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Sustainability

Harvest Hastings is about living lightly on the land. Sustainability has sections on land stewardship, tree planting, managing woods and wildlife at  Caring for Land; discussion about Climate Change; find out about Green Communities, and read about what's happening in Local Agriculture and Local Forestry. There are  AudioVideos, and a Photo Gallery. Look for "Know your farmer" video or audio interviews with local farmers and other producers. Web links has links to local organizations as well as provincial ones. Check Coming Events to find workshops, agricultural events, community meals and much more. 

Ontario Trillium Foundation supports Local Wood Initiative

April 20, 2014 by Louise Livingstone

Thanks to a generous $193,300 3 year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), Bancroft and Area Forest Industries Association and partners, Harvest Hastings, Bancroft Area Stewardship Council and Hastings Stewardship Council are launching the Harvest Hastings Local Wood Initiative to develop a check list for the public and rural property owners to assess their greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, and will also be hosting workshops for students and community members on how to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and save energy.

See video

Community Trees 2014

April 18, 2014 by Louise Livingstone

Community Trees 2014

Supported by

Hastings Stewardship Council and the municipalities of

Tweed

Stirling-Rawdon

Tyendinaga

Marmora and Lake

Centre Hastings

City of Belleville

 

Trees are free in limited quantities to residents of these municipalities.

Donations will be accepted in support of Hastings Stewardship Council programs.

Trees will be available at the following locations and dates:

 

Sat., April 26

Melrose – Tyendinaga municipal office

8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Sat., April 26

Madoc – Hastings Arts Centre

8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Sat., May 3

Belleville – Market Square

8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Sat., May 3

Tweed – Memorial Park on Stoco Lake (coincides with Trash Bash in Tweed followed by a BBQ)

8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Sat., May 3

Marmora – Memorial Park (Hwy 7 west of lights)

9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Sat., May 3

Stirling – Covered Bridge

9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

 

For more information contact:

Matt Caruana at 613-391-9034 or

Email: info [at] hastingstewardship [dot] ca

Event Date and Time: 
April 26, 2014 - 08:00 - 11:00
May 3, 2014 - 08:00 - 11:00

Flood update Quinte Conservation

April 17, 2014 by Louise Livingstone

The Flood Warning remains in effect for the Moira, Salmon and Napanee River watersheds. Quinte Conservation Water Resources Manager Bryon Keene says, “Although our local waterways have crested or will peak soon, the flooding situation will continue for several days.  Many homes that are flooded will remain so for some time.”

Keene adds, “Those homeowners who have sandbagged should keep an eye on them for at least the next two days as there may be some localized instances where water could get slightly higher as flood water from upstream works its way through the flood plain areas.”

It is expected that the lower Moira River, south of Stoco Lake to Foxboro, should crest overnight and see declining levels tomorrow.  Keene says, “Those in the floodplain near Foxboro should expect about seven days of decline on the Moira River before it returns to normal spring runoff conditions.”

Keene adds, “The Moira River will crest at a 50 year flood level, the highest some people have seen since 1981.  Records have been kept on the Moira River since 1915 and this year is the third highest on record.  1981 is first and 1936 second.”

Moira Lake has begun to recede and Stoco Lake has stabilized.  Levels on Stoco Lake exceeded 100 year flood levels.  Lakes around Verona will be high for several more days and should see water levels declining today or tomorrow. 

The Napanee River has crested from the effects of recent rain.  It will remain high for several days from Verona to Napanee.  It should take seven to days to return to normal spring runoff conditions.  Records have been kept on the Napanee River since 1974 and this year is the highest on record.

The Salmon River has peaked.  Records have been kept on the Salmon River since 1958 and this is the fourth highest year on record.

A Flood Warning means flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.

Residents who are concerned that their homes may require sandbagging should contact their municipality. States of emergency have been declared in the City of Belleville, Municipality of Tweed, Municipality of Centre Hastings and the Township of Stone Mills.

Quinte Conservation staff are monitoring conditions closely.  Anyone concerned about flooding may call the Quinte Conservation office twenty-four hours a day and follow the prompts to report any flooding.  The numbers to call are (613) 968-3434 or (613) 354-3312.

