Wonderful Waterloo Archive

This site is maintained by Sam Nabi as a record of the vibrant Wonderful Waterloo community, which was taken offline in 2014. This site is a partial archive, containing some posts from 2009-2013. To read more about the recovery effort and access the data in a machine-readable format, check out the GitHub page.

Grand River Conservation Authority

Post #316
01-03-2010 05:14 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
WW Meet 2: Saturday May 29 4-7 PM
Grand River Conservation Authority

The Grand River flows 300 kilometres through southwestern Ontario from the highlands of Dufferin County to Port Maitland on Lake Erie.
The Grand River Conservation Authority manages water and other natural resources on behalf of 38 municipalities and close to one million residents.
The Grand River Conservation Authority has the responsibility to regulate activities in natural and hazardous areas in order to:
  • prevent the loss of life and property due to flooding and erosion, and
  • conserve and enhance natural resources.
This is done through the application of regulations affecting areas in and near rivers streams, floodplains, wetlands, slopes and the Lake Erie shoreline.
The GRCA also works with municipalities to review development applications under The Ontario Planning Act to ensure they meet local and provincial environmental standards.
If you are planning a project you may need a GRCA permit, approval under The Planning Act or both.

About the GRCA
Through its predecessor agencies, the Grand River Conservation Authority lays claim to being the first watershed management agency in Canada.
It continues today as a partnership of its member municipalities, which have banded together to manage and restore the river.
The province of Ontario and many partner groups also work with the GRCA to improve the river.
Today's GRCA continues to be a leader in watershed management programs, undertaken for the benefit of all residents who share a belief in the importance of the Grand, a Canadian Heritage River.
The GRCA - winner of the international RiverPrize.
Post #317
01-03-2010 05:18 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
WW Meet 2: Saturday May 29 4-7 PM
Massive review will prepare watershed for next 25 years of growth and change
January 17, 2008

The Grand River is under constant strain. Can it handle another 300,000 people by 2031?

Concerned planners are launching a major review of watershed management, the biggest overhaul since 1982, to accommodate expected growth and climate change.

"We can't be complacent in light of the population growth we're going to be seeing," said Sandra Cooke, senior water quality supervisor with the Grand River Conservation Authority. "We have some tough questions to answer."

There are 950,000 people in the Grand watershed. The province has directed councils to plan for more than 1.2 million by 2031, partly as Toronto growth is restrained.

Planners will look at rehabilitation of streams and rivers, reservoir operations, removal of outdated dams, groundwater protections and water conservation. The review is to conclude in 2010.

Some who help manage the watershed doubt it can absorb the growth planned by the province.

"They're expecting us to accommodate too much growth," warns Puslinch Township Mayor Brad Whitcombe, who helps direct the conservation authority.

However, governments can't tell people not to move here, says Robert Hillier, another director of the watershed agency.

"There's no way to prevent population from moving to southern Ontario. Or at least I haven't seen one," said Hillier, of Brantford.

Residents take drinking water from the Grand as it flows from the Fergus area to Lake Erie. The river takes in runoff from farms and cities, and effluent from sewage treatment plants.

By the time the Grand reaches the lake, it has degenerated into the third-foulest river in Ontario, after rivers in Toronto and Brampton.

As bad as that sounds, the Grand is in better shape than it used to be, when raw sewage was a more common pollutant, and soil erosion was widespread.

"We have come a long way, but I do believe we have a long way to go," Cooke said.

Climate change has been making the watershed wetter since 1915. Average precipitation is up about 15 per cent. Planners figure climate change may bring more weather extremes, such as heavier dry spells and also heavier wet spells.
Post #2491
03-03-2010 04:39 PM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
Budget Overview

The 2010 budget of just under $33 million, will pay the cost of GRCA programs that protect water quality, reduce flood damages, protect natural areas, support responsible development and provide outdoor recreation and environmental education.

The budget is about $1.6 million greater than in 2009 but much of the increase is due to one-time stimulus grants from the federal and provincial governments for construction projects at conservation areas.


The GRCA has three main sources of revenue:
  • $10 million (32 per cent) from watershed municipalities. The municipalities raise the money through their general tax rates or through charges on their water bills. The municipal levy works out to about $9.68 per person.
  • $8 million (25 per cent) from the provincial and federal governments. This includes regular operating grants, one-time capital grants under stimulus programs and money to pay for source water protection planning.
  • $13.4 million (43 per cent) in self-generated revenue such as money from campground fees, planning fees, tree sales, hydroelectricity generation, rental property income and other sources.

