Current Projects
  - Turtle tally of nesting females.
  - Working with Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments to protect Ottawa's Urban Turtles
  - Working with children to understand the Blanding's Turtle and their Habitat, Nesting habitat


Important Dates

What Can I Do?

Join Our Mailing List

Contact 'Them'

Contact Us

Hosted by BluePhyre Technologies
Save Our Greenspace works to protect biodiversity in Ottawa's greenbelt.
We are strong supporters of public transit, and encourage the LRT alignment to Ottawa International Airport and Riverside South (new urban developing community) using the existing transportation corridor, the Airport Parkway.
This achieves two important issues:
1) Protects habitat and nesting ground for Species at Risk Blanding's Turtles
2) Puts Ottawa at par with leading World Class cities in the world!
Important Links

Ottawa Urban Turtle Sanctuary

Bishop Mills Natural History Centre - Blanding's Turtle identification

The Greenspace Alliance of Canada's Capital

The Ottawa Group of the Sierra Club of Canada

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

Environmental Defence

Turtle SHELL Tortue

Recent News

Ottawa's Worst Turtle Road Kill
posted Aug 23, 2007
Lester Road (between Airport Parkway & Albion Road) - 59 dead turtles since Sept 2009 !

Greenbelt lovers march against O-Train
July 10, 2007
By Tracey Tong, Metro Ottawa

Save Our Greenspace members Matt Rodgers and Chelsea Walton donned turtle shell-patterned sandwich boards at city hall yesterday to raise awareness of the endangered Blanding�s turtle along the O-Train route.

They want to be heroes in a half shell, where the environment�s concerned. Dressed in turtle shell-patterned sandwich boards, several members of environmental advocacy group Save Our Greenspace stood outside city hall yesterday and played percussion instruments to raise awareness that Ottawa�s proposed extension of the O-Train line may lead to the demise of a rare turtle here.

Demonstrators held signs that read, �What about the Blanding�s turtle?� and �Ottawa needs to save species at risk, not poison them or destroy their habitat.�

There�s a recognized Blanding�s turtle population in the wetland near Ottawa International Airport, yet the city is considering extending the OTrain to Leitrim, according to Save Our Greenspace member and Blanding�s turtle advocate Madonna Limoges.

The group wants council to move the O-Train extension to along the airport parkway and have a spur towards Leitrim instead of having it run through the greenbelt. �It�s disappointing that we�re the capital of the country and that we�re not doing anything to save species at risk,� Limoges said.

Blanding�s turtle is one year away from being placed on Canada�s endangered species list. But it isn�t just about losing a species. �A lot of people move to that area for the greenbelt,� said Save our Greenspace member, Dana Wagler.

Save Our Greenspace is trying to set up a meeting with council today. But city residents also have a part to play in saving the Blanding�s turtle. Wagler urged people to write councillors to ask them to keep the greenbelt in mind when planning the O-Train route.

Activists fight to save turtles
Activists gear up to protest use of deadly pesticides

July 8, 2007

If City Hall won't come to the turtles, the turtles will come to City Hall.

Activists will protest the use of pesticides they say harm a threatened species by dressing up as turtles and crawling through City Hall at noon tomorrow.

Ottawa, like other cities, is using pellets of larvicide to combat West Nile virus-spreading mosquitoes.

The activist group Save Our Greenspace says the pellets endanger animals, including rare Blandings turtles, which live in marshland near the Ottawa Airport.

A Save Our Greenspace biologist spotted turtles and squirrels snapping up the sweet-smelling pesticide.

"We're shocked they decided to put these pellets in an area where they acknowledge there is a species at risk," said protest organizer Madonna Limoges, 26.

"We're afraid. When we did our own investigation into this pesticide we found out it can cause death to animals."

Save our Greenspace has been working to protect the turtle's habitat from proposals to build a light rail corridor. They also lobbied, unsuccessfully, to get the city to build a turtle fence along Lester Rd. after 23 of the creatures died in just a few weeks in June.

The city uses the biological larvicide in ditches, storm sewers and ponds.

The activists argue the larvicide shouldn't be used in the south-end marshland because the nearest homes are about 2 km away and mosquitoes can only fly a few hundred metres, according to the medical officer of health.

A city official wasn't available to comment yesterday.

Ottawa won't install Turtle Fences on Lester
posted May 28, 2007
The City mounted 2 Turtle Crossing signs on Lester Road that are ineffective as cars travel 80+ km/hr on a 1.5 km road and use the soft-shoulder for U-Turns.