Quinte Conservation monitors water levels, weather forecasts and ice and snow conditions carefully as part of the agency’s flood forecasting and warning program. Quinte Conservation’s area of concern includes all of Prince Edward County and the drainage basins of the Moira, Salmon and Napanee Rivers and their tributaries.  The public can keep up to date on flooding information by visiting www.quinteconservation.ca or following @quinteca on Twitter.

The public is urged to stay away from all waterways as unstable ice, slippery stream banks and frigid open water conditions are extremely dangerous.  Areas around dams, culverts and bridges should be avoided at all times.  More information is available at: www.quinteconservation.ca

 

Trees Ontario Tree Facts

April 16, 2014 by Louise Livingstone

 

Tree Facts

  • Trees replenish our oxygen, filter out air pollution, contribute to better mental health and wellbeing, they are vital for the water we drink,  help cool our cities and towns, and are home to many species of plant, birds and wildlife.
  • Air pollution, including carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter – PM10 and PM2.5 – and sulfur dioxide, is are known to cause health concerns in humans, including headaches, lung, throat and eye irritation, respiratory and heart disease and cancer. There is an urgent need for more trees and forests in Ontario, and in Southern Ontario in particular. If this comes as a surprise to you, think of the urban sprawl where forests are in serious jeopardy, and remember older neighbourhoods where trees that were planted decades ago will die soon, leaving a void in the urban forest. 
  • Tree planting in rural areas of southern Ontario declined significantly in the early 1990s. Until that time, 20 to 30 million trees were planted per year in the region, however in 1998, that number fell to less than two million trees planted annually. Now, Forests Ontario, working with its partners, is rebuilding the infrastructure to increase forest cover to the required levels.
  • Heat from the earth is trapped in the atmosphere due to high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping gases that prevent heat from being released into space – creating a phenomenon known as the "greenhouse effect." 
  • Increasingly, carbon dioxide is being recognized as a "greenhouse gas" pollutant with potentially devastating consequences, which include global warming, dramatic changes in rainfall patterns, and rising sea levels that threaten flooding in coastal cities. Trees and forests are playing a vital role in helping to counteract the increase of this gas in the atmosphere.
  • Trees sequester (trap) carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. They do this during photosynthesis to form carbohydrates that are used in plant structure/function and return oxygen back to the atmosphere as a by-product.
  • About half of the greenhouse effect is caused by CO2. Trees therefore act as a “carbon sink” by removing the carbon and storing it as cellulose in their trunk, branches, leaves and roots, while releasing oxygen back into the air.
  • Trees also reduce the greenhouse effect by shading our homes and office buildings. This reduces air conditioning needs up to 30 per cent, thereby reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned to produce electricity.
  • This combination of CO2 removal from the atmosphere, carbon storage in wood, and the cooling effect makes trees a very efficient tool in fighting the greenhouse effect.
  • A healthy tree stores about 13 pounds of carbon annually – or 2.6 tons per acre each year. An acre of trees absorbs enough CO2 over one year to equal the amount produced by driving a car 26,000 miles.
  • The size of trees is important when it comes to carbon sequestration and speaks to the need for sustained growth. Carbon sequestration rates can be up to 90 times greater for healthy large trees than healthy small trees. For these reasons, good management of the urban forest is critical to achieve maximum benefits.
  • During growth, the carbon captured by trees is locked away for significant periods – often hundreds of years. Carbon is stored very quickly with fast-growing tree species, and they store it much longer than crops or tropical trees. And if we restore and re-forest promptly, the growing forest provides a positive balance as a sink. Young thriving trees and forests are the key. Most mature forests are in a state of balance (i.e. they store as much CO2 as they emit).
  • Climate change is already having a negative effect on existing trees. More trees must be planted to offset the ongoing destruction of Ontario’s forests which is a direct result of global warming. There is growing evidence that environmental changes caused by elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and its potential effects on global climate will alter forest ecosystems in Ontario.

 

Why Plant Trees?

