Category: News

LDD Moth Featured Image

Protect our Village Green and Jubilee Garden trees from defoliation

Protect our Village Green and Jubilee Garden trees from defoliation

This year, again, we are expecting that the spongy moth caterpillars (formerly the LDD moth) will hatch out in force and start to eat the newly emerged leaves on our trees.  The city has provided burlap to wrap trees in city parks (for Rockcliffe, that will be the Village Green and Jubilee Garden).  We need residents to volunteer to help wrap trees and then “adopt” one or more trees.  We don’t know yet when the caterpillars will emerge from their yellow egg masses but it will be in May. 

Volunteer to visit your tree(s) daily in the afternoon between 4 and 7 pm to remove the caterpillars from under the burlap and drop them into a container with water and a few drops of detergent.

We need between 15 and 25 people to save our park trees from defoliation.  If you will volunteer, please email environment@rockcliffepark.ca  and/or come to the Stone Circle at 6:00 pm (18H00) on Monday May 16. 

Additional information on the caterpillar and its control can be found www.ottawa.ca/spongymoth and the city’s burlap wrapping technique are available on the RPRA website under the Environment tab.  For private trees and those on your municipal frontage, a supply of burlap coffee bags, courtesy Bridgehead, will be available on May 16.

And, if the trees on your property still have egg masses, it is not too late to scrape them into a container of detergent and water and let them sit for 24-88 hours and then discard – in the garbage or flush them down the toilet.

 

LDD Moth Featured Image

Spongy Moth (LDD) Best Practices

Spongy Moth (LDD) Best Practices

Now that winter snow has finally melted, it is time once again to turn our attention back to very hungry caterpillars that will soon be coming to a neighbourhood or tree near you. The name may have changed from Gypsy to LDD to now Spongy Moth, but it is still the same invasive insect. Depending on the level of threat, the following is a list of comprehensive strategies that, if followed (in whole or in part), will safeguard vulnerable trees until the current infestation collapses in 1-3 years. Most of the strategies are time sensitive so, as we move into spring, it is important to get outside, enjoy some fresh air and take a good look at trees in your neighbourhood. If you see little tan coloured egg masses, then start preparing to do battle.

 

LDD moth egg massesSearch and Destroy Egg Masses (Sept – April)

Egg masses are laid in mid to late summer and will remain dormant until the following spring when trees start to bud new leaves. Tan in colour, these fuzzy masses can range in size from 1-5 cm and contain between 100 to 1000 eggs, and so time spent hunting and removing them is vital. The original Gypsy Moth name was given because of their ability to travel by attaching to the underside of various movable objects such as firewood, trailers, outdoor furniture, etc. but most can be found on tree trunks and any sheltered location out of direct sun and rain.

The masses themselves are very fragile and care must be taken to remove the entire mass since eggs that fall to the ground can still hatch. This is one of the reasons why power washers or garden hoses are not recommended for removal.

 


Areas of low infestation: If there are only a few egg masses present, they are just as important to find and remove since this can slow or even eliminate new pockets of infestation from becoming established. Using a dull knife, scrape the mass into a plastic container and use an old toothbrush to clean up any remaining residue. The small eggs are close to the surface on which the mass is laid so give it a good brush especially on rough surfaces with crevices. Once collected, it is critically important to destroy the eggs by soaking them in soapy water or bleach for several days before disposal.

 

 

 


Image courtesy of the City of Toronto

Areas of high infestation: If infested trees are far from a power source them scraping is effective but time consuming. For urban locations within reach of an extension cord a wet/dry vacuum with a filter bag and crevice attachment is highly recommended. The shopvac removes the entire mass in a fraction of the time. For awkward hard to reach masses that are low to the ground or overhead, nothing gets left behind. For high tree locations or under the eaves of homes, a modified extension pole can be added, eliminating the need for ladders. A 20-foot (or longer) window cleaning extension pole can be purchased online, or a 16-foot pool skimmer extension pole can be purchased at Canadian Tire for roughly $30. Cut the ends and wrap with tape to fit the vacuum hose. This method of removal with cordless vacuums is currently being utilized by various municipalities. Since one vacuum can quickly clean up multiple properties, consider getting together with neighbours to share both equipment cost and labour. As with hand scraping, it is even more vital that once the vacuum bag is full, it is soaked in soapy water or bleach until all eggs are killed before disposal.


Taping Trees (Late April) Before the hatch, tape all vulnerable trees to prevent ground level 1st instar caterpillars from ever reaching the tree canopy. On rough tree bark, it is recommended to first apply a strip of polyester batting to fill in voids. Secure the strip with one tight band of duct tape sticky side in. The batting can be purchased from Fabricland or ordered online and cut into approx. 2” wide strips. Next apply a 4 to 6 inch wide band of all-weather exterior duct tape, sticky side out. Not all duct tapes are the same so make sure you use a tape made for exterior use so it will remain sticky for several weeks. This band forms an impassible barrier for young caterpillars many of which will just crawl onto the tape and get stuck. Later in the season if the tape does lose its stickiness and larger caterpillars attempt to cross, products like Tanglefoot can be applied to again make the tape impassible. Some conservation authorities are advising against the use of sticky bands though their concerns relate primarily to bands made from very adhesive fly paper like material that can sometimes trap birds and small mammals.

Note: Batting is not required when taping smooth bark trees and if exterior duct tape is not available some experts suggest taping with plastic food wrap coated in Vaseline or lard. This method is effective though unsightly since it is much wider and collects more debris over the summer months.


