HOME  |   ABOUT US  |  PROGRAMS & SERVICES  |  NEWS  |  RESOURCES  |  LINKS  |  CONTACT US

 

Stewardship Project Funding Available

Landowners, residents, businesses, organizations and schools within the Municipality of Port Hope can apply for funding to carry out stewardship projects that benefit the environment, local watersheds and properties.

50% of the costs are covered up to specific grant caps for the following projects: agricultural best management practices, well upgrades and decommissions, tree planting, habitat enhancement, erosion control, and much more.

For more information on how you can participate in the Clean Water – Healthy Land Financial Assistance Program, contact Pam Lancaster, Stewardship Technician at 905-885-8173 x 247 or plancaster@grca.on.caThis program is also available to residents of Hamilton Township, Town of Cobourg and Municipality of Clarington (Ward 4).

 


Get Out and Get Active!

With summer officially upon us, we’ve all been enjoying the sun on our faces, dreaming of what our plans will be for those hot vacation days. Maybe I’ll take my family for a day of Treetop Trekking in the Ganaraska Forest? Or perhaps hike through one of the hundreds of conservation areas found across Ontario? Better yet, maybe we’ll canoe out to that island on Rice Lake? Physical activity is a key component to summer fun, no matter what you choose to do.

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) suggests that people of all ages take the time to be active this summer. Keep your children busy with physical activities and lead by example with hikes, swimming, and other outdoor adventures. Register your wee one into a summer camp or get them that fishing rod that they’ve been eager to try out…anything to keep them on the go!

There are numerous summer activities available within our community. The GRCA’s Nature Nuts Summer Camp offers popular themed weeks of fun-filled activities where children who love the outdoors will explore the wilderness through scavenger hunts, environmental games, creative crafts, and so much more. New to Nature Nuts this year is Mad Scientist and an additional week of The Amazing Race. 

The GRCA also offers the OFAH Tackleshare program. The loaner site, located at the GRCA office on Hwy 28, provides fishing rods, stocked tackle boxes, educational material, and Young Angler Licenses - encouraging people of all ages to get out and get active!

For something a little different, bring the whole family out for the GRCA’s newest public event, Bats In Your Backyard! taking place on July 6th. Local bat expert Chris Ketola will lead participants on a bat walk and identify species as they fly overhead using sophisticated bat detection equipment. A fun and educational experience for all ages!

For more information on these activities and many more, contact the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority at 905.885.8173 or visit www.grca.on.ca or www.ganaraskaforestcentre.ca.

See you outside!


GRCA Issues Flood Watch - June 23rd

Flood Watch: Moderate 

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that over 50mm of rain has fallen since last night and another 10 to 15mm is possible before the rain tapers off this afternoon.

Due to the heavy overnight rainfall, runoff to local streams will create higher than normal water levels and flows leading to potentially dangerous flow conditions today. Minor flooding in low lying areas adjacent to streams is possible especially during and after heavy downpours. Ponding of water on urban surfaces may occur as storm sewer systems can become overwhelmed during high intensity rainfall.

Lake Ontario water levels have declined in recent days but remain very high for this time of year and a separate Flood Watch is in effect for the shoreline due to the potential flooding and erosion. There is a greater risk of flooding today where high stream flows are meeting the lake. Winds from the south causing high waves on the shoreline remains a significant concern and may increase shoreline erosion rates.

Eroding shorelines, submerged beaches, flooded marinas and wetlands on Lake Ontario will continue to be hazardous with potentially unstable banks. Residents are asked to exercise caution around our shorelines and to alert any children in their care of these dangers.

This Flood Watch will be in effect through Sunday, June 25th, 2017. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor conditions, and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.

Mike Smith                                                      Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                                Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator

Note: A Flood Watch is issued as notice that flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.


GRCA Cancels Flood Warning and Issues Flood Watch - June 20th

Flood Potential: High 

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that water levels on Lake Ontario have been slowly declining since reaching their peak on May 26th. A Flood Warning was first issued on May 5th when heavy rains caused the already high lake level to rise sharply due to runoff from the surrounding watersheds. The slow moving storm dumped 75 to 80mm of rain in some areas and caused widespread flooding across much of Ontario and Quebec.

Recent dry weather is helping to reduce inflows from the surrounding watersheds, while record high outflows are working to slowly bring down the lake levels. So far the lake level has declined by 12cm at Cobourg but it still remains more than 70cm above normal for this time of year. Continued slow declines in water levels are expected for the next several weeks to months as high flows are released into the St. Lawrence River.

Water levels are still critically high and winds from a southerly direction will continue to be a concern as wave action in combination with high water levels may result in significant shoreline erosion and flooding in low-lying areas especially where streams meet the lake.

Eroding shorelines, submerged beaches, flooded marinas and wetlands on Lake Ontario will continue to be hazardous with potentially unstable banks. Residents are asked to exercise caution around our shorelines and to alert any children in their care of these dangers.

This Flood Watch for the Lake Ontario shoreline will be in effect through Friday, July 7th, 2017. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor conditions, and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.

Mike Smith                                              Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                         Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator

Note: A Flood Watch is issued as notice that flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.


GRCA Issues Flood Warning Update - May 31

Flood Potential: High

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that water levels on Lake Ontario have stabilized and should start to decline over the next week or two albeit at a very slow rate. Having reached record elevations, it will take several weeks for the water levels to recede below critical flood thresholds. The potential for shoreline flooding and erosion will remain for now, especially during periods of high winds and wave action.

Heavy rainfall in April and May has caused the increase in water levels, while severe flooding in the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers prevented a greater release of water from Lake Ontario. Now that the Ottawa River has declined, outflows from Lake Ontario have been increased and are flowing at maximum rates considering navigation and downstream flooding.

With no rain currently in the forecast, outflows from the lake will continue to exceed inflows from Lake Erie and watershed runoff, which will allow the water level of Lake Ontario to gradually decline.

Winds from a southerly direction will continue to be a concern as wave action in combination with high water levels may result in significant shoreline erosion and flooding in low-lying areas especially where streams meet the lake.

Eroding shorelines, submerged beaches, flooded marinas and wetlands on Lake Ontario will continue to be hazardous with slippery and possibly unstable banks. Residents are asked to exercise caution around our shorelines and to alert any children in their care of these dangers.

This Flood Warning for the Lake Ontario shoreline will be in effect through Friday, June 16th, 2017. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor conditions, and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.

Mike Smith                                                      Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                                Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator

Note: A Flood Warning is issued as notice that flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities.


GRCA Issues Flood Warning Update - Lake Ontario Shoreline - May 19

Flood Potential: High

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that water levels on Lake Ontario are stabilizing and should start to decline over the next week or two albeit at a very slow rate. Having reached record elevations, it will take several weeks for the water levels to recede below critical flood thresholds. The potential for shoreline flooding and erosion will remain for now, especially during periods of high winds and wave action.

Heavy rainfall in April and May has caused the increase in water levels, while severe flooding in the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers prevented a greater release of water from Lake Ontario. Now that the Ottawa River is declining, outflows from Lake Ontario are increasing.

The water level of Rice Lake peaked on Monday and has since receded by 11cm. While still above normal for this time of year, levels will continue to decline providing relief to residents affected by flooding. Therefore, the flood warning for Rice Lake has ended and so this flood warning applies to Lake Ontario only.

A rainfall event is forecast for this Sunday, however it is not expected to cause significant runoff or reverse any declining trends in water levels. The main concern will be if a southerly wind picks up with the movement of the weather system this weekend.

Eroding shorelines, submerged beaches, flooded marinas and wetlands on Lake Ontario will continue to be hazardous with slippery and possibly unstable banks. Residents are asked to exercise caution around our shorelines and to alert any children in their care of these dangers.

This Flood Warning for the Lake Ontario shoreline will be in effect through Sunday, May 31st, 2017. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor conditions, and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.

Mike Smith                                                      Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                                Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator

Note: A Flood Warning is issued as notice that flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. 


Invasive Plants Pose Problems

Invasive plants are species that have been accidentally or deliberately introduced to an area outside of their normal range, and which due to their rapid spread, become a threat to the environment, the economy or to human health. One invasive plant that has spread rapidly into Northumberland County is pale swallowwort, also known as dog-strangling vine. This relative of the milkweed, with its tiny brown star-shaped flowers and slender seed pods, doesn’t really strangle dogs; however, its spread can become so extensive that it chokes out native species and even prevents young trees from growing.

Another invasive plant that is spreading rapidly in the area is garlic mustard. This biennial begins its first year as a basal rosette of kidney-shaped leaves that remain green under the snow, which gives them a head start in the spring. By early May, the plant has sent up a stem topped with numerous small white four-petal flowers. Later, tiny seeds cling to wet clothes, boots, tires and animal fur, and within a few years a single plant becomes thousands, spreading through the forest and threatening native wildflowers such as trilliums, trout lilies, hepatica, etc.

Another species, giant hogweed, has been in the media lately. It is a relatively new arrival in Northumberland. This spectacular plant grows up to 5 metres tall and sports huge white flat-topped flowers. Giant hogweed produces a toxic sap; when this contacts skin and is exposed to the sun, severe blistering can occur. In the same family and only slightly less toxic is another recent arrival, wild parsnip. This plant grows about a metre in height and has yellow flat-topped flowers by mid-summer. Locally, it is spreading rapidly along roadsides, trails and in disturbed areas where it poses a real health threat to those who don’t recognize and avoid it.