The budget is broken down into four sections:

Base operating budget -- $18.6 million (57 per cent). This covers the ongoing programs of the GRCA including flood prevention, environmental education, planning advice to municipalities and landowners, operation of trails, forest management and others.
  • About $1.4 million will be spent to complete a two-year upgrade to the Conestogo Dam near Drayton to allow it to safely discharge more water during periods of extremely high flows.
Special Programs -- $2.1 million (6 per cent). One-time projects or continuing programs that are usually paid for with money from outside sources. They include:
  • $700,000 for the Rural Water Quality Program which provides grants to rural landowners to take action to protect water quality on the farm. The money is provided by watershed municipalities.
  • $300,000 to purchase environmentally sensitive land, covered by proceeds from earlier land sales.
  • $100,000 for a subwatershed study for the Upper Blair Creek area in the City of Kitchener, paid for by the city.
  • $200,000 to continue an update of the Grand River Basin Water Management Study. This will look at three issues: water quality, water supply and flood control on a watershed basis with an emphasis on addressing issues brought about by climate change and population growth. Municipalities, Six Nations and provincial and federal agencies are also participating in the program.
Conservation Area operations -- $8.2 million (25 per cent). Fees from park users cover the entire operating cost of the GRCA's 11 active conservation areas which draw more than one million paid visits a year. In 2010 this budget also includes $2.1 million worth of infrastructure improvements at four parks. Of the total cost, about $1.6 million is offset with grants from the provincial and federal governments.

Source Water Protection program -- $4.1 million (12 per cent). The cost of this program is covered entirely by provincial grants. The program is developing source water protection programs under the Clean Water Act in four watersheds Grand River, Long Point Region, Catfish Creek and Kettle Creek to implement recommendations of the Walkerton Inquiry.

Click here to see the 2010 budget
Click here to see the 2008 audited financial statements
Post #2492
03-03-2010 04:43 PM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
Grand River Photos Looking East @ Freeport Bridge - March 1, 2010


Railway Bridge

Post #5352
04-22-2010 09:58 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
GRCA planting 451,000 trees this spring
April 18, 2010 - http://www.grandriver.ca/Newsroom/News.cfm?id=538

The earth has good reason to be happy this spring because Grand River Conservation Authority, its clients and partners are planting close to half a million trees this spring. In fact, the 451,000 trees going in the ground this year is nearly six times more than the 77,000 trees planted in 2007.

Interest in tree planting is increasing and there is more financial help available for people and organizations that want to increase forest cover. About 177,000 trees will go onto GRCA-owned land, such as conservation areas and natural areas. This includes trees that will be planted by the public at the Brant Tree Coalition Tree Plant April 22, Guelph Rotary Forest at Guelph Lake on Saturday April 24, Chilligo Restoration project in Cambridge April 25, at Conestogo Conservation Area clean up and tree planting day May 1, Upper Grand Trailway Tree Planting Day in Grand Valley also May 1 and Waterloo Earth Fest on Saturday May 8. (Note: For details on these events, please see below.)

The GRCA carries out numerous tree planting projects on both private and GRCA-owned property each spring. But most trees being ordered through the GRCA will go on private land — about 256,000 this spring. Plantings on private land are paid for by the property owners who require the service. If eligible, these costs may be offset by programs such as the Rural Water Quality Program.

“It is really great to see that individuals are taking action to improve the health of the watershed,” said Anne Loeffler, a GRCA conservation specialist. “I work with them every day and I am really inspired by their commitment. Fortunately we have a wider range of funding programs to help them.”

“Tree planting is definitely going in the right direction — up,” said Martin Neumann, supervisor of terrestrial resources for the GRCA. He likes to list the many benefits of trees which go a long way towards creating a healthy environment, minimizing water problems and they are good for all living creatures. Plus, he likes to add, they are beautiful to look at.

In the mid 1980s, the GRCA planted a million trees a year, so we still have a long way to go to get back up to those numbers. The drop in tree planting was because the province cut funding for trees and closed the provincial tree nurseries.

But Neumann says tree planting numbers don’t tell the entire story. Now tree planting projects are more complex, with a wider range of native tree species being planted to increase biodiversity. Bigger trees are being planted, not just small seedlings but saplings which have a greater chance of survival. The GRCA has also adopted the practice of “direct seeding” in some projects, especially for oaks, hickories and walnuts. These numbers are not included in the tree tally mentioned previously. Native herbaceous seed mixes are being sown as a companion planting for young seedlings, and more emphasis is also being placed on restoring wetlands, prairies, and savannas – all part of a healthier and more sustainable environment. Many other trees are being planted through municipal or private initiatives.

