General Meeting – 17 November 1999

     Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital

Minutes of Meeting of Nov. 17, 1999 Billings Room RMOC


Erwin Dreessen, who acted as Chair in the absence of Shelley Parlow, Bill Royds, Barbara Barr, Amy Kempster.

Eric Moore of Friends of the Farm was welcomed to the group.

Documents circulated:  Agenda, Minutes of June 16, 1999 meeting.


1.  Approval of Agenda:

Under item 3. Brief announcements/updates the following items were added: Trans-Canada Trail; Rockcliffe base; Experimental Farm Advisory Council; Scott Street woods (Canada Bank Note); Conservation Committee of Ottawa Field Naturalists. Under item 5 the following were added: LACAC award to NCC; letter to John  Manley. Revised agenda approved.

2.  Approval of circulated minutes:

Barbara Barr moved and Amy Kempster seconded approval of the minutes of June 16, 1999.

3. Brief Announcements/updates:

  1. ) Update on status of Land trust (RMOC):  Amy Kempster reported (due to Shelley’s absence) that the working group was discussing strategy, preservation and awareness aspects of land trusts.  The discussion which followed mentioned one area which might serve as an example of an area which could benefit from land trust activity(Royds on South Gloucester Highlands), the problem that the rationale for land trusts was related to a  distrust in governments (Dreessen), the need for land trusts to work in a cooperative way with governments (Moore) and the need for expertise in their work (Kempster).  It was suggested that the Greenspace representative on the working group bring up the questions of democratic organization, accountability and membership.
  2. Update on Southern Corridor:  In the absence of Shelley, Erwin reported that there was nothing new since Manley announced that there would be no for sale sign while he was in office and encouraged the community to come up with a long term solution.
  3. ) Ottawa’s integrated pest management strategy: Barbara Barr reported that the city is trying to establish such a strategy.  She indicated that she would submit her own comments and keep us informed.
  4. ) NOSS ESAs update: Amy Kempster noted that these had been delayed from Nov. 23 to sometime in January because of negotiations re boundaries with landowners.  She added that the NCC’s proposed ban of dogs in ESA’s might reduce support and proposed that Greenspace write a letter to the NCC asking that dogs on leashes be allowed where people are allowed.  She promised to draft such a letter and e-mail it for approval.  She also indicated that she would consult with Ron Kolbus about the issue.  The meeting agreed with this approach.
  5. ) Trans-Canada Trail:  Erwin Dreessen noted the progress on this in Ottawa-Carleton and drew attention to the meeting on Nov. 22 re trail design & management, appropriate mix of recreation users and fund raising opportunities for the 21 km. between Stittsville and Carleton Place which needs improvement.
  6. ) Rockcliffe Base: Erwin Dreessen drew attention to the meeting being organized by the community groups re the development of this property.
  7. ) Experimental Farm Advisory Council: Eric Moore provided some information on the activities of this group.  During its inaugural meeting the group reviewed the CEF Public Consultations, the regulatory environment, the designation of the Farm as a National Historic Site and related Parks Canada statements, the Agriculture Canada position and considered a proposal with regard to the Booth barn-to repair the main portion but demolish some of the ancillary buildings which are beyond restoration.  Erwin Dreessen asked if Eric Moore thought a site for a windmill might be considered.  Eric felt that the windmill would not meet the Farm’s heritage requirements but suggested the portion of Agriculture Research Branch lands near the Sportsplex on Woodroffe as a possibility since it is not covered by the heritage designation and is not being used by AAFC. Bill Royds mentioned that this had been used in the past for agro-meteorological experiments because of its steady winds, ideal for a windmill as well as a Botanical Garden.   Bill Royds mentioned the southern part east of Prince of Wales as another possible spot.
  8. ) Scott Street woods: Amy Kempster noted that a development was being planned for these woods which were excluded from NOSS because of Canada Bank Note’s refusal to have them evaluated. She felt that while a few pockets might be preserved the development of most of these woods was likely.   She suggested that members try to view these to see if we wished to take a position when an application is submitted to the city.  She suggested that Montfort woods would have priority due to its probable higher ecological and social value.

4. Committee reports:

Status of current membership and E-mailing lists, Status of by-laws:

It was decided to leave the e-mail list as it now is.  A gentle reminder re membership will be sent out by Bill Royds. Eric Moore indicated his intention to join as an individual and that he had already secured the agreement of the Friends of the Farm Board to join. Amy Kempster said she will also suggest this to FCA. Bill Royds suggested that we have close collaboration with the conservation committee of the Ottawa Field Naturalists and will act as liaison person between the two groups. With regard to the status of by-laws it was noted that Shelley Parlow’s illness had delayed the posting of these.

5. New Business:
a) Election of additional directors: Barbara Barr moved and Amy Kempster seconded the confirmation of Bill Royd’s membership and election as a director.  Carried.

b) Revisit the idea of GCAC brochure: Amy Kempster moved and Barbara Barr seconded that Erwin Dreessen chair a committee to work on a brochure.  Carried.  Bill Royds and Amy Kempster volunteered to help.

c) Proposal for stewardship document for management of natural areas. It was felt that a workshop on the topic of living with the land might be useful.  Bill Royds moved and Barbara Barr seconded that the Greenspace Alliance help arrange a spring workshop on living with the land-communities and their greenspace – how to ensure their health.  Carried.   Amy Kempster agreed to bring this proposal to the Working Group on Land Trusts.  Other possible partners are the Stewardship Council and RMOC.

d) LACAC award of merit to NCC re LeBreton:  Bill Royds noted that LACAC had awarded a certificate of merit for its work on the restoration of the banks of the waterway to the old pump house but that their restoration had included not only stonework but also destruction of mature healthy trees.  It was suggested that a letter be sent to LACAC to indicate that natural heritage is also important and that the existing landscape should be examined in more detail before such an award was given in future. The meeting agreed and Bill Royds agreed to draft the letter and e-mail it for approval.

e) Possible letter to John Manley:  Erwin Dreessen suggested caution since the Treasury Board directive which has suggested selling surplus lands still stands.  He suggested more time to think of the correct approach to Manley.

6. Next meetings:
It was decided not to meet in December. The next meeting will be Jan.19, 2000 in the Billings Room of RMOC.  It was suggested that an attempt to obtain a speaker should be made.