tree planting grants return
Planting trees locally, in this 2019 file photo, were, from l-r: members of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) tree planting crew, Aimee Rush; Kevin Yang; and ABCA field services staff member Tony Drinkwalter. The conservation authority is able to continue, in 2020, to link landowners with financial grants that help them with their tree planting projects. (Submitted photo)
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) can continue to help landowners with tree planting grants in 2020 thanks to recent support from several funding partners.
“There was some uncertainty in 2019 about future tree planting funding in the watershed but now we have a solid base of grants in place to help landowners with the costs of planting trees this spring and throughout the year,” said Ian Jean, Forestry and Land Stewardship specialist with ABCA.
Cost-share funding is available for many projects, such as field windbreaks, buffers and reforestation.
“Tree planting is one of the most important services we provide for landowners and the local community at large,” said General Manager and Secretary-Treasurer of ABCA, Brian Horner. “We are pleased to be able to continue this important work in 2020.”
Tree planting helps to protect water and soil resources. It also helps to reduce risk from extreme weather and natural hazards such as flooding or drought.
Interested landowners can call 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 to find out more.
Tree order forms are available now by calling ABCA or by visiting www.abca.ca/forestry/treeorders/
Mail-in orders can be sent in until Jan. 31 or orders can be made accompanied by payment until Feb. 29.
Local landowners continue to plant tens of thousands of trees each year locally to the benefit of watershed health and human health. ABCA staff work all year to access funding support, for tree planting by landowners, from governments, non-government sources, industry, and the community.
Sunday is World Wetlands DAy
Wetlands provide habitat and breeding areas to more than 600 species of plants and animals in Southern Ontario. (Submitted photo)
World Wetlands Day takes place on Sunday, Feb. 2. This day is a chance to reflect locally, and globally, on the value of wetlands and natural areas. The theme for this year’s World Wetlands Day is “Wetlands and Biodiversity; Life thrives in wetlands”.
Wetlands provide habitat and breeding areas to more than 600 species of plants and animals in Southern Ontario, said Angela Van Niekerk, Wetland specialist at the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA).
“World Wetlands Day is a perfect time to thank the local people who have protected wetlands on their property or who have completed wetland restorations and other storm-water management improvements,” she said.
Landowners in the Ausable Bayfield watershed have restored 77 wetlands on 247 acres over the last decade with support from local wetlands programs.
ABCA encourages people to consider enhancing a natural area on their property. They are invited to phone 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 to learn more or to talk to staff about a site visit.
People can help to improve soil health and water quality in many ways in this new decade by planting trees or other native pollinator species, creating buffer strips, adding sediment basins, or natural shallow ponds. Farmers can use cover crops, longer hay and pasture rotations, and reduced tillage.
World Wetlands Day raises local and global awareness of the vital role of wetlands for people here in Canada and around the world. To learn more, visit the abca.ca website (https://www.abca.ca/wetlands/) and www.worldwetlandsday.org. People may also use the #WorldWetlandsDay hashtag at Twitter.com to find out more.
The Ausable Bayfield watershed has lost 90 per cent of its wetlands since the years before European settlement. This makes wetland restoration and other storm-water improvements and planting enhancements vital for water quality and soil health, according to Van Niekerk.
Staff at ABCA can help with technical advice and grants thanks to the Healthy Headwaters Wetlands Initiative and the Urban and Rural Storm-water Improvements (URSI) for Lake Huron Project.
Wetlands are often considered “nature’s kidneys.” Kidneys remove impurities and waste from the human body. Wetlands do the same for land and water. Wetlands are vital natural systems that reduce erosion and flooding and filter sediment and pollutants from water and recharge groundwater supplies. That means wetlands help with water quality and water quantity. They help to store and filter water when there is too much water on the landscape and they help to release water during droughts and times of water shortage when that water is needed.
Funding support for local wetland projects and other storm-water improvements has been made possible by financial support from funding partners including EcoAction Community Funding Program of Environment and Climate Change Canada; WWF-Canada’s Loblaw Water Fund; and Ducks Unlimited Canada.
