public asked to review source protection plans at open house
The Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Source Protection Region (ABMVSPR) has posted a notice of proposed amendments to assessment reports and source protection plans for the Maitland Valley and Ausable Bayfield source protection areas. The local source protection authority is proposing the amendments to reflect recent changes in six area well systems: Benmiller, Blyth, Dungannon, Molesworth, Ripley, and Varna. A revision to two policies is also proposed. The source protection authority issued the notice on Jan. 3.
People can review and inspect the changes and provide written comments to the source protection authority until Feb. 8. You are invited to review the proposed amendments and the new mapping on the Internet at www.sourcewaterinfo.on.ca.
“As local municipalities add wells, or decommission wells, there is a need to reflect these changes in the assessment reports, wellhead protection area mapping, and source protection plans,” said Geoffrey Cade, Program supervisor with the ABMVSPR. “When wells are added, this may result in some additional properties being included in source protection planning policies.”
The Program Supervisor said that, in cases where municipal wells are no longer in place, some properties might be removed from previously mapped wellhead protection areas.
“In those cases, source protection planning policies would no longer be in effect for those properties,” he said.
Interested people may attend public open houses to ask questions at the following locations:
* Blyth: Monday, Jan. 22 from 3:30-7 p.m., Blyth and District Community Centre, 377 Gypsy Lane
* Varna: Tuesday, Jan. 23 from 4-7 p.m., at the Stanley Complex, 38594 Mill Road
You are invited to review and inspect the proposed amendments in person at the source protection authority offices during regular business hours at the following locations: Maitland Conservation, 1093 Marietta Street, Wroxeter, 519 335-3557; or Ausable Bayfield Conservation, 71108 Morrison Line, RR 3 Exeter, 519 235-2610.
If you would like to submit written comments about the proposed amendments and policy changes, you may submit those comments, by Feb. 8 to Ausable Bayfield Source Protection Authority, on behalf of Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Source Protection Region, 71108 Morrison Line, RR 3 Exeter, ON, N0M 1S5. You are also invited to email your written comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about wellhead protection areas, activities that may be considered a possible significant threat to drinking water, and source protection plan policies and mapping, visit sourcewaterinfo.on.ca and ontario.ca.
always room for planting trees on farmland
No room for trees? Think again. A local conservation authority is suggesting four areas where you might consider planting trees.
When discussing tree planting with farmers, stewardship staff sometimes hear the response that “I don’t have any room left for trees on my farm.” Faced with this challenge, during the newly launched spring tree order program for 2018, staff of Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) are proposing four areas where trees can be planted on a farm with minimal if any loss of farmland:
1. Along rivers and municipal drains. Trees can be planted along both sides of natural watercourses where land isn’t great for crop production. With the transition from pastures to cash crops, these valleylands are better suited for trees than investing crop inputs for mediocre yields. Trees can be planted on one side of municipal drains with the other side left open for future maintenance. Trees can be selected with roots that won’t plug tiles. Trees along watercourses have a secondary benefit of wind erosion control.
2. Farmsteads. Trees around feedlots provide shade in the summer and reduce wind chill in the winter. This makes the temperatures more comfortable for livestock and people. Cattle that spend less energy keeping warm have better weight gain. Trees around houses reduce energy costs and reduce grass-cutting costs.
3. Property lines. In the past, ‘good fences made good neighbors’ but more and more often windbreaks delineate property boundaries. The trees also reduce wind erosion across fields. Studies show an increase in crop yields greater than the loss of a few rows of crops. A row of trees planted across a slope reduces water erosion as well.
4. Squaring up a field. With larger equipment, including sprayers, it’s more difficult to get into those irregular, small corners of fields. More people are squaring up fields by planting trees instead of clearing trees.
