Ash Woodlot Rehabilitation and Canada 150 Maple Groves

In the early hours of Friday, January 27th, the kitchen on the second floor of the Manotick Arena caught fire rendering the entire second floor unusable. That same day, this community came together more than ever to ensure that Shiverfest went off without a hitch. The Manotick Village & Community Association put on a wonderful event that couldn’t have been possible without the effort of so many in the village including the Manotick Kiwanis Club, the Manotick United Church, the Manotick Legion, Station 94 and so many more. When space was lost at the arena, space was found elsewhere including in the village of Kars. Even a local business in Osgoode, Vibration Studios, reached out to assist in any way they could. Communities come together and that was never more evident than last weekend. Thank you.

Ash Woodlot Rehabilitation Update

In my November 3rd Messenger column, I provided information on the City of Ottawa’s Woodlot Rehabilitation Program aimed at removing dead and dying ash trees from David Bartlett Park, Van Vliet Park and Aston Woods in Carleton Golf & Yacht Club. That work began last week. As a reminder, this work will involve the clearing of ash trees this month as well as the removal of the highly invasive shrub buckthorn. In some areas, this work will result in significant tree loss as the presence of ash is substantial.

Following the removal, there will be a reforestation plan which will see a number of native species planted either in the fall or spring of 2017. If you have any questions on this, please let me know and I will endeavour to get answers as quickly as possible.

Canada 150 Maple Grove

In keeping with the tree theme, each ward in the City of Ottawa will see a Canada 150 Maple Grove planted commemorating Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017. In Rideau-Goulbourn, several sites were looked at but the chosen location will be David Bartlett Park. This project will see the 150 maple trees planted in groups throughout the park.  The plantings will consist of 50 red maple trees, 75 silver maples and 25 sugar maples. More information will become available closer to the planting date.

Community Dancing in Manotick

Interested in a fun, interactive session of dance, laughter & music? Join the Ever Hopeful Stringband and caller Pippa Hall for a family-friendly, alcohol-free evening of community dancing, including circles, squares and contras on Friday, February 24th from 7:00pm to 9:30pm at the Manotick United Church. Each dance is taught and the whole family is invited. The evening begins with simple dances, followed by dances that build on skills as the evening progresses. Adults are $10, children aged 12-18 are $5 and anyone under 12 is free. There is a family max of $20. For more information, please call 613-692-4576 or visit

Controlled Tile Drainage Workshop

The Ottawa Clean Water Program is pleased to announce a Controlled Tile Drainage Workshop to be held on February 28th from 12:30pm to 4:00pm at the Kars Recreation Association Hall (1604 Old Wellington Street). There are several speakers that will cover different topics related to CTD, including: agronomic and environmental benefits, installation, experience using CTD on the farm, available funding, and opportunities for CTD and other best management practices within drainage management.

Grants for controlled tile drainage and other agricultural and stewardship projects are available through the City’s Rural Clean Water Program.


If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit

Column: The growing problem of wild parsnip

Wild parsnip is a very common plant that shows up in abandoned yards, waste places, meadows, old fields, roadsides and railway embankments and in Ottawa it's popping up more and more.  In the Ottawa area, it is very common in roadside ditches - particularly in rural areas (though it's creeping into suburban areas and trails a bit more each year).  For one example, this plant is in abundance along Roger Stevens Drive, between Highway 416 and Fourth Line Road.

The flower of Wild Parsnip has some resemblance to Queen Anne's lace, though its flower is yellow instead of white. It may seem pretty, but stay well away from this "flower". Poison Parsnip is a member of the same family of plants as Giant Hogweed and can cause similar injuries.

Touching any part of the plant - or coming into contact with its oil - can lead to phytophotodermatitis and even blindness if the oil gets in your eyes. Sun exposure causes a reaction with the plant's oils that can cause mild to moderate reddening of the skin with burning sensation. More severe cases can even lead to extreme burning and third degree blistering of the skin.

How to avoid getting burned by poison parsnip

The best way to avoid injury from poison parsnip is to stay well away from it. Avoid any and all contact with it, particularly in sunlight. However, if you need to work near it or plan to try and remove it, here are precautions you should take:

  1. Dress in long sleeves, long pants and wear gloves.
  2. If your clothes come into contact with poison parsnip, avoid brushing against them when changing and washing them.
  3. Keep animals, and particularly pets, away from the plant. If they come into contact, do not touch or pet them before thoroughly washing the plant's sap off of them.

Please note: Animals can be burned by the combination of the oil and sunlight - in particular if they have little to no fur/hair. 

If you get poison parsnip sap on your skin:

  1. Cover the area so that it isn't exposed to the sun.
  2. Wash the affected area immediately and thoroughly.
  3. If the area is burning, a cool cloth can be used for relief.
  4. Treat blisters as you would minor burn blisters - avoid puncture and keep clean, dry.
  5. See a doctor for more severe burning and blisters. 
  6. For eye contact, thoroughly rinse your eyes and get to an ER immediately.

Wild parsnip burns can take a few days to heal or several months for more severe cases. Some doctors mistake the burns from this plant for poison ivy. Please share this information with your friends, family and neighbors so more people will know what it is and how to avoid it.

Heritage Gardening Weekend

Now that summer is upon us, please come and celebrate the season at Dickinson House’s Heritage Gardens this weekend, July 13 and 14.  Interpreters from the Rideau Township Historical Society and the Manotick Horticultural Society will be there to interpret the plants.  Everyone is welcome; admission is free.

Treats, Treasures and Open Market

The Kars Recreation Association wants to invite local residents to stop by the RA grounds between 9:00am and 3:00pm on Saturday, July 20 to mingle, browse and purchase art, crafts and homemade edibles from people in your community. Admission and parking are free.  This event coincides with the annual International Dog Show taking place on the Kars RA Grounds from Friday, July 19 until Sunday, July 21.  The Kars RA is located at 1604 Old Wellington Street in the beautiful village of Kars.  For more information, please visit

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please email me at or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.