NATION VALLEY — The past year was anything but dull for South Nation Conservation (SNC) as it continued to work closely with its 16 member municipalities, community partners and local residents to protect and restore the local environment, protect people and property from natural hazards, and support sustainable development activities.
This spring saw historic flooding along both the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers, and SNC worked closely with its municipal partners to help provide advance notice of flooding to reduce risk to life and property damage through the Flood Forecasting and Warning Program. In total, SNC issued over 40 local watershed safety and flood messages in 2019.
SNC is continuously working to protect people and their property by updating natural hazard mapping, issuing approvals for development near watercourses,and enhancing emergency preparedness tools.
In addition to protecting people and property, SNC also works to protect our local natural resources. This year the Conservation Authority planted a record number of trees across its 4,384 square-kilometer jurisdiction in Eastern Ontario, helping to increase local forest cover.
Over 150,000 trees were planted by SNC along watercourses and on private and public property in 2019 through municipal tree giveaways, the City of Ottawa’s Ash Tree Replacement Program, municipal roadside planting projects, and tree planting subsidy programs for property owners.
SNC expanded upon its environmental outreach initiatives in 2019 by relaunching its flagship Maple Syrup Education Program, now at the new Oschmann Forest in North Dundas following a year of fundraising to render the donated forest fit to host students for demonstrations of maple syrup production and sap extraction.
Thanks to community partnerships and fundraising initiatives, SNC delivered environmental outreach and educational programming to over 3,000 local youth this year through the Maple Syrup Education Program, its Youth Fishing Camps, First Hunt Program and the Stream of Dreams Program.
SNC is also committed to working with its municipal partners to regularly maintain and improve its public Conservation Areas and trails to ensure accessible, year-round recreation for residents. SNC’s fourteen local Conservation Areas attracted more than 80,000 visitors in 2019.
“This year offered great opportunities, new challenges, partnerships and accomplishments; all of which were beneficial for protecting and restoring our local environment” explains John Mesman, SNC’s Communications Lead. “We’re looking forward to next year and all that it has to offer.”