“Imagine how much we could accomplish if we collectively set our minds to it,” Neumann said. The more companies, families, organizations and rural landowners who turn their attention to trees, the healthier the landscape will be for the next generation.

For more information on tree planting for this fall or spring 2011, call 519-621- 2763 ext. 2269. Tree planting events:

Brant Tree Coalition Tree Plant
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Brantford, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Brant Tree Coalition will be planting 5,000 native trees and bushed on Earth Day April 22. The plantings will take place along Sinclair Creek in the northeast part of the city. Park along Garden Avenue and Sinclair Boulevard, or at the Tim Hortons service station. The coalition is an industry-led group and hopes to build upon the support it received from several area high schools in 2009. For information or to participate, contact Jim Berhalter at Apotex 519-756-8942.

Guelph Rotary Forest Earth Day
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Guelph Lake Nature Centre, Guelph 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Residents of Guelph and area are developing a 40-acre forest at the Guelph Lake Conservation Area. Although the focus of the events is planting trees, there are also creepy creature shows, earth day crafts, music and vendor tents. Some shovels will be provided so planters are encouraged to bring their own. Groups are welcome to participate. Challenge your co-workers, your neighbours, your class and your family.
There is no charge for admission and there will be free refreshments. Visitors can bring their own mugs or purchase a Rotary Forest souvenir mug for $2.Parking will be available at the Lakeside Church on Conservation Road. Guelph Transit buses will provide shuttle service from the parking lot to the Earth Day Event site. There will also be free shuttle buses leaving from St. George Square in downtown Guelph every 30 minutes. The new forest will eventually be home to 65,000 trees.

Tree Planting and Dedication
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Chilligo Restoration Area, Cambridge 1:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A tree planting event begins at 1:30 p.m. and a dedication at 3 p.m. to celebrate the thousands of hours of planning and effort that have gone into making the new ponds such a great centre of the community. If you, your family or your group are interested in tree planting, please call 519-621-2763 ext. 2295.

Tree Planting & Clean Up Day
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Conestogo Lake Conservation Area, Glen Allen, 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Help clean up the park and plant trees. Members of the GRC’'s forestry department will demonstrate proper tree planting techniques. Entertainment to be announced. Admission to the park is free for Scout groups but park admission applies for other visitors.

Upper Grand Trailway Tree Planting Day
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Upper Grand Trailway, Grand Valley 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Come to the trailway parking lot. Please wear gloves and boots and bring a shovel if you have one! Come and plant trees or build and erect a birdhouse. The GRCA will provide a planting demonstration and trees are courtesy of the GRCA and the Upper Grand Restoration Fund. Lunch is provided by the Grand Valley Lions Club. High school students please note that this event qualifies as community service time. For more information, please call Kim 519-928-2973 or Vada 519-928-2841.

Waterloo Earth Day
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Laurel Creek Conservation Area, Waterloo 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Waterloo Earth Day is a free fun-filled day of family activities with an environmental theme. Join us to dig in and plant 1,000 trees and shrubs or enjoy some hands-on activities such as building a bird box and drumming with Creation Africa. School Challenge: Waterloo Region schools who register the most participants will receive an environmental prize for their school. -30- Further information: Dave Schultz, GRCA Manager of Communications Phone: (519) 621-2763, Ext. 2273 Cell: (519) 658-3896 E-mail: www.grandriver.ca
Post #5612
04-26-2010 05:59 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
DTS Committee, Chair - Christina Weylie
Date of Report: April 14, 2010 | Date of Meeting: April 26, 2010
Submitted By: K. Grant Murphy, P.Eng, Director of Engineering
Prepared By: Nick Gollan (x2422) / Binu Korah (x2974), Engineering
Ward(s) Involved: 4 – South Ward
Report No.: DTS-10- 081

RECOMMENDATION: That Council approve the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) to carry out the Long Term Annual Monitoring Program in the amount $522,000.00 in accordance with the approved Upper Blair Creek Functional Drainage Study, prepared by Stantec Consulting Ltd., dated March 2009.

BACKGROUND: In 2003, the Upper Blair Creek Functional Drainage Study (FDS) was started in cooperation with the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA), the Region of Waterloo and the City of Kitchener. The Upper Blair Creek FDS was approved by Council on February 9, 2009 The study dealt with the technical issues related to hydrogeological and hydrological conditions of the watershed and the associated stormwater management measures that could be implemented to minimize changes from the current condition.