Dive into species identification and best management practices at the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) Invasive Species Walk on Saturday, June 3rd from 10:00am – 12:00pm. Pre-registration is required through the GRCA at 905.885.8173. If you cannot attend the event and want to learn more about local invasive plants, contact the GRCA or visit ontarioinvasiveplants.ca.

Stay clear of invasives in your garden this year by planting native plants purchased from the 2nd Annual Port Hope Kinsmen Native Plant Sale on May 27th from 9:00am – 1:00pm at the GRCA on Hwy 28. You don’t want to miss out on the wide selection of trees, shrubs and flowers that will be available!


GRCA Issues Updated Flood Warning - Lake Shorelines - May 9

Flood Potential: High 

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that very high water levels on Lake Ontario are expected to persist through May with potential for shoreline erosion and flooding. Also, water levels on Rice Lake are rising due to the runoff associated with last week’s three day rain storm and are currently 45cm above summer levels.

The water level on Rice Lake is expected to continue rising for the next few days as the large volume of runoff makes its way toward Lake Ontario. Any rainfall at this point is likely to cause more runoff and may increase water levels or slow the rate of decline once the level has crested.

Lake Ontario water levels have reached critical levels (75cm above normal) causing shoreline flooding and wind driven erosion. Heavy rainfall in April and May has caused the increase in water levels, while severe flooding in the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers has prevented a greater release of water from Lake Ontario.

High Lake Ontario levels are also causing flooding in stream outlets (estuaries) in Cobourg, Port Hope and Newcastle as well as beach inundation and erosion. If winds from the south pick up while the water levels are high, there will likely be more active erosion and potential flooding as waves rush up on our shorelines.

The public and especially children are reminded to be aware of shoreline hazards that are not normally present. Saturated and eroded shorelines may be unstable and should be avoided particularly during high winds and waves.

This Flood Warning for the Lake Ontario and Rice Lake shorelines will be in effect through Sunday, May 31st, 2017. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor conditions, and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.

Mike Smith                                                      Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                                Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator

Note: A Flood Warning is issued as notice that flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities.

 


Call for Volunteers

The numerous wind storms that occurred this winter and early spring have resulted in a large number of fallen trees and branches on trails in the Ganaraska Forest. Forest staff have been working for the last several weeks on cleaning up forest roads and wider trails. Clearing single-track trails is much more difficult as vehicles cannot be used to access the vast network of these trails. The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority is looking for volunteers who can help out with clearing single track trails as well as other trails. Forest members who are dirt bike or ATV riders (for trails in the West and East Forest areas) or mountain bike riders (for the Central Forest) would be well suited to this task. We welcome interest from all users groups such as horseback riders and hikers, to help out as well.

Many of the trees that have fallen are smaller and in some case can simply be pushed off of trails. Other trees can be cut with a portable hand saw. Larger trees requiring a chain saw can be reported to staff, indicating as accurately as possible, their location. Volunteers are not permitted to use power equipment such as chain saws due to safety and liability concerns.

If you are interested in helping out please contact Steve McMullen, Forest Recreation Technician, at smcmullen@grca.on.ca or by calling the Ganaraska Forest Centre at 905 797-2721.

 


GRCA Issues Updated Flood Warning May 5th

Flood Potential: High

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that 35 to 40mm of rain has fallen over the past 24 hours and another 20 to 25mm is forecast to fall between this afternoon and tomorrow. Streams in our area are flowing at bankfull levels and starting to flood in low spots along their banks.

With the forecast rainfall this afternoon, water levels and flows are expected to increase even more resulting in heavier flooding adjacent to watercourses. Small streams will flood first and contribute high flows to the larger systems, such as the Ganaraska River, which is likely to experience peak flows later this evening or overnight. As runoff makes its way to the streams, it will cause high flows in ditches and on some roadways and ponding in low lying areas.

Lake Ontario water levels are already very high and will increase slightly as a result of heavy runoff. Where high flowing streams meet high lake levels, there is an increased chance of flooding, particularly at the outlet of the Ganaraska River, Gages Creek, Cobourg Creek and at several other watercourse outlets. With the high water conditions, there is a substantial risk of erosion along the shoreline of Lake Ontario and along stream banks particularly near bridges, culverts and retaining walls.

Rice Lake is currently rising but is not yet close to flood critical levels. This Flood Warning does not apply to Rice Lake, however residents should expect to see the water level rise over the next week as the Trent-Severn Waterway continues to manage the runoff from this and previous rain events.

The public and especially children are warned to stay well back from the shorelines of Lake Ontario and the local streams within the GRCA jurisdiction. Driving through flood water is not recommended. Fast flowing water in combination with slippery or flooded stream banks is creating very hazardous conditions and these areas should be avoided.

This Flood Warning for the Lake Ontario shoreline and the watersheds draining to Lake Ontario and Rice Lake will be in effect through Sunday, May 7th, 2017. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor conditions, and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.

 

Mike Smith                                                      Mark Peacock, P.Eng.

Flood Operations Officer                                Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator

Note: A Flood Watch is issued as notice that flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.


GRCA Issues Flood Watch for Lake Ontario Shoreline

Flood Potential: Moderate 

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that strong southwest winds gusting to 70 km/h will combine with high water levels and waves of 2 meters on Lake Ontario to cause an increase in local shoreline flooding this afternoon and evening.

Winds will shift to a more westerly direction overnight and then gradually diminish Wednesday.

The combination of high water levels and waves will increase the likelihood of flooding and erosion along the shoreline of Lake Ontario. Residents living close to the shoreline should take precautions to protect their property from damaging waves and flooding.

Many of our beaches are currently submerged and waves are affecting bluff areas by scouring away material from their base. Bluffs and other shorelines may become unstable due to erosion and should be avoided as much as possible. River and stream outlets are also affected by high lake levels, which could result in minor flooding around their shorelines.

The public and especially children are warned to stay well back from the shorelines of Lake Ontario and the outlets of streams near the shoreline to avoid hazards associated with shoreline flooding and erosion.

It is expected that high Lake Ontario water levels will persist through May and possibly into June before receding. This Flood Watch will be in effect through Wednesday May 31st, 2017. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor water levels and weather forecasts, and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.

Mike Smith                                                      Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                                Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator

Note: A Flood Watch is issued as notice that flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.


GRCA Issues Flood Outlook for Lake Ontario Shoreline

Flood Potential: Low 

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that heavy spring rains in the Lake Ontario watershed have caused higher than normal water levels across Lake Ontario. The lake level is currently at 75.5 meters above sea level, which is 60cm above average for this time of year and 40cm above where it was at this time last year.

High water levels in Lake Ontario are influenced by outflows from Lake Erie, precipitation, snowmelt and runoff from tributaries that flow into Lake Ontario as well as wave action. With these high water levels, there is a greater potential for erosion and shoreline flooding particularly during periods of high winds and wave action.

Many of our beaches are currently submerged and waves are affecting bluff areas by scouring away material from their base during periods with high winds. Bluffs and other shorelines may become unstable due to erosion and should be avoided as much as possible. River and stream outlets are also affected by high lake levels which could result in minor flooding around their shorelines.

The public and especially children are warned to stay well back from the shorelines of Lake Ontario and the outlets of streams near the shoreline to avoid hazards associated with shoreline flooding and erosion.

It is expected that high Lake Ontario water levels will persist through May and possibly into June before receding. This Flood Outlook Statement will be in effect through Wednesday May 31st, 2017. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor weather forecasts, particularly for high wind events and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.


Mike Smith                                                      Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                                Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator


GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement

Water Safety
Flood Potential: Low
 

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that a low pressure system is moving into Southern Ontario this evening ahead of a second storm later this week. Rain is expected to start overnight with total rainfall amounts of 20 to 30mm by noon tomorrow, when the system is expected to taper off and move out of the region. A second storm event is expected to begin on Wednesday night with possibly 30mm or more rainfall..

Most of the runoff associated with last Friday’s storm event has passed through the watersheds, however soil conditions remain wet and storage areas such as wetlands and ponds have reduced capacity to absorb more runoff.

The forecasted rainfall combined with wet watershed conditions will result in higher than normal water levels and flows in all our local streams. With the next storm arriving shortly after, a second round of runoff is expected to follow on Thursday and into Friday. No flooding is anticipated at this time.

Additionally, slippery stream banks, and fast flowing, cold water will create hazardous conditions around bodies of water, especially in the vicinity of culverts and bridges. Children should be warned to stay away from all watercourses. 

This Watershed Conditions Statement will be in effect through Friday, April 7th, 2017. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor watershed conditions and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.


Mike Smith                                                      Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                                Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator


Celebrate Earth Day, Every Day!

April welcomes the beginning of warm spring weather, as well as the all-important Earth Day. Even though we set out a specific day to think more about our planet and how to protect it, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) is encouraging everyone to celebrate Earth Day everyday! Each small action that individuals take-on daily to protect our local watersheds makes a difference in enhancing and protecting our natural environment. Pick one environmental action that you and your family can change, and continue it year round. The GRCA has a few suggestions for you:

• Conserve water by using less water each day. Fix leaky faucets, purchase a rain barrel so you can use rainwater in your gardens, or install a soaker hose in your garden
• Replace a harsh cleaning product with a green cleaning product, or try making your own
• Plan to visit your local hazardous waste day to dispose of your household hazardous wastes
• Test your private well water with a kit obtained through the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit or the Durham Health Department
• Clean litter from storm drains, road side ditches, or streams on your property
• Plan to add native plants to your gardens, or plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds
• Plan to avoid cutting your lawn along streams, creeks or rivers that flow throughout your property
• Visit one of the nine conservation areas within the Ganaraska Region watershed or the Ganaraska Forest
• Visit Corbett’s Dam fish ladder on the Ganaraska River to see rainbow trout swim upstream to spawn

Staff at the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority participate in an Earth Day Clean-Up each year, where they pick up garbage and debris surrounding the GRCA office and Ganaraska Millennium Conservation Area.