So, to protect the turtles, we approached the city of Ottawa to mount protective fences along Lester Road. We outlined that Species at Risk Blanding's Turtles live in those wetlands. On May 4th, the city of Ottawa replied as follows:

"No funding is available in our Department to undertake the installation of turtle fences along any of the roads in the City at this time. We are also unaware of any funding being available in any other Departments for this type of project at this time. Accordingly, there is really no action we can undertake to assist in building turtle fence along this section of Lester Road at this time."

Not the environmentally concerned response one would expect from the capital of Canada!

As the unfenced Lester Road problem persists, the turtles continue to remain under threat from motorists.

As plans continue to be made to fragment their habitat and nesting area by 50% with the extension of the LRT through the centre of their habitat, concern about respecting the new Ontario Endangered Species Act appears of little concern to city staff and the Mayor's Transit Task Force.

There is a solution! A positive ecopassage along the Airport Parkway using an existing transportation corridor. This solution would serve Ottawa International Airport and Riverside South, while protecting biodiversity, Species at Risk habitat, in what is known as the most environmentally sensitive area in Ottawa.(North-South LRT Environmental Assessment, 31km)

Species At Risk found on Lester Road, (more documentation here)
posted Dec 3, 2006
Patrick Dare, The Ottawa Citizen

The city's beleaguered light-rail project has a new obstacle -- the Blanding's turtle.

The turtle, a species at risk, has been discovered by a community environmental group in marshland near Ottawa Airport, right where the city wants to build the controversial $880-million commuter train.

One of the reptiles, distinguished by its bright yellow chin and throat and non-aggressive demeanour, was spotted early in June by a member of the Save Our Greenspace group. That was followed this month by a scientist's confirmation that a turtle killed on Lester Road was a Blanding's. The species is classified as "threatened" in Canada.

As a result of the discovery, federal officials now say the issue needs to be examined before the rail project proceeds.

The city is proposing to build a 30-kilometre, mostly double-track rail corridor from Barrhaven town centre to downtown and the University of Ottawa. To build it, the city will have to widen an existing, little-used single train track that runs through National Capital Commission Greenbelt lands near Ottawa International Airport.

Cheryl Doran, a citizen who is concerned about the animal life along the proposed north-south light-rail line, said she began asking the city questions about what wildlife they had found. She didn't believe the city had done a thorough investigation, especially of the turtle population. So she got some advice from biologists about how to find turtles. She showed up early on the morning of June 2 and found a large mature female Blanding's, swimming with a mallard duck at 5:15 a.m.

The Blanding's, a large turtle that has a shell often likened in shape to a German military helmet, take 18 to 22 years to reach sexual maturity and can live to 70 years of age.

Ms. Doran and others collected a number of turtles killed by cars and trucks along Lester Road and sent them to scientist Frederick Schueler, of the Bishops Mills Natural History Centre near Oxford Mills. He confirmed that one of the turtles was a juvenile Blanding's.

Yesterday, Mr. Schueler said the age of the turtle suggests there's a reproductive population of the species in the woods, swamps and ponds of that part of the Greenbelt. He said these turtles are hard to find, though there is some evidence of population growth in parts of Ontario.

Touring the Greenbelt site this week, Ms. Doran said her group believes many turtles are hibernating for the winter in a pond north of Lester Road, near the Airport Parkway.

The Save Our Greenspace group is upset the city has been marking up the marshland with spray paint in preparation for construction, even though council has not given final approval for the project. City council must decide the project's fate by Dec. 15.

The city says it's just doing preparatory work and that, if council approves the rail service, construction will be carried out without destroying the turtles' habitat.

Planning director Dennis Jacobs said the city had suspected there might be Blanding's turtles in the area and that its consultants found egg shell evidence of the animals. Mr. Jacobs said the turtles aren't crossing the existing track, so the city believes it can preserve, and even improve, nesting areas and the turtles can continue living there. Meanwhile, the federal government plays a key role in the process since the Greenbelt, where the turtles were found, is under federal control and natural conservation is a key mission of the National Capital Commission.

NCC spokeswoman Lucie Caron said yesterday the environmental assessment of the rail project found the need for more study of the area, and that's what the NCC is expecting, before the federal government gives final approval. She said the commission is watching the issue "very closely."

The idea that federal officials could block construction to save the turtles is one of many factors council will have to weigh as it decides the fate of the rail line. The project is already controversial, with Bob Chiarelli losing the election after making the line his key campaign theme.

Yesterday, Michele Brenning, director-general of the Canadian Wildlife Service, said the service will look into the issue. The Blanding's was designated a threatened species by the federal government in August.

Ms. Doran said that it was nonsense that the City of Ottawa could build a commuter-rail corridor through the marshy Lester Road area without destroying turtle habitat. She said the city should look at building a rail service along a road, such as the Airport Parkway. She said that, in addition to the turtles, there are also herons and foxes that live in the marshland that need to be protected.

