Lead a Jane’s Walk in your neighbourhood
By Laura Mueller
What do you love about your city – its people, stories and history? Its lively streets and hidden laneways? Its green spaces? How about its potential to get even better? If you like to get outside and you’re enthusiastic about the city you live in, come volunteer as a walk leader with Jane’s Walk Ottawa!
Jane’s Walk is a festival of free neighbourhood walking tours given by locals who care passionately about where they live, work and play. It is a pedestrian-focused event that improves urban literacy by offering insights into local history, planning, design and civic engagement through the simple act of walking and observing.
Jane’s Walk began in May 2007 in Toronto, and quickly expanded to New York City. Ottawa’s event is one of the most established Jane’s Walk events. Last year, its sixth year in the capital, more than 60 walk leaders helped educate and inspire some 2,000 participants in 54 walks.
This year, on Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4, Jane’s Walk Ottawa will bring urban enthusiasts together to create their own Jane-Jacobs-esque “sidewalk ballet” with more than 50 free walking tours in neighbourhoods across Ottawa and Gatineau.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
You don’t have to be a Jane Jacobs expert to lead a tour. Jane championed the practical and experiential knowledge of local residents and pedestrians over the formal, analytical expertise of architects and planners. As a local resident, you are an expert on your area of the city. You decide what’s important. This is a prime opportunity to learn more about your community, find out its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and vulnerabilities, and to use this information as a foundation for building a better community, encouraging people to get involved and take control of their future.
LEADING A TOUR
Leading a tour involves choosing a topic or theme, planning a route, and thinking through the stories, places, and people you want to talk about. As well as walk leaders, Jane’s Walk Ottawa relies on a large team of volunteer marshals. Marshals help Jane’s Walk run smoothly by assisting the walk leader to manage the group, carry flags so people can see where the group is going, keep the group together, keep an eye on safety, take a head count, and report back to the organizers after the walk.
You can find out more about Jane’s Walk Ottawa at www.janeswalkottawa.ca.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact organizers: Leigh Thorpe: jane@ janeswalkottawa.ca, 613-563-4922 (cell); Laura Mueller: mueller.laura@ gmail.com, 613-808-8848 (cell).
Laura Mueller is part of the Jane’s Walk Ottawa organizing committee.
Glebe ‘Garden Angels’
By Judith Slater
HANDS THAT NURTURE BEAUTY
Ever wonder who maintains the planters in the Glebe? Ever walk past someone who is tending the planters at odd hours of the day or on the weekend? A variety of volunteers, including myself, call ourselves the Glebe Garden Angels. We plant, weed, water and generally maintain the planters as best we can over the growing season.
We work with planters in various forms over the season – from pebbledashed raised planters such as those at Glebe and Lyon and low sidewalk planters such as those at Bank and Fifth, to newly refurbished stone-surrounded planters like those at Bank and Second.
Fran Arbour, manager of Loblaws on Isabella, has kindly donated perennials over the past eight or more years. This has allowed the planters to evolve from hosting short-lived annuals to long-lived perennial flowers that we can enjoy year after year. Other plants are sourced from local residents with the overflow from their gardens, and tulip bulbs are kindly donated by TerraPro after the yearly Tulip Festival.
Between planting and weeding, it makes for a busy season, but the most onerous task is that of sourcing water. Many local businesses offer up a bucket or two, but in the height of the summer, it is very challenging to get enough water to the planters on a regular basis.
We always need more volunteers to assist with these planters. Currently, we have planters outside Pet Valu on Bank Street that need an overhaul. In addition, we have a small planter outside Truffle Treasures that is waiting for some TLC, as well as on the opposite corner next to Marble Slab. There is a higher planter at Bronson and Glebe that is proving to be a challenge to care for due to adverse growing conditions. If anyone local to the area would like to adopt and care for a planter over the season, or donate excess perennial plants, small shrubs or bulbs, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks and have a wonderful gardening season!
Judith Slater is a member and organizer of the Glebe Garden Angels.
‘Tree Ottawa’ in the Glebe
By Angela Keller-Herzog
Trees. Tall stately trees, trees with large canopy, trees with massive trunks, trees that shade and air-condition third-storey windows and balconies … Trees are part of the character and heritage of our Glebe neighbourhood that we love.
We have lost some of these leafy presences to the emerald ash borer in the past two years. Ash trees once made up 15 to 20 per cent of our backyard trees in the Glebe. Of late, many of us have witnessed the arborists with their ropes and chainsaws arrive and take out ailing ash trees.
But a breach in the canopy means it is also a time of renewal – time for seedlings to come up and thrive in the light. It’s time for us to think about the next generation of trees. What species should we plant? How do we pick? How do we go about this? How do we ensure that the sylvan, large-canopytree character of our neighbourhood is renewed and sustained?
