Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Green Spaces in Urban Places (Ottawa)

Green Spaces in Urban Places - Urban (Forestry) Natural Areas Stewardship Program

A program to promote, create and sustain the Urban Green infrastructure in the City of Ottawa, while promoting other city planning programs and plans that are available. The focus of this program is to develop a methodology used to prioritize and evaluate the various urban natural areas in Ottawa for stewardship projects. A template/methodology was developed and is used to prioritize and evaluate the various areas in Ottawa for green projects.

Our Partners: Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, City of Ottawa, Carleton University (Practicum Placement Program), Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Program website: N/A

From Ottawa Stewardship Council 2011 report


Also check out the City of Ottawa's Greenspace Master Plan (pdf) - August 2006.  In it they outline strategies for Ottawa's urban greenspaces.

Image from the City of Ottawa website.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Emergant Plant Installation (Ohio)

From University of Toledo (Ohio):

"Using plant plugs to vegetate the banks of the Ottawa River. The transition zone between normal high and low water is devoid of plants.  We are working on selecting native species to inhabit this zone."

The plants that they are using include:
- Water Willow (Justica americana)
- Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
- Emory's Sedge (Carex emoryi) - video on this plant
- Prairie Cordgrass (Spartina pectinata)
- Bald Spikerush (Eleocharis erythropoda)
- Hairy Sedge (Carex lacustris)
- Gray's Sedge (Carex grayi)

Another really cool video from them:  Indiana Bat Survey

Thursday, July 19, 2012

High Line Park (NYC)

I've been to the Promenade Plantée and rejoiced about the incredible forethought this took and delighted in the magic that it is now.  It opens up amazing views that weren't available before, it allows people to see and travel the city in a completely different way and it "takes you away" even though you are still immersed in the city.

A local Ottawa blogger visited New York City this spring and got to experience the High Line Park - which is similar to the Paris park and being appreciated just as much.  While watching the movie Urbanized, I was shocked to hear that it was a battle to get this created - that even though the Paris Park had been built there were doubters about whether the old rail line in NYC could be revitalized like the Paris one.  Now that it has been built, it's effect is being felt in the city and beyond (see Huffington Post article).  All I can say is that I'm so glad that people did fight to get this built.  It's such a unique experience and has become such a success!

Read and see more in Childfree's Blog: High Line Park.  (Images from Childfree.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

depave (Portland)

From Portland Oregon:

"Depave promotes the removal of unnecessary pavement from urban areas to create community green spaces and mitigate stormwater runoff. Through community partnerships and volunteer engagement, Depave strives to overcome the social and environmental impacts of pavement with the use of action-oriented educational events, community stewardship, and advocacy to reconnect people with nature and inspire others. Depave is a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon."

Update 2014: Two Depave projects have now happened in Ottawa (Link to blog entry)!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Backyard Habitat for Wildlife

Lawrencetown has become the first municipality to be certified as "Wildlife Friendly" as part of the Canadian Wildlife Federation "Backyard Habitat" certification program.

"CWF's Backyard Habitat Certification Program recognizes the amazing efforts Canadians are taking to meet the habitat needs of wildlife and allows for properties to receive and official designation as wildlife friendly. In certifying properties, CWF ensures an outdoor space meets the needs of wildlife - food, water, shelter, space the inclusion of native plants. To date, more than 650 properties across Canada have been certified." 

Read more here: Lawrencetown Awarded Backyard Certification (East Coast Kitchen Party)

Image from East Coast Kitchen Party

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

bats + golf = hole in one

Saw this on the Weather Network earlier this year - thought it was such a great idea:

"Golf Courses Look to Bat Houses to Help Control Mosquito Population"

May 12, 2012 — Staff Writers — The last distraction any golfer needs on the course is those pesty mosquitoes. Now, several golf courses across Vancouver are hoping bats can help control those little blood-suckers.


More info here: The Weather Network

Image from The Weather Network

Thursday, July 5, 2012

bioswales for subdivisions (Ottawa)

While researching "urban streams" awhile back, I came across this information on bioswales (in Seattle): Urban Ecology's What is a Bioswale?  I've heard alot about them for cities that have high annual rainfalls like Portland and Seattle.  Bioswales are great as they provide a green buffer that act as a natural storm water collector and rain water filter.

And then just this week, I came across this application from Tartan Land Corporation in Ottawa for a bioswale/hedgerow: From the Lashley + Associates website:


"Tartan Land Corporation engaged Lashley + Associates, in collaboration with IBI Group to address issues regarding the provision of a “living fence” rear yard planting scheme of native woodlot / hedgerows in conjunction with rear yard drainage systems for Tartan’s subdivision developments.

Our firm developed a new “living fence” / drainage system detail called a Bio-retention Cell System based on existing research, case studies and successful installations in other locales. The bio-retention cell and the living fence have been combined to meet the goals for the subdivision rear yard design and address the City’s issues."

Lashley + Associates also did the amazing xeriscape courtyard design that I featured earlier in this blog for Environment Canada: D + C: More Xeriscaping!

P.S. Check out my latest "urban wild" nature blog: Wild. Here. (2016 update)