For more information on these everyday actions you can do to enjoy, enhance and protect your local environment, contact the GRCA at (905)885-8173.


The Sugar Shack is Open!

Join the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) for some classic Canadian maple syrup fun at the GRCA’s Maple Syrup Day. Mark your calendars for Saturday April 1st 2017. You don’t miss out on this great day out with the family at the Ganaraska Forest Centre (GFC) from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm.

Through site tours, demonstrations, stories and games, learn all about the sweet tradition of syrup production. The children will have a blast creating crafts and having their faces painted, while you enjoy live music in the Great Hall before settling in for a pancake feast. You’ll be able to go home with some tasty syrup from Ferguson Farms who will be on site selling the liquid gold and other sweet treats. Also, Treetop Trekking Ganaraska is open for the season and will be offering a special try-it 1 ½ hour zipline and aerial game trek. Spots are limited. Call 905.797.2000 for reservations and pricing, and make sure to mention Maple Syrup Day.

Admission to this event, sponsored by the Capstone Community Enhancement Fund, is $15 per adult and $10 per child (16 and under). Pre-registration is not required; simply purchase your tickets at the Gatehouse upon entry to GFC grounds. For further information please call the Ganaraska Forest Centre at 905.797.2721 or the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority at 905.885.8173 or email info@grca.on.ca.

How to find us: If you’re travelling from the west, exit north onto Hwy 115 from Hwy 401 and exit onto Durham Road 9 and travel east, approximately 10 km. Turn left on Cold Springs Camp Road and proceed 4 km to the GFC. From the east, travel west off County Road 28 onto County Road 9 and proceed about 2 km west of Elizabethville, then turn right at Cold Springs Camp Road and proceed 4 km to the GFC.


Get Involved with the GRCA

The long days of winter will soon be behind us; and according to Wiarton Willie, sooner than later this year! While we anticipate those warm and sunny days, let’s not forget about local events and activities you can take part in now.

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority’s Maple Syrup Day is set to take place on Saturday April 1st. Bring the whole family out to the Ganaraska Forest Centre (GFC) from 10am – 1pm to learn about the sweet tradition of syrup production. There will be tours through Maple Valley, demonstrations in the Sugar Shack, stories around the outdoor fire, and games for everyone! Let the kids create crafts and have their faces painted, while you enjoy live music and a pancake feast in front of the fireplace in the Great Hall. Tickets for this event can be purchased from the gatehouse upon entry to the GFC grounds.

On April 8th, from 5:30 – 10:30pm, the annually sold out OFAH/GFC Conservation Dinner will be happening at the Cobourg Lions Community Centre. This fun evening, going into its 28th year, includes a delicious buffet dinner, exciting live auctions, as well as raffles, door prizes and silent auctions all in support of the Ganaraska Forest Centre outdoor education program. Tickets for this event are available in advance only. Call the GRCA for more information and to learn about sponsorship opportunities.

The GRCA’s 40+ year old outdoor education program offers over 30 curriculum-linked programs to more than 9,000 school children who visit the GFC each year. Through generous funding from Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the GRCA offers the annual Spring Water Awareness Program (SWAP) over three weeks in March to grade 4 students across Northumberland and parts of Clarington. As spring approaches, young people are frequently drawn to explore the edges of fast-moving streams or ice-strewn beaches. SWAP enables students to understand just how important it is to stay away from water and ice in the spring. SWAP can save lives. If you are a teacher in the area who would like GRCA to present to your class, please email agriffiths@grca.on.ca for available dates. To experience a modified version of this program with your children, come out to OPG’s March Break Madness on Monday, March 13th. Visit www.opg.com/clarington for more information.

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority continues to enhance and conserve across the Ganaraska Region Watershed by serving, educating, informing and engaging. To learn more about your local conservation authority, visit www.grca.on.ca and www.ganaraskaforestcentre.ca, or call 905.885.8173.

 


GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement: Water Safety

Flood Potential: Low

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that a low pressure system is moving into Southern Ontario this evening. Rain is expected to start overnight with total rainfall amounts of 20 to 30mm, which will taper off by morning as the storm moves out of the region.

The watersheds are generally saturated with reduced storage in wetlands due to the storm last Saturday. There is still a snowpack in headwater areas of the watersheds. This snowpack is very dense from absorbing rainfall from previous storms and will likely add runoff as it continues to melt.

The forecasted rainfall combined with melting snow and saturated ground conditions will result in higher than normal water levels and flows in all our local streams. No flooding is anticipated.

Additionally, slippery stream banks, and fast flowing, cold water will create hazardous conditions around bodies of water, especially in the vicinity of culverts and bridges. Children should be warned to stay away from all watercourses. 

This Watershed Conditions Statement will be in effect through Thursday, March 2nd, 2017. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor watershed conditions and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.


Mike Smith                                                      Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                                Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator


 


Only 1 Week Left to Plant Trees through the GRCA in Celebration of Canada's 150th Birthday

Have you considered planting trees on your property? If so, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority can provide assistance. Tree seedlings can now be ordered through the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority until March 3, 2017. This can be done through an easy to use and informative selection catalogue and order form. There is a minimum order of 25 seedlings, with increments of 25 seedlings per species. Seedlings costs range from $0.55 to $2.50 each.

When it comes to planting the seedlings, landowners can plant the seedlings themselves or have them planted through the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority’s Tree Planting Program.  Funding is also available to assist a tree planting project through the Clean Water – Healthy Land Financial Assistance Program.

Consider celebrating Canada's 150th Birthday with family and friends with the planting of 150 native trees that represents Ontario's Forests and Official Trees. To order your package for $150.00, please fill out the order form and return by March 3, 2017.

For more information on how you can participate in the 2017 tree seedling program or the Clean Water – Healthy Land Financial Assistance Program, contact Pam Lancaster, Stewardship Technician at 905-885-8173 x 247 or plancaster@grca.on.ca.


GRCA Announces End of Level 1 Low Water Conditions

With several rain events so far this winter, the watersheds in the Ganaraska Region have recovered to normal conditions. In January alone, the region received 95mm or 142% of normal rainfall. This has brought stream flows up and is likely resulting in some groundwater recharge where there is little ground frost. The 3-month and 18-month total rainfall indicators are currently at 90% of normal. When all three rainfall indicators are above 80%, watersheds are considered to be in the normal range. In addition, stream flows indicators are well above normal for this time of year as a result of the winter rain events.

 

Drought conditions occurred from April to December last year. This caused widespread hardships for residents whose wells went dry, farmers who suffered crop losses and anyone whose livelihood depends on consistent water supplies. The natural environment suffered with dry wetlands and streams. A few creeks were very shallow at their outlet to Lake Ontario this fall, which prevented some migratory fish from entering to reach their spawning grounds. Extended periods with no rainfall occurred while temperatures soared in the middle of the summer, which heightened the demand for water to be pumped and transported to where it was needed. Many watershed residents and businesses reduced their water consumption according to the conditions, which helped to conserve our most important natural resource.

 

Last year shallow monitoring wells in the GRCA watersheds showed a deep decline in water levels but have been recovering over the past two months and should continue this trend through the spring. If normal or above normal rainfall occurs this year, there should be no reason to anticipate drought conditions returning.

 

The Conservation Authority will continue to monitor local conditions and provide updates as conditions warrant.  For further information, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173 during regular business hours or 289-251-1010 or 289-251-2094 (after normal business hours).

 


Let the rain drain – supporting low impact development within the GRCA

Stormwater runoff occurs when rain or snowmelt flows off hard surfaces rather than being absorbed by vegetation and soils. In urban areas, these hard surfaces include roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks and roofs. In order to prevent street flooding, stormwater drains quickly remove water from hard surfaces. The water then travels through underground pipes, eventually entering stormwater ponds, local creeks or Lake Ontario untreated.

Stormwater causes problems to the quantity and quality of our local creeks. Since a stormwater system is meant to move water quickly, a large amount of water enters local creeks, increasing the volume and flow of water. This increased amount and flow of water can be a public safety hazard and can also cause creek bank erosion and alteration or destruction to fish habitat.

Water quality is also affected due contaminants (gas, heavy metals, salt, bacteria, sediments) from roads, driveways and parking lots. This water contamination not only affects the quality of water for fish, insects, birds but also our source drinking water – Lake Ontario.

There are many types of pervious (porous) surface materials; however the basic water conservation function is the same - drainage into soils rather than surface runoff. Pervious concrete is one such product that has a similar durability to concrete, within certain applications, but with stormwater management benefits due to its porous nature. Rain or snowmelt drains through the open spaces within the pervious concrete rather than running off its surface. The environmental benefits of pervious concrete include increased groundwater recharge, reduced surface runoff rates and volumes, reduced water contamination through natural filtration, and reduced flash flooding through increased drainage capacity. Even with the use of pervious concrete, it is important to reduce potential contaminants that exist on our roads, parking lots and driveways, and increase the amount of natural vegetation within urban areas.

In order to support local capacity to design and install pervious concrete, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA), in partnership with Concrete Ontario, hosted a lunch and learn seminar on pervious concrete systems. Over 30 engineers, architects, municipal staff and contractors learned about pervious concrete pavement systems, engineering properties and typical construction techniques that have been used on completed Ontario projects.
 
