February 2024 Newsletter

Three women standing together with wide smiles.  Two women are wearing bright golden yellow tops. The middle woman has a dark blue top.

2024 Orléans Leading Women and Girls Recognition Awards

Awarded annually by our MP, Marie-France Lalonde, this award recognizes and rewards women and young girls in Orléans for their involvement in the community and for their leadership. 

If you’d like to nominate someone, complete the nomination form for the Orléans Leading Women and Girls Recognition Awards and send it to Marie-France.Lalonde@parl.gc.ca. A letter of support is required in addition to completing the nomination form. The letter must include responses to the questions below. The deadline to submit the nomination form and support letter is February 16, 2024, by email to Marie-France.Lalonde@parl.gc.ca.

The letter must be unique to each nominee and must address these 3 themes:

  1. Describe how the nominee’s efforts improved the lives of women and girls in her community.
  2. Explain how the nominee’s achievements demonstrate her leadership.
  3. Please specify the number of volunteer hours the nominee contributes annually (approximately).
A group of 5 people sitting around a board room table. They have papers and pens on the table. There is a flip chart in the back that they've been drawing on.

Join the CGOWCA Board

The Convent Glen Orléans Wood Community Association (CGOWCA) is looking for new members to join its board! Our association is in the North-West part of Orléans, sandwiched between the Greenbelt, St-Joseph Boulevard, and the Ottawa River, and our catchment area includes approximately 5,800 households. We advocate for the needs of our residents, connect them to resources, and promote a sense of belonging. We plan several activities for the community, including an annual BBQ, a winter carnival, yoga in the park, a full moon night ski, and workshops. If you live or own a business in the area and are interested in getting involved, let us know! We are happy to answer your questions. Write to us at conventglenorleanswood@gmail.com.

a person playing with a jumbo jenga game outdoors in the snow at the winter carnival / une personne jouant avec un jeu de jenga jumbo en plein air dans la neige lors du carnaval d'hiver

Family Day Winter Carnival

Join the CGOWCA and Ward 2 Councillor Laura Dudas on Sunday February 18th at 1pm for an afternoon of outdoor fun for the family! We’ll be serving hot chocolate (bring your own mug!) and snacks, and there will be plenty of games.

Bring your skates to take advantage of our outdoor rink, maintained by our exceptional group of volunteers.

WHEN: Sunday, February 18, 2024, from 1 to 3 p.m. (In case of inclement weather such as rain, the event will take place on February 19th)

WHERE: Jeanne d’Arc Park, 1155 St-Moritz, behind Convent Glen Elementary School

COST: Free!

A photograph of two people skiing on a forest trail. The sun is low in the sky. There is fresh snow on the trail.

Orléans Moonlight Ski Event

Join us for an evening of skiing, hot chocolate, camaraderie, and more at our Moonlight Ski event! Bring your Nordic skis, a reusable mug, and a headlamp (if available), and make sure to dress warmly. All ages are welcome.

Groomers from Ski Heritage East will be out in advance, and the trails will be set for both classic and skate skiing.

The event is hosted by Convent Glen Orléans Wood Community Association and with support from Ski Heritage East, Ward 2 Councillor Laura Dudas, and Orleans Waxing Haus.

WHEN: Saturday, February 24th, 7:00pm start time. Please arrive 15 minutes early.

WHERE: Meet at Roy G. Hobbs Community Centre (109 Larch Crescent). Free parking and indoor washrooms available.

COST:  Free, with donations accepted in support of Ski Heritage East (Suggested donation of $5 per person.)

WHAT TO BRING: Nordic skis, warm clothes, headlamp (if you have one), reusable mug for hot chocolate

OTHER DETAILS: The event will take place during a full moon, but the trails will still be dimly lit so we suggest folks bring a headlamp if they can. Participants are invited to bring friends and family to join the fun! Snowshoers are also welcome. Hot chocolate and snacks will be served, so bring a reusable mug to be kind to Mother Earth.

A photograph of a field in winter. There are animal tracks in the snow. The sun is low. There is a treeline along the back of the field. There are two bushes in the field.

Lessons from nature in winter

By Michelle Radley, CGOWCA Environment Committee

It’s the time of year we call the dead of winter. But in fact, life is all around us even during this cold, dark time. Nature uses incredible tricks to survive Ottawa winters.

Some animals, like turtles, hibernate. These incredible creatures spend winter at the bottom of ponds where the water doesn’t freeze. They lower their body temperature to just 1-2°C above freezing and reduce their heart rate to about 1 beat every 10 minutes, allowing them to last the whole winter without eating or taking a breath. For turtles, winter is a time of simplicity, slowness, and quiet.

