Recycle your Christmas Tree at Champlain Park

Recycle your 🌲 Tree at the Champlain Park Baseball Diamond, anytime in January!!

Give your old Christmas tree a ‘second life’ by donating it to the Kichi Sibi Winter Trail. Trees will be used to create wind breaks and safety barriers/cordons at various locations along the Winter Trail at Remic Rapids. Trees can be brought to the North East corner of the Champlain Park baseball diamond anytime in January, 2023. The Winter Trail team will then make sure they get to where they are needed.

[Christmas trees stacked up against the baseball diamond fence at Champlain Park, Ottawa, ready for a bonfire or windbreak]

Thank you from the Kichi Sibi Winter Trail Team, and happy skiing!

Tree Seedlings – October 15

via Heather…

FYI.  Hi.  In case you are interested, there are free trees on offer.  As for the other three docs: the CAFES Tree Manual is pretty darn good; Ecology Ottawa’s “How to Plant” is a simple guide for people who don’t already know how to plant trees; and, the Just Food Community Farm map is neat for those interested in taking a look at what’s being done on NCC lands by some Ottawa groups vis a vis sustainable agriculture.  It could be an interesting half-day trip for families.
Continue reading “Tree Seedlings – October 15”

Heritage Oak Legacy Project

As many of you know, a “Champlain Oak” some 170 years old (pre-confederation) was lost on Patricia Avenue following the “derecho” storm in May, 2022. A link to the full story of “The Party Tree” is here:

Some of the wood from the tree was “rescued,” with the help of many neighbours. It has been milled for future projects, once it has dried.

[Chunk of wood sawn into a slab]

In the meantime, you can have a piece of the legacy in the form of a slab from the milled lumber (picture above). The slabs come in various lengths (2 feet to 6 feet), widths (4-8 inches) and thicknesses (2-4 inches), including bark.

With a minimum of work, they can be converted into a charcuterie cheese board, coat rack, key-holder, or wood feature in your house or yard (oak will last many years outdoors).

All residents of Champlain Park are welcome to pick one up, on a first come, first served basis. Text me at 613-807-8048. A donation would be welcome, and go towards a nursery for replacement with seedlings from remaining Champlain Oaks in the neighbourhood.

Daniel Buckles

Patricia Oak News

via Daniel…

Daniel Buckles published today an OPED in the Ottawa Citizen on the loss of the Patricia Avenue “Party Tree” and the importance of heritage trees and planting native/near-native species to the urban canopy. The pre-confederation tree was irreparably damaged in last month’s big derecho storm. Please share as you see fit.

[Giant Bur Oak on Patricia]

Patricia Oak Celebration – June 14

Celebration of life

Patricia Avenue neighbours invite one and all to gather opposite 203 Patricia Avenue to celebrate the life of an old-growth burr oak on the street. It is known as “The Party Tree” because for years the shade of the tree hosted the Patricia Avenue Labour Day street party.

The tree is being removed by Forestry Services on Wednesday, June 15 because it was irreparably damaged by the recent fierce storm (derecho).

Drop by tomorrow (Tuesday, June 14) between 7 and 8 pm, to share stories with neighbours about this and other significant trees. The Patricia Bur Oak is one of only a handful of pre-confederation trees in the neighbourhood, linked genetically to the ancient oak forest that developed along this stretch of the Ottawa River some 9,000 years ago (for details on the history, see and in particular

[Giant Bur Oak on Patricia]

Spongy Moth Burlap Kits Available

The Trees Need Your Help

The Spongy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar), formerly known as the Gypsy Moth, is a non-native and invasive insect in Ontario that defoliates forests. Last summer the moth population surged, causing widespread damage. It is back, and doing harm to trees in Champlain Park, including the heritage bur oaks.

The City has provided the community environment team with burlap, string and instructions for how you can protect trees on your property and in our public spaces such as the Park. Please contact Daniel Buckles if you want to protect a tree, and make arrangements to pick up the materials. You can also remove the insects on small trees by hand (protect yourself with gloves). For details on installing the burlap see the City website on Spongy Moth.

For burlap kits, contact: (613-807-8048).

The insect looks like this in June through August.

[Spongy moth, or Lymantria dispar dispar (LDD), is an insect formerly known as “Gypsy Moth”. It feeds on the foliage of trees during the caterpillar phase of its lifecycle.]