To learn more about low impact design systems such as pervious surfaces, please contact the GRCA at
stewardship@grca.on.ca. Funding may be available to install systems (pervious surfaces, rain gardens, soakaway pits) to help manage stormwater on a property.

 


GRCA Issues Watershed Conditons Statement

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that the Weather Office is tracking a storm system which will move into southern Ontario this evening.  The forecasted rainfall amounts are 15 mm to 25 mm.  The rain is expected to arrive this evening and continue into Thursday.

There is still a snowpack in much of the watersheds with deeper amounts in the headwaters. This snowpack is very dense from absorbing rainfall from the previous events. The ground is not frozen. 
With total rainfall amounts forecast to be in the range of 15 to 25 mm over the next 24 hours, water levels and flows in local streams will be on the rise. The remaining snowpack will also be melting and contributing runoff, while frozen ground conditions may be saturated resulting in additional runoff to local streams. All water bodies, including ponds, streams and many ditches will be flowing higher than normal. No flooding is anticipated at this time.

Additionally, slippery stream banks, and fast flowing, cold water will create hazardous conditions around bodies of water. As a result, local streams and rivers will become dangerous, especially in the vicinity of culverts and bridges. Children should be warned to stay away from all watercourses. 

This Watershed Conditions Statement will be in effect through Thursday January 12th, 2017. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor watershed conditions and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.

Mike Smith                                                     Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                                Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator

 

                           


Winter Fun in the Ganaraska Forest

Cross-country skiing is fun, invigorating and a great form of exercise for the whole family. The Ganaraska Forest is an ideal location to take part in this outdoor activity; offering some of the most picturesque, groomed cross-country ski trails in Ontario. Venture out from the Ganaraska Forest Centre onto more than 35 kilometres of groomed and track-set trails meandering through pine and hardwood forest, challenging skiers of varying ability levels. There are also two snowshoe trails to enjoy - one at 2.5 kilometres and a longer one at 8 kilometres.

If you haven¡¦t been on those skis or shoes in a while, or are thinking of sprucing up your skills, then come out on January 21st for the GRCA's Family Cross-Country Ski and Snowshoe Day. The Ganaraska Forest is beautiful in the depth of winter, especially on a pair of skis! Receive an introductory lesson and then go on a guided ski through the central forest. After you participate in the program, why not give snowshoeing a try?! Pre-registration and payment ($25.00 - includes equipment) for one of two fun-filled sessions is required by calling 905.885.8173. 

Tips to get the most out of your day:
~ Ski within your ability
~ Check ski trail conditions before starting out by calling or stopping in at the Ganaraska Forest Centre (905.797.2721 or 10585 Cold Springs Camp Road, Campbellcroft ON)
~ Dress in layers / wear a hat
~ Ski with a buddy
~ Do warm-up stretches before skiing
~ Don't ski when tired or start out after 3 p.m.
~ Carry a small pack with the following:
~ Extra clothing
~ Whistle
~ Snack and water bottle
~ Trail map and compass
~ Duct tape and other supplies for quick repairs
~ Ski waxes, cork, scraper

Know the skier¡¦s responsibility code:
~ Ski in the indicated direction and observe all signs
~ Don't litter; pack up all garbage
~ Don't block the trail. Move off the trail if you fall or want to take a break
~ Yield the track to faster skiers or skiers calling "Track"
~ Don't bring dogs on the trails

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are both wonderful ways to get a cardiovascular workout while enjoying nature in winter. Following all of these useful tips will ensure that you have an enjoyable ski!


Holiday Gift Giving With Your Local Conservation Authority

With the holidays just around the corner and thoughts of what to get that special someone on everyone’s mind, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) has some unique gift giving ideas to help you get prepared. 

The Ganaraska Forest is an outstanding outdoor recreation venue. With hundreds of kilometers of trails, the forest provides opportunities for a variety of activities, including hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and nature appreciation. Multi-use memberships are available that provide a pass into the magnificent forest, where visitors can enjoy the great outdoors while staying active.

For a small donation, you can present your loved one with a tree that will be planted in the Ganaraska Forest. You will be provided with a framed tree certificate acknowledging the individual in honour or memory. This one-of-a-kind gift expresses your consideration towards the environment, provides wildlife habitat, and increases forest connectivity by adding to the existing 12,000 acre Ganaraska Forest.

Does someone in your family have a special connection to the environment or outdoor education? You could present them with an 8x8 paver stone engraved with their name or a special message. This personalized tribute will be a gift that lasts for years to come, lining the entrance way to the Ganaraska Forest Outdoor Education Centre located in the heart of the Ganaraska Forest. Also, in support of the outdoor education program is the annual Ganaraska Forest Centre Conservation Dinner which is held every April. The evening includes a dinner, live and silent auction, raffles and door prizes – a fun night out for you and your special someone!

Looking for a unique stocking stuffer? A rain gauge is a great idea! The recipient will then have the opportunity to track our local precipitation patterns.

The Conservation Authority hosts many public events throughout the year. Cross-country skiing is a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy – and tickets to the GRCA’s Family Cross-Country Ski and Snowshoe Day would be a great gift! Check out this event, plus many more, in the events calendar at www.grca.on.ca.

Please call the GRCA at 905.885.8173 to take advantage of these one-of-a-kind gift ideas, or to learn more on how you can support you local Conservation Authority.


Remember to Check Your Well with the Changing Seasons

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) is reminding landowners with private water wells to check the water quality of their well water this fall. Along with changing the battery in your fire and carbon monoxide alarm, having your well water tested prior to winter is a great idea. In addition, it is recommended that your well water is tested three to four times per year, especially during the spring and fall. The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit supply free testing kits and provide a venue to having water tested by provincial labs to any resident within Northumberland County, as does the Durham Regional Health Department for residents within the Regional Municipality of Durham.

“Having your well water tested annually is a good preventative measure to ensure that you and your family have safe water to drink”, explains Jessica Mueller, Hydrogeologist at the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority. “Well water testing allows for early detection of water well issues that may be occurring.”

While doing yard work in preparation for winter, it is also a good idea to perform a visual inspection around the outside of your well. Remove any organic material such as flowers, shrubs, lawn clipping and leaf build-up, pet waste, or any other debris that may be around the well. Keeping the area around your well clear and clean is very important in the protection of drinking water and its source. In addition, water should not run towards your well, therefore any depressions around the well should be raised.

In addition to maintaining existing wells, it is even more important to decommission abandoned, unused wells. In the same way that active wells can provide a passage way to safe clean drinking water sources, abandoned wells, which may be left in a state of decay, can create a passage way for contaminants to reach your drinking water source. Therefore in order to protect sources of drinking water, and the environment, it is important to have abandoned or unused wells properly decommissioned by a licensed contractor. 

For more information about how to protect your source of drinking water, please contact Jessica Mueller, Hydrogeologist at the GRCA, 905-885-8173 x 222. To inquire about funding for well upgrades or decommissions, please contact Pam Lancaster, Stewardship Technician at the GRCA at 905-885-8173 x 247.

 


Skip Winter - Think Spring and Tree Planting

With over 35,000 tree and shrub seedlings being planted throughout local watersheds in the 2016 Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) tree planning season, the GRCA is encouraging landowners to think about tree planting for 2017 this fall.

The trees will add to the watersheds ecosystems by increasing connectivity, providing for wildlife habitat, but will also increase the beauty and timber potential of the area. Seedlings will eventually grow to be large trees that will provide many benefits to the environment and your property:

• Consider establishing a windbreak to help reduce home heating costs, or shade trees to reduce home cooling costs.
• Consider large scale reforestation on marginal land to increase wildlife habitat, or provide future additional income through timber management or other forest resources.
• Help increase forest connectivity by planting in areas that will increase the size of existing forest or woodlots.
• Enhance stream banks and river valleys by planting species that stabilize stream banks and increase stream shading.

There are options when considering tree planting - purchase tree seedlings through the GRCA (a minimum of 25) to plant at your leisure, or have tree seedlings planted for you by the GRCA (minimum of 500).

Funding is available to assist in the purchase and/or planting of seedlings. The Clean Water – Healthy Land Financial Assistance Program can cover 50% of the cost of a minimum of 500 seedlings to a maximum of $2,500.00. Additional funding is also available to those landowners who plant more than 1 hectare or 2.5 acres of land.

Also, the GRCA has partnered with the Municipality of Clarington and the Municipality of Port Hope again for 2017 to provide trees for free to residents who want to plant trees along the rural road side on their property. The goal is to restore the trees that line rural roads, an initiative that was started in the 1870s across the province.

If you want to avoid winter this year consider planning for a spring 2017 tree plant project with help from the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority.

For more information on how you can participate in the 2017 tree seedling program or funding programs, contact Pam Lancaster, Stewardship Technician at 905-885-8173 x 247 or plancaster@grca.on.ca.


Union Gas Supports GRCA Stewardship Programing

Over the past four years, Union Gas and local Union Gas employees have generously donated and assisted with various stewardship projects undertaken by the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA). Projects have included tree planting, construction of native flower gardens and installation of an accessible pathway to a picnic shelter and Corbett’s Dam. Each one of these projects have supported the local ecosystem or recreational opportunities in the area. This year, as the GRCA celebrates its 70th anniversary, Union Gas once again has generously donated $1,000.00 in support of ongoing stewardship initiatives in the GRCA jurisdiction.

