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.
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.
Rockcliffe Park Library Programs POSTPONED
Join in the fun at the Rockcliffe Park Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, located at 380 Springfield Road. Programs are free to attend; pre-registration may be required (see details below). Our library is a local treasure, full of community spirit. Please join in the celebrations and share in a love of reading. For more information go to https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/branch/rockcliffe-park or phone 613 580-2940 (Infoservice). For registration (if requested below) for any program, please do so on the library’s website or phone (both above) or in person at the branch.
Special PD Day Program, Friday February 14
Reptiles Rock! Drop in between 10:30 and 11:30 for a chance to see and touch an amazing selection of snakes and lizards.
Toddler Time, Wednesday February 19
Stories, rhymes and songs for toddlers and a parent or caregiver. At 10 am. For 19 months to three years old. Drop -in.
Author Visit with Anthony Keith, Monday February 24
Join resident Tony Keith who will read from a recently translated account of his step-father’s transatlantic voyage in a small wooden sailboat in the 1930s. Translator Irene Tomaszewski will also speak about the unusual history of The Voyage of the Yacht Dal: From Gydnia to Chicago, 1933-34 by Andre Bohomolec. This is a gripping adventure story of three men who survive a harrowing hurricane and, astonishingly, live to tell their tale. Former CBC reporter, Terry Milewski, offers a compelling review of the epic adventures on pg. 7 of the August 2019 Rockcliffe News.
Music in the Stacks: Deep Winter Series, March 3
Drop-in to hear flautist Justin Theriault from 7 – 8:15 pm.
Japanese Storytelling, March 6
Drop-in at 3 pm to ear Japanese storyteller/comedian Toshiki Mori perform Kamishibai, a form of visual and participatory storytelling that combines hand-drawn visuals with narration of a live presenter.
Legends of Ireland, March 17
Drop in from 1:30 – 2:30 to hear Susan Toman and friend present Legends of Ireland – Harp Music and Storytelling.
Armchair Travel: Polar Bears, March 31
From 7 – 8 pm. Registration required for this English-language presentation from polar travel specialist, Carole Gobeil. Come to hear where are the best places to see polar bears in the northern hemisphere and more.
PD Day Program: Songs and Stories of Loggers and Lumberjacks, April 3
At 10:30 – 11:30 am. Louis Mercier presents the stories and songs of the lumberjack in this interactive performance. Bilingual presentation.
PD Day Program: Flying Colours Painting workshop, May 15
Artist Jennifer Nicol will guide you on using professional watercolour materials, which always results in beautiful paintings and gives a great sense of accomplishment. English presentation.
Lyme Disease Advisory
Ottawa Public Heath encourages residents to review their Lyme disease program to safely enjoy outdoor spaces. Below is the OPH Lyme Tick Factsheet. The councillor’s office has a limited number of tick keys available for distribution as needed.
Key messages for the prevention of Lyme disease continue to be:
- Applying an approved insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin
- Wearing long pants and tucking them into your socks
- Doing a tick check on yourself, your children and pets
- Checking your pet daily for ticks, especially if it spends time in wooded or overgrown areas
- Removing ticks as soon as possible. If you find a tick on your body, using fine-pointed tweezers, grasp the tick’s head as close to the skin as possible and pull slowly until the tick is removed. Do not twist or rotate the tick. Do not use a match, lotion or anything else on the tick.
- Seeing your doctor if a tick has been attached for 24 or more hours or if it appears partially or fully engorged or if you are not sure. Also see your doctor if you develop a fever and other symptoms of Lyme disease (see OPH’s website at the link below) within 32 days of having had a tick attached.
Residents may also contact Ottawa Public Health via www.ottawapublichealth.ca/lymedisease or call OPH at 613-580-6744 with any concerns.
An article for more information: Why Is Lyme Disease So Hard to Understand?