Call aBCA first when looking to build in a regulated area
Anyone who has a property in a regulated area, such as the shoreline, that are thinking of building or doing upgrades, are encouraged to call Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) staff before the work begins. ABCA regulations and planning staff say talking to them during the planning stages can save time and save unnecessary expenses later.
“Most residents call us early on and that helps us to provide them with important information about whether their property is in a regulated area and what policies allow and what they don’t,” said Geoffrey Cade, ABCA Water and Planning manager. “This saves them money and time by letting them know if their planned work meets provincial regulations and local policies and whether it can be considered for permit approval.”
Most people call ABCA early on during a planned project, according to Cade. That makes things easier during the review of development and permit applications. There have been some cases, he said, where property owners did not find out in advance what was allowed and that has been costly for them.
“We don’t want to see anyone face the expense of building only to have to remove it later,” Cade said. “When people talk to us early it saves them time and it saves them potential costs later on.”
Lake Huron water levels, at near-record highs, have reinforced the need to protect people and property from natural hazards such as flooding and erosion. The conservation authority protects people and property by keeping development out of the areas of highest natural hazards. The ABCA regulates development, interference with wetlands, and alterations to shorelines and watercourses through the Conservation Authorities Act and Ontario Regulation 147/06.
Before undertaking any shoreline building project, ABCA advises people to contact their municipality and the conservation authority to ensure their plans meet policies.
“A good rule of thumb is the earlier the better,” Cade said. “Our staff can tell you if or how regulations and policies affect your property. In some cases, the staff member may offer advice on how you can amend your plan so it could meet the regulation and policies. Staff can also let you know what documents to submit and if any studies are needed.”
For maps of regulated areas visit this web page: https://www.abca.ca/planning/mappingportal
To find out more visit abca.ca or call Meghan or Daniel at 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.
Conservationist of the year nominations now sought
Do you know a person, business, farm, community group, or organization doing great work to protect water, soil, and habitat for living things in Ausable Bayfield watersheds? If so, you are invited to nominate them for the Conservationist of the Year Award.
The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) will accept award nominations until Feb. 15. The award winner is recognized at the Partner Appreciation Evening, an early-evening event to show appreciation for conservation partners, to be held at Ironwood Golf Club, in March.
“The Conservationist of the Year Award is one way we can say ‘thank you’ to some of the active local stewards who are helping to protect our water and soil resources and to improve our forest and wetland conditions,” said General Manager and Secretary-Treasurer of ABCA, Brian Horner. “I invite you to nominate a person, farm, business, community group, or organization doing positive things in your watershed community.”
ABCA has recognized, with conservation awards, outstanding achievements in conservation each year since 1984. Past award winners have included rural landowners and residents, agricultural producers and farms, service clubs, community organizations, companies, nature groups, and municipalities. Koos and Nathalie Vermue, agricultural producers from the Bayfield area, were winners of the Ausable Bayfield Conservationist of the Year Award in 2019.
To submit a nomination, visit abca.ca for the nomination form and award information or visit the office east of Exeter at 71108 Morrison Line for a printed copy of the form. People may also call 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the award. The nomination form is at this web page link: https://www.abca.ca/community/conservationistoftheyear/
Current ABCA staff and directors are not eligible for the award. ABCA will make an offsetting donation to Carbon Footprints to Forests (footprintstoforests.com) on behalf of everyone who attends the Partners in Conservation Evening in March. Trees will be planted locally, and maintained for the long term, to capture the equivalent of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) produced in travel to the event.
Huron Perth Public health monitors novel coronavirus
Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) is working with the Ministry of Health, Health Canada, and local partners and stakeholders to monitor the novel coronavirus situation.
“While there are two presumptive positive cases of novel coronavirus in Ontario, the risk to Ontarians and our residents remains low at this time,” said Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Miriam Klassen “The public health risk is continually being reassessed as new information becomes available, and we will let residents know if the risk level changes.”
On Dec. 31, 2019, a cluster of cases of pneumonia was reported in Wuhan, China, and the cause has been confirmed as a new coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans. This virus is now known as the novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV.