“We care about the environment. The nature of Union Gas is reflected in our company culture, whether we are building a pipeline or erecting an energy-efficient office building,” said Ed Gouweloos, Union Gas utility services construction manager Cobourg. “That’s why we support important environmental programs in the communities we serve.
 
For more information on the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority and it’s Conservation Areas, please contact the Conservation Authority at 905-885-8173.

 


Celebrating 70 Years With Your Local Conservation Authority

October 8th 2016 marks the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority’s (GRCA) 70th anniversary of conserving, restoring and managing the resources of the Ganaraska Region Watershed. Since the GRCA’s inception in 1946 as one of Ontario’s earliest Conservation Authorities, GRCA staff have been working with watershed municipalities, government partners, community members, organized stakeholders and individual land owners to protect people and property from flooding and erosion, improve water quality, provide advice and guidance on municipal planning matters and provide educational and recreational opportunities across local watersheds.

In the early days, the Ganaraska River Conservation Authority was composed of 105 square miles, however, two expansions increased this to a regional area of jurisdiction of 361 square miles including Hamilton Township, Municipality of Port Hope, Town of Cobourg, part of Alnwick/Haldimand Township, part of the Municipality of Clarington, City of Kawartha Lakes as well as a portion of the Township of Cavan Monaghan.

The initial focus of the GRCA was on the Oak Ridges Moraine, better known at the time as the Great Pine Ridge. The landscape of this region was in need of - large-scale re-habilitation due to past forestry and agricultural practices. Large areas of blow sand were dominant, along with badly eroded slopes and silt clogged streams. These water-associated problems were of great concern, and it became the role of the GRCA to restore this valuable natural resource base.

The community decided that the main solution to the problems within the watershed was tree planting. A forested area would hold more water than an exposed area and under the shelter of tree cover, the snows of winter would melt more slowly. This same vegetation would check wind erosion on sandy hills and prevent run-off and the associated soil erosion and gullying of slopes.  Other benefits included an increase in wildlife habitat, the provision of jobs and more livable communities for local people.

To this end, by 1954, the Authority had purchased approximately 6,500 acres of land on which in excess of 2,000,000 trees had been planted. Presently the GRCA holds more than 12,000 acres of forested public land on the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Over the last number of years the GRCA has witnessed a revitalization in its efforts to meet the needs of local residents who are better informed and increasingly concerned about the health of their watersheds. The needs focus on both land and water management and the closely associated fields of soils, forestry and fish and wildlife management. Also important to the local community is the economic, recreational and educational utilization of these natural resources.

Today, the GRCA is leading the way in watershed innovation, adaptation and resilience. It is committed to the Ganaraska Region Watershed, and to working with its partners to ensure that the special spaces and places that make the Ganaraska Region so unique remain for future generations to enjoy.

For those interested in learning more about the past, present and future of the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, please visit 
our website often, follow us on Facebook @GanaraskaCA or call 905.885.8173.


It's Time to Winterize Your Pool?

Swimming pools provide us with recreational fun, exercise and increased enjoyment of our homes in the summer months. But when it’s time to winterize your pool they can be very harmful to the environment. The chemicals used to maintain pool water quality such as chlorine, kill bacteria and microbes, and balance the acidity of the pool. Chlorine is a powerful oxidant and strong disinfectant. It reacts quickly with other substances in water or dissipates as a gas into the atmosphere. All which can be very harmful to the natural environment. In order to protect the environment, discharge pool water to your lawn to allow the grass and soil to act as a natural filter. When shocking your pool, allow at least 3 days before discharging the pool water to allow for evaporation of chlorine.

Other ways to help our environment is to get involved with pollution awareness programs such as the Yellow Fish Road (YFR) Program. It is helping residents and participants in the program understand how easily our watershed can be polluted, by something as simple as pool water.

The Yellow Fish Road Program is a nation-wide storm drain marking program. By painting Yellow Fish next to storm drains and hanging fish-shaped brochures on the doors of near-by houses residents are reminded that anything entering the storm drain system ends up in the local waters, untreated. Let’s work together to make the local watersheds and Lake Ontario more drinkable, swimmable and fishable.

For more information or to register for YFR, please contact Pam Lancaster Stewardship Technician at 905-885-8173 x 247 or
stewardship@grca.on.ca 

 


Volunteers in Cobourg join TD Tree Days to help plant 50,000 trees across Canada

- Cobourg tree planting one of more than 150 events happening coast-to-coast -

Cobourg, ON – On September 25, 2016, 300 new trees will be planted by more than 50 volunteers at West Park Village Trail as part of the seventh annual TD Tree Days. The West Park Village Trail is starts at the Corner of Rogers Road and Carlisle Street and serves as a waling path for local residents.  Increasing the number of trees along the trail will add shade, visual interest and increase urban habitat to the area.

As part of the annual tree planting program, TD Tree Days brings together TD employees, their families and friends, and community volunteers to help green where they live. This year, 50,000 trees will be added to the Canadian landscape at more than 150 community plantings throughout September and October.

WHAT:  TD Tree Days planting event at West Park Village Trail 

WHO: Town of Cobourg, Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, community volunteers  

WHEN: Sunday, September 25, 2016 9 am to 12 pm

WHERE: West Park Village Trail (corner of Rogers Road and Carlisle Street).  

Photo Opportunities Available:
• volunteers planting native tree species

About TD Forests

Launched in 2012 by TD Bank Group, TD Forests is founded on two pillars: reduce and grow. It is the first program of its kind at TD, where the Bank has embedded environmental practices into all aspects of its business. TD Forests brings together, under one canopy, the bank's long-standing community programs related to forest conservation and education, along with a major conservation initiative. TD Forests works to grow urban forests and green spaces, protect critical forest habitats, and encourage the responsible use of forest products. As components of TD Forests, TD Tree Days underscores the importance of our urban forests and support TD’s commitment to forest protection and stewardship.

About TD Friends of the Environment Foundation:

From schoolyard naturalization and energy conservation, to tree plantings and environmental education, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) is proud to provide funding to help sustain an incredible array of grassroots environmental programs across the country. Since 1990, TD FEF has supported over 23,000 projects with over $70 million in funding. Funding recommendations are made by one of eight Regional Advisory Boards across the country, ensuring that decision-making is local, relevant and impactful. And, because TD covers the management and administrative costs of running TD FEF, 100 per cent of every dollar donated to the Foundation supports local environmental projects in the communities in which the donation was made. For more information on how to donate or to get involved in your community, visit
tdfef.com.

For more information contact:

Stefanie Marrota
TD Bank Group
416-983-6072
stefanie.marotta@td.com

 


Port Hope Kinsmen Keep it Native While Supporting the GRCA

On a beautiful, warm day in June, the Kinsmen Club of Port Hope held a native plant sale in support of the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA).

Urban and rural residents stopped by the GRCA picnic shelter on County Road 28 in Port Hope to purchase a variety of flowers, trees and shrubs that are native to Ontario. All in all, 156 flowers, 30 shrubs and 13 trees were sold, raising over $500.00 for GRCA programs and services.

“The Kinsmen Club of Port Hope enjoyed doing this project with the GRCA and look forward to doing it again in early June of next year,” states Jeff Lees, Kinsmen Club of Port Hope/GRCA Full Authority Board Member.
“The donation from the Kinsmen Club of Port Hope will ensure we can carry out educational programs and pilot projects that benefit the community, and the environment we share,” said Linda Laliberte, CAO/Secretary-Treasurer of the GRCA. “We are grateful for the Kinsmen’s support and generous donation.”

To see a local example of a native plant garden, visit the Town of Cobourg Water Conservation Garden at the corner of Ewart and Division Streets in Cobourg. The garden, which opened in the summer of 2013, was developed by the GRCA in partnership with the Town of Cobourg and Lakefront Utilities.

For more information on native plants, trees and shrubs, as well as other important projects and services that the GRCA offers across our watershed, please contact the Conservation Authority at 905.885.8173 or visit
www.grca.on.ca.

 


Around the Ganaraska in 70 Years...

As a result of the Guelph Conference of 1941 and the “Ganaraska Report” by A.H. Richrdson in 1944 – local people, through their municipalities, requested the formation of Conservation Authorities. Following, in 1946, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) was and is one of the oldest conservation authorities in Ontario. The watersheds of the GRCA cover an area of 935 square kilometers and includes seven municipalities in whole or in part: Township of Cavan-Monaghan, Town of Cobourg Township of Alnwick-Haldimand, Township of Hamilton, Municipality of Port Hope, City of Kawartha Lakes, Municipality of Clarington, and includes the Ganaraska Forest.

October 8th 2016 marks the 70th anniversary of the GRCA enhancing and conserving across the Ganaraska Region Watershed by serving, educating, informing and engaging. “We are thrilled to celebrate 70 years of conservation,” announced GRCA Full Authority Chair, Forrest Rowden. “The GRCA has been an integral contribution to the health and well-being of our watershed.”

Over the years, your local conservation authority has accomplished many great things across the Ganaraska watershed. Just some of the successes over the past 70 years include:

• Over 771,500 trees and shrubs have been planted across the Ganaraska watershed since 1977 through the GRCA tree planting program and habitat restoration. This is equivalent to 4.5 square kilometers of plantings.
• 12,000+ acres of forested recreational land has been created in the Ganaraska Forest for users from across the province, as well as close to 5 kilometres of trails throughout the 9 conservation areas within the Ganaraska watershed.
• After a successful fundraising campaign, raising over 4 million dollars, the new Ganaraska Forest Centre (GFC) was built.
• Thousands of school children have experienced curriculum-linked outdoor education taught at the Ganaraska Forest Outdoor Education Centre.
• Over $61,000.00 has been granted to Ganaraska watershed landowners through Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program.
• Between 2007 and 2015, over $387,000.00 was granted to Municipality of Clarington, Municipality of Port Hope, Township of Hamilton and Town of Cobourg landowners through the Clean Water-Healthy Lands Program. 
• Hundreds of volunteers have been engaged over the years, investing thousands of hours in watershed health.
• Thousands of Planning Act applications have been reviewed and approved; everything from building a home to expanding a pond.
• GRCA has partnered with a vast number of organizations in the community on projects from Bring Back the Salmon to GIS collaborations.

