2020 was a season like no other. When the pandemic sent Canada and the world into shutdown, a record number of people seemed to find refuge and relaxation along the parkland trail and on the water. And for good reason. Oathill lake is a glorious urban retreat, the perfect escape from stresses of the day.
With greater use comes greater responsibility to the lake and trail. Throughout the spring, summer and fall, we continued testing the water every two weeks. Teams of volunteers kept harvesting the invasive species that persist in disrupting growth of native plants and trees. All to say the work got done!
New to the area? Thinking of getting involved? Please reach out and let us know (See contact section). We are regularly collecting water data and always appreciate a helping hand. Please join us!
I am sad to be writing my last blog post for my summer position here at the OLCS. This past week I have been working hard to wrap up all the projects from the summer including my last water sampling on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Jim and I attended the Clean Foundation’s regional debrief session for the Youth Corps in Truro. At this event, I had the opportunity to provide a small presentation outlining the different projects I had been working on all summer for the OLCS, as well as listen to other students from across the province talk about their own projects.
I have finished my list of wildlife species I encountered around the lake this summer. By no means is this a complete list of ALL the wildlife species, instead it is a small sampling that I encourage many of you to expand on with your own sightings around the lake.
With the completion of the invasive species removal last week, I have had more time this week to focus on finishing up the educational resources I have been working on. This includes a letter I have written that can be distributed to newcomers of the community introducing who the OLCS is, as well as providing some helpful tips on how they can contribute to the conservation efforts at the lake.
Building off the success of the drain decals that were installed by Halifax Water last week, I have continued with the theme of safe storm water practices and composed a brief information sheet on the importance of proper pool water disposal. Disposing of pool water safely is easy and prevents harmful chemicals from being introduced to the lake. If you or someone you know has a pool, I encourage you to take a look at the page to ensure you are following these practices!
Finally, before I say goodbye I am leaving you with an information sheet providing conservation tips that you can carry on throughout the fall and winter. As the summer season is coming to an end, it is important to remember that although we may not be swimming in the lake anymore that it is still just as important to ensure we are keeping the lake clean and healthy for the wildlife that inhabits it.
I cannot thank you enough, the members of the OLCS, for your continued support and involvement in all the projects I have been working on this summer. It has been so fun and rewarding to participate in your society and help a lake that had been such a big part of my childhood.
We had another successful Community Invasive Species Dig last night! Thank you to all the enthusiastic volunteers, I am so appreciative of your time. We accomplished even more than I had hoped, with the many massive piles of Multiflora Rose left as an indication of your hard work. The extent of Multiflora Rose growth has been greatly diminished this summer, with the exception of areas that are quite difficult to access.
Another exciting project I have seen completed this week is the application of informative decals on the storm drains by Halifax Water. Over 80 decals were applied throughout the watershed, extending all the way out to Gaston Rd! These decals act as a reminder to ensure only rain water and snow melt end up in the storm drains. During this process, I have learned a lot about proper storm water management. One thing I was surprised to learn was the negative effects that grass clippings from mowing your lawn have on the lake. Grass clippings that are left on the road after mowing will eventually be washed down the storm drain and end up in the lake. I have created a simple infographic to explain how grass clippings can be harmful and encourage everyone to not leave any yard trimmings or grass clippings on the road.
I can’t believe I am entering into my last week as Environmental Remediation Officer, it seems not too long ago that I was writing my first weekly update! Next week, I will be presenting my work from the summer to the Clean Foundation along with other students from across the province involved in the Youth Corps. As well, I am working on a few more educational resources to have completed by the end of the week so stay tuned!
Have a great weekend!
I can’t believe it is week 6 of my summer work term already! Time flies when you enjoy your work, and I have been having a very rewarding summer working here at the lake.
On Thursday, Tasha and I were out in the canoe for a very calm morning of water sampling. The sampling returned some surprising results, with the oxygen concentration profiles resembling those of 2013 and 2012. This may be an indication that we need to increase circulation from the pump, but we will hope for better results for the next round of testing.
I have focused this past week on combatting the litter issue around the lake. With fewer garbage receptacles at high traffic areas there has been significant amounts of litter left behind on various occasions. Until we are able to get more receptacles in place, I have spent some time working on educational resources that may raise awareness in the community. I have reached out to several environmental organizations that do great work providing these educational resources. Once I have obtained the material, I will distribute them on the website and Facebook page!
Some exciting news for the upcoming week, Nancy and myself are attending a town hall climate change consultation where we will hear from many people in the community with ideas surrounding the environment. We may even be able to speak about the work being done at our own lake to encourage others to take action as well.
And finally, building off of the success of our last Community Invasive Species Dig, we are hosting another!
WHERE: Across 82 Lorne Ave
DATE: Wednesday, August 17
TIME: 6:30pm – 8:00pm
We will aim to work at the cul de sac at the end of Lorne Ave, the last of the large areas around the lake that I have yet to tackle the Multiflora Rose. The evening time will hopefully be cooler than the last dig, and refreshments will be provided. I encourage all who are able to attend to come out as it is a great way to strengthen community relationships and many hands make light work!
I will be sending out a reminder closer to the date so be sure to mark your calenders!
Throughout the summer I have been keeping record of the numerous bird species and other wildlife I encounter around the lake. This week I spent some time putting a list together of all these different species. The goal is to create a page providing information on the local wildlife. For this project, I would love your help to expand my list to encompass as many species as we can identify. If you have witnessed and identified any interesting wildlife around the lake feel free to send me a message or an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can add it to my list!
As well, this week I walked the trail with the GPS to monitor the areas where I removed invasive species earlier in the summer. I was able to identify some new growth indicating the presence of a few remaining roots. Other areas, where, in particular the troublesome Multiflora Rose was removed, shows no sign of any new growth. This is very promising that many of these plants will not return next spring, and those that do will be able to be caught early on with the GPS tags, before they get out of hand.
After transplanting the witch hazel and ferns last week, I have been watering them almost daily to ensure they survive the transplant and begin to develop in their new area. It is important that these species I am transplanting are native to the area and not from gardens as this is how invasive species can be introduced to an area.
It has been great to see so many people out enjoying the lake and park area with all of the sunshine we have been receiving lately!