  • Trees reflect the beauty of nature and enhance our neighbourhoods with their presence.
  • Trees, as they grow, produce oxygen and soak up carbon dioxide (CO2), thus, the planting of trees is an essential tool in helping mitigate climate change and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the air. 
  • Planting trees helps alleviate soil erosion, cleanse the air of pollutants and provide shade and windbreaks as well as habitat for wildlife.
  • Trees can increase property value (i.e. According to MoneySense magazine, trees can raise the average home’s value by more than $19,000).
  • Trees are vital to urban neighbours; for instance Toronto’s urban forest is an essential city asset with an estimated replacement value of $7.1 billion (based on the City of Toronto’s recent report Every Tree Counts).
  • Research suggests trees offer significant emotional and mental benefits (as documented in Trees Ontario’s 2012 discussion paper A Healthy Dose of Green: A prescription for a healthy population).
  • Planting trees and using local forest resources help boost the economy. According to Natural Resources Canada, for about 200 communities across Canada, the forest sector makes up at least 50% of the economic base. In total, this industry contributes about 1.9% to Canada’s gross domestic product. In addition, Canada is also the world’s leading exporter of softwood lumber, newsprint and wood pulp; and the fifth largest exporter of wood panels and printing and writing papers.

 

Forests Ontario

April 16, 2014 by Louise Livingstone

 

About Forests OntarioForests Ontario is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through tree planting efforts on rural and urban land as well as the renewal and stewardship of forests across the province. Forests Ontario and its more than 80 provincial partners work to protect, renew and manage forest resources through educational programs, services and advocacy. For more information, visit www.forestsontario.ca.

HistoryForests Ontario was created in 2014 following the merger of Trees Ontario (incorporated 1994) and the Ontario Forestry Association (incorporated 1949). Trees Ontario was committed to the re-greening of Ontario through tree planting on private rural lands, and the Ontario Forestry Association was focused on education surrounding the management of forest ecosystems. Since 2004, Trees Ontario and its partners planted more than 18 million trees across Ontario.

PartnershipsForests Ontario works with approximately 85 partner organizations, including seed collectors, seed processors, nurseries, conservation authorities, forestry consultants, government, corporate sponsors and volunteer groups. 

Programs/Events

  • 50 Million Tree Program: This subsidy program, delivered in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, is designed to significantly reduce landowners’ costs of large-scale tree planting. The goal of the program is to plant 50 million trees by 2025.
  • Program for Local Afforestation Network Training (PLANT): This is the first Ontario mentorship-based program aimed at post-secondary students to proactively address forest restoration needs in the face of climate change.
  • Environthon: An interactive, curriculum-based environmental education program aimed at Grade 9, 10, 11 and 12 students.
  • Heritage Tree Program: This program recognizes, records and celebrates long-lived trees as cultural and biological monuments. Anyone can nominate a tree by calling Forests Ontario (1.877.646.1193) or by registering as a nominator on the website.
  • DIY Forest: A tree seedling rebate program offering a 10 cent savings on seedling purchases of 50 to 500. To participate, landowners complete a quiz on the Forest Ontario website and download a discount coupon for use at participating nurseries.
  • Community Tree Planting Weekend: An annual, family-friendly half-day tree planting event held the first Saturday in May in several communities across Ontario in need of re-greening.

Workshops

Throughout the year, Forests Ontario and its partners host a variety of educational workshops open to the public, including:

  • Landowner workshop: Forestry experts share information on forest management and stewardship, tree planting subsidies and other financial incentives for establishing and managing a forest.
  • Seed forecasting workshop: This workshop is intended for individuals with prior knowledge and experience related to tree seed collection. Attendees will learn about flower morphology, seed production, ideal weather conditions for seed development and release and seed crop progression.
  • Certified seed collector workshop: Participants will learn about seed biology as well as the science and logistics of collecting and marketing seed.

Importance of forestsForests, especially in southern Ontario, are in serious jeopardy. They are diminishing quickly due to urban sprawl, global warming and the prohibitive costs facing private landowners interested in tree planting and forest management. The number of trees planted in southern Ontario has dropped dramatically since the 1990s – from 20 million trees annually to two million. And since 90 per cent of southern Ontario and 50 per cent of central Ontario lands are privately owned, it is imperative that support is provided to landowners to plant trees on their lands and to actively manage their forests.

Human health and forestsForests have positive impacts on human health by reducing air pollution, a risk factor for both cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Trees are natural filters and help reduce smog and pollution by removing carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and other pollutants through their leaves and other surface areas.

In 2008, an estimated 620,000 doctor’s office visits in Ontario were attributed to air pollution, according to the Ontario Medical Association. This total is expected to rise to more than 940,000 visits in 2031 if air quality does not improve.

