March 2024 Newsletter

Photo of a basket of fresh produce including a bunch of red beets, a bunch of carrots, an onion, and a bunch of leeks.

Growing Food for Yours and the Planet’s Health  

By Amrit Khosla, CGOWCA Environment Committee

Spring is coming and us humans have the urge to go outdoors and commune with nature. Growing your own veggie garden enables you to connect with nature. There are many reasons to start growing your own vegetables.

Growing a veggie garden is good for your body, mind, and soul. Breathing fresh air, exercising, touching soil, and watching a seed sprout are good stress relievers. No store-bought tomato tastes as good as fresh, ripe tomatoes from your garden. Salad made with greens, herbs and edible flowers from the garden is unmatched in freshness, taste, and visual appeal. Touching dirt and connecting with life in the soil, activates a powerful circuit in our brains.

Gardening captures the imagination of children. Watching tall plants growing from tiny seeds and worms digging in soil provides fascinating learning opportunities. Children are also more likely to eat what they have helped grow.

Growing your own food provides environmental benefits. Much of our food travels long distances, creating excessive carbon emissions. Heavy use of pesticides, fungicides and synthetic fertilizers in conventional agriculture is another source of carbon pollution. Frequent and deep tilling with machines and using synthetic inputs kills microbes in the soil. Vegetables in grocery stores are often packaged in plastic creating more pollution. Climate change and international conflicts have created food shortages and supply chain issues. We can take back control and contribute to food security by growing our own food.

So go ahead and plant some vegetables. Starting seeds inside at the end of March to early April will ensure the seedlings are ready for May/June planting.

Make sure to buy organic, heirloom seeds. Facebook groups and health food stores are good sources. Enriching your soil with quality compost and manure stimulates biological activity and restores the natural fertility of poor soils. Keeping your soil covered with organic mulch (straw, leaves, grass clippings) conserves moisture, reducing the need for frequent watering. When these organic materials decompose, they further nourish the soil.

Tend to your soil with love and care, and it will reward you with abundance of fresh, healthy food and a feast for your senses. Doing your bit for the planet will be a bonus.

Black and whilte photograph of the underside of the Macdonald Cartier Bridge crossing the Ottawa River.

CGOWCA Bridge Committee Update

The photograph above shows the underside of the MacDonald Cartier Bridge. It is making a guest appearance in our newsletter because, at 6 lanes wide, it is the perfect stand-in for the federal government’s proposed bridge across the Ottawa River through the Greenbelt west of Orleans.

Imagine yourself standing on the Ottawa River Pathway in the Greenbelt and, instead of open sky, having this brooding, ominous mass overhead. Imagine, too, all the traffic noise faithfully transmitted to your ears through the steel and concrete. Could any experience be further from what the Greenbelt is meant to be?

All Greenbelt users would have to pass under this bridge, whether walking, cycling, skiing, or snowshoeing – oh, but wait! There wouldn’t be any snow under the bridge, of course! Skis and snowshoes would go from snow to abrasive asphalt. This effectively would sever the Pathway in winter into two disconnected sections.

In short, a bridge crossing the Ottawa River and traversing the Greenbelt to join the 174 would be an unmitigated blight on the environment, with knock-on effects to quality of life in Orleans and points east.

If you don’t want this bridge to become a reality, please get involved. Visit our website.  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

a photograph of a yellow piece of paper with black script saying Thank You! with a red heart drawn underneath.  In the background you can see the red and the black pens that were used.

Thank YOU!

The CGOWCA Board of Directors along with the neighbours who enjoyed the community rink at Jeanne d’Arc Park would like to thank our sponsors and volunteers who made this season a success.  Our genuine thanks go out to Myers Orléans GM, Myers Orléans Nissan and Myers Orléans Jeep who sponsored the rink.  We’d also like to thank the dedicated group of volunteers who battled the elements this year to deliver a fantastic ice surface.  The volunteer team cleared snow, flooded the surface and kept things running smoothly during the inconsistent temperatures.  We appreciate this hard work!

A stylized image of individual letters as though they were cut out of a magazine (different fonts and colours on differently coloured backgrounds).  The letters are tacked up to spell out the word "community"

You Are Not Too Late to 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

Infographic from the Canadian Public Health Association that shows what a 15-minute community looks like.  It includes: housing, retails, commercial and health services, public service facilities, education, parks and green space, and sustainable mobility.
Image from:

Ecology Ottawa Seeks Your Support for 15-minute Neighbourhoods

This initiative aims to foster community support for 15-minute neighbourhoods in Ottawa. In collaboration with Walkable Ottawa, this program looks to transform our city into a vibrant, sustainable, and connected community, all within a 15-minute walk or bike ride.

The project seeks to galvanize public support for 15-minute neighbourhoods, empowering Ottawans to document and share their neighbourhood experiences. Through workshops, toolkits, petitions, and media engagement, we aim to influence urban policy that promotes walkable communities with multiple benefits, including:

  1. Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from transportation.
  2. Decreased commute times and increased time for family and friends.
  3. Improved access to services and amenities within neighbourhoods.
  4. Enhanced community cohesion and vibrant social life.

The program will involve various activities throughout 2024 and 2025, including connecting with City staff, creating toolkits, hosting training workshops, and engaging in the Zoning By-law review process.

We invite you to join us in this transformative journey towards a more sustainable and livable Ottawa. Over the next two years, there will be exciting opportunities to sign petitions, participate in workshops, and share your neighbourhood stories. Stay tuned to our newsletter and Instagram for updates! Together, we can shape the future of our city and create neighbourhoods that prioritize people, community, and the environment. Thank you to OCAF for their generous support of this program! 

A hand, palm up, holding a small plant seedling. The background is blurred but it appears as though they are outside. / Une main, paume vers le haut, tenant un petit plant. L'arrière-plan est flou mais on a l'impression qu'ils sont à l'extérieur.

Save the Date – Earth Day Event

Mark your calendars! The CGOWCA Environment Committee invites you to our second year of “Cleaning the Capital”, on Sunday April 21st 9 am-12 pm. Stay tuned for more details next month!

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