January 2024 Newsletter

A photograph of a group of people - 9 hands reaching towards the centre with a sparkler. In the centre is a lighter lighting the sparklers.

Happy New Year!

May 2024 be filled with memorable moments.

A pair of red filing binders sitting on a wooden surface.

CGOWCA Bylaws – we need help!

In 2021, the provincial government updated the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. Since the Convent Glen Orléans Wood Community Association is registered as a non-profit in Ontario, we must update our bylaws accordingly. We are looking for assistance from a lawyer or other legal professional to help ensure that we are making appropriate changes. If you are able to provide counsel, please write to us at conventglenorleanswood@gmail.com.

A photograph of a winter road covered in salt on the left that blends into a photo of a Great Blue Heron fishing in a river on the right. Overlaid is text reading "Salt used here...ends up here."

Reconsidering our winter salt practices

By Laura Reinsborough, CGOWCA Environment Committee

As winter weather approaches, Convent Glen-Orleans Wood residents are going to be managing ice, snow, and slush. Ottawa Riverkeeper and the CGOWCA have a challenge for you: Can you reduce your road salt use this winter?

The majority of Canadians use far more road salt than is effective. Residents and businesses in our neighbourhood are no different. In fact, our neighbourhood was ranked as one of the worst in the region according to Ottawa Riverkeeper.

When road salt is applied to roads and sidewalks, it eventually makes its way into nearby creeks and streams. The salt breaks apart into sodium ions (which dissipate and cause no concern) and chloride ions (which do not break down and can persist in the creek bed far into the summer months). 

Pollution from chloride ions is very toxic to the aquatic organisms in our local ecosystem. It affects important species such as salamanders, fish, frogs and dragonflies, and their abilities to breathe and to reproduce. Our local Bilberry Creek has reached some of the most toxic levels of chloride pollution across Ottawa and Gatineau, with chloride levels of more than 200x the acceptable levels.

What can you do to reduce your road salt use? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Go easy on the salt. A coffee cup full is plenty for an area the size of a two-car driveway.
  • Add sand or gravel to your winter toolkit to increase grip.
  • Road salt from most stores is only effective at temperatures higher than -10 degrees Celsius.
  • Know a teacher? Encourage them to teach about road salt in their classrooms using Ottawa Riverkeeper’s new teacher resources.
  • Help spread the word! Share these tips with friends and neighbours. Or take it a step further and advocate for better salt use like this local hero did!

For more information on the Ottawa Watershed please visit www.ottawariverkeeper.ca  

aerial photo of interprovincial bridges crossing the Ottawa river / photo aérienne des ponts interprovinciaux traversant la rivière des Outaouais

CGOWCA Bridge Committee Update

Last month, we showed you what a bridge over the Ottawa River near the Green’s Creek lookout would look like. Pictured below is another possible bridge location, near the entrance to the Greenbelt from Orleans.

A photograph of the river pathway near Fairwinds Terrace.
A photograph of the river trail near Fairwinds Terrace with an image of a bridge photoshopped over top of it.

If you find the above prospect unappealing in the extreme, please get involved. 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.

A photograph of a person from the back who is sitting on a rocky outcrop. They are looking out over the mountains, toward the peachy-coloured sky.

Habit Change Strategies for the New Year

The start of the calendar year is often a time when we look back on the year that ended, reflect on what worked or didn’t work for us, and then look forward to the year ahead. For many of us, this might include trying to establish new habits or setting New Year’s Resolutions. 

Resolutions do not work for everyone. Rather than feeling bad about failing to keep a resolution, we could see it as an opportunity to learn and try a different strategy next time if the aim is really something we want to achieve.

If you’re looking for inspiration on some strategies, here are a few places you could start:

Whether you decide to tackle a new habit or try to strengthen existing habits in 2024 – keep trying!

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