According to “A Healthy Dose of Green,” a 2012 Trees Ontario report, at least one billion more trees must be planted within Ontario’s rural lands and urban landscapes to achieve the minimum 30 per cent forest cover needed to sustain a healthy ecosystem.

For more information, please contact:

Shelley McKayDirector of Communications & DevelopmentForests Ontario144 Front St. West, Suite 700, Toronto, ON, M5J 2L7P: 416-646-1193 x. 232 E: smckay [at] forestsontario [dot] ca

Flood warning for Moira, Salmon and Napanee Watersheds

April 15, 2014 by Louise Livingstone

Rainfall in the Moira, Salmon and Napanee River watersheds has caused water levels to rise again. Water levels will remain high for the next week.

Water Resources Manager Bryon Keene says, “The rain we are experiencing now is causing lake and river water levels to rise again.  Overnight rainfall Monday and the present downpour are contributing to rising levels in the headwater areas and this water still has to pass downstream.  As we reported yesterday, precipitation has caused water levels on the northern Moira River tributaries, the Black and Skootamatta Rivers to rise again and that water will continue to flow downstream causing water levels to rise further in areas already flooded. Water levels on area lakes, including Stoco and Moira Lakes rose several centimetres overnight and will continue to rise in response to this rain.  Water levels in flooded areas including Foxboro and Corbyville in the City of Belleville and the vicinity of Stoco Lake in the Municipality of Tweed are expected to continue to rise slowly and stay high for a week.”

Water levels on Stoco Lake are rising and approaching historic flood levels.

Water levels in the Foxboro and Corbyville area of the City of Belleville are expected to rise at least several more centimetres above the current water levels in response to the rain. Water levels will remain high throughout the week.

The Moira River at Highway 7 is rising.

The Salmon River at Tamworth is still rising slowly.

The Napanee River is rising again and is approaching the highest levels since the 1976 record.

Depot Creek, a tributary to the Napanee River, is rising slowly.

The Skootamatta and Black Rivers are rising again in response to rain received the past three days.

A Flood Warning means flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.

Residents who are concerned that their homes may require sandbagging should contact their municipality.

Quinte Conservation staff are monitoring conditions closely.  Anyone concerned about flooding may call the Quinte Conservation office twenty-four hours a day and follow the prompts to report any flooding.  The numbers to call are (613) 968-3434 or (613) 354-3312. 

Quinte Conservation monitors water levels, weather forecasts and ice and snow conditions carefully as part of the agency’s flood forecasting and warning program. Quinte Conservation’s area of concern includes all of Prince Edward County and the drainage basins of the Moira, Salmon and Napanee Rivers and their tributaries.  The public can keep up to date on flooding information by visiting www.quinteconservation.ca or following @quinteca on Twitter.

The public is urged to stay away from all waterways as unstable ice, slippery stream banks and frigid open water conditions are extremely dangerous.  Areas around dams, culverts and bridges should be avoided at all times.  More information is available at: www.quinteconservation.ca.  This message is valid until Wednesday, April 16, 2014.

Creating Jobs in the Bancroft area with a Biomass CHP Plant

April 14, 2014 by Louise Livingstone

Peter Nischke and Lou Freymond from the Bancroft Mindon Forest Company talk about creating jobs and boosting the rural ecomony with a  combined heat and power plant fueled with residues from the forestry industry.

The Bancroft Combined Heat and Power Plant is an initiative of County Power Corporation (CPC) and the Bancroft Minden Forest Company (BMFC) to develop a biomass (wood residue) Combined Heat and Power plant (CHP) to sell a minimum of 10MWe to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) grid, provide contract kiln drying and district heating. The plant will strengthen the local primary forest products industry and be a major boost to the economy, positively affecting the lives of hundreds of people.

You can find out more at County Power Corporation.

See video

Peter Neave ran a caring for the soil workshop

April 11, 2014 by Louise Livingstone

Peter Neave is digging a soil pit for the  Farmer to farmer workshop on caring for the soil on April 10, 2014 at the Moira Hall.  Watching him work are (left to right) Matt Caruana Hastings Stewardship coordinator, Tim Gray, Trees Ontario, Dale Ketcheson owner of the field and Steve Tubb. Louise Livingstone photo 

You can download Peter Neave's presentation.

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