Steven Katovich, Bugwood.org

Day of the Hatch (Late April to Early May) In this region hatching normally begins early May coinciding with the emergence of new tree leaves. Depending on environmental conditions like a warm dry spring and the specific location of the egg mass (sunny fence vs. shady rock), timing can vary. When caterpillars first hatch, they often remain clustered around egg masses for the first 24 hrs, making hidden masses much easier to spot. Strong pesticides are not recommended for LDD moths because they also kill beneficial insects and parasitoids that feed on caterpillars. However, on this one day, blasting hundreds of clustered tiny caterpillars with a single shot of Raid is advisable and forgivable. This is very time sensitive since they can disperse at any time so be on the lookout. Unfortunately, not all newly hatched caterpillars can be intercepted. Once on the move, they are drawn towards light and will climb upward searching for new leaves. If they climb to the top of an untaped tree and it is a host species they prefer, they will settle in and begin feeding. If they climb a house, light pole, tall fence, or tree species that they do not feed on, then the tiny caterpillars drop down on a silken thread and let the wind balloon them to a new location. This process repeats until the caterpillar finds an appropriate host or perishes within approx. 7 days. This is one good reason to hope for calm rainy weather during hatching because caterpillars can balloon many kilometers though most only travel very short distances.


Spraying Btk (Mid May) Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk) is a naturally occurring soil bacterium that affects the digestive system of leaf eating caterpillars and is not harmful to other insects or mammals. Once ingested, a young caterpillar stops feeding and dies within days. When in stock, it can be purchased in a concentrated form at most garden supply stores. Starting mid to late May, spray Btk on reachable foliage of vulnerable trees. Repeat weekly or after heavy rain for 3-4 weeks. Cities like Toronto that have well established control programs, do aerial spraying of Btk over heavily infested areas.

 

 

 


Image courtesy of the City of Toronto

Injecting TreeAzin (Mid May) For certain high value, vulnerable, or previously stressed trees it is possible to inoculate with a product called TreeAzin. This is the same product and method used to treat for the Emerald Ash Borer. When injected under the bark, the trees’ arteries carry this natural product up into the leaves and it acts much like Btk. For very tall trees unreachable by ground spraying and in the absence of aerial Btk spraying, this expensive treatment can be a good option for some property owners wanting to protect high value trees.

 

 

 

 


Collecting Caterpillars (Early June – mid July) As summer temperatures increase, maturing caterpillars begin to move down out of the canopy in the early morning to escape heat and predators and climb back up in the evening to feed throughout the night. On taped trees they are blocked from climbing and can easily be collected each day as they gather below the tape. There are various good methods of collection but since the caterpillar’s small hairs can cause an allergic reaction it is advisable to never touch with exposed skin. One of the caterpillar’s natural defenses actually works in your favour. When disturbed by a potential predator the caterpillar will just drop to the ground. By placing a container (recommend a plastic measuring cup with a handle) filled with an inch or two of soapy water under the caterpillar and brushing it lightly (recommend a stiff long handle artists brush for better reach), the caterpillar will just drop into the container. The soap in the water lessens the surface tension and the caterpillar sinks to the bottom and drowns. During times of very heavy infestation, a shopvac can be used to suck up caterpillars. Smelly but very effective.


Burlap Traps (Early June) For trees that have not been taped or have signs of feeding above the tape by caterpillars that have ballooned in or dropped from surrounding trees, it is time to wrap. On taped trees, the duct tape bands stop caterpillars already in the canopy from reaching the ground and many just turn around and head back up. Some experts recommend removing the tape for this reason but if the tape is still sticky (e.g. with supplemental Tanglefoot), then it is recommended to place the burlap above the tape for double protection. Daily or as often as desired, clean up caterpillars gathering under the burlap and below the tape. Towards the end of the season, if caterpillars are dying under the burlap from virus or fungus (explanation to follow), consider leaving all in place to spread infection.

 

How to wrap: Measure the tree’s circumference with twine and then using the twine, cut burlap to size. Wrap the tree and tie the twine tightly just below centre of the burlap. Fold the top down over the bottom forming an overlapping skirt. The caterpillars can climb down over the wrap but get trapped in the folds on the way back up. Fabric other than burlap can be used but burlap is the most effective since the caterpillar’s hairs get snagged by the burlap’s loose fibres.


Milan Zubrik, Forest Research Institute – Slovakia, Bugwood.org

Pupae Clean Up (Mid-June-July) Exactly when caterpillars begin to pupate depends on a variety of factors. If the weather is dry and cool and caterpillar numbers are so great that they overwhelm predators, caterpillars can feed continuously 24/7 maturing in mid-June. If conditions are less favourable, it can occur much later. The male caterpillars go through 5 stages of development called instars and females go through 6 instars taking an extra 7-10 days to mature. This is why most of the really big caterpillars you see at the end of the season are female. They form larger pupae and since each female moth can potentially represent 400+ new caterpillars, it is these pupae that are the most valuable to destroy. Again, a shopvac is an excellent tool for collecting the pupae. Burlap can be removed at this point but leave the tape up to stop late season stragglers. If you have a lot of burlap laden with live pupae, line a trash pail with trash bag and place burlap inside. Move the pail to a suitable location and fill with soapy water to cover. After several days, tip the pail to drain, tie off the bag and you are ready for disposal.

 


What Not to Clean Up (Late June-July) No matter how many egg masses or caterpillars you destroy once LDD moths are established in an area, the best you can do is lessen the permanent damage done to trees until naturally occurring or introduced control measures collapse the population. It is also the presence of these controls in the environment that suppress caterpillar populations long-term, ensuring new infestations cannot reoccur for many years. So what shouldn’t you clean up?

 

David Cappaert, Bugwood.org

 

 

Dead caterpillars hanging in an upside down ‘V’: This caterpillar has died from the NPV virus which is highly infectious and kills up to 75% of caterpillars under dense population conditions. Interesting fact: This virus changes the caterpillar’s behaviour causing it to climb high before it dies. The cadavers liquify, raining down virus on leaves and caterpillars below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dead shrivelled caterpillars hanging head down: This caterpillar has died from E. maimaiga or ‘insect eater’ fungus. First introduced to North America from Japan, it is present in the soil and, under the right weather conditions, kills caterpillars throughout the summer. Decomposing caterpillars release overwintering spores back into the soil for next spring.

