General Meeting – 19 January 2000

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital

Minutes of Meeting of January 19, 2000

The meeting was held in the Billings Room of the RMOC, 111 Lisgar St. The meeting came to order at 7:40 p.m. and adjourned at 10:05 p.m. Vice-Chair Erwin Dreessen chaired the meeting in the absence of Chair Shelley Parlow, and Treasurer Barbara Barr recorded minutes in the absence of Secretary Amy Kempster.

Present: Barbara Barr, Erwin Dreessen, Clair Merkley (Ridgemont Comm. Assoc.), Bill Royds

Regrets: Amy Kempster, Eric Moore, Shelley Parlow

Documents Circulated: Agenda; Minutes of November 17, 1999 meeting; revised draft of Greenspace Alliance brochure

1. Approval of the agenda. The printed agenda at the meeting had additions to that which had been e-mailed. Further additions were made at the meeting. All the additions are included here.  Under Item 4. Updates, brief announcements, Southern Corridor: landswap, letters, poetry award; Greenmap; and Deer in the Greenbelt were added. Under Item 5. Action, Membership in the Volunteer Centre of Ottawa-Carleton was added. Under Item 6. Reports/Discussion, Conservation Authorities/Shortliffe Report was added. Barbara Barr moved and Bill Royds seconded that the amended agenda be approved.   Carried.

2. Approval of the Minutes of November. Barbara Barr moved and Bill Royds seconded that the Minutes of the November 17 meeting be approved. Carried.

3. Business arising from the Minutes.

Central Experimental Farm (CEF).

ACTION: Bill Royds will check the Parks Canada website for the text of the CEF’s official dedication statement in response to a request from Erwin Dreessen for a copy of the statement.

Local Architecture Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC).

Bill Royds did not draft a letter to LACAC about its award of merit to the NCC re LeBreton.  Instead, he asked Rhoda Bellamy, a LACAC member, to express to the LACAC the concerns about destruction of natural heritage (mature trees destroyed) that Bill had brought to the attention of the Greenspace Alliance at the November 17 meeting.

4.   Updates, brief announcements.

a.1 Memberships. Treasurer Barbara Barr reported that three individual and two group membership applications had been received since the last meeting. Three groups applied at the meeting, the Ridgemont Comm. Assoc., through Clair Merkley, and the Ottawa Field Naturalists and the Kitchisippi Foundation, through Bill Royds. Erwin Dreessen reported that the Federation of Citizens’ Associations (FCA) wished to enter into a reciprocal membership arrangement with the Greenspace Alliance. This would be a net cost to the Alliance of $20 since FCA’s membership fee is $30.

MOTION: Barbara Barr moved and Bill Royds seconded that Eric Moore, Sol Shuster, and Frances Tanner be accepted as individual members; that Friends of the Farm, Hunt Club Community Organization, Ridgemont Community Association, Ottawa Field Naturalists, Kitchisippi Foundation Inc., and the Federation of Citizens’ Associations be accepted as group members; and that the Greenspace Alliance join the FCA.  Carried.

Bill Royds reported that there are currently 47 persons or organizations on the e-mail list of the Greenspace Alliance.

a.2 By-laws. Posting of the approved by-laws is still pending.

a.3. Website.  The website does not have minutes of meetings before July 17, 1999, posted on it because of the previous policy of not posting minutes.

MOTION: Bill Royds moved and Barbara Barr seconded that the minutes of the November 17 meeting be posted, and that henceforth the Greenspace Alliance post approved minutes on the website.  Carried.

b. Letter to NCC on dogs in ESAs. Barbara Barr reported that a letter, dated November 25, 1999, had been sent.

c. Budget 2000, City of Ottawa. Council voted to allocate $20,000 for NOSS, $30,000 for the Climate Change Program (C02 reduction), and $50,000 for the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program. Erwin Dreessen had a copy of Dave McNicoll’s written submission on the budget and drew attention to several points — certain assets, including greenspace, are never accounted for as assets; over the past 10 years the City has received approximately one million dollars per year as cash-in-lieu of parkland, but little land has been purchased; and during construction of the Champlain Bridge, Riopelle and Cunningham islands were devastated. The islands were ranked high in the NOSS and recommended to be zoned Environmentally Sensitive.

d. Friendship Windmill. When he goes to Europe in April, Erwin Dreessen intends to take photos of actual Dutch windmill landscapes to demonstrate that the windmills are in flat areas and not necessarily near water. Erwin included his opinions about requirements, non-requirements, and appropriate locations for the windmill in a letter he wrote to Regional Councillor Wendy Stewart, a copy of which was sent to the Greenspace Alliance on January 16. Bill Royds informed that the wind measurements at 1740 Woodroffe Ave. (the former Greenbelt Farm) took place between 1982 and 1995.

