For Immediate Release – February 9, 2021

Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club (OFNC) is urging the City of Ottawa to defer including the proposed Tewin development in the expanded urban boundary, pending further study.

On January 26th, a joint committee of Ottawa city council recommended that a 445-hectare parcel southeast of the city be included in the forthcoming expansion of the urban boundary, in order to allow a development proposal known as Tewin to proceed. This parcel includes a significant, contiguous natural area, connected with Ottawa’s existing Greenbelt. It is not close to any existing urban development, and is functional as an intact ecosystem and as a wildlife corridor.

Recent research by the OFNC Conservation Committee has identified an extant high-quality forest in this area of Ottawa, including rare species and patches of old-growth trees. This ecological community is an unusual type of forest for the province of Ontario, notably featuring populations of the provincially rare (S3-vulnerable, Natureserve) tree Red Spruce (Picea rubens). The flora of this forest is highly diverse, with a number of plant species that are either provincially rare or regionally significant, and the plant community overall resembles the Acadian Forest type of the Maritime Provinces to our east.  In Ottawa, this forest type is only known from parts of the eastern portion of the Greenbelt, and adjacent areas such as within the proposed Tewin Development.

Furthermore, this forest habitat is the home of numerous wildlife species, from small salamanders to moose. In light of the fact that the City of Ottawa has declared a climate emergency, and pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, it is worth noting that both intact natural areas and mature trees are important for mitigating the effects of climate change.

The OFNC recommends that the City of Ottawa refrain from immediately including the proposed Tewin development in the revised urban boundary, to allow time for sufficient assessment and further study.

Founded in 1863, the OFNC is Canada’s oldest natural history organization, with over 800 members. It seeks to promote the appreciation, preservation, and conservation of Canada’s natural heritage.

For further inquiry, please contact:

Jakob Mueller, OFNC President:  

Owen Clarkin, Vice-President & Chair of Conservation:

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