Past Projects

Pecha Kucha presented at Virtual Living Waters Rally

In October 2013, the Bonnechere RIver Watershed Project presented a Pecha Kucha at the 2013 Living Waters Rally, held virtually with participants from across the country. A Pecha Kucha is a method of presenting information by using 20 slides, with 20 seconds of commentary per slide, sometimes known as a 20 x 20.

The BRWP Pecha Kucha is below.

Sustainability Network: 2011 Environment & Diversity Mini-Grant and Webinar

In 2011, the BRWP was awarded an Environment and Diversity mini grant from the Sustainability Network The purpose of Environment & Diversity mini grant was to enhance the engagement between the BRWP and the Algonquins of the Pikwakanagan First Nation community within the Bonnechere River watershed to help raise awareness of environmental issues of mutual interest and concern and to address environmental degradation. A report can be found here.

As part of this project, Kathy Lindsay, Chair of the BRWP presented a webinar on May 16, 2012 for the Sustainability Network, reporting on the activities and outcomes of the Sustainability Network Diversity mini-grant. The webinar can be found as a download below.

Naturalizing Your Shoreline

On Wednesday August 13th at the Eganville Legion, the BRWP hosted an evening of learning about the benefits of Naturalized Shorelines. Suzanne McFarlane the Community Relations Coordinator at

Mississippi Valley Conservation presented on the specific benefits of a natural shoreline focusing on keeping the enjoyment in your shoreline while increasing the shoreline health. The presentation given on species that could be used is posted below as is a list of fairly local nurseries where you could purchase the plants needed to complete your shoreline transformation.

Thanks given to Erin Gallagher from the Gamiing Center for Sustainable Lakeshore Living (Lindsay, ON) as she provided the pictures included in attached presentation.

Native Plants Presentation

Native Plant Nurseries

Moonlight Crofters - North of Dacre

Connaught Nursery and Garden Center - Coben

Fieldstone Nursery - Foymount

Make it Green - Stittsville

Ferguson Forest Center - Kemptville

Grade 10 Benthic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring

In collaboration with Citizens Environmental Watch (CEW) at the University of Toronto, we will continue a hands-on learning initiative for students from the four watershed high schools: Renfrew Collegiate Institute, St. Joseph's High School, Renfrew; Opeongo High School; and, Madawaska District Valley High School. The water courses analyzed include Hurd’s Creek, Byer’s Creek, Smith’s Creek and Mink Creek.

Grade 10 biology students spend a day collecting stream bottom insects to help determine the health of the water system. This includes a short lesson, stream sampling and then identification and counting of the specimens collected to give an indication of the biodiversity and abundance of stream inhabitants, which in turn through calculations provides an insight to what is happening in the stream. Students put their knowledge of scientific investigation to work in this program.

Support for these programs has been provided by a major grant from the CIBC, Killaloe Branch. Support from Ontario Power Generation is also gratefully acknowledged.

Opeongo High School students monitor Hurds Creek

The benthic macroinvertebrates in Hurds Creek in the autumn and spring in the vicinity of the Augsburg Rd culvert. Benthic macroinvertebrates are used as biological indicators of water quality and stream health. Typical stream-bottom invertebrates include snails, clams, worms, leeches, and the larval stages of dragonflies, mayflies, stoneflies and caddisflies. Measuring the density and diversity of benthic invertebrates provides valuable clues when assessing the quality of surface water. Benthic invertebrates serve as a barometer to changes in water pollution over time, and exhibit a wide-range of sensitivity to various levels of environmental stress. The absence of sensitive benthic species or the dominance of pollution-tolerant species can indicate that water quality is degraded.

Student Report


We spent one morning going through the protocol for properly collecting the samples from Hurds Creek. We spent the second day in the classroom identifying the benthics that we had caught, tabulating the number of each then analyzing the results. As with the results found at the same site in the Fall using this technique the results indicated that the site was unimpaired.

