Public Town Halls - Local Energy and the Energy East Pipeline
The Bonnechere River Watershed Project, the Ottawa River Institute, the Valley Climate Circle and Environmental Defence co-sponsored two public town halls in October 2014, in Pembroke and Arnprior. The focus of the public Town Halls was the environmental and economic implications of the Energy East pipeline proposed by TransCanada that would see conversion of one of the two lines traversing Renfrew County from natural gas to diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands. Each group made a presentations followed by a Q&A and discussion of next steps. Presentations were made by the BRWP on residents' values and concerns, importance of community engagement in decision-making, and a profiling of environmental risks from the many pipeline river crossings in Renfrew County; Ottawa River Institute on local views about our energy future; Valley Climate Circle on the economic drivers for the proposal, the adverse climate implications of producing and using that much more oil and gas, and the risks to the hopes and dreams of ordinary people; and the argument by Environmental Defence on why we should say NO to the proposal.
Presentations by the sponsoring groups are available below.
3rd Annual Renfrew County Stewardship Forum
The third Renfrew County Stewardship Forum was held on May 9th, 2014 at the Marguerite Centre in Pembroke. This year's theme was Celebrating our Watersheds- Trails and Tributaries, with presentations on Active Transportation, Renfrew County Trails Strategy, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan and CN/CP Rails and Trials, BRWP Overview of effort to Steward Our Tributaries, and updates from the Muskrat Watershed Council. The forum was a partnership of The Bonnechere River Watershed Project and the Ottawa River Institute.
Muskrat Lake Symposium
The BRWP presented at the Muskrat Lake Symposium held in Cobden on October 5, 2013 that was hosted by Whitewater Region and the Ministry of Natural Resources to raise public awareness about water quality issues in Muskrat Lake. The lake is plagued with a growing problem of algae blooms related to nutrient loading from various sources in the watershed.
Guest speakers at the water quality symposium included:
-Victor Castro from the Ministry of the Environment's Surface Water section in Kingston.
-Sarah Hall, coordinator of the Environmental Technician program at Algonquin College in Pembroke.
-Kathy Lindsay, chair of the Bonnechere River Watershed Project.
-Meredith Brown, executive director with the Ottawa Riverkeeper.
-Claire Malcolmson, former board member with the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition and a Water Program Manager with Environmental Defence.
2nd Annual Renfrew County Stewardship Forum
The second Renfrew County Stewardship Forum was held on February 7th, 2013 at the Marguerite Centre in Pembroke. Discussion focused on the Centre for Sustainable Watersheds (CSW) 2012 shoreline survey, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) Changing Climate Implications, and proposed community collaboration on Renfrew environmental issues. The forum was a partnership of The Bonnechere River Watershed Project, Centre for Sustainable Watershed, Sustainable Eastern Ontario and the Renfrew County Stewardship Council. Report available here.
First Annual Renfrew County Stewardship Forum
In April of 2012, the Bonnechere River Watershed Project, the Renfrew County Stewardship Council and Algonquin College collaborated to bring the first Renfrew County Stewardship Forum to Renfrew County. The event brought together representatives from local government, business, arts and culture, youth, Algonquin First Nation,stewardship organizations, outdoor recreational organizations, community health
organizations to the day long event. The forum featured guest speakers Al Douglas, Director of the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources and Judi Brouse, Director of the Watershed Programs from the Muskoka Watershed Council Working Groups. Participant group breakout sessions developed creative and collaborative approaches to potential project scenarios. The report, including the two guest speaker presentations can be viewed here.
“Funding support for this project has been provided by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario’s (FedDev Ontario) Eastern Ontario Development Program,administered by the Community Futures Development Corporation of Renfrew County.”
The BRWP and Double Take Productions partnered on an innovative puppeteering workshop, held recently at Neat Coffee Shop in Burnstown. The workshop was lead by puppeteer, Trish Leeper. http://www.tleeper.com
It was a basic puppetry workshop for those who were interested in exploring the art of breathing life into an inanimate object – otherwise known as puppeteering. We mostly worked with Muppet-style puppets (Hand and Rod) and explored techniques such as breath, focus, movement and lip sync. Once everyone had a handle on some of the basics, we had fun with simple improvisation and play. The BRWP spokesfrog for 2013, Bonnie Chere, was there for the fun as well.
Below is a quick look at some of the fun that was had during the workshop.