In 2003, the Upper Blair Creek Functional Drainage Study (FDS) was started in cooperation with the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA), the Region of Waterloo and the City of Kitchener. The City took the lead in completing the study. In 2004 a Technical Steering Committee was formed which included the GRCA, the Region, the City, and members of the Waterloo Region Homebuilders Association (WRHBA). Stantec Consultants were retained to complete the Upper Blair Creek FDS with extensive monitoring, research and analysis taking place along with consultation with the public, development industry and other government agencies.
The Upper Blair Creek FDS deals with the technical issues pertaining to the hydrologic and hydrogeologic characteristics of the subwatershed existing conditions and a range of post- development conditions and associated stormwater management (SWM) measures that can be implemented to minimize the changes from current conditions.
With the support of the detailed analysis, it was the conclusion of this Study that typical, urban development densities accompanied by a multi-component, infiltration-focussed SWM strategy can be implemented within the Upper Blair Creek subwatershed, and achieves the objectives as outlined in the governing watershed study (BBB).
It was recommended that the comprehensive monitoring, maintenance, and mitigation program outlined in Section 6 in the FDS be implemented as a means of confirming existing background characteristics, design assumptions contained herein and within future model updates, and minimize the potential for negative impacts on the receiving system.
The development of a comprehensive Monitoring, Maintenance, and Mitigation (MMM) program has been designed to provide all stakeholders with sufficient physical data to assess any ecological, hydrological, hydrogeological, or geomorphological impacts related to the development within the Upper Blair Creek drainage area, identify the source of such impacts, and adopt a strategy to reverse, eliminate, or minimize the potential for future repetition.
In summary, staff from the City of Kitchener have supported the technical findings of the Upper Blair Creek Functional Drainage Study, approved in its entirety by Council (see Report DTS-09-010), and now recommend that the monitoring program designed by the GRCA based on the Upper Blair FDS with additional input from the GRCA and the City of Kitchener be implemented.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS: The Upper Blair Creek monitoring program was identified in the 2009 Development Charge Background Study. The ongoing monitoring program for the Upper Blair Creek will be funded from the Development Charges, Upper Blair Creek Monitoring account #59500643. In accordance with the 2009 capital forecast there is a balance of $145,642.00 remaining for 2010. Further the 2009 to 2019 ten year capital forecast allocated a total of $1,219,000 to complete this program from the development charge funds. The total cost to complete the monitoring program is $522,000.00 (excluding HST) to the end of 2013.

CONCLUSION: In summary, staff from the City of Kitchener have supported the technical findings of the Upper Blair Creek Functional Drainage Study, approved in its entirety by Council (see Report DTS-09-010), and now recommend that the monitoring program designed by the GRCA based on the Upper Blair FDS with additional input from the GRCA and the City of Kitchener be implemented.Therefore staff recommend that the GRCA be appointed in the amount of $522,000.00 (excluding HST) to complete the Long Term Monitoring Program to the end of 2013.
Post #5698
04-28-2010 09:32 AM

Senior Member
Date Jan 2010 Location Kitchener Posts 145
GRCA parks ready to open on April 30
April 27, 2010

Most Grand River Conservation Authority Parks will open for the season on Friday, April 30 at 9 a.m.

The GRCA operates 11 conservation areas, eight of which offer camping, with about 2,500 camping sites. Other activities include hiking, fishing, canoe/kayaking and swimming.

Opening on April 30 will be Belwood, Byng Island (Dunnville), Brant (Brantford), Pinehurst (Paris), Laurel Creek (Waterloo), Conestogo (Drayton), Guelph Lake, Elora Gorge, Rockwood and Shade’s Mills (Cambridge).

One other park, Elora Quarry, will open in mid-June.

A season-long alcohol ban is in effect at Elora Gorge. Early season bans, from May 21 (Victoria Day weekend) to June 26, will be in place at Byng Island, Guelph Lake and Laurel Creek. Alcohol is banned in all parks during the Victoria Day and Labour Day weekends.

Vehicle season passes are available for an early season rate of $95 until June 30. This pass gets a vehicle full of people into any park for no additional charge throughout the 2010 operating season.