The most dominant species of benthics found were stoneflies. Stonefly, Caddisfly and Mayfly all require gravelly stream bottoms with good concentrations of dissolved oxygen and are typically found in high quality stream environments. These three species at the rates found in the sample serve as indicators of both good water and habitat quality status.

Benthic Macroinvertebrate Analysis was used to collect baseline data over time. Although no major conclusions can be drawn from the past year's work it does set up the opportunity to view the site over the next several years at which time a more definitive conclusion can be made.


As has been the case with each sampling effort the students found new things within the sample and noted the changes in the sample site. This year the student’s found a large number of mayflies and stoneflies and noted some clearing that had taken place on the site over winter. The students were also able to see a crawfish carrying eggs, live fish eggs and woodland flowers in bloom.

The experiment continued in class with the students taking a closer look at their sample and bringing those results together for the analysis. The water quality in the creek appears to be good based on the benthic macroinvertebrate study which is consistent with the results found in both previous occasions.

Grade 7/8 Environmental Leadership Course

In 2004 we partnered with the Renfrew County Chapter of the Ontario Woodlot Association to launch a pilot project on forests. In 2006, the program was run at Admaston Public School. A field trip and an in-class session focused on four topics: tree identification; wetlands; wildlife habitat and timber harvesting.

Currently the leadership course focuses on an important environmental issue in today’s society which is relevant to the curriculum. Each class is provided an in-class lecture, followed by a field trip, usually a day out tree planting. In 2006, the topic was energy usage and conservation and in 2007 the lectures surrounded our water resources and watersheds. Two schools participated in 2007: St. Casimir’s Catholic School in Round Lake Centre and St. Mary’s in Wilno. St. Mary’s planted 1500 trees for a landowner requiring assistance planting.

Grade 6/7 Forest Issues Course

This is a full day program organized by the Renfrew County Woodlot Association in which the BRWP is asked to lead the aquatics portion of the field course. Students complete four modules throughout the day including wildlife, aquatics, tree identification and forest inventories. In 2007, BRWP assisted in the field course for Admaston Public School.

Grade 3/4 Adopt-A-Class Program

The Ducks Unlimited Webfoot (formerly Greenwing) Program which was introduced in 2002 continued in 2007 at the following schools: St. Thomas, Renfrew; St. Mary's, Wilno; St. Andrew's, Killaloe; Eganville Public School and St Casimir's, Round Lake.

Each class must be sponsored by a local business or organization to participate and this year <strong>OntarioPower Generation sponsored three classes and CIBC Killaloe sponsored two.

The program provides teacher resource material on wetlands, water quality and wildlife which can be used in the classroom for reading, science, art, animal and plant identification and ecology. The BRWP provides a field trip to a local wetland to allow the students hands on experience on the importance of wetlands to humans and the environment.

Working with Youth

The Bonnechere River Watershed Project recognizes the importance of working with youth to instill in them an understanding and appreciation for our natural heritage in the Bonnechere watershed. To this end, we work with students from grade 3 through to 8 and Grade 10.

Support for these programs has been provided by a major grant from the CIBC, Killaloe Branch. Support from Ontario Power Generation is also gratefully acknowledged.

Wetland Protection and Enhancement Program

This program was a new initiative in 2004, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, and will provide incentives and technical support to landowners of wetlands for such activities as fencing and planting eroded banks and buffer zones with trees and shrubs.

Wetlands are critically important ecosystems, providing: water storage, storm protection and flood mitigation, shoreline stabilization and erosion control, groundwater recharge, and water purification through etention of nutrients, sediments, and pollutants. Wetland conservation can help maintain hydrologic flow atterns and mitigate some of the environmental impacts of climate change. In addition, wetlands provide ritical habitat and breeding grounds for many species plants and animals, including a number of species at risk. 2006-07 Annual Report, Environmental Commissioner Ontario, page 35

Ron Deshane's 2007 wetland enhancement project

One of the initiatives for the Ontario Stewardship Rangers (yellow hats) and Earth Walkers (orange hats) was to construct some turtle resting platforms. As well, some beaver dams were repaired and a few Wood Duck boxes were put in place.

