Want to Restore Your Shoreline but Don’t Know Where to Start?

This year we are happy to announce that we have received a grant from HCDC (Haliburton County Development Corporation) to help develop Shoreline Restoration Capability in Haliburton County with a focus on protecting the water in our lakes and the natural environment in our region. The Redstone Lake Cottagers Association is partnering with the Kennisis Lake Cottager Owners Association (KLCOA) and the Lipsy Lake Cottage Owners’ Association (LLCOA) as participant organizations for shoreline restoration projects. The focus of this initiative is on developing a local, sustainable shoreline restoration capability in Haliburton County at Abbey Gardens.

Between 10 and 15 properties will be eligible to participate in this program. If you choose to participate in a shoreline restoration for your property, the following will be provided:

  • Shoreline restoration site visit and planning including plant selection and planting locations
  • Approximately 50 native trees and shrubs. Additional plants can be purchased if desired.
  • Planting support during the shoreline restoration work.
  • Advice on care and watering for your plants to ensure a high survival rate. You will receive a site assessment and planting plan, acquisition of planting materials, site planting and site planting report.

Cost for the shoreline restoration program will be approximately $400 per site. There will be a requirement for the participants to take part in the planning activities as well as the planting activities. If you are interested in this option, please contact president@redstonelake.com. Only the first 5 sites in the RLCA lakes that apply for the program and are eligible to participate will be selected.

Criteria for eligible site selection will include:

  1. Your Shoreline is needy! – Shoreline could benefit from renaturalization – Shoreline is damaged, natural vegetation removed, too much grass, Goose reduction by renaturalization
  2. Commitment to Naturalization – Shoreline naturalization will be maintained by owner
  3. Promote as RLCA demo site – Owners would engage and welcome follow-up
  4. Shared Effort and Cost – Owner contribution ~$400 and some sweat equity – Planning, planting, site preparation, care.

Abbey Gardens is committed to supporting community effort to improve shorelines on local lakes through education about shoreline naturalization and the provision of appropriate plants. To participate in the Shoreline Restoration Program If you are interested in a site plan and planting, please do not order your plants. Contact president@redstonelake.com and your plants will be ordered, delivered and planted based on a plan agreed to by you.


The Greenest, The Meanest and The Wiliest

I am Blue Green Algae. I am the meanest and most of all wiliest algae in your lake

Test your knowledge by ticking off all you already know.

I can do things no other algae can do such as:

When the conditions are right, I can bloom – magnificent and sometimes massive blooms!
The toxins I produce in a bloom can detach from the bloom and can travel through the water
My blooms and my toxins can be in one place at breakfast and be a kilometer away by supper
My toxins are invisible to the naked eye
I am almost the only algae that can move up and down in the water to different depths
When the oxygen level in your lake gets too low and phosphorus is released from the sediment at the bottom of the lake, I can move down to feed on that Phosphorous
I use that Phosphorous to create my blooms
My blooms can keep people and pets away from the lakes
I can make people sick and even kill pets
I poison fish and get right into their muscles
If you boil the water with my toxins in it, I go airborne
No domestic water treatment will eliminate my toxins

How did you score?

  • 1-6 Points – Congratulations you made the effort! (Hint: Now that you know all answers take the test again and then tell your friends the new score)
  • 7-9 points – You have been paying attention!
  • 10- 12 points – Wow you are a Science Rock Star!

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Pretty Going Up, Toxic Coming Down

Are Fireworks the Best Way to Celebrate? Fireworks are a tradition that have become synonymous with such events as New Year’s Day, National birthdays, special long weekends like the Victoria Day Weekend or the Labour Day Weekend, football halftime shows, concerts and festivals. Their loud bangs and colourful displays are exciting and draw huge crowds. We all know that fireworks are dangerous. But that’s okay; accidents can be prevented by making sure we are careful to follow sensible safety rules. How many of us, though, are aware of the insidious danger to our health and environment? Are there any sensible safety rules about that? The problem begins with all the chemicals that produce those spectacular displays of colour. Perchlorate salts (Lithium, sodium, copper and barium salts) as well as calcium and strontium are used to create the colours we see when they are heated to the correct temperature.

  1. When fireworks are exploded the perchlorate salts fall to the ground and are washed into lakes and rivers where they dissolve easily. They can remain in the water and in the soil for a very long time where they are absorbed by plants that wildlife eat and eventually end up in our food, too. Perchlorate salts can cause hypothyroidism which, in turn, affects many of our internal organs.
  2. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. The perchlorate salts in those fireworks do not burn up and many end up as poisonous aerosols in the air. When inhaled they can cause many health problems including vomiting, diarrhea, kidney disease, asthma attacks, cardiovascular issues and various cancers. A burst of ozone from fireworks can create a gas that seriously irritates the lungs.
  3. Can one fireworks display be a serious problem? Well, yes. Within an hour of a fireworks show there is a significant increase of heavy metals in the air. Included in this mix are also fine particulates, nitric acid and sulphur dioxide.
  4. The bangs and whistles of a fireworks show are also a serious problem. They can cause hearing loss and can contribute to fatal injuries to wildlife, birds and pets.

