was led by Daniel Buckles, with many local volunteers.


Photo: Hugelkültur mound with a burr oak



4. Adrian Bradley managed the working relationship with the NCC for all of the activities through a Land Access Permit, and the led trail maintenance work with the Association’s ‘pit crew’.


Photo: Adrian Bradley and a cover to suppress Japanese Knot Vine.



5. The trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants at all sites were watered all summer long by neighbourhood student volunteers coordinated by Natasha Lawson, with water supplied mainly by Ian Luke and his family. Volunteers from Veem pitched in.


Photo: Student volunteers, and John Arnason, in the Carolinian Forest.



Next spring we will fill in gaps in the various forest and pollinator beds with additional native species of trees and flowering shrubs. A donation of $1,000 to the Champlain Park Community Association from the family and friends of Peter Sims (1980-2021) will be directed towards purchase of additional native tree.


Photo: Janet and Ben, friends of Peter Sims, help out with planting the Tiny Forest.


The project as a whole aims to beautify and connect the boundary between the residential area and the Ottawa River, and support local biodiversity. For more information, or to join the team, contact Daniel Buckles (Daniel.buckles@gmail.com).



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