Bird Nesting Boxes

Over the past five years almost 130 nesting structures have been installed throughout the watershed to support species that benefit from habitat enhancement structures. Students at Renfrew Collegiate Institute built over 100 of these boxes for wood ducks and bluebirds and the Renfrew and Portage Cub Packs have helped build and install bluebird boxes as well.

Each year all boxes are monitored for usage, checked for damage, cleaned out and filled with fresh new nesting material. Most of the monitoring takes place in the late winter months when ice conditions allow easy access to the structures.

Work in 2007 has focused on the continuation of monitoring and mapping the GPS coordinates of all nesting boxes. This summer the Ontario Stewardship Rangers and the Pikwakanagan Earth Walkers assisted in building and installing bat houses and homes for nuthatches, flycatchers and bluebirds. Investigation of potential sites and structures for other species such as osprey will continue into 2008.

If you are interested in volunteering to help monitor these nesting structures please contact our Project Coordinator. If you are interested in making your own nestbox and/or bat box refer to this Ducks Unlimited Canada for plans.

Assistance has been provided by the Community Fish and Wildlife Improvement Program, Pemco Steel, the Renfrew Fur Council, Renfrew Fish and Game Club, Mountain Equipment Coop, Renfrew County Stewardship Council and Ducks Unlimited Canada.<

Greening of the Bonnechere River Watershed

The BRWP’s tree planting program is a 50/50 cost-sharing agreement with private landowners to plant native trees and shrubs on private land within the watershed. The goals of this program are to enhance wildlife habitat by expanding corridors and to enhance water quality by expanding or creating buffer zones along water courses. Corridors attach forest patches and enhance connectivity which allows wildlife to travel safely between patches to obtain food and shelter, find mates and maintain genetic biodiversity. Riparian vegetation is that which grows along the banks of water courses and makes up the buffer zone which protects the waterway from bank erosion, nutrient loading and sedimentation. It also provides vital habitat for wildlife that use the waterways.

This program began in 2002 with the planting of 12,000 native trees and shrubs on private land within the Bonnechere River watershed. Since then, the program has expanded to include the planting of almost 26,000 seedlings in 2007 with 14 private landowners. Also in 2007 the Bonnechere River Riparian Tree Planting Program Landowner Information Folder was developed, a document designed to assist landowners in planning, planting and caring for their seedlings.

There is also an educational component to the program which provides grade 7/8 students the opportunity to learn first hand the importance of environmental projects such as tree planting. In 2007 St. Mary’s Catholic School in Wilno planted 1500 trees for a landowner requiring assistance planting.

Regeneration surveys were done this year on some projects that took place in previous years and further work on this will be a priority for 2008 to ensure that our efforts have been successful and help determine where planting should be focused in years to come.

If you are interested in receiving a Landowner Information Folder which includes an application for trees and letter explaining the program, or would like to volunteer to help plant trees in the spring, please contact our Project Coordinator.

Assistance for this program in 2007 was provided by the Community Fish and Wildlife Involvement Program, a program of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Renfrew County Stewardship Council.

Wetlands, Wildlife and Woodlands (W3) Project

A program to encourage best management practices that support rural water quality enhancement projects in the agricultural community. In 2004, under a cost sharing arrangement, assistance was provided for seven projects to fence cattle out of watercourses, install solar powered systems for livestock and to plant trees and shrubs along watercourses and on fragile land.

New water quality testing initiatives are expected to flow from our primary strategic priority, which is to develop a Watershed Plan. We are also a strong supporter of the Harris Creek sub watershed study where water samples are being collected from six test sites and analyzed in labs at the Ministries of Environment and Energy and Health, leading to Nutrient Management Plans on farms drained by two of the three municipal drains.