HPPH is recommending that if you have travelled to Hubei province in China and develop symptoms of novel coronavirus infection, avoid contact with others, stay home (self-isolate), call your healthcare provider. Tell your healthcare provider:
• your symptoms
• where you have been travelling or living
• if you have had direct contact with animals (for example: visited a live animal market)
• if you have had close contact with a sick person, especially if they have had fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
Common symptoms include fever, cough and respiratory symptoms, and difficulty breathing.
On Jan. 22, 2019-nCoV became a reportable disease in Ontario, meaning that healthcare providers and organizations are required to report any suspect or confirmed case of 2019-nCoV to local public health authorities, so that public health can take measures to contain spread of infection.
If a suspected or confirmed case of novel coronavirus were to be identified in Huron or Perth, HPPH would work with the Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario Laboratory, and local hospitals in the management of the case and any contacts.
For more information, residents are advised to seek information from credible sources, including:
• Huron Perth Public Health: www.hpph.ca/coronavirus or call 1-888-221-2133
• Ministry of Health at www.Ontario.ca/coronavirus
• Public Health Agency of Canada at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
Community Connections Outreach Services will be hosting a Caregiver Education Event at the West Huron Care Centre in Zurich on March 10. The afternoon session will provide information about services and support for Huron caregivers.
Caregivers are; a family member or friend who provides unpaid support, assistance and care
for someone in need.
Caregivers, or people who know one, are invited to the session to get helpful information to support their loved ones. The session will cover: caregiver programs and services, caregiver website, resources and events in the area and helpful tools and tips.
The one-hour event will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Risi Room at the West Huron Care Centre, 37792 Zurich-Hensall Road.
For more information and to RSVP please call 519 236-4373 Ext. 632.
Bacharach tribute concert
Take 3 & Company (Submitted photo)
Take 3 & Company will be performing, “A Tribute to Burt Bacharach”, on Feb. 1 at the Grand Bend Place Centre for the Living Arts.
The trio, Theresa Wallis, Jenny Nauta and Ron Nauta will perform Bacharach's greatest hits from the 1950s to the 1980s. The audience is sure to enjoy their amazing harmonies to such songs as: Walk On By, You'll Never Get To Heaven, Alfie, One Less Bell To Answer, and I'll Never Fall In Love Again.
Door will open at 6:30 p.m. with the concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the centre located at 25 Main Street in Grand Bend.
Tickets are $25 and are available now from Janice Sinker, 519 238-5436; The Garden Gate, 519 238-1701; or ticketscene.ca
alzheimer awareness Library tour
January is Alzheimer Awareness Month. Representatives from the Alzheimer Society of Huron County will be visiting libraries across the county to ensure people have the information they need. They will be offering a 20-minute presentation about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Topics will include:
• Ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease
• What is the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia?
• Should I be worried? What is the difference between “normal age-related memory change” and dementia?
• I am worried about myself or someone I care about. What can I do?
There will also be plenty of time to answer questions and provide resources and needed information.
Here is the library visiting schedule: Exeter Library, Jan. 29, 10:30 a.m.; Zurich Library, Feb. 1, 10:30 a.m.; Howick Library, Feb. 7, 2 p.m.; and Blyth Library, Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m.
For more information, please call the Alzheimer Society of Huron County at 519 482-1482 or email email@example.com
Alzheimer Awareness Month
Every year the Alzheimer Society of Huron County selects movies for their January Awareness Month. These movies are selected to start the conversation about dementia. This year’s movies are both documentaries, depicting how people with dementia and their families are living with disease. These stories are honest, real, sometimes raw and genuinely inspiring.
The Caregivers Club (2018) steps inside the private lives of four Toronto families as they navigate through heartbreak with humor and frustration. It’s an inspiring journey of love, loss and letting go that thousands of families will take as their family members age. Audiences will get to know four middle aged caregivers – Dominic, Karen, Susan, and Barbara – each taking care of a spouse, or parent, who can no longer care for themselves. All four stories take the audience far beyond the practical problems of navigating a seemingly fickle healthcare system and into the psychological challenges of coping with the deterioration of their loved ones. Unfolding over a year, the stories told in The Caregivers Club resonate with reality for many families.