Tree Givaway, Concert, Summer Camp – May 13+

Ecology Ottawa Tree Giveaway + Stephen Lewis Foundation Fundraising Plant Sale

Friday, May 13 – 10am – 1pm
30 Cleary Ave (First Unitarian Congregation, just off Richmond Rd)

Ecology Ottawa is embarking on their largest tree giveaway in Ottawa’s history, and we’re involved!
Help re-plant Ottawa’s urban forest by picking up one of 20,000 seedlings that are looking for new homes on your private property.
Visit FirstU, at 30 Cleary, on May 13th to pick up a FREE baby tree for your yard


You can pick up some by-donation perennials for your garden while you’re here, and help the Unitarian GoGos raise money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
The plant sale runs from Friday at 9am through to Sunday at 2pm. Stop by any time!

Choral Concert: The Road Home

Saturday, May 14 – 4pm
In Person at 30 Cleary Ave (First Unitarian Congregation, just off Richmond Rd)
By Donation at the Door – $15 Suggested

FirstU’s singers are so excited to be home again and presenting “The Road Home”, our first concert in over two years!
Join us on Saturday, May 14 at 4pm for an hour-long live, in person performance featuring our contemporary Fusion ensemble, our Three Rivers Singers women’s ensemble, and our Chalice Choir, presenting music about community, resilience, and finding home.

Please Note: You must be fully vaccinated to enter our building and masks are required for attendees.

OWL Summer Camp – Registration Open!

July 4 – 8 (9am-4pm, daily)
$75 per child for the week – subsidies available upon request

Good news! First Unitarian is running OWL Summer Camp for both 10-11 year-olds AND 12-14 year-olds this July!

OWL day camp includes all the usual Summer Camp fun – art, games, and getting active outdoors – plus workshops that focus on “Our Whole Lives” topics like body image, consent education, cultivating healthy peer-to-peer relationships, and building communication skills.

More information is available here:
Contact to register your kids for camp.
Please Note: There is a mandatory information session for parents and caregivers.

Talk on Depaving, Building a Forest and Pollinator Garden – March 10

Thursday, March 10th – Daniel Buckles, of Champlain Park, will outline how the community turned a paved street into a model forest and a pollinator garden. The project won the 2020 award from the Society for Organic Urban LandCare in recognition of its benefits to local wildlife, the urban forest and public engagement.

[Pollinator Garden June 24, 2021]

Join the Riverview Park Community Association on Zoom for a virtual presentation from 7:00pm – 8:00pm on the date shown above. Each presentation will be followed by a short Q & A. To attend, please register by sending a message to A link to the Zoom meeting will be mailed out to all registered participants a day before each session.

Their community association:
FORPGS stands for Friends of Riverview Park Green Spaces. They’re on Facebook.
The event was also mentioned in the Riverview Park Review – February 2022.

[Pontiac street rubble and stone dug up, ready for planting a small forest]

🌳 Cracks in a Linden Tree 🌲

From Daniel Buckles and Heather Pearl…

There is a crack, a crack in everything;
That’s how the light gets in.
(Leonard Cohen, Anthem)

Frigid temperatures. A “forever” Pandemic. Sometimes it’s hard to see the light. But it’s there. Days are getting longer. Spring is creeping closer. And sooner than we think, it will be time to plant trees.

The other day a neighbour asked us to look at a large European Linden tree in his yard. A deep, wide crack, the length of its trunk, had opened. Ever the opportunist, a squirrel now occupied the spot where the crack opens at the meeting of three main branches.

[Picture of a bulky Linden Tree trunk with a crack going all the way up]

The tree may need to come down, if it presents a hazard to people or property. Its much-loved summer shade will be missed, but with the light, will come the chance to plant two or three new trees. Native species would be best, less susceptible than European Lindens to the extremes of our local climate and better suited to offer food and habitat for native birds, mammals and insects.

The Champlain Park Community Association has the Trees in Champlain Park program to help:

Trees provide shade and interest, to our homes and to our streets. If you have a tree in your yard that is nearing its end of life, we can help you plan for and find a “succession tree” that can establish itself before the older tree needs to be removed.  If you have an open space, whether it’s small, or under hydro lines, or more roomy, we can suggest the right tree species for your space. For more information contact Daniel Buckles ( and Heather Pearl (

Greening the Neighbourhood Podcast

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2022 18:00:42 -0500

Greening the Neighbourhood

David Paré of Ottawa South has produced a delightful podcast series on “Decarbonizing Ottawa,” that highlights the actions people in our city are taking to do their part to overcome the climate crisis:

A recent episode (Greening the Neighbourhood) features Champlain Park, starting with the de-paving of a section of Pontiac Avenue and continuing with our wonderful pollinator garden and “tiny forests.” Have listen to this, or other podcats on topics ranging from the National Healing Forests Initiative to Going Electric (pros and cons).