The KLCOA will host a video conference on Tuesday, May 30 from 7:30 to 8:30 pm to explain how the KLCOA/RLCA Propane Group Buy works and the process to join. Our lead contact at Superior Propane, Jeff Voyer, will lead the discussion.
The KLCOA/RLCA Superior Propane Group Buy Program has been active for ten years. It is generally agreed that this has resulted in more favourable rates/terms for participants (as well as for customers of other propane suppliers).
Last fall, Superior Propane bought Highlands Propane. Unfortunately, it was too late for the former Highlands Propane customers to join the KLCOA/RLCA Propane pricing group for the 2022-2023 season, but these customers will be eligible to participate for the coming year. The process to join the group for existing Superior Propane customers is relatively simple.
We will also explain the benefits and process to join for KLCOA/RLCA members installing propane for the first time, and those potentially interested in joining the group who are now with other propane suppliers (which entails switching out tanks and having a safety inspection performed).
For most people, when they think about their cottages or homes in Ontario’s “cottage country”, the first thing they think about is the lake! Campfires by the lakes, drinks on the dock, boating, fishing – so many things we love about this area revolve around being on or near the water. This is especially true in the Haliburton Highlands, home to over 500 lakes spread across a beautiful and rugged piece of the Canadian Shield, featuring sandy shores and breathtaking cliffs, and everything in between.
These lakes are not only a source of recreation and tourism, but also play a vital role in the region’s ecosystem. Development along these shorelines has increased over the years as more people invest in lakeside homes and subsequent urban landscaping methods are causing serious ecological impacts to the health of our lakes. To protect and preserve these valuable natural resources, shoreline naturalization is becoming an increasingly important initiative in the Haliburton Highlands. The ecological team at Abbey Gardens Community Trust is doing their part to educate and engage the community to participate in a better way to beautify their shores.
Abbey Gardens is a charitable organization with a mission to re-green a former gravel pit into a community destination that provides recreational, educational, ecological, and economic development opportunities to live more sustainably. When you visit Abbey Gardens you will find public trails, a disc golf course, a Food Hub and café specializing in local food, a market garden, a craft brewery, a wood fired pizza truck, an event space, and so much more. A big part of their mission is rooted – literally! – in restoring, rehabilitating, and reforesting areas that have suffered major ecological damage. The restoration team, led by Ecologist Cara Steele, works closely with organizations like Trent University and U-Links to study various soil remediation, cover cropping, and planting methods to examine what methods yield effective results for the unique ecosystems of the Haliburton Highlands.
In 2022, Steele partnered with Kennisis Lake Cottage Owners Association (KLCOA) in a pilot project to restore eleven shoreline properties across three lake systems, planting over 1,250 native plants and shrubs. The goal of the pilot was to educate lakeside property owners about how natural shorelines can still be beautiful, while protecting overall lake health.
75% of our shorelines should be in a natural state for a minimum of 30 m (100 feet) back from high water, otherwise water quality will degrade over time. Shoreline naturalization is the process of restoring a lake’s natural shoreline, typically by planting native species of vegetation along the water’s edge. Natural shorelines are vital to maintaining the overall health of a lake. Shoreline plants protect from erosion, wave action and ice damage, moderate water temperature, flooding, and absorb nutrients from human activity.
Did you know that shorelines are called the Ribbon of Life? Eighty to ninety percent of species depend on shoreline habitat for nesting, shelter, travel, reproduction and feeding.
There are several benefits to shoreline naturalization:
Natural shoreline planting helps to prevent erosion and sediment buildup, which can harm water quality and wildlife habitat.
Native vegetation provides food and shelter for wildlife, improving the overall biodiversity of the lake.
Another key benefit of shoreline naturalization is that it helps to reduce the impact of human activities on the lake. Natural shorelines act as a buffer between the lake and the surrounding land, absorbing runoff and filtering pollutants before they reach the water. This helps to maintain water quality and protects the lake from potential harm caused by human activities such as agriculture, forestry, and development.
As shorelines along lakes and rivers are being developed, these areas are at greater risk to erosion and reduced water quality. Naturalizing shorelines by planting native flowers, trees and shrubs helps keep our lakes swimmable, drinkable, and fishable.
A major takeaway from the pilot program with KLOCA was that homeowners felt overwhelmed and unqualified to do their own native planting. Like any planting project, there are a lot of factors to take into account when thinking about naturalizing your shoreline, such as hours of sunlight, soil conditions, your personal property use, preferences, the amount of time you’re willing to invest in maintenance, and more. In response, Steele and her team are expanding the shoreline restoration outreach program to support more homeowners throughout Haliburton, Muskoka, and the Kawartha Lakes. Through site visits, planting plans, and hands-on planting, the team will address individual property needs and restoration goals from start to finish.
If you’re looking for a DIY option with a little help from the experts, Steele has curated shoreline plant kits that are uniquely tailored to the site conditions prevalent in our area:
The Pollinator GardenKit is for sites with dry to normal soil that experience part shade to full sun. This kit includes a mix of wildflowers, grasses, shrubs and trees that will attract pollinators throughout the whole season.