For those interested in learning more about the past, present and future of the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, please visit
www.grca.on.ca or follow us on Facebook @GanaraskaCA

.


Ganaraska Region Returns to Low Level Water Conditions

The Ganaraska Region Water Response Team first declared Level 1 low water conditions on July 6th due to the lack of rainfall during the spring and early summer. The condition was upgraded to Level 2 or moderate drought by August 5th. Since that time, two rain events in mid-August provided some relief and the latest rainfall totals have been sufficient to warrant a return to Level 1 or mild drought conditions.

During the peak of the drought, rainfall was only 45% of normal while temperatures soared above 30°C for several days at a time. Now with fall temperatures approaching, the rainfall totals have improved to 74% of normal over the past three months. According to provincial guidelines, watersheds are in a Level 1 condition when the 3-month total rainfall is between 60 and 80% of normal.

Over the past 24 hours, a further 15 to 25mm of rain has fallen on the watershed and weather forecasts are suggesting more rain is possible over the next week. Continued regular rainfall is still needed to return to normal conditions.

The affected major watersheds are Midtown Creek, Cobourg Creek, Gages Creek, Ganaraska River, Port Britain Creek, Graham Creek, Wilmot Creek, Plainville Creek, Harwood Creek and other numerous smaller tributaries of Rice Lake and Lake Ontario

With the return to Level 1 conditions, the GRCA is reminding water users to be aware of water consumption and continue to reduce water use by 10%.  These measures will help to avoid further water shortages in the coming months and prevent negative impacts on aquatic life until normal conditions have returned.

The Conservation Authority will continue to monitor local conditions and provide updates as conditions warrant.  For further information, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173 during regular business hours or 289-251-1010 or 289-251-2094 (after normal business hours).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Mike Smith, B.Sc.                                               Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Water Resource Technician                                Director, Watershed Services


The Ganaraska Forest - a multi-use recreational playground

The Ganaraska Forest is a unique feature in the southern Ontario landscape. Not only is it the largest forest in the south, it offers a wide range of year-round recreational activities. Popular uses include hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, hunting, off-road vehicle riding and snowmobiling. The Central Forest area is limited to passive forms of recreation, while the West and East Forest areas permit both motorized use and passive uses. Hunting is also allowed in these two areas, while most of the Central Forest is a no hunting zone.

The Central Forest features a series of well-marked looped trails that range in length from 4 to 16 kilometres. These trails are very popular for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. There is a horse trailer parking lot less than a kilometer from the Ganaraska Forest Centre that provides direct access to this trail system for equestrian users. In the winter, these same trails are groomed and track-set for cross-country skiing. There are separate trails available for snow shoeing during the winter months.

Also contained in the Central Forest is an extensive amount of single-track trail that forms part of the Paul’s Dirty Enduro Epic Trail. This is a 60 kilometre course of tight, twisting, hill climbing trail, and has be designated as an Epic Trail by the International Mountain Biking Association. While a main attraction for mountain bike riders, this trail is open to other non-motorized uses such as horseback riding and hiking.

For off-road vehicle enthusiasts, the Ganaraska Forest is a premier destination providing arguably the best system of trails for off-road motorcycles and ATVs in southern Ontario. The West and East Forest areas feature a vast system of trails and forest roads for off-road vehicle use, including plenty of technical single-track trail for more advanced dirt bike riders. Horseback riding is also common in these two areas and proper trail etiquette enables shared use of trails.

Whatever your interests are in trail-based outdoor recreation, the Ganaraska Forest provides a close to home experience that you’re sure to enjoy.

For more information on the Ganaraska Forest, please visit
www.ganaraskaforestcentre.ca


GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement

Flood Outlook
Flood Potential: Low

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that a significant storm will track into southern Ontario tomorrow bringing much needed rainfall to the area. Widespread rainfall in the amount of 25 to 40mm is expected for most areas with the possibility of up to 60mm in some locations.


Due to the forecasted rainfall, runoff to local streams will create higher than normal water levels and flows leading to potentially dangerous flow conditions. While no flooding is anticipated at this time, a close watch on conditions is advisable.

Additionally, slippery stream banks, and fast flowing water will create hazardous conditions around all bodies of water. As a result, local streams and rivers will become dangerous, especially in the vicinity of culverts and bridges.  Children should be warned to stay away from all watercourses.  

This Watershed Conditions Statement will be in effect through Wednesday, August 17, 2016. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor watershed conditions and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.


Mike Smith                                                   Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                                Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator



GRCA Issues Level 2 Low Water Advisory

In response to the continued lack of rainfall this year, the Ganaraska Region Water Response Team has elevated the declared low water conditions to Level 2 or moderate drought for watersheds within the GRCA jurisdiction.

Over the past three months, the watersheds have received 52% of the normal rainfall, causing lower than normal flows in local streams and declining groundwater levels. Recent rainfall has been in the form of isolated thunderstorms that deliver heavy downpours over a short period of time, which has done little to improve soil moisture.

Based on provincial guidelines, local watersheds have entered into a level 2 low water condition because precipitation levels have fallen below 60% of the normal over the past three months. Rainfall data is collected from GRCA weather stations across the watersheds and compared to historic averages over a 30 year period of record.

In the major watersheds, the recorded flows are lower than normal but still above 70% of the lowest average month flows (August) for the long term period of record.  This is due to high water retention in the largely forested headwaters of our systems. However, since April the precipitation volumes have been very low causing some small creeks and wetlands to dry up. The affected watersheds are Midtown Creek, Cobourg Creek, Gages Creek, Ganaraska River, Port Britain Creek, Graham Creek, Wilmot Creek, Plainville Creek, Harwood Creek and other numerous smaller tributaries of Rice Lake and Lake Ontario. More consistent rainfall is needed to improve soil moisture for growing conditions and to prevent water supply shortages in streams and groundwater.

The GRCA encourages water users to be aware of water consumption and conservation in an effort to reduce water use by 20%.  These measures will help to avoid further water shortages in the coming months and prevent negative impacts on aquatic life should below normal rainfall amounts continue.

The Conservation Authority will continue to monitor local conditions and provide updates as warranted. Residents are encouraged to contact GRCA staff at 905-885-8173 for advice about water supply shortages or to report illegal water takings.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Mike Smith, B.Sc.                                                       Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Water Resource Technician                                       Director, Watershed Services

August 11, 2016 - Dry spell continues across Ganaraska Region Watershed 


Ganaraska Region and Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authorities Team Up to Educate

Open House – Bring The Kids!
Giant Hogweed & Other Dangerous Invaders
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Newcastle Branch – Clarington Public Library
105 King Avenue East, Newcastle
4:00pm to 8:00pm
 
“If it has three leaves let it be!” is a standard rule to remember how to recognize Poison Ivy that we all learned as kids.  Unfortunately, Giant Hogweed and Wild Parsnip are new invaders in town that can spoil your summer if you come into contact with them.   In response to these invasive aliens, the Municipality of Clarington along with Ganaraska Region and Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authorities are hosting an open house to raise awareness about these invasive plants.  The open house will be held on Thursday, July 14 at the Newcastle Branch – Clarington Public Library, 105 King Avenue East, Newcastle from 4:00pm to 8:00pm.  Bring the kids as there will be interactive displays, identification guides and refreshments.

 “The goal of this partnership is to raise awareness of these plants and determine where there are existing populations within the Municipality of Clarington” says Bob Genosko, Operations Supervisor at the Municipality of Clarington. “The public can report any sightings of these plants to the Invading Species Hotline [1-800-563-7711] or use EDDMapS Ontario, an online tool designed to track invasive plants. By getting a better understanding of where Giant Hogweed is within our municipality, we can better prepare for management and control” added Genosko.    

Giant Hogweed is an invasive alien plant originally imported from central Asia as a garden ornamental.  The plant is extremely large, reaching heights of up to 5 metres.  The white, umbrella shaped flower heads appearing on the plant in July, can be up to 1 metre across.   Giant Hogweed escaped the garden and is quickly colonizing natural areas in southern Ontario, pushing out native plant species as it spreads.  What makes this plant a dangerous invader is that it contains a sap in its leaves, stems, roots and flowers that is toxic to humans. 

When your skin comes into contact with the sap and exposed to sunlight the result is phytophotodermatitis, a technical term to describe the resulting severe blistering.  The blisters can in some cases cause permanent scars and the sap has the potential to cause blindness if it makes contact with the eyes.

Behind this not so friendly giant is a second alien plant invader with similar health risks, called Wild Parsnip.  It too has made a recent appearance along trails and roadsides and is spreading rapidly in southern Ontario.  Wild Parsnip, small by comparison to Giant Hogweed, can reach up to 2 metres in height and produces flat topped yellow flowers in July and August.  It is more common than Giant Hogweed, and can easily come into contact with people and pets.

Both Giant Hogweed and Wild Parsnip have recently been declared Noxious Weeds by the Province of Ontario under the Weed Act.