 

 

 

 

Small yellowish rice sized cocoons:  These belong to parasitic wasps that attack only young caterpillars.

Stinkbugs, spiders, and beetles of various description:  All are active predators of LDD caterpillars during different stages of development.

In combination, all of these insect predators, parasitoids, and pathogens along with birds and mammals are what collapses LDD populations within 1-3 years of an outbreak and keeps caterpillar numbers in check between sporadic infestations. It is also why the use of broadband pesticides is strongly discouraged because their use can actually extend the length of an infestation.

 


 

Helping Trees Recover (June – Sept) The goal of all LDD control efforts is to lessen stress on trees so that they can fully recover. If defoliation occurs early in the summer most deciduous trees can “reflush” new leaves. However, this often requires more energy than the new leaves produce. The application of fertilizer immediately after defoliation actually encourages a larger flush of new growth further depleting the trees’ reserves. What the trees need most is the lessening of other stresses. During periods of drought, water affected trees heavily once per week and avoid compressing or disturbing soil around their root systems. A well-balanced fertilizer can be applied very late in the fall to give trees a boost for the following spring. For particularly hard-hit prominent trees, consider aggressive Btk spraying or TreeAzin injections for the following spring since repeated heavy defoliations can eventually kill even the strongest tree.

 

Females Emerge (Early July) – As female moths begin to emerge, destroy them before they mate or finish laying eggs. A sharp stick works well at ground level and a shopvac with extension pole is highly efficient sucking up those overhead. The highly visible white females remain stationary for several days while laying so they and their new eggs are easier targets than egg masses alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pheromone Traps (July)There is conflicting information as to the effectiveness of pheromone traps in reducing the scale of a localized infestation. Commercial traps are extremely expensive when considering the relative few male moths they trap. If high potency pheromone baits can be acquired and used in DIY (Do It Yourself) Pan or Bottle traps, then the cost per male moth killed drops dramatically but it is still not a very effective control measure since even one male can fertilize multiple females. In areas of high infestation, pheromone traps do have substantial value in that they draw annoying zigzagging male moths away from people enjoying outdoor spaces.


Sunset

Enjoy a Well-Earned Rest (Aug– Nov) Until the leaves fall making egg masses more visible, take some time off to consider how many trees you may have helped save. With luck the infestation will collapse this fall and hungry caterpillars will just be a bad memory next summer.

Confirmation of Designation of Mile Circle and Aviation Museum Area as Lands to be Preserved from Development

Mile Circle and Aviation Museum Area Lands to be Preserved from Development

The following response was received to a request seeking confirmation that Mile Circle and lands to the east of Birch St and lands around the Aviation Museum and the Rockcliffe Park Airport whose designations have been changed to allow for development will be preserved as green space.

Dear Ms. McAllister,

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to the NCC regarding the lands in the Mile Circle and Aviation Museum Area identified in the City of Ottawa’s new Official Plan. Mr. Nussbaum asked me to follow-up with you and provide you with additional information.

Under the National Capital Act, the planning authority for these federal lands is the National Capital Commission. The Capital Urban Lands Plan (2015) designates the lands in the subject area as Capital Urban Greenspace, Cultural Institution & Facility, and Other Federal Facility, which is in keeping with their capital functions.

One of the principal comments that the NCC has made in regards to the City of Ottawa’s New Official Plan is that the NCC’s planning authority, land use designations and policies must be respected where the NCC and City of Ottawa’s plans show overlap. We are continuing to work with the City to achieve this objective, and look forward to reviewing the next draft of the New Official Plan when it is released in the coming weeks.

As part of our review, the NCC noted that some lands along the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway – including Mile Circle – had been changed from Major Open Space to Neighbourhoods. We provided written comments to the City, and raised the issue in discussion with City staff. We have received confirmation that this was an inaccuracy and that the appropriate lands will appear as Greenspace in the next iteration of the New Official Plan.

Last, the City is not proposing any changes to the underlying zoning of the lands at this time, and the NCC always remains the land use planning authority for these federal lands.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Kind regards,

 

Émilie Ruel
Manager, Public consultations

Gestionnaire, Consultations publiques

National Capital Commission
Commission de la capitale nationale

Gypsy Moth Caterpillar Update June 16, 2021

This is a brief recap of the invasive gypsy moth and its caterpillar stages and its impact on our trees.

It is not too late to wrap trees in burlap or any breathable fabric. or with a combination of sticky tape with shiny tape top and bottom.  Bridgehead is donating coffee bags (burlap) and as supplies arrive, I will send out an email to tell where they can be picked up.  Some people are also spreading a one-to two-inch wide band of vegetable shortening and they are finding that the caterpillars will not cross it (this latter technique may be useful for trees that have deep bark indentations).  At the end of the infestation, it will be necessary to wash the sticky tape and/or shortening off the tree with a detergent and water solution.

Prepare a pail of water with some dishwashing detergent― the detergent helps dissolve the wax that keeps the breathing holes on the caterpillar’s side from closing; water enters the caterpillar and it drowns.  The caterpillars will crawl under the burlap at night.

We are asking people to adopt a tree or two.  In parks or street trees, mark the burlap with your name or initials (so others know that you are returning to remove the caterpillars) and monitor it as often as possible.

When handling the caterpillars, wear gloves as the hairs carry a histamine that can provoke an allergic reaction similar to poison ivy.  As the caterpillar goes from one instar to the next, the cast skins break down and the hairs are blowing around. So wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and maybe even a hat when out walking or controlling the caterpillars.  Seek medical attention if the blisters are severe.