The Open Shoreline Kit benefits sites with low lying areas that have moist soil and at least six hours of sunlight per day. The wildflowers can be planted right at the waters’ edge to create a beautiful display of colour.
The Forest Garden Kit is appropriate for shaded shorelines that have dry to normal soil. Alternatively, the plants can be used to naturalize and add plant diversity to shady upland areas.
This year, Abbey Gardens has partnered with Friends of Ecological and Environmental Learning (FEEL) to host their Native Plant Sale, featuring beautiful hand-picked native plants, trees, and shrubs, as well as Steele’s curated Planting Kits. All proceeds from the sale go directly to support the Haliburton-Muskoka-Kawartha Children’s Water Festival and restoration projects at Abbey Gardens.
To learn more about the shoreline planting outreach program, FEEL’s Native Plant Sale, shoreline kits, or more, visit abbeygardens.ca or email Cara Steele at firstname.lastname@example.org!
And finally, if this all seems too daunting, check out their program called The Natural Edge. The program assists you with a plant database for selecting plants, and connect you to a local partner for a site visit (in Haliburton it’s The Land Between) and help with planning and even planting.
There is a wealth of other information available on the Watersheds Canada website, covering such topics as mitigating climate change, learning about your shore’s onland and underwater zones, and protecting wetlands. And a wonderful video to help the photographers among you capture fabulous wildlife images. Check them out!
Haliburton Master Gardeners
Another source of possible assistance is the organization Haliburton Master Gardeners. They “specialize in all things green and growing in Zone 4”, with articles, consultations, and local sources for plant materials.
Friends of Ecological and Environmental Learning (FEEL)
When and where:For sale online, for pickup at Abbey Gardens on May 20, 10am-2pm.
What’s on offer: individual plants (trees, shrubs, and wildflower perennials), or themed bundles: Climate Change Tree, Pollinator, Upland, Shoreline Plant, Shoreline Shrub and Forest Garden.
Last year some of our members participated in a pilot program with the Kennisis Lake Cottage Owners Association and Abbey Gardens on naturalizing their shorelines. If you missed out, Abbey Gardens is continuing the program this year. See the attached for more information.
Much like poutine, politeness, and Paul , pond hockey is a proud Canadian institution. From Bonavista to Bella Bella, Canadians grow up waiting for the ice to freeze and then gliding onto those newly formed ponds to play our favourite sport. Canadians often jump at the chance to get outside and enjoy the sunny, crisp winter days.
But as we have learned over 50 years tracking the health of lakes at IISD Experimental Lakes Area—the world’s freshwater laboratory—climate change is affecting Canada’s winter lakes and ponds. And the next 50 years are likely to see further change.
And that spells bad news for pond hockey fans. Here are just five reasons why.
1) Winters Are Starting Later IISD-ELA has been tracking the date lakes freeze over since 1969 in northwestern Ontario. We call this special day “ice-on.” On average, this ice-on date has been getting later and later—in fact, by 1.66 days per decade.
That means pond hockey season has been starting later each year.
2) Lakes Are Frozen for Less Time Guess what IISD-ELA found when we compared how long lakes were iced over during winter in 1969 versus now? Since 1969, lakes have been frozen over for an average of 18 days fewer (at a rate of 4.24 days per decade). And it is expected that the number of days of pond ice will continue to decrease if we don’t curb greenhouse gas emissions. Future climate scenarios that consider backyard ice conditions show that the number of days you can skate outside will decline by 19% in Calgary alone from 2015 to 2090. Yep, that means almost two and half weeks less of pond hockey per year in our kids’ lifetimes.
3) Winters Are Warmer Remember those already vanished 16.7 days of ice? Well, according to the Climate Atlas, if emissions levels do not change, winters will get even shorter—by 10–20 days by 2050! This means in most people’s current lifetimes, no matter where you live the winters you experience will be milder than those of your parents and grandparents. This spells terrible news for pond hockey fans, but also for flora, fauna, and millions of people who depend on lakes and cold weather for their lives and livelihoods.
4) More Rain, Rain, Rain Thanks to climate change, we expect more winter rain than in decades past. Less dependable snowfalls, or events where rain falls after snowing and freezes, may lead to fewer events where rain falls after snowing and freezes and the increased flow of water in streams and rivers—all contributing to poor quality or unsafe ice conditions. Good ice safety practices will become ever more important to practicing our traditions of pond skating, backyard rinks, and pond hockey.
5) Winter Weather Whiplash As temperatures and precipitation levels swing between extremes throughout the winter, it may feel as if you have “weather whiplash”! One minute, milder weather may risk melting ice, while the next minute, temperatures will be way colder than you expect. Both extremes will affect your beloved pond hockey: warmer temperatures can cause thaws and slush, while below-normal temperatures bring increased risks of hypothermia and frostbite.