For More Information:

Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority
Diana Shermet
Natural Heritage Resource Analyst
dshermet@cloca.com
905-579-0411 x107

Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority
Ken Towle
Terrestrial Ecologist
ktowle@grca.on.ca
905-885-8173 x240


GRCA Issues Level 1 Low Water Advisory

On July 6, 2016, the Ganaraska Region Water Response Team confirmed a level 1 low water condition for its watersheds. A lack of rainfall over the past three months has caused below normal flows in local streams for this time of year and rapidly declining soil moisture and groundwater levels.

Based on provincial guidelines, local watersheds have entered into a level 1 low water condition because of below normal precipitation levels. The affected major watersheds are Midtown Creek, Cobourg Creek, Gages Creek, Ganaraska River, Port Britain Creek, Graham Creek, Wilmot Creek, Plainville Creek, Harwood Creek and other numerous smaller tributaries of Rice Lake and Lake Ontario

In the major catchments, the recorded flows are above 90% of the lowest average month flows (August) for the long term period of record.  This is due to high water retention in the largely forested headwaters of our systems. However, since April the precipitation volumes have been very low.  Weather stations operated by the GRCA recorded an average of 45% of the normally expected precipitation.  These numbers are based on the three month accumulated totals from April 1st to June 31st 2016 compared to historic averages over a 30 year record. More consistent rainfall is needed as the summer progresses to prevent water supply shortages in streams and groundwater.

The GRCA encourages water users to be aware of water consumption and conservation in an effort to reduce water use by 10%.  These measures will help to avoid further water shortages in the coming months and prevent negative impacts on aquatic life should below normal rainfall amounts continue.

The Conservation Authority will continue to monitor local conditions and provide updates as conditions warrant.  For further information, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173 during regular business hours or 289-251-1010 or 289-251-2094 (after normal business hours).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Mike Smith, B.Sc.                                               Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Water Resource Technician                               Director, Watershed Services


Summer is Here and GRCA Nature Nut Leader's in Training are Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Would your child know what to do if they were lost in the forest?  Would he or she be able to tell the difference between poison ivy and a blackberry bush? Would they know what a leopard frog sounds like? Now is the opportunity for them to learn about this and much, much more at the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority’s (GRCA) Nature Nuts Summer Camp!

Week #1, Leader in Training is currently underway, where older campers are learning about teamwork, leadership, first aid and surviving in the great outdoors – all in preparation for their second week when they come back as a camp counselor (LIT) where they’ll spend another entire week assisting certified camp teachers with new campers while learning, exploring and most importantly, having fun!

Nature Nuts Summer Camp offers seven weeks of outdoor adventures with different themed camps such as ‘Surviving the Elements’ and ‘Crafty by Nature’. Don’t miss out for your child to experience the gift of nature, this summer. Spots are still available for some weeks.

Want to know more? Just ask! The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority is open Monday through Friday 8:30 – 4:30. Camp descriptions, registration forms and all other important information can be found at
www.grca.on.ca and www.ganaraskaforestcentre.ca – just follow the Nature Nuts squirrel.


Calling All Rural Property Owners - Land for Tree Planting Wanted

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) covers an area of 935 km2 from Newcastle (Wilmot Creek) in Clarington to east of Cobourg (Cobourg Creek), and from the south shore of Rice Lake down to Lake Ontario. This area includes seven municipalities in whole or in part, including the Township of Cavan Monaghan, Town of Cobourg, Township of Alnwick Haldimand, Township of Hamilton, Municipality of Port Hope, City of Kawartha Lakes, and the Municipality of Clarington.

In efforts to increase tree cover and improve forest connectivity on the landscape, the GRCA is looking for landowners who are interested in planting a large amount of land (minimum 2.5 acres) with native trees. In addition, if the property contains a stream, river or pond, trees and shrubs can be planted alongside these natural features (minimum amount not required).

GRCA staff will help determine the best trees to be planted on private properties, assist in acquiring seedlings, find funding programs to offset the cost of tree planting, and even plant them on your behalf.

Why plant trees? There are many benefits including:
•    Increase forest and aquatic habitats
•    Protect streams and rivers
•    Reduce house heating and cooling costs
•    Increase in aesthetics and property values
•    Potential to reduce property taxes
•    Mitigate against climate change
•    Build your family legacy

For more information on how you can participate in various GRCA tree and shrub programs, please visit our website at www.grca.on.ca or contact the GRCA at (905)885-8173 or stewardshp@grca.on.ca.



Kids and Cops Go Fishing During Family Fishing Week
Port Hope, ON:  Children are getting their fishing gear ready for the Family Fishing Derby, on Friday, July 8, hosted by the Municipality of Port Hope and the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA).

This event beginning at 9:00 am and wrapping up at 1:00 pm, takes place at the Port Hope Marina Fish Cleaning Station, 95 Mill St South. Participants, ages 17 & under, can look forward to tons of fishing fun, as well as great giveaways and prizes. Participants are asked to bring their own rods and lifejackets but if not, there will be a limited supply of rods and tackle available to borrow through the OFAH TackleShare Program. Bait will also be supplied. There will be a Fisheries Biologist at the event from GRCA, Ian West from Fear Fishing, Mike McNaught from Fly Fishing Ontario, Richard Kettle and Donald May, who will show off their fly-making skills, an OFAH rep who will have lots of information on invasive species. The Port Hope Public Library, Mary J Benson Branch, is also hosting fishing-themed activities indoors at their 31 Queen Street location. There is no cost to participate in this event.

This event is part of the Canada-wide celebration, National Fishing Week, July 2 through 10. To learn more, visit www.catchfishing.com.

Also July 2 to 10: the annual Ontario Family Fishing Week. For one full week, Canadian residents can enjoy the fun of fishing in Ontario without the need of a licence!

The derby is sponsored by Fishing Forever, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to funding worthwhile fishing, conservation and education projects. It is also supported by the Municipality of Port Hope, Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, the Port Hope Public Library, the Police Association of Ontario and Canadian Tire.

Fishing Forever chair Bob Izumi is an avid supporter of recreational fishing for both the young and the young at heart. “I love to create opportunities for children and families to go fishing,” states Izumi. “Fishing is one of the very best ways for parents and other adults to establish productive and healthy relationships with children.”

For more information about the event, contact Leanne Clarke at lclarke@porthope.ca
For more information about the GRCA, contact Amy Griffiths agriffiths@grca.on.ca

To learn more about Kids, Cops and Canadian Tire, please visit www.kidsandcops.ca, www.facebook.com/KidsCopsCanadianTire or contact Joanne Vaughn at events@kidsandcops.ca or 905 632-8679 ext. 224.

 



Nature Nuts Summer Camp and the Great Outdoors

Would your child know what to do if he was ever lost in a forest?  Would she know what a Northern leopard frog sounds like? Have your children ever made an egg bomb? Did they know that the Spine-tailed swift is the fastest flying bird?

All of these questions and many more can be answered if your child attends the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority’s (GRCA) annual Nature Nuts Summer Camp in Port Hope.

Nature Nuts Summer Camp offers seven, fun-filled weeks of outdoor adventures with different themed camps, from Birds of Prey to Surviving the Elements, and from The Amazing Race to Crime Scene Investigation, to Crafty by Nature and more; all delivered by experienced and very enthusiastic Ontario-certified teachers. And as a bonus, every Friday, campers get to go on a fun field trip that relates to the theme of the week.

“If your child likes nature and the outdoors, or even if they don’t, but would like to learn to be more comfortable in the natural world around them, this is the camp for them,” says Ryan Goodall, one of the program’s teachers. We know that children who spend time in nature, gain an appreciation for our planet and become the environmental stewards of tomorrow, he adds.

Regular camp weeks run through July and August from 8:45 am – 4:00 pm, and extended care is available. Camp season kicks off on July 4 – 8, with the Leader in Training Week for 11 – 14 year-olds, and includes a fully supervised, overnight stay at the beautiful Ganaraska Forest Centre. Campers can then choose from six subsequent camp weeks to volunteer their expertise and gain valuable experience as junior camp counsellors.

“It was the best week of my life,” says a previous L.I.T. graduate.

For more information on the Nature Nuts Leader in Training program or any of the other day camp weeks for 6 – 11 year olds, please contact the GRCA at 905-885-8173 or visit www.grca.on.ca and follow the squirrel.


GRCA Conducting Study on Trout in the Ganaraska


Visit One of Your Local Conservation Areas or the Ganaraska Forest Today

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) is committed to conserving, restoring and managing the resources of the Ganaraska Region Watershed. Since the GRCA’s inception in 1946 as one of Ontario’s earliest Conservation Authorities, they have been working with watershed municipalities, government partners, community members, organized stakeholders and individual land owners to protect people and property from flooding and erosion, improve water quality, provide advice and guidance on municipal planning matters and provide educational and recreational opportunities across local watersheds.

The Ganaraska Region Watershed covers an area of 935 square kilometers extending from the Wilmot Creek watershed in the west, to the Cobourg Creek watershed in the east; and from the crest of the Oak Ridges Moraine and Rice Lake in the north, to Lake Ontario in the south. Other watersheds found in the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority include Graham Creek, Ganaraska River, Gage Creek and the smaller creeks draining to Lake Ontario and Rice Lake.

Included in the Ganaraska Region Watershed are 9 conservation areas (CA); Ganaraska Millennium CA, Port Hope CA, Ball’s Mill CA, Rice Lake CA, Cobourg CA, Garden Hill CA, Richardson’s Lookout CA, Thurne Parks CA, Sylvan Glen CA, as well as the 11,000 acre Ganaraska Forest.