The caterpillar poop (frass) sticks to the paint of cars so you may want to park in a sheltered place.  Sweep up the frass and spread it on grass of a flower bed – it is fertilizer!

At this stage, the caterpillars are probably descending from the leaves at night and resting on the ground or at the base of the tree so checking your tree from 5 pm until dark and even after dark with a flashlight will net you a good haul of 2-3 inch caterpillars.  Then check the tree again in the morning when it starts to warm up:  7:30-9 am is a good time.  And, if you can, checking during the daytime also helps because the caterpillars will move around.

This moth has 5 stages of caterpillar growth (instars) if a male and 6 if female (she eats more to lay down fat to produce her 300+ eggs later this year).

We are about half- to three-quarters of the way through the caterpillars’ eating phases and as one caterpillar eats up to one square metre of leaf surface between hatching and pupating, it is important to continue monitoring our trees.

The caterpillars will start to pupate any time now from late June or early July; this is a good time to look for the brown hard-cased pupae and flick them into a pail of detergent and water along with any remaining live caterpillars. Check any surface: walls, tires, car wheel wells, eaves, undersurface of branches and especially the trunks of trees.

 

In the meantime, all is not lost for the defoliated trees. WATER YOUR TREES frequently but DO NOT add fertilizer to the water or sprinkle fertilizer around the tree. Leaf loss is a stress and combined with this spring drought, the impact is doubled. Fertilizer promotes new woody growth but you want leaves only. The tree has to ‘make a decision’ whether or not to use its starch reserves on new leaves and water helps promote re-leaf. The 2021 new leaves will be smaller and from the tree’s perspective, that is good. However, conifers, especially pines and spruces, may not survive because their reserves are in the needles which have now been eaten and they cannot replace the needles this year.

If it rains a bit more, a naturally-occurring fungus that multiplies in cool, wet weather will start attacking the caterpillars. A naturally-occurring virus may also show up.

Caterpillars hanging limply on the tree trunk head down or in a V-shape are being attacked by these diseases. This is normal and is to be celebrated by not removing the infected ones; nature’s biological control is in progress.

The adults will emerge from the pupal cases in August, mate (the adults fly in search of females, the females normally do not fly) and the female lays the eggs in a yellow soft and furry mass.  At that point, we should begin the egg scraping and destruction process all over again.

Together, we can lessen the impact – so please keep up your good work and encourage others to join in (see picture below).

Skating at Jubilee Garden

Skating at Jubilee Garden Winter 2021

Our community offers many opportunities for enjoying winter sports – skating, cross-country skiing, tobogganing and walking through the Rockeries and other NCC lands adjacent to Rockcliffe Park. Skating is at our Jubilee Garden skating rink, MacKay Lake and the (mostly) hockey rink beside the Rockcliffe Park Fieldhouse, located at Rockcliffe Park Public School. Thanks to the Hosers for maintaining the Jubilee Garden rink and the school rink. See here for more information about hours at Jubilee Garden and the school rink.

RPRA’s Rockcliffe Park Tennis Club Update June 2020

RPRA’s Update re Rockcliffe Lawn Tennis Club Lighting

June 22, 2020

 

Context

 

The Rockcliffe Park Residents Association received dozens of letters, emails and calls in April, May and June 2020 from neighbours arguing strongly for and against the Rockcliffe Lawn Tennis Club (RLTC) plan to install lighting. This debate has caused controversy in our community.

 

On that basis, the RPRA would like to take the opportunity to update the community on the current situation, provide facts, outline actions and clarify the RPRA’s role.

 

Objecting opinions to tennis club lighting can be broadly summarised as follows:

 

  • Concern that tennis club court lighting would add significant light pollution, and accompanying increased noise traffic into the night which would detrimentally impact the quality of life, and property value of all surrounding residential neighbours.
  • Concern that introducing bright lighting would be incompatible with the unique and protected nighttime character of the village. Tennis court lighting would not to be compatible with the Rockcliffe Park Heritage Plan.
  • Concern over the impact of bright lighting on sensitive wildlife and nature in the area.

 

In contrast, the RLTC and supporters of tennis club lighting argue that:

  • Tennis court lighting would not have a significant negative impact on surrounding neighbours, and the overall nighttime character of the village.
  • Tennis court lighting would help the club compete for members with other tennis clubs.
  • Tennis court lighting would provide a benefit to the community, by promoting active living and allowing for shared enjoyment and interaction into the evening.
  • The Heritage Plan lists the tennis club as a “Heritage Attribute” to the Heritage Conservation District, and does not specifically restrict tennis court lighting.

 

Community members have offered their views, and turned to the RPRA for information and guidance.

 

The RPRA’s role is “to foster a spirit of community within the Village, to preserve and enhance its unique natural environment and its special heritage character, and to represent the interests of Rockcliffe residents.” The guiding principle of the RPRA is its commitment to the three, linked core values: Heritage, Community and Environment. The RPRA’s articles provide that the purpose of the RPRA is “to provide any service or carry out any activity whatsoever tending to the benefit of the residents of the Heritage Conservation District of Rockcliffe Park, in the City of Ottawa, Ontario.

 

The volunteers of the RPRA board and RPRA committees have spent an extraordinary amount of time and effort over the last several months listening to all voices in the community.

 

This document provides a factual overview of the background, and current situation.