We have published a lot this year about naturalizing your property, preventing lawn chemicals from going into the lake, making a place for wildlife and giving yourself a break from the lawnmower, the weed whacker, the leaf blower etc. We need to ask ourselves “how do we live with the land, not just on the land?”. Don Downer and Adrienne Perry of Waubaushene asked themselves that question, formulated some answers and took action.
You can access our full journey here.We can all make a difference – whether you have a large flat property like Don and Adrienne, a steep drop to the lake or a short piece of shoreline, everything matters. And once it is done, you can sit back and enjoy.
There is a charitable organization in Haliburton County that you may not have heard of, but that impacts hundreds of residents every day. SIRCH Community Services is an innovative and fluid organization that focuses on reducing poverty, creating resilience and encouraging connection.
Starting in 1989, SIRCH incubated and divested several services that county residents now take for granted, (such as adult mental health services and community hospice). Then it turned its attention to how it could level the playing field for residents who were struggling with food security, unemployment, isolation, and other factors that influence general health and wellbeing.
Today, SIRCH provides free nutritious meals (47,000 portions just since the pandemic) through its Community Kitchen program. It offers training, also free, in basic carpentry, food service and other skills that are needed by employers in Haliburton County. It provides low cost furniture, clothing, electronics and more through the Thrift Warehouses in Haliburton and Bancroft, and also donates household items to families who have been homeless, burned out or have fled an abusive relationship and are starting over.
This summer, SIRCH created resilience in over 80 children who were entering or were in junior kindergarten. School’s Cool, a program created by SIRCH, increases critical developmental skills that aid in the chances of those children being successful in school.
SIRCH encourages moms who are feeling the pressure of raising young children to join their peer support and parenting groups. Seniors feel less isolated through SIRCH programs like Memories to Life and The Community Table. The Bistro and Bakery offer affordable food and a welcoming place to connect, with any profits going back into SIRCH programs.
You can help SIRCH and help your community!
Volunteer for one of our programs.
Renovating or updating your space? Donate the things you no longer need (in good condition) to the Thrift Warehouse.
Visit the Bistro & Bakery and dine in or take home some delicious meals and treats.
Sponsor a program (we would love to hear your ideas!)
Contribute generously to SIRCH’s Gifts from the Heart campaign this fall or visit our website to donate monthly.
While we have not done any formal surveys, anecdotally many of our members are concerned with the cellular and internet connectivity around our lakes. This is more than about convenience – there are safety concerns because of the lack of cellular connectivity in some areas, including the inability to reach 911 when required.
RLCA has been in touch with Forbes Brothers, who are managing consultants for Rogers, and have shared our concerns with coverage. Two new towers are being proposed closer to Kennisis Lake, one of which appears to create some moderate improvement around Little Redstone. Forbes Bros. have shared propagation maps that outline the before and after coverage for the two tower sites. See below for explanation and link to maps.
There will be ONLINE public consultation meetings conducted by Forbes Bros Ltd on behalf of Rogers on November 23 and 24, 2022. See the links below, provided by our colleagues at KLCOA for pre-registration info.
We will continue to share information on this process as it becomes available and encourage property owners to provide their input directly to the consultation mechanisms as they are identified.
For more details, maps and pre-registration info see:
The colour coded maps show the measurements of Reference Signal Received Power (“RSRP”), a measure of signal strength in decibels (“dBm) from strongest -78dBm) to weakest/no signal (-200dbm).
On these maps the strongest RSRP is dark purple, weakest is red and no signal is white.
The water overlay on the maps hid the colour coding for signal strength but please be assured the signal continues over this surface.
Please note these coverage maps have the proposed tower at C4385 at 90m which has been reduced to 85m. This reduced height will not significantly affect coverage. Revised coverage maps will also be presented at the virtual public meeting. Coverage Maps
Submit your summer fun photos for a chance to win an amazing prize. Show us how you’d have been spending your days at the cottage.
All photos must be original work, taken by the entrants. No third party may own or control any materials the photo contains, and the photo must not infringe upon the trademark, copyright, moral rights, intellectual rights, or rights of privacy of any entity or person.
The photo must be in its original state and cannot be altered in any way, including but not limited to removing, adding, reversing, or distorting subjects within the frame.
Violators will be removed from the contest, stripped of any prize(s), and banned from entering future contests.
Entries will not be accepted unless submitted via the official contest channel. Entries not submitted through the proper channel will be deleted.
Entries will be judged by the RLCA All decisions are final. The Company reserves the right to disqualify any entry that is deemed inappropriate or does not conform to stated contest rules.
By entering the contest, entrants agree that photos submitted can be used by the [Redstone Lake Cottagers Association] for advertising purposes.
Submissions will not be accepted once the deadline lapses.
The prize must be collected by the winner and is nontransferable.
The winner will be contacted via the email address provided during entry. If no response is received after [three] business days, a new winner will be selected and the previous winner will forfeit all rights to the prize.
The contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law.