ABCA has launched its Spring Tree Order program for 2018. The local conservation authority has announced the spring tree order form is now online at abca.on.ca. ABCA receives mail-in orders until Jan. 31, 2018. Orders are taken accompanied by payment until Feb. 28. Contact Ian Jean at ABCA at abca.on.ca to find out more or call toll-free 1-888-286-2610.
Landowners plant tens of thousands of trees through the spring and autumn tree order programs but the spring program is the largest of the two, said Ian Jean, Forestry and Land Stewardship specialist with ABCA. “We have spring and fall tree order programs but spring is by far the bigger season.”
Copies of the tree order form can be found and printed from abca.on.ca or they are available at the office at 71108 Morrison Line, just east of Exeter and south of Highway 83.
Trees do take up some space but the benefits for crops, livestock and people can outweigh the space lost, according to stewardship staff.
The outlook for funding to help with the costs of trees is also bright for this spring. Farmers can receive grants from a number of sources, to cover the costs of tree stock and planting.
ABCA sells more than 50,000 trees each year to more than 200 landowners. People in Ausable Bayfield watersheds buy trees for conservation projects such as windbreaks, watercourse buffers, reforestation of erosion-prone slopes, or tree planting on marginal agricultural lands. Trees and windbreaks provide a variety of benefits.
“Planting trees for windbreaks reduces soil erosion, wind stress on field crops, and benefits livestock as well,” said Jean. “Windbreaks can keep drifting snow away from homes and farms, reduce winter heating costs and summer cooling costs, keep spray application from leaving the field, reduce soil erosion, protect livestock from extremes of heat and cold, and more.”
Trees along watercourses improve water quality and provide wildlife habitat and travel corridors. Other potential benefits include marking property boundaries and yield increases.
Ontario studies have shown increases in yields for field crops buffered by windbreaks. Research in Southwestern Ontario indicates corn yields at least six per cent higher in areas sheltered by windbreaks and soybean yields about 25 per cent higher in sheltered areas compared to open areas. Area farmers were quoted in an Ontario brochure speaking to the noticeable advantages they saw in windbreaks. Those advantages included earlier germination of crops, earlier warming of soils, and increased yields extending about 10 feet into the field for every foot of tree height. A stateside study in Nebraska indicated hay yields as 20 per cent higher in sheltered areas than open areas.
Food Bank Distribution Centre recipient of monetary gifts
The Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre wishes to extend a thank you to Exeter Chrysler for their generous donation of $5,000. Stephen Clarke and Michael Clarke, from Exeter Chrysler, presented the cheque recently to Mary Ellen Zielman, Executive director of the centre. The Huron County Dairy Producers and the Huron County Paramedic Union Local 4513 were also recent donors to the centre. (Submitted photo)
The Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre (HCFBDC) was the benefactor of community generosity over the holiday season receiving donations from three groups totaling $8,000.
The Huron County Dairy Producers generously donated $1,000 to the HCFBDC. Their representative Tony VanHittersum recently met with Mary Ellen Zielman, Executive director of HCFBDC. She noted that the support from the agricultural community is vital to the organization.
The Huron County Paramedic Union Local 4513 donated $3,000 to the food bank. The HCFBDC is indebted to them for their gift and thanks the paramedics for the care that they provide to all residents of Huron County.
Exeter Chrysler also provided the HCFBDC with a donation of $5,000 for which the food bank is very thankful.
These monetary donations will help assist the HCFBDC support the county food banks throughout the winter months.
Ila and Arnold Mathers (Submitted photo)
Ila and Arnold Mathers recently established the Mathers’ Family Legacy within the South Huron Community Fund (SHCF) to create a yearly grant benefitting the Blyth Festival Theatre that will continue well beyond their lifetime.
The Mathers have been regular theatre patrons since the inception of the Blyth Theatre and have attended over 150 plays. Ila was a Blyth Theatre Board member for six years and the couple has volunteered as ushers at the theatre and helped at the yearly book sale. They also donated seats when the theatre was refurbished.