 

Timeline

 

  • Consultation with the RPRA Heritage Committee and community prior to submitting a Heritage Permit application to the City of Ottawa is strongly encouraged, but there is no legal obligation for Heritage Permit applicants to do so. The RLTC did not enter into a consultation process with the Heritage Committee or neighbours prior to submitting an application for a Heritage Permit application to the City of Ottawa for tennis court lighting in April

 

  • The City of Ottawa and the (then) Ward Councillor did not notify the RPRA Heritage Committee of the RLTC application upon receipt. The City of Ottawa also did not notify or consult with the RPRA Heritage Committee during their review and approval process. Note: there is a legal obligation for the City to notify the public of all heritage applications except those that the City heritage staff deem to accord with the conditions under which the City staff can exercise Delegated Authority.

 

  • The RPRA and the wider community therefore only became aware of the application after the Heritage Permit was granted under Delegated Authority on 3 May 2018. The permit was granted on the basis of the 1997 Rockcliffe Park Heritage Conservation District Guidelines, not the Rockcliffe Park Heritage Conservation District Plan, which only came into full force in May 2019.

 

  • The RPRA became aware of the growing discontent within the community in 2019, and the president of the RPRA sent a letter to the RLTC in early Dec 2019 asking the tennis club to consider foregoing their lighting plans: “The essential equation, in short, is the long-standing heritage character of our community and the legitimate interests of close neighbours vs. the desire of some members to play later … than has been the practice in the past.”

 

  • Due to the Covid-19 crisis, a public information meeting planned by the RLTC for the 25 March 2020 was cancelled.

 

  • In April 2020, neighbours of the tennis club legally challenged the City with regards to the approval process for the Heritage Permit, arguing that the RLTC application did not meet the criteria for Delegated Authority, and that the Heritage Permit was therefore invalid. The City’s legal department maintained that their decision was legal.

 

  • The RLTC has committed to the community in an open letter on 2 May 2020 that: “… the (RLTC) Board has decided to hold off on further project development until there has been ample discussion.”

 

  • Subsequently, the Heritage Permit expired on 3 May 2020 (two years after approval), as confirmed by the City of Ottawa. Neighbours withdrew their legal challenge.

 

  • A group of individuals distributed a collection of letters on 9 June 2020, asking residents to email the RPRA and state their objection to any future lighting plans by the RLTC.

 

 

Current situation

 

 

The RLTC currently has no Heritage Permit for any court lighting, and it is currently unknown to the RPRA if or when the RLTC will pursue future lighting plans.

 

As a matter of policy, the RPRA and its Heritage Committee generally do not comment on hypothetical or future applications.  Instead, the RPRA (through its Heritage Committee) only provides comments on specific cases, when:

 

  • An applicant approaches the RPRA Heritage Committee informally prior to the submission of a Heritage Permit application. This is an informal and confidential pre-consultation allowing the applicant to better understand the Heritage Plan, and decide if or how to proceed with a Heritage Permit application to the City of Ottawa.

 

  • The Heritage Planning Branch of the City of Ottawa invites the RPRA Heritage Committee (and Ward Councillor) to comment as part of a coordinated, formal consultation process upon receipt of an application. Any comments the RPRA Heritage Committee provides are only shared with the City’s Heritage Planning Branch at that stage. The City’s Heritage Planning Branch is solely responsible for preparing a recommendation to the Built Heritage Sub Committee, and City Council.

 

The RPRA and its Heritage Committee have no decision-making authority in the Heritage Permit process. Only the City of Ottawa can grant Heritage Permits for Rockcliffe Park.

 

The RPRA Heritage Committee fairly evaluates any specific proposal on its own merits, based on the provisions of the Rockcliffe Park Heritage Plan and in line with the above policies.

 

The RPRA is bound by its mandate and commitment to uphold the Heritage Plan which recognises the importance of subdued nighttime illumination. The visible night sky, lack of glare, light pollution/spillage and a dimly-lit visual environment are important, defining aspects of our unique neighbourhood that the Heritage Plan seeks to protect. Any lighting that materially diminishes or alters the nighttime character of Rockcliffe Park is in conflict with the purpose and intent of the Heritage Plan.

 

There are legitimate and fundamental concerns regarding tennis court lighting in the sensitive location of the RLTC. The RPRA appealed to the RLTC in the past not to pursue future lighting plans in recognition of our protected nighttime environment, and in the spirit of being a good neighbour.

 

The RPRA has offered assistance in seeking alternative ways of improving the club’s membership without the need for court lighting at the RLTC location. The RPRA values the tennis club as an important community facility, and is looking forward to continued dialogue and partnership for the next 97 years.

 

 

 

 

Resources to help us through COVID-19

Getting through COVID-19: Public Health information, grocery availability, deliveries, diversions for kids and adults  

Please patronize our local businesses, especially independent ones, during this difficult time. We want them around after the COVID-19 outbreak. If you have updates to the following, please let us know at communications@rockcliffepark.ca


See and download our printable Word file HERE for local restaurants, florists, specialty shops and other small businesses offering take-out, curbside pick-up and delivery.


 

Please look out for your neighbours at this time, especially anyone living alone!

If you are unable to help a neighbour who needs extra support, please contact RPRA at membership@rockcliffepark.ca with details. 

Please be careful and vigilant about social distancing. For those who have been travelling, we thank you for staying at home for 14 days and not leaving for shopping or visits. If you need help, email membership@rockcliffepark.ca or see the other coronavirus news item on this website Resources to help us through COVID-19.

Most City of Ottawa facilities (including libraries, arenas, pools) are closed. The Rockcliffe Park Library remains closed. National museums are closed, until further notice.

 

Public Health information

The city’s COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre is at Brewer Park Arena. The adjacent building, formerly home to the Westboro Academy, is also part of the Community Assessment Centre. Signage directs people to the appropriate place upon entering Brewer Park from Bronson Ave.

If you are experiencing severe symptoms, please visit the hospital emergency. Ottawa Public Health will continue to oversee the city’s overall response to COVID-19.