Further information: Cameron Linwood, GRCA Communications Co-ordinator
Phone: (519) 621-2763, Ext. 2251
Fax: (519) 621-4844
E-mail: Cameron Linwood
Post #5700
04-28-2010 09:55 AM

Senior Member
Date Mar 2010 Location H2OWC Posts 302
FWIW there's already a Grand River Conservation Authority thread in Transportation and Infrastructure.
Post #5703
04-28-2010 10:14 AM

Senior Moderator
Date Dec 2009 Location Kitchener-Waterloo Posts 1,647
Merged the two threads together. Personally I feel the heart of the GRCA is water management, and therefore they're more suited in an infrastructure category. That said they do provide a lot of recreational activities as well, so if people prefer the thread to be in that category, or to have a seperate thread for each category we can do that too.
Post #5706
04-28-2010 10:37 AM

Senior Member
Date Mar 2010 Location H2OWC Posts 302
That's why I started my post with a "FWIW"

In my experience on other forums, there's no right answer. Each option has pros and cons. Personally I'd prefer a single thread, at least until such a time that it proves unwieldy.

P.S. This post is about forum organization so it's off-topic too. You just can't win, eh?
Post #5890
04-30-2010 12:27 PM

Senior Moderator
Date Feb 2010 Location Kitchener, Ontario Posts 580
"Only the insane have the strength enough to prosper. Only those that prosper may truly judge what is sane."
Forest will rise from suburban cornfield

April 29, 2010
By Terry Pender, Record staff

KITCHENER —Martin Neumann walks carefully around the freshly planted tree seedlings in an old farm field next to the Grand River — small steps on a long journey to re-establish a Carolinian Forest.

Neumann, a supervisor with the Grand River Conservation Authority, watches tree planters working Wednesday morning not far from the Pioneer Memorial Tower in south Kitchener.

“This project is to re-establish a flood plain forest with the species that were originally here,” Neumann said.

Last year, corn grew on this nine-hectare (23-acre) site. Planters are now putting in black walnuts, silver and sugar maples, white and burr oaks, cottonwoods, white cedars and white pines.

During the winter, the area was seeded with smaller, non-woody plants that will protect the small trees.

The cover plants include brown-eyed susans.

Evening primrose and swamp milkweed are also on the list.

About 15,000 trees will be planted here. In total, the Conservation Authority will plant 451,000 seedlings throughout the watershed this spring.

“That 451,000 is a fivefold increase over just a few years ago,” Neumann said. “It sounds like a lot of trees, but it is a large area we need to do.”

The Grand River flows for about 300 kilometres, from the Dufferin Country highlands in the north to Port
Maitland on Lake Erie.

Neumann is pumped.

A few years ago Trees Ontario, a non-profit organization that flows money from the provincial government and private donors, started pumping a lot more money into tree planting across Ontario.

Trees Ontario provided $30,000 for this planting.

Once the seedlings are in the watching begins.

“In any planting like this we are totally dependent on natural rainfall,” Neumann said. “That is probably the biggest challenge, re-establishing a forest through drought conditions.”

The maples planted on this site are saplings with material wrapped around the skinny trunks for protection.

Meadow voles are the biggest threat to the small trees.

Rabbits, deer and gypsy moths also kill large numbers of small trees.

“All four of those critters are looking for the maples, not the pines,” Neumann said.

That’s why pines are so popular on some reforestation projects. But in trying to recreate the original Carolinian Forest the conservation authority must select seedlings that are more vulnerable to the animals that can kill young trees.

The Pioneers Memorial Tower and nearby cemetery are dramatic reminders of the first white settlers to arrive in this area in 1800—Joseph Sherk and his wife Elizabeth Betzner, Samuel Betzner and his wife Maria Detweiler.

The farms spread from the banks on the Grand River, laying waste to the original forest. By 1900, forest cover was down to five per cent and all the surrounding wetlands were drained.

Without the forest the watershed started falling apart, Dave Shultz, the GRCA’s spokesperson, said.

Trees shaded the snow and slowed the spring melt. Trees also suck up a lot of water. Wetlands held back a lot of the spring melt, slowly releasing it into the river. Shaded by an old Carolinian Forest the river had lots of water all year long and brook trout lived and spawned in the tree-shaded creeks.

That all changed. From 1900 to 1930, floods occurred almost annually.

“You would have these big floods in the spring and just a trickle in the summer and most of that trickle was untreated sewage,” Shultz said.

During the 1930s, the forerunner of the GRCA started planting trees. It has planted 26 million trees since then and increased the forest cover on southern Ontario’s biggest watershed to 19 per cent.

“The goal is 30 per cent forest cover, which Environment Canada says you need for a healthy watershed,” Shultz said.