e. Sawmill Creek ESA appeal. Erwin Dreessen reported that the appeal by Inglenook Developments Inc. of the zoning of 1454 Clementine as Environmentally Sensitive in Zoning By-law 1998 is scheduled for hearing before the Ontario Municipal Board on March 27. The site borders Sawmill Creek. Donna Silver, President of the Heron Park North Community Association has e-mailed a request to the Greenspace Alliance for background information.

f. Southern Corridor: landswap, letters, poetry award. Recent ideas put forward for saving the Southern Corridor include landswap (Brian Gifford), letters to Minister John Manley (Bryan Hawley), a Confederation Poets’ Pathway through the Heron/Walkley/Kitchener lands and through the Southern Corridor in conjunction with the Trans-Canada Trail (Peter Stockdale), and a poetry award. There has been a proposal since 1959 that there ought to be a national park or memorial to commemorate the Confederation poets (Bill Royds).

ACTION: Bill Royds will continue to work with and encourage both Peter Stockdale and Brian Gifford on combining land preservation with commemoration of Confederation poets.

g. Greenmap. Bill Royds reported that the Greenmap project is progressing; some money has been received for software development; the Region will host the map; the project fits in well with GIS mapping projects in schools; a non-profit organization, the Kitchisippi foundation Inc., has been formed to manage the project and promote funding; the goal is to have an on-line map ready by World Environment Day in June; and that input will be needed from the community to identify places in the local environment that are important.

h. Deer in the Greenbelt. Bill Royds reported that deer are so numerous in the Greenbelt they have become a problem, and the NCC is considering options. Culling by controlled hunting is proposed, but many people would be opposed to it.

5.   Action

a. Inviting speakers. Guest speaker Mike Rosen will talk about the Stewardship Councils at the February meeting. Erwin Dreessen suggested having speakers at the next three meetings and suggested the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Canadian Environmental Network as two possible future topics.

ACTION: Amy Kempster, in consultation with Shelley Parlow, is to arrange a February meeting date that will accommodate Mike Rosen’s schedule.

b.    Letter in support of preservation of Heron /Walkley/Kitchener lands.

ACTION: Barbara Barr volunteered to see to it that a letter to John Manley regarding preservation of the Heron/Walkley/Kitchener lands is drafted and e-mailed to the membership for comment. The letter should include the concept of a Confederation Poets’ Pathway.

c. Membership in the Volunteer Centre of Ottawa-Carleton. The e-mailed suggestion of Bryan Hawley that the Greenspace Alliance join the Volunteer Centre was considered worth further investigation. It might be a way to find a person to help develop our website.

ACTION: Bryan Hawley is requested to inquire of the Volunteer Centre about (1) the likelihood that there will be a volunteer with the appropriate skills, and (2) the exact cost.

5.    Reports/Discussion

a. Brochure. Erwin Dreessen circulated a revised draft based on comments he had received. A change in the definition of greenspace from “significant” to “valuable” was suggested at the meeting (“Greenspace is defined as a natural/vegetated area deemed valuable by a community.”). The brochure still needs some work, including verification of facts and translation into French.

ACTION: The Brochure Committee (Erwin Dreessen, Amy Kempster, Bill Royds) is to continue its work. Barbara Barr will give Shelley Parlow a copy of the revised brochure.

b. Landtrust Working Group (workshop). No report due to absence of both Shelley Parlow and Amy Kempster.

c. Orleans forest, Turtlehead area, Cunningham Park Woods: what do they have in common? Various people in various places locally have land preservation and land management problems and issues that they have brought to the attention of the Greenspace Management plans and policies are needed for such lands. At present, the Landtrust Working Group appears to be the best hope to begin developing such plans and policies.

d. Municipal amalgamation; a regional parks system? A good idea would be to formulate proposals to present to the new City of Ottawa regarding the preservation of greenspace in the amalgamated city.

e. Conservation Authorities/Shortliffe Report. The Shortliffe Report recommends that the new City Council discuss the transfer of the appropriate development functions pertaining to land use planning matters (i.e., flood plain mapping) from the Conservation Authorities to the City. Conservation Authorities [Mississippi Valley, Rideau Valley, South Nation] to retain their overall responsibilities for the management of watersheds.  We do not know the ramifications of this recommendation or whether it was adopted by the Provincial Act.

ACTION: Erwin Dreessen will contact David Biggs and Bill Royds will contact Charles Billington to inquire about the opinion of the Conservation Authorities regarding the recommended planning function transfer.

7. Next meeting dates. To be announced [February 23 in the Caucus Room, RMOC, 111 Lisgar St. at 7:30 p.m.]