Links about COVID-19: 

The city has set up a website specifically about coronavirus/COVID-19 to provide accurate, up-to-date information: OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Coronavirus.

Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health for Public Health Ottawa, has provided a useful video for residents about COVID-19:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R8eFiXq3aE.

Ontario Ministry of Health  

The Ministry of Health has developed an information sheet about the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to inform Ontarians about the virus, how they can protect themselves and what to do if they think they have contracted the 2019 novel coronavirus. The information sheet is available in multiple languages. Visit this link to find information in your preferred language!

Health Canada/Public Health Agency of Canada  

Ottawa Public Health issued a  Letter to Community Associations  / Letter to Community Associations_fr covering Social Distancing, Self-Isolation and assistance available through the City’s Human Needs Taskforce, detailed in this fact sheet –  EMERG_2020-COVID19_FactSheet_HumanNeedsTaskForce_8.5×11

What to do if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19
COVID-19 can cause very mild to severe illness consisting of fever, and/or cough, other upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and difficulty breathing (shortness of breath).

If your symptoms are MILD: 

  • Stay home, self-isolate and contact your manager 
  • Call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 or your health care provider 
  • Call your health care provider or a walk-in clinic prior to visiting them in person 

If your symptoms are SEVERE: 

  • Contact your health care provider first (if available) 
  • If you cannot reach your health care provider, go to the hospital emergency department and pay attention to special signage 

If you have any further questions about COVID-19, talk with your health care provider or call 613-580-6744 to speak to a public health nurse.

Help slow the spread of COVID-19
Coronavirus is spread through droplets, which travel a limited distance before falling to the ground. You can minimize your risk of contracting COVID-19 by: 

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
  • Avoiding hand-to-face contact, particularly their eyes, nose, and mouth, unless you have just washed their hands.
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hands.  
  • Staying home if you are ill.
  • Maintaining a distance of about two meters or more if you encounter someone who is ill or who appears to be ill. 

If you have travelled outside Canada, specific information on Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 page should be followed upon your return to protect you, your family and our community.  The federal government advises against all non-essential travel.  Upon returning, check the latest guidance for those who have travelled outside Canada.

 

Grocery Deliveries

Beechwood Market (our neighbourhood’s online farmer’s market) offers online shopping for local produce and products.  The Market offers $7 local delivery to Rockcliffe Park’s postal codes. You can also arrange for curbside pick-ups on Saturdays at 131b Beechwood Ave (other half of the Bridgehead). 

Metro offers on-line ordering and delivery through Inabuggy.

Farm Boy restocks shelves daily and has lots of food, but does not offer delivery or online shopping.

Loblaws offers on-line ordering with express pick-up, ideally for seniors or those in isolation. Go to https://www.loblaws.ca/pcexpress and sign in at the top of your screen with a PC ID (or create one). You then drive in to collect your bagged order for a small fee (from McArthur Ave location, 613 744-0705). Loblaws will also deliver your online order if you sign up at https://www.loblaws.ca/delivery.

Epicuria is open Monday to Friday 10:30am to 4:30pm and Saturday 9:30am to 1:30pm. They also take telephone orders, online orders, arrange for store-front pick-up and they deliver. They ask that delivery be for customers who are unable to go out or who should not go out.  If you’d like to place an order for meal deliveries or curbside pickup, please use the delivery form or call (613) 745-7356 ext 225 or ext 221

Jacobsons is open and also offers curb-side pick-ups and online shopping and delivery. Call 613 746-6002 to arrange.

Muckleston & Brockwell are open 11:30 am daily, but closed Mondays. They welcome orders and can deliver to your car: 613-745-2244 or andrew@mucklestonandbrockwell.com

Nature’s Buzz organic foods is open Mon to Sat 9-6 and Sun 11-5, 613 842 0280

Byward Fruit & Vegetable Market, Saslove’s Meat Market, Lapointe’s Fish Market and House of Cheese have teamed together to offer telephone shopping and delivery. Call Byward (613.241.6542) or Saslove’s (241.9266) or email bfm1@on.aibn.com to place your order. They will put it together and phone you back for your payment by phone. Then, for a small fee, you get your order delivered.

Bread and Roses is open from Mon – Sat 8 am – 6 pm and Sun 9 am – 5 pm.  Online shopping is available.

Ottawa Organics is an online-only service that provides organic fruit, vegetables and a lot more. Delivery to your home is on Fridays. Due to a high volume of orders, current order deadline is Monday, 9pm. This deadline is subject to change.

McKeen’s Metro in the Glebe offers online shopping and pick-up or delivery. Note that delivery is available for most Rockcliffe addresses east of the lake, but not for many of us west of the lake.

Mariposa Farms offer duck (their specialty) and local produce. They have a weekly produce list to order from and make contactless porch/home deliveries.  Here’s the website and facebook page for contacting him if you are interested:

On-line resources for delivery

Instacart – Delivery from Staples, Superstore, Walmart, Loblaws, Shopper’s Drug Mart and others.

Inabuggy – Delivery from Metro, Costco, Petsmart, Loblaws, M&M, Canadian Tire and others. Has an app too.

Delivery and pick-up from local restaurants – For take-out food from neighbourhood businesses (part of the City of Ottawa initiative to promote Ottawa businesses during the COVID-19 crisis), click here.

 

Seniors’-only shopping to reduce risk of exposure

Metro Beechwood, as of Sunday, March 22, offers Seniors’ Hour from 7 – 8 am daily (best to bring ID).

Loblaws (McArthur) offers Seniors’ (65+) Hour from 7 – 8 am daily (no ID required); also for disabled shoppers.

Hess’ Your Independent Grocer, 596 Montreal Rd. offers Seniors’ Hour 7 – 8 am daily, with proof of ID being over 65.

