Webinar features the unique ecosystem of the Carlington Woods

“It’s a real pleasure of mine to speak about Carlington Hill because it’s one of the best natural areas in the City of Ottawa.”

Owen Clarkin, 2nd VP, Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club

The Friends of Carlington Hill welcomed guest speaker Owen Clarkin of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club to its first webinar on June 27, 2020. Owen’s passion for and curiosity about the natural environment is infectious! He presented more than 60 of his own iNaturalist observations and answered participants’ questions on a range of topics, from trees and flowers to snakes and fungi.

“These limestone upland habitats tend to have pretty unique species,” he said, starting off with a photo of a Milk Snake, a federal species of Special Concern, but not endangered. Its provincial status was downlisted in 2016 and is no longer considered a species at risk. “This snake isn’t common in the Ottawa area and it’s very susceptible to being run over, by bicycle tires for example. If a bike runs over a snake, it probably dies. This is a significant species to have.”

Considering that the Carlington Woods is in the middle of a city of 1 million people, the biodiversity of flora and fauna is quite good, including migratory raptors like owls and hawks, many species of insects, and insect- and seed-eating birds. There is also wide variety of tree species and plants. A few are listed below.

Monarch Butterfly / Mourning Cloak Butterfly / Red Admiral / Fire flies

Purple fragrant raspberry / Early Goldenrod (uncommon) / Trout lily (spring ephemeral)

Ware’s Elm / Rock Elm (species of concern) / Slippery Elm (one of the best sites in Eastern Ontario)

Butternut (endangered) / Peach Willow

Sharon Boddy, of the Friends of Carlington Hill, provided a short introduction to the area, its zoning and land use designations, and the type of ecosystems found within it. She also reported that Friends had secured a City of Ottawa Community Environmental Protection grant so that an assessment of the urban natural area can be completed later this year. If you’d like to view the webinar, please email FriendsofCarlingtonHill@gmail.com for the link, or visit us on Facebook (search: Friends of Carlington Hill).

Thanks to TD Park People for their continued support of the Friends of Carlington Hill!

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