The Ganarska Forest, southern Ontario's largest forest offers the best in outdoor recreation. It is a living example of how the principles of integrated resource management can be used to balance many different uses of forested lands on a sustainable and ecologically sound basis. The forest is home to the Ganaraska Forest Outdoor Education Centre, a multi-use facility that is enjoyed year-round.

With hundreds of kilometres of trails, the Ganaraska Forest provides opportunities for a variety of activities. Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and nature appreciation are popular activities throughout the Forest. Motorized activities such as off-road motorcycle riding, ATVing and snowmobiling are permitted in the West Forest and East Forest only, while the Central section of the Forest is maintained as a passive use area.

The Ganaraska Forest opened to all uses as of April 30th. Day passes or memberships are required to use the forest, and can be purchased through the Ganaraska Forest Centre (Monday-Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm) or the Gatehouse at the Centre is open for sales on weekends from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm.

So why not tie on those hiking shoes, grab a group of family or friends, and visit the forest or one of our conservation areas today! And please remember… Leave only footprints, take only pictures and memories.


Celebrate Earth Day, Everyday

April welcomes the beginning of warm spring weather, as well as the all-important Earth Day. Even though we set out a specific day to think more about our planet and how to protect it, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) is encouraging everyone to celebrate Earth Day everyday! Each small action that individuals take-on daily to protect our local watersheds makes a difference in enhancing and protecting our natural environment. Pick one environmental action that you and your family can change, and continue it year round. The GRCA has a few suggestions for you:

• Conserve water by using less water each day. Fix leaky faucets, purchase a rain barrel so you can use rainwater in your gardens, or install a soaker hose in your garden
• Replace a harsh cleaning product with a green cleaning product, or try making your own
• Plan to visit your local hazardous waste day to dispose of your household hazardous wastes
• Test your private well water with a kit obtained through the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit or the Durham Health Department
• Clean litter from storm drains, road side ditches, or streams on your property
• Plan to add native plants to your gardens, or plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds
• Plan to avoid cutting your lawn along streams, creeks or rivers that flow throughout your property
• Visit one of the nine conservation areas within the Ganaraska Region watershed or the Ganaraska Forest
• Visit Corbett’s Dam fish ladder on the Ganaraska River to see rainbow trout swim upstream to spawn

Staff at the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority participate in an Earth Day Clean-Up each year, where they pick up garbage and debris surrounding the GRCA office and Ganaraska Millennium Conservation Area.

For more information on these everyday actions you can do to enjoy, enhance and protect your local environment, contact the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority at 905-885-8173 or visit www.grca.on.ca


27th Annual OFAH/GFC Conservation Dinner Tickets Available

On Saturday, April 9th the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) will be holding their annual conservation dinner and auction at the Cobourg Lions Community Centre. Each year outdoes the last, and the Conservation Authority is anticipating another great event, with funds supporting the outdoor education program at the Ganaraska Forest Centre (GFC).

An average of 300 people take in the evening of great food, raffle draws, and both silent and live auctions; all showing their support for such a worthy investment. Auction items ranging from sports collectibles to weekend VIA Rail getaways, restaurant gift certificates to wine packages, are taken home by guests who enjoy a night out mingling with fellow community members and supporters of the Conservation Authority and outdoor education centre. The featured piece of the event will be an original framed oil painting (“Above Rosneath Landing”) by local artist Jerry Albert.

The Forest Centre houses programs for thousands of students each year and holds many public programs for visitors of all ages from the surrounding communities. The 25-plus programs offered to the school children range from Trappers and Traders to Alternative Energy, all meeting the Ontario educational curriculum and taught by Ontario-certified instructors.

Tickets are on sale now for this special evening at a price of $70.00 and must be purchased in advance. For further information on supporting this annual event through donations or sponsorship, or to purchase tickets, please call the GRCA at 905.885.8173.

 


LUSI Supports GRCA

Throughout 2015, Lakefront Utility Services Inc. (LUSI) encouraged its customers to switch to electronic billing and offered incentives and environmentally friendly reasons to persuade customers to forgo the paper bill.

...read more

 

 


GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement

Flood Potential: Low 

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that a messy winter storm is moving into southern Ontario bringing with it periods of mixed precipitation that will increase flows in local streams.

The watersheds of the GRCA are snow free, but the ground is generally saturated and will not absorb much precipitation. A wet snow mix will begin this evening and may change over to freezing rain by morning. Any accumulation of ice or snow will be melting as the rainfall arrives Thursday evening adding runoff to local streams. Total rainfall of 10-20mm is expected by Friday morning with another early spring storm expected on Monday.

This storm is expected to deliver 20-30mm of mixed precipitation that due to the saturated ground conditions will runoff quickly causing all water bodies, including ponds, streams and many ditches to be flowing higher than normal. No flooding is anticipated at this time.

Additionally, slippery stream banks, and fast flowing, cold water will create hazardous conditions around bodies of water. As a result, local streams and rivers will become dangerous, especially in the vicinity of culverts and bridges. Children should be warned to stay away from all watercourses. 

This Watershed Conditions Statement will be in effect through Tuesday, March 29, 2016. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor watershed conditions and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.


Mike Smith                                                      Mark Peacock, P.Eng.
Flood Operations Officer                                Flood Forecasting and Warning Coordinator


The Sugar Shack is Open!

Join the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) for some classic Canadian maple syrup fun at the GRCA’s Maple Syrup Day.  Make sure to mark Saturday March 26th 2016 on your calendar so that you don’t miss out on a great day out with the family at the Ganaraska Forest Centre (GFC) from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm.

Through site tours, demonstrations, stories and games, learn all about the sweet tradition of syrup production. Let the children create crafts and have their faces pained, while you enjoy live music before settling in for a pancake feast. Ferguson Farms, out of Garden Hill, will be there with syrup and other sweet products to purchase.

Admission to this event is $12 per adult and $6 per child (16 and under). Pre-registration is not required; simply purchase your tickets at the Gatehouse upon entry to GFC grounds. For further information please call the Ganaraska Forest Centre at 905.797.2721 or the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority at 905.885.8173 or email info@grca.on.ca

How to find us:  If you’re travelling from the west, exit north onto Hwy 115 from Hwy 401 and exit onto Durham Road 9 and travel east, approximately 10 km. Turn left on Cold Springs Camp Road and proceed 4 km to the GFC.  From the east, travel west off County Road 28 onto County Road 9 and proceed about 2 km west of Elizabethville, then turn right at Cold Springs Camp Road and proceed 4 km to the GFC.

 


more...

Hands-on Learning is the Best Learning 

Spring Flows: Stay Clear of Creeks, Ponds and Lakes 

GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement - February 24, 2016 

Why We Do What We Do in the Ganaraska Forest 

What's Happening Around the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority

GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement - February 2016

GRCA’s Family Cross-Country Ski Day Postponed Due to Lack of Snow 

4th Annual Kawartha Farm Stewardship Workshop 

Roughing in in Winter - The Ruffed Grouse 

GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement - January 2016 

The GRCA Invites You to Come and Learn! 

Coyote Incident in Cobourg Conservation Area: Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority Issues Reminder to Keep Dogs on Leash 

Birds of a Feather Flock Together at the Ganaraska Forest Centre 

Fish on Drugs? 

Union Gas and Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority Partner to Make the Ganaraska Millennium Conservation Area Picnic Shelter Wheelchair Assessable

GRCA Seeking Unusual Donations 

Interning at the GRCA - A Lesson in Stewardship 

Give the Gift of Nature Before Your Child Goes Back to School 

When Household Pets Become Invasive Pests 

Conservation Authorities Act Under Discussion and Review 

Get Out and Get Active! 

Giant Hogweed Clean-Up 

The Ultimate Outdoor Lover's Summer Camp is Coming! 

Turtle Time 

Want Healthier Kids? Let Them Play Outdoors! 

A Week in the Great Outdoors?! Yes Please.

Grassroots Ecology: Promoting Green Grounds in Ganaraska 

Spring E-News from the GRCA 

A Year in Review - 2014 

GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement 

Spring Water Safety 

Guaranteed Sweet Family Fun at the Ganaraska Forest Centre 

Trees for Rural Roads Applications Due Soon 

Spring Flows: Stay Clear of Creeks, Ponds and Lakes 

Clean Water and Healthy Land in a Changing Climate 

26th Annual OFAH/Ganaraska Forest Centre Conservation Dinner 

Fishes of the Ganaraska Region 

Enbridge and Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority Partner to Offer Free Workshops to Landowners to Help Enhance Green Landscaping throughout the Community 

Kawartha Farm Stewardship Workshop a Success, Despite Snow

Less Than Two Weeks Left to Order Tree Seedlings 

3rd Annual Kawartha Farm Stewardship Workshop 

GRCA Offers Several Funding Options for Spring Tree Planting 

Holiday Planning with the GRCA 

Rocky Ramp Improves Local Fish Passage 

Union Gas and GRCA Partner to Protect Ganaraska River 

Birds of Prey in the Ganaraska Forest 

Ganaraska and Trent Source Protection Plan Approved

Planning on Building on the Oak Ridges Moraine? What You Need to Know.

Sampling fish from the watercourses within the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority are: A Shocking Story

 


Township of Alnwick Haldimand Township of Cavan Monaghan Clarington Town of Cobourg Region of Durham Hamilton Township Port Hope City of Kawartha Lakes Conservation Ontario
Admin | © GRCA 2017 | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Website Powered by SiteMajic