Other animals, like chipmunks, take a winter nap. After collecting acorns all fall, they settle into dens deep underground, insulated with cozy beds of grass. As they nap, their heart rate slows to 4 beats per minute and their body temperature drops. Every few days they wake up to eat. For chipmunks, winter is a time to connect with home, rest, and eat high-calorie snacks.

Some animals stay active all winter. The tiny chickadee stays warm by huddling close with other birds and puffing up their downy feathers to trap warm air close to their bodies. They also grow their brains, expanding the part that helps with memory by 30% to help them remember where food is stored. For chickadees, winter is a time for spending time with friends, dressing warm, and expanding their minds.

Nature can offer all of us lessons on how to survive winter. Like the chickadee, put on a down jacket and get outside to enjoy the beauty of the season. Walk through the snow and imagine chipmunks snoozing under your feet, or turtles resting below your skates at the pond. When dark approaches, head inside and take a lesson from the turtle – pause, reflect, and rest well. Like the chickadee, enjoy this time to learn something new or to gather with friends. And most of all, know, like the chipmunk does, that spring is only a few snacks and cozy naps away.

A close up photo of a branch with no leaves. The branch is coated in a layer of ice.

Cold weather resources

From the January 26, 2024 e-bulletin from Councillor Ariel Troster

The Ottawa Public Health Cold Weather webpage provides information about preventing cold related injuries, such as frostbite, as well as medical emergencies such as hypothermia, and includes links to resources in our community to help people access winter clothing, hot meals and other food, obtain assistance with home heating costs, and find emergency shelter (including transportation to shelter).

The webpage also has an interactive map of places to warm up, including City of Ottawa operated community centres. These are places throughout the city where people are welcome to go to warm up during the cold. They are open during business hours throughout the year and access is free of charge. Locations included on the map are validated at the beginning of the season.

Residents can call 2-1-1, the Community Navigation of Eastern Ontario, to obtain information about services and locations of drop-in centres, community and health resource centres, food banks and community food programs, and where to obtain winter clothing, and financial assistance for their utilities.

Procedures for 3-1-1 staff related to extreme cold weather are regularly reviewed by OPH subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and consistency in 3-1-1 messaging. In addition to existing procedures, 3-1-1 staff receive up-to-date information via media advisories and public service announcements related to extreme weather to relay to concerned residents.

A photograph of someone looking down at their feet standing in front of a door mat at an entrance to a house. The door mat says "HOME" and the "O" is a heart.

Meaning of Home Writing Contest

The Meaning of Home contest is back for its 17th year! The contest invites students in grades 4, 5, and 6 to submit a poem or essay explaining what home means to them. The Meaning of Home contest, in support of Habitat for Humanity, is a great opportunity for students to learn about giving back to their community and the importance of having a safe home while improving their creative writing skills and raising money for their local Habitat organization.

Until February 23rd, 2024, each submission entered in the contest provides your local Habitat with a $10 donation from Sagen™, founding sponsor of the contest. Three grand prize winners, who will receive $30,000 for their local Habitat, and 9 runner-up winners, who will receive $10,000 for their local Habitat, will also receive prizes for themselves and their class thanks to our generous contest sponsors.

More information can be found online: https://meaningofhome.ca/page/enter-now

Two photos showing a spot along the river pathway near Green's Creek. One image has a photoshopped bridge added to show the impact on the view.

CGOWCA Bridge Committee Update

Over the last two months, we have been treating you to a graphic display of how various parts of the Greenbelt would look if the federal government succeeded in building its planned bridge over the Ottawa River just west of Orleans. Since the bridge’s final proposed position is not yet known, these illustrations should not be taken as accurate depictions, but they do convey very well how the natural environment would be forever spoiled.

Our third instalment is a view eastward from just west of Green’s Creek.

It should be emphasized that the visual effect is only part of the damage that would be done. Instead of peace and quiet, traffic noise would reign in the Greenbelt, along with dramatically increased traffic congestion where the road from the bridge would meet Highway 174 near Montreal Road.

Public Services and Procurement Canada will be presenting the NCC with its findings about the bridge site this spring. We need to be informed and prepared.

Our website is a very useful resource. There you will find out whom in the government you should contact to express your opposition, and other ways to help. You can contact the Bridge Committee at cgnbridgecommittee@gmail.com.

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