Volunteers wanted for Healthy Watersheds Project
Ecology Ottawa is looking for volunteers to get involved in this great local improvement initiative. The Healthy Watersheds project will engage Ecology Ottawa volunteers to get their hands
dirty for the sake of healthy rivers. Neighbourhood Teams, working within the context of the
Ecology Ottawa Community Network, will be encouraged to “adopt-a-stream” and will be
provided with the support needed to run events and improve the health of the watershed in
their neighbourhood through practical means, including creek/stream clean-ups, rain barrel
installations, permeable pavements, and rain gardens.
Why we need the Healthy Watersheds project
Our local streams provide essential health services by keeping our water clean and our rivers
and beaches accessible. Streams also provide important recreational benefits and opportunities
to spend time in nature and are cornerstones of local ecosystems. Over 23 creeks and streams
run through communities across Ottawa. The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s (RVCA)
City Stream Watch program performs thorough assessments of these streams every 6 years
and coordinates restoration projects on 3-4 streams per year. These stewardship activities are
dependent on volunteer help. The annual monitoring and clean-up work is coordinated under
a program called Adopt-a-Stream. To date, 2 of the 23+ streams in Ottawa have been adopted.
Ecology Ottawa can help increase that number.
What Healthy Watershed Teams will do
Through the Healthy Watersheds project, Ecology Ottawa will support the work of the RVCA
by enabling community teams to Adopt-a-Stream in their neighbourhood. Ecology Ottawa
Community Organizers will reach out to the community, establish Neighbourhood Teams,
organize training days and hold events to clean up and care for Ottawa’s rivers and streams.
Ecology Ottawa will coordinate getting volunteers out to the clean-up events and provide
teams with the resources they need. For communities that cannot adopt a stream due to lack of
access, the Neighbourhood Teams will organize hands-on demonstrations of installations of rain
barrels, permeable pavements, or rain gardens. Four to six Healthy Watersheds Neighbourhood
Teams will be established each year and each team will initiate a clean-up initiative.
Ecology Ottawa will partner with several organizations with expertise and interest in protecting
Ottawa’s watersheds, including the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, the Ottawa River
Keeper, the City of Ottawa, Nature Canada and the Master Gardeners of Ottawa.