Walmart (Trainyards) starting March 23, offers 7 – 8 am week-day shopping for seniors (65+), disabled and those with vulnerable health conditions.

 

Pharmacies: prescription deliveries and resources 

Guardian Drugs (Beechwood at Crichton) offers telephone prescription fulfillment (749.4444) and free delivery. Deliveries of store and over-the-counter items cost $5 for delivery on orders less than $20, unless you are also buying prescription drugs with the other items, in which case delivery is free. Wednesday is Seniors day (55+) offering a discount of 20% on store items.

The new Beechwood Whole Health Pharmacy at the Kavanaugh Building will fulfill prescriptions and deliver free: 613-842-7455 ask for Peter.

Costco Pharmacy Online takes prescription orders at Costcopharmacy.ca, 24 hours a day. Your order will be delivered free to your home via Canada Post Expedited Parcel, which takes three to five business days. To register for this service, go to https://www.costcopharmacy.ca/Login.aspx 

Pharmacists can now assess and treat a growing number of conditions. Talk to a pharmacist to see if s/he can treat your health concern. Shoppers Drug Mart has partnered with SilverCloud Health to offer an online stress management program through their digital mental health platform. Consider free mental health resources available through Shoppers’ website.  If you don’t have your own physician, consider using ShoppersDrugMart.ca, a free virtual walk-in clinic. Rexall’s well.ca also offers online assistance from a pharmacist. 

If you need to see your doctor, consider asking if they have virtual care options available in their practice.

 

Planning to Grow your Own Food?

Terra Edibles, heirloom seeds just south of Ottawa, in Foxboro, at https://www.terraedibles.ca/

Greta’s seeds, local and organic https://www.seeds-organic.com

Robert Plante Greenhouse in Navan, taking online orders with curbside pick up. Robertplantegreenhouses.com

Tournesol, local and organic seeds https://www.fermetournesol.qc.ca/en/

Ritchies: is open to customers. Curbside pick-ups. http://www.ritchiefeed.com/covid-19-updates/

Ontario native plants: pre-order plants, and fruit bushes, etc, but not seeds, www.onplants.ca 

Veseys: seeds, veg plants, flowers- high demand and shipping delays, www.veseys.com

West Coast Seeds, excellent seeds, but limited online orders each day. Ritchies also carries this brand but their supply is low. www.westcoastseeds.com

Soil/compost- Mauriceyelle.com call to confirm and pay for order. Also, Ritchie’s and the local grocery stores.

For more info on seeds: www.seeds.ca

Digital Diversions

The Ottawa Public Library has tons of things to read/do on-line and on your phone, for adults and children. Visit ottawa.overdrive.com

Thanks to our Manor Park Community Council neighbours for a comprehensive directory of resources for children AND parents AND grandparents who are self-isolating or social distancing at home! See MANORPARK.CA 🥳 You will find links to podcasts, educational links, live streams, museum tours, science experiments, how to build a blanket fort, football games, etc.

Recommended local yoga classes with Stuart Maskell, Mouvement Union, 268 Durocher. Join him from your home on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themovementunion/

Local gallery St-Laurent+Hill on Dalhousie St in the Market offers online tours, shopping and home trials: www.galeriestlaurentplushill.com.         Contact them at info@gstl.info

Glebe community:  great resource with online classes etc. gnag.ca

Canadian Blood Services still need help and say it’s still safe to donate blood:  https://blood.ca/en/covid19

Bird watching:  https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/how-to-make-these-next-few-weeks-a-little-easier-courtesy-of-birds/

Dog tricks: Nancy Trus connected with Best Friends Dog Obedience is posting videos on You Tube to teach your dog some tricks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0Jm4Aq7IMo&feature=share

Gardening – Re- grow your kitchen scraps: https://www.diyncrafts.com/4732/repurpose/25-foods-can-re-grow-kitchen-scraps

Mental health support: https://www.theroyal.ca/news/managing-anxieties-caused-fears-coronavirus

Celebrity podcasts: https://www.theloop.ca/11-celebrity-podcasts-we-just-cant-get-enough-of

Classical music: The Berlin Philharmonic has dropped the subscription fee to its Digital Concert Hall for 30 days, to help people through the #COVID19 pandemic. bit.ly/2TRXcZ1 pic.twitter.com/u3gPTDYjO0

Nightly Metropolitan Opera Streams: https://www.metopera.org/user-information/nightly-met-opera-streams/

Theatre: https://www.cbc.ca/books/playwrights-guild-of-canada-to-host-7-hour-play-reading-relay-online-1.5506746

 https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/virtual-broadway-show-performances-3673709

The National Theatre in London will livestream a play every Thursday night, free

Film:  http://etcanada.com/news/613434/garden-state-film-festival-goes-virtual-plans-to-stream-over-240-movies/

and National Film Board’s collection of short and feature-length films

Online dance classes from National Ballet School: https://www.nbs-enb.ca/Sharing-Dance/Bring-Dance-Into-Your-Home

Free e books: http://www.gutenberg.org/

Tours of The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts 

Tour the National Gallery, London: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/visiting/virtual-tours

The British Museum has a large number of videos on YouTube

House Cleaning:  https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/covid-19-q-and-a-whats-the-best-way-to-clean-your-house-to-keep-your-family-safe

Mental Health for children:  https://instituteofchildpsychology.com/

Cooking classes with a chef (Massimo Bottura): https://www.familyfuncanada.com/vancouver/free-online-cooking-classes/

Daily drawing classes for kids of all ages by famous illustrators: https://www.familyfuncanada.com/vancouver/free-online-cooking-classes/

 

Educational support and activities:

Educational programme support plus daily physical activities by educators on Facebook at 10:30 and: https://www.ophea.net/ 

Science and engineering challenge cards: https://www.jamesdysonfoundation.co.uk/content/dam/pdf/JDF_with%20cover%20challenge-cards_DIGITAL.pdf