With so much bad news about fireworks perhaps we should be rethinking the use of them. It does seem that we have lost the focus of that special day/event and our thoughts and attention have turned to the nighttime spectacle.

There are other ways to celebrate that are more meaningful and relevant to the occasion. Covid-19 aside, one can host or attend a party with a Canadian theme, hike a Canadian trail or visit a Canadian historical site for Canada Day; run a food drive for the less fortunate in your neighbourhood or help out at a food bank for Thanksgiving; attend a parade for the New Year; wear an appropriate costume to a festival; or perhaps hold a chilly swim fest for the Victoria Day weekend. What you can do is limited only by your imagination and could quickly become a new, meaningful tradition for you and your family.

Article by Caroline Konarzewski – Lake steward, Lake of Bays

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KLCOA/RLCA Propane Buying Group

In 2014, a KLCOA committee issued a Request for Proposal to all the propane suppliers in our area, with the objective of getting more competitive pricing.  Only Superior responded positively with favourable terms so a Group Buy program was formed with them.  RLCA was invited to join several years ago.   The group now numbers over 50 members. 

Superior gets economies of scale in delivering propane and in having a predictable volume for which they buy forward contracts, and Group members benefit with a lower price than otherwise available in the market. 

A fixed price for the coming year is set in the July/August timeframe.   Group Coordinator Tayce Wakefield sends emails to Group members with the fixed price offer for the coming year (the consistent price per litre that Group members will pay to have their tanks filled from September through the following summer).  Group members have a defined window to accept the price (or go with a floating price for the coming year). 

There are also favourable terms for tank rental ($49 for 420, 500 and 100 litre) and no charge for satellite remote sensing of tank levels (which is accessible via an app).  Group members must be members in good standing with the KLCOA/RLCA.

There are two pricing levels – for consumers of less than 1500 litres annually (where the charge is higher to reflect the higher cost per litre of delivery and for the tank asset on the property); and for consumers of over 1500 litres annually (generally those that heat with propane).  There are no delivery fees or hazardous materials fees.  The federal carbon tax is charged on top.   If you’d like to compare with what you’ve been paying, following are the Group fixed prices for the past four years:

> 1500 L.< 1500 L.

Propane suppliers only fill their own tanks, so customers interested in joining the group must first arrange to have new tanks installed by Superior and their old tanks removed.  Customers that are interested in switching fill out a residential application and sign a five year General Retail Agreement.  (Some suppliers have no fixed term contract; others 3 or 5 years.  All Superior customers are on five year terms). 

For new propane installations, a site inspection may be done to determine the best location for tank placement, considering code requirements. 

For anyone switching suppliers, an inspection is required to ensure that all propane appliances (furnace, stove, BBQ, dryer, etc) are installed according to the user manual requirements and to code, and to ensure that the connection and trenching from the tank to the house is up to code.  If deficiencies are identified, the owner will be informed and given a timeframe to correct the problem, depending on its severity.

Depending on your old tank type, it may be possible to transfer any remaining propane to your new tank and/or your existing supplier may give you a credit for any remaining fuel in the tank, but may charge you a restocking fee.  (You should check this with your supplier along with any other applicable contract terms such as penalty clauses for early termination.) 

As it takes several weeks to work through these steps, people interested in switching are encouraged to do so in time for the new pricing year which generally starts in August.

Owners interested in installing new propane furnaces and other appliances should work with local HVAC contractors on these installations as well as the exterior trenching required (but note that propane suppliers have incentive programs for local contractors to encourage their customers to go with that propane supplier).

We believe that customers of other propane companies have also benefitted from the Group Buy Program as their suppliers have been forced to offer more competitive prices to keep their customers, although an informal survey of what Kennisis area residents have been charged indicates that the Group Buy prices are virtually always the best fixed price per litre of any supplier in the market for that year and often by a considerable margin.  While we communicate the prices for the coming year to Group members in the July/August timeframe, we no longer communicate the Group price publicly as the objective of the Group is to obtain the best price possible for those that decide to join the Group, not set a general benchmark for other suppliers in the market.

Our contact with Superior since the inception of the program has been Jeff Voyer, who is extremely helpful and responsive.  Email him at jeff_voyer@superiorpropane.com or call him at (705) 760-1470 if you  have any questions – there are no obligations.    (Unfortunately, if you call Superior’s general call centre number, they often aren’t aware of the Group, so it’s better to contact Jeff directly.)  Customers already with Superior can easily join the group just by emailing Jeff prior to the start of the new pricing year (early August).

We appreciate that Dave Lawrance has agreed to help administer the Propane Group Buy program.