Ecology Ottawa is launching a new project called “Tree Ottawa” to protect, plant and promote trees in the city of Ottawa. Find out more about it at www.ecologyottawa.ca/tree-ottawa/. The aim is to plant more than a million new trees in the next few years.
Ecology Ottawa – Glebe Community Network, in partnership with the Environment Committee of the Glebe Community Association (GCA), is launching a “Five Trees” campaign, urging each of us to put on a green hat and identify five spots in the Glebe where a new tree could be planted, and then work with the property owner to make it happen! To join up, contact me at the email address listed below.
Tree initiatives in the ’hood
• Neighbourhood park spring clean-ups in April and May – contact the Parks Committee of the GCA (email@example.com) to find out who the rep is for your favourite park, and what the plans are for clean-up and community stewardship.
• Jane’s Walk “Trees in the Glebe” – May 3 or 4 (exact timing to be confirmed). More information at www.janeswalkottawa.ca/
• Great Green Garage Sale – May 24. Visit the “tree orphanage” at the Rogers-Kunstadt parking lot (northwest corner of Bank and Glebe). Dig out and bring the sapling trees from your backyard that you don’t want, or come and adopt an orphan! Information at www.ecologyottawa.ca/garage-sale.
Angela Keller-Herzog is a neighbourhood volunteer leader with Ecology Ottawa. Contact her at akellerherzog@ gmail.com
Go Glashan Greening!
By Angela Keller-Herzog
Many Glebe students go to Grade 7 and 8 at Glashan ever since the “change” in catchments a couple of years ago. An exciting vision has come out of the planning and consultation process for the Glashan Schoolyard Greening Project (see January, 2014 Glebe Report). Glashan’s Green Team and implementing partners (the school council, school and school board, Ecology Ottawa, Evergreen, Hidden Harvest Ottawa and the Forestry Department of the City of Ottawa) are set to pursue a comprehensive makeover for the bleak inner-city schoolyard that was hit hard by the emerald ash borer.
SITE CONCEPT PLAN
The site concept plan includes a plan for expanded and rehabilitated green spaces, largescale digital murals, a climbing play structure, naturalized community and learning spaces and efforts to dampen highway and street noise pollution.
A fundraising campaign scheduled for April and May is looking to raise about $250,000. The community and school team has completed a number of grant applications including to the Community Foundation of Ottawa and the Ontario Arts Council, and is about to launch a “direct ask” campaign. A brand-new website at www.glashangreening.ca is to be launched with daily progress and buzz at the project Facebook site www.facebook.com/glashangreeningproject.
Evidently the Green Team is gaining in communications savvy by the day! Post your encouragement. In an exciting foreshadowing of project success, the Glashan Greening project is one of the top 10 finalists in the cross-Canada Majesta Trees of Knowledge grant competition. The final winner gets a prize of $20,000 towards an outdoor classroom, determined by an Internet voting competition that tests the amount of community support. Glashan is one of three Ontario contenders, and the only one from Ottawa (the other two are in Toronto and Brampton). Sign up and become a Glashan Greening supporter at http:// glashangreening.ca/sign-up/ and vote daily between April 7 and May 5 at http://majestatreesofknowledge.ca.
The project is supported by councillors David Chernushenko, Mathieu Fleury and Diane Holmes, as well as the Glebe Community Association and the Centretown Citizens Community Association – indeed a formidable team. Says Nicki Campbell, Glebe resident, green thumb, supply teacher at Glashan and member of the Green Team, “Now all we need to win is for everybody to get all their friends and relatives to remember to vote every day from April 7 to May 5. This is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness and bring people together. The more we spread the word the better the outcome!”
What’s fuelling the volunteers on the project’s Green Team? We’re having fun advancing this project and collaborating. “It has been fantastic to see all the goodwill and support in the community so far already,” says Margo Williams, whose daughter is in Grade 8 at Glashan. “It is great to see the kids, parents, community volunteers, local gardeners and environmentalists, tree-lovers, school, school board and city administration all pulling in the same direction.”
Cherry on the cake? Glashan principal Jim Tayler is calling in all the chips. We think that Bruce Cockburn’s mother went to Glashan … and Bruce has been only too happy to lend his support. Do you know any Glashan alumni? Let them know about Glashan Greening!
“It seems like the closing of an odd sort of life circle that I should be invited to support Glashan Public School’s efforts to acquire an outdoor classroom. I’m pretty sure my mother attended Glashan in her public school years. Even without that little bit of synchronicity, I’m very pleased to be able to offer whatever support I can to a plan that will surely bring a needed and healthy component to the school’s teaching program. Good luck in the contest!” – Bruce Cockburn is a supporter of Glashan’s greening efforts.
Angela Keller-Herzog is the chair of the Green Team of Glashan School Council. Contact her at glashangreening@ gmail.com