Elementary level curriculum checklists: https://thecanadianhomeschooler.com/ontario-elementary-level-curriculum-checklists/

Recommended resources for decodable reading materials: https://portal.flyleafpublishing.com/

This program is often run in school libraries: https://forestofreading.com/important-update-in-the-forest-march-20-2020/

Great for families with children with special needs: https://www.edutopia.org/article/apps-students-special-needs-school-buildings-shutter 

Audible launches free service for kids: https://www.cbc.ca/books/audible-launches-free-audiobook-service-for-children-1.5506999

Some classic children’s stories that may be downloaded for free: https://www.researchify.co.uk/audiobooks.html

https://www.theliteracynest.com/category/tips-for-parents 

Book study notes: https://www.sparknotes.com/

https://wordpress.oise.utoronto.ca/robertson/files/2018/04/Multiplication.pdf

 https://qualitytimeactivities.blogspot.com/

https://thefoldcanada.org/webinars-activities/fold-academy-monthly-webinars/

https://www.hellowonderful.co/post/minute-to-win-it-games-for-kids/

https://www.zoo.org.au/animal-house/

https://www.craftymorning.com/paint-your-own-stained-glass-windows/

https://www.boredteachers.com/resources/50-online-art-and-music-resources-to-help-kids-learn-and-create-from-home

 

 

New retaining wall at The Pond

Pond Retaining Wall and Rehabilitation

In May and June, the City built a retaining wall and installed loose rock to protect the Pond’s shoreline from further erosion, stabilize the banks and discourage sunbathing and digging. The RPRA hopes this work will help to preserve our beautiful Pond and Conservation Area. This year, the City will not be pumping water into the Pond. The City did pump water for the past two years and found the added water made little to no improvement in Pond water levels. This year will be a test year to determine the water levels without pumping.

 

Pond Retaining Wall Rehabilitation in Progress, by Brian Dickson and Iola Price

As published in the March-April issue of the Manor Park Chronicle

Over the course of 2019, members of the Rockcliffe Park Residents Association’s (RPRA) Pond Committee worked with City representatives and our Councillor to address environmental issues relating to the Pond. Shoreline erosion is of particular concern, especially at the access point to the Pond. To stabilize this area, the City proposed building a wall and steps composed of natural rock, such as exists now. The City also investigated whether the stairs could be narrowed, consistent with safety, and structured in an irregular pattern. City staff proposed loose rock (rip rap) to protect the shoreline and provide access for the heavy machinery and work over the January-February 2020 period with final rehabilitation details to be finished in the Spring. The riprap installation will by nature of the irregular rocks and distribution result in a space which is not suitable for sitting and sunbathing. The rip rap will extend to the low water mark and remain after the project’s completion, thus limiting access to the adjacent eroding shoreline

Additionally, the RPRA worked closely with the City to introduce signage that promotes responsible use of the Pond as a conservation area and also worked with the city on the water pumping. The City measured water levels in 2017, 2018 and again from May 15 to September 24, 2019, which showed that the pumping has had minimal, if any, impact on maintaining the water level or decreasing its decline over a three-year period. Since the pilot project to pump water into the Pond was to include a year of no pumping for comparative purposes, we do not anticipate pumping in 2020.

Changes to the access point are minimal in that this project is limited to the construction of a stable retaining wall. The access ‘stairs’ will be roughly 2 meters wide, located near their current position and be smaller in height. The stones are mined from Southern Ontario, but may be more consistent in dimension although similar to those currently in place. The resulting structure will be more stable, reducing future safety concerns. The entry path from Pond St will also be reconstructed in the spring.

Other issues discussed with City representatives have included buckthorn removal, dredging to increase shoreline depth (not possible as part of this project) and the need to replant with native shrubs as part of a Conservation Area. We have developed a collaborative relationship with the City in which they take into account our concerns and proposals. It is heartening that the City pays attention to the Pond and over the years has been taking incremental steps to protect it. We are pleased that the City was able to find the funds to implement this shoreline rehabilitation work in a manner consistent with the Pond’s ecological importance and as part of the Caldwell-Carver Conservation Area.

Here are two photos of the work in progress at the Pond, taken May 2020, to curb erosion of the banks. Thanks to Iola Price for the photos.

 

 

Spring Book Sale postponed – maybe Fall 2021

Spring Book Sale: Book donations will be collected in April 2021. Stay tuned.

The Library Book Sale Committee is planning a collection of your gently used books on a weekend in April. More information to come. The Committee hopes to hold a Book Sale in Fall 2021.

Thanks to our sponsors Chartwell New Edinburgh Square, Guardian New Edinburgh Pharmacy and Dymon Storage

Only when the City of Ottawa facilities open and all returns to normal, please bring donations to the Rockcliffe Park Branch or call for pick-up 613 580 2424, ext 27623

 

 

Speaker Series

Wednesday, March 11, 8 pm: RPRA Speaker Night

 

with Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, Truth be Told. Based on her recent autobiography, the former Chief Justice of Canada invites us into her legal and personal life and reveals the hopes and doubts, the triumphs and losses on and off the bench, which have marked her journey. Come and join your neighbours for another fascinating talk, followed by questions, tea, coffee and cookies. At the Rockcliffe Park Community Hall, 380 Springfield Rd.

 

 

Wednesday, Feb 12, 8 pm: RPRA Speaker Night

John Ivison, author and journalist is our February speaker

with John Ivison, Trudeau: Lessons for the Prime Minister. One of Canada’s most popular and well-connected political journalists will speak to us about his recent book on Justin Trudeau and the last election and its significance. Tea, coffee, home-made cookies follow the always-lively Q&A session. At the Community Hall, 380 Springfield Rd.

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