Suzannne Mathers, their daughter and financial advisor at Raymond James, suggested their participation in the SHCF and made the arrangements to set up the Mathers’ Family Legacy.
“The South Huron Community Fund helps donors support the projects and charities that they are passionate about,” said Tom Prout, chair. “Establishing a family legacy with our organization is easy and can be set up to benefit a specific charitable cause or the general fund supporting priorities in our community.”
Whether the priorities relate to the arts or the environment, to youth or the elderly, the SHCF is dedicated to supporting the long-term needs of the region. Funds raised create a permanent endowment that generates annual grants for local charitable organizations. A committee of community volunteers is expected to issue the fund’s first series of grants in the fall of 2018.
Due to their experience, commitment to projects in South Huron and for administration efficiency, the SHCF operates as part of the Grand Bend Community Foundation, which is a registered charity that can issue tax-deductible receipts to donors. Grant applications are available on the Grand Bend Community Foundation website at grandbendcommunityfoundation.ca. To learn more find them on Facebook at “SouthHuronCommunityFund”.
The Huron County Economic Development Department is taking action to attract job seekers to this area. In partnership with local employers, the county is planning to host a special event in London, ON called “Not Just Another Job Fair”. This event will market working in Huron County while offering participants professional development opportunities.
“In conversations with local employers, the one comment we keep hearing is that workers are needed to meet the growing demand for products manufactured and services offered in Huron County,” said Kristin Crane, Immigration liaison. “Based on this input, our team is working to draw attention to the opportunities to work and live here.”
The event will take place at The Thames Valley District School Board Education Centre (1250 Dundas Street), on Saturday, Jan. 27 and run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Employer representatives will be onsite throughout the day conducting interviews with applicants.
“We have more than a dozen employers hiring for over one hundred jobs that range from entry level manufacturing to higher-skilled positions in the health care sector,” added Crane. “Whether it’s a new job or a new career path, everyone who participates in this event has the opportunity to develop professionally.”
More information about local employment and lifestyle opportunities, “Not Just Another Job Fair” and how to pre-register for the event can be found at huroncounty.ca, or emailing email@example.com, or calling 519 441-2706.
Would You Rather Contest
Registration is open for Leave the Pack Behind’s annual wouldurather…contest. This year there are more than $10,000 worth of prizes to be won by Ontario young adults who join the six-week contest.
“We know that more young adults use tobacco than any other age group in Ontario,” said Huron County Health Unit Public Health Promoter Jacquie Uprichard. “This contest is specifically designed to help young adults quit or cut back and provide them the supports they may need to do so.”
In Ontario, 19.4 per cent of young adults between the ages of 19-29 currently smoke tobacco, with rates slightly higher in Southwestern Ontario at 20.4 per cent.
Uprichard says quitting smoking can be difficult, and not everyone is ready to quit right now. That's why the wouldurather…contest offers four different categories to meet participants where they are at right now.
Adults who smoke can enter to quit, cut back by half, or commit to stay away from smoking anytime they party or drink alcohol.
Non-smokers and ex-smokers can also enter the contest in the “Don’t Start and Win” category.
To support young adults to quit successfully, the wouldurather… contest offers support emails, the option to add a personal support crew, access to eight weeks of free nicotine patches or gum, and support calls or texts from Smokers Helpline.
Last year, more than 7,000 young adults entered the wouldurather… contest. Research suggests that up to 20 per cent of individuals who enter the contest will quit smoking compared to the five to seven per cent success rate that can be expected when people quit on their own.
Wouldurather… is available to all young adults ages 18 to 29 that are residents of Ontario. Registration is open at wouldurather.ca until Jan. 28 at 11:59 p.m.
It can take several quit attempts before quitting smoking for good. The Health Unit wants to support people in making quit attempts. For more information on local quit smoking supports and services available, please contact the Huron County Health Unit at 519 482-3416 or toll free at 1-877-837-6143.