The Caregiver Club will be shown at the Huron County Museum on Jan. 29 at 7 p.m.
Alive Inside (2014), the winner of many awards including the Sundance Audience Award, is a “joyous cinematic exploration” of the capacity of music to reawaken the soul. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennet chronicles the experience of many people who explore the simple act of listening to the music of their youth, along with the experience of family members, friends and healthcare professionals who help make that happen. This movie is simultaneously poignant, joyful and inspirational.
Alive Inside will be shown at the Huron County Museum on Jan. 29 at 2 p.m.
All movies are free; donations gratefully accepted.
For more information, please contact the Alzheimer Society of Huron County at 519 482-1482/1-800-561-5012 or firstname.lastname@example.org
livery film fest
On Thursdays during the winter and spring of 2020, the Livery Film Fest committee brings new, intriguing and delightful films from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Film Circuit to Goderich.
Here are the offerings: Feb. 6, The Peanut Butter Falcon; Feb. 27, Official Secrets; and Apr. 9, Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love.
The Peanut Butter Falcon is described as a “modern day Mark Twain fable”, telling the story of a young boy who leaves home to become a wrestler. And yes, there is a raft scene, and lots of “heart and humour”. This film has been enthusiastically received by other film circuit audiences. Critics rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website is 95/100.
All films will be screened at 7 p.m. at the Park Theatre in Goderich. Please check the website before you come, as dates may be subject to change (www.thelivery.ca).
It’s the start of a new decade and a local community committee is set to embark upon its fourth decade of a charity auction event in support of conservation projects in local communities.
It’s the start of a new decade and a local community committee is set to embark upon its fourth decade of a charity auction event in support of conservation projects in local communities.
The 31st Conservation Dinner takes place on Thursday, Apr. 16 and tickets are now available, said Dave Frayne, chair of the Dinner Committee.
There are many reasons to buy a ticket early for the Conservation Dinner, according to the Chair. There is a limited number of tickets, the charity fundraiser is a sold-out show year after year, and the Dinner Committee expects a great deal of excitement for this year’s event – the Dinner’s 31st year. Here’s another reason to purchase tickets early: Wave Limo and Tours (Wave.limo), of Grand Bend, is donating a limousine ride for up to 10 people, to and from the event, to this year’s winner of the Early Bird Prize Draw, drawn from early purchasers of Dinner tickets. Only people who buy Conservation Dinner tickets before Monday, Feb. 10, at 4 p.m. are eligible for the Early Bird Prize Draw.
“If you buy a Conservation Dinner ticket you know you will get fun, fellowship, good food and that you will be helping your community,” said Chair Dave Frayne. “If you buy a ticket before February 10 you will also get a chance to win the great Early Bird Draw Prize of a limo ride for up to 10 people.”
The Dinner Committee Chair thanked prize donor Bradley Oke and Wave Transportation for this year’s prize.
The Conservation Dinner takes place at South Huron Recreation Centre at 94 Victoria Street East in Exeter. Tickets are $85 each. Patrons receive a charitable gift receipt, for income tax purposes, for a portion of that amount. To buy a ticket or to donate to the 2020 Conservation Dinner, visit the Ausable Bayfield Conservation office east of Exeter at 71108 Morrison Line (just south of Highway 83) or phone 519 235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or email email@example.com. Find out more at abca.ca and conservationdinner.com.
The Conservation Dinner started in 1990. This gala charitable auction and dinner event has raised more than $1.2 million over three decades for projects in local communities. These projects include accessible nature trails in Bayfield, Clinton, Parkhill, Lucan, Arkona, Exeter, and Varna; busing for students to experience outdoor nature education; a $1,000 student environmental bursary benefitting students in local communities; a summer job at Ausable Bayfield Conservation for a senior secondary school student; turtle monitoring and events in Port Franks and Ailsa Craig; aquatic habitat studies in Old Ausable Channel, Grand Bend; and projects like nature day camps, fishing derby and Owl Prowl, and parks and conservation areas.