She said the discovery of Blanding's turtles shouldn't be viewed as a setback for government, but as good news: A fairly rare species can be found within a 15-minute drive of Parliament Hill.

"I get a lot of 'It's only a turtle.' But it's important to our biodiversity," said Ms. Doran.

Dan Brunton, a biologist with extensive knowledge of Ottawa's natural environment, said yesterday the discovery of Blanding's turtles in the Lester Road area is significant, though there are pockets elsewhere in Ottawa, such as Britannia. Mr. Brunton said the city will have to figure out how to protect the turtle's wetland habitat, and somehow fence the area in so that the turtles don't lumber onto roadways. He said car and truck traffic from newly built-up areas is the biggest threat to turtles.

Mr. Schueler, who confirmed the turtle's presence, said it is possible to take measures to protect turtle populations, by creating curbs and nesting areas. But he said the area is quite small and building a much bigger rail corridor will necessarily mean a reduction in the habitat left for animals. It's possible that the habitat could be preserved and the turtles saved, but "You don't know," he said.

� The Ottawa Citizen 2006
Published: Thursday, November 30, 2006

Read the follow up article:
CITIZEN: Light rail won't encroach on turtle habitat, city says

At-risk species sightings around Lester Road cause for concern

Cheryl Doran of Save Our Greenspace doesn't believe the city can build a two-track rail bed without destroying the habitat of the Blanding's turtle in the swamp near Lester Road. Photograph by : Rod MacIvor, The Ottawa Citizen
Patrick Dare, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday, December 02, 2006

The City of Ottawa says it will build the new commuter-train service in the Greenbelt without going on federal government land where some turtles are believed to be living.

Rejean Chartrand, head of the city's light-rail project team, said yesterday that the city is concerned about sightings of Blanding's turtles, a species at risk, in the marshy area near Lester Road. He said the city's construction contractor for the commuter-rail project will have to come up with a plan to preserve the turtles and their habitat. That could include turtle fences and nesting areas.

But he said the federal government's strict environmental protections for species at risk won't come into play because the city owns a 30-metre corridor along the single railroad track, property it purchased several years ago from CP Rail as part of the O-Train pilot project.

"It's wide enough. They won't be going outside the right of way. That would be a no-no," said Mr. Chartrand.

Under the Species at Risk Act, the government is to provide "immediate protection on federal lands" when an animal is listed as being at risk. The Blanding's turtle was listed on the at-risk registry last year.

The government's guide to the act underscores the importance Canada attaches to protecting rare animals on its own land.

"Clearly, one of the first steps in implementing the new law is for the federal government to make sure its operations respect SARA and protect listed species," says the guide.

The federal government will send biologists in the next couple of weeks to look into the Blanding's turtle issue in Ottawa's Greenbelt, said Michele Brenning, director general of the Canadian Wildlife Service at Environment Canada.

"We have a bit of homework to do," said Ms. Brenning.

Some citizens concerned about the project and its effect on animal habitat say they have confirmed a dead turtle recently recovered from the Lester Road area was a Blanding's turtle. One of the group's members also saw one swimming in June.

Cheryl Doran, of the Save Our Greenspace group, says she doesn't believe the city can build a two-track rail bed without destroying turtle habitat in the swamp and forest area near Lester Road.

The Blanding's turtle is classified as endangered in Nova Scotia and as a threatened species in Ontario. The Blanding's is a non-aggressive, mid-sized turtle with a yellow throat and chin. Its shell is often likened to a German army helmet.

The city's $880-million rail project is proposed to run between Barrhaven and the University of Ottawa.

The city received approval for the project from the federal government on July 13 after an environmental assessment, but it still has some federal hoops to jump through. The city must get federal land-use approval from the federal government for some intrusions onto federal land needed for the construction project.

So far, that approval has not been signed by the NCC, though the federal land in question is not near the turtle habitat at Lester Road. As well, Ottawa's new city council must endorse the rail plan by Dec. 15 for the federal government to release the $200 million it has committed to the project. City council is to debate the rail issue next week.
� The Ottawa Citizen 2006

Free Web Traffic Counters

© 2006 Lucia Alloggia, Brian Anderson

canker sore salt water kid friendly recipe for bagel pizza precautions in pregnany cheese free oven baked homemade fries recipes girls scout mint cookie cheesecake recipe bed breakfast rocheport missouri chicken with avocado cream sauce recipe cooking class san diego california mrs minnick s sauerbraten marinade bonefish au gratin potato recipe curry laksa recipe malaysian melting pot restaurant cheddar fondue recipe woman fucking sausage salt represents in the bible rhubarb mufins recipe types of chicken wire eggs mimosa recipe 8 all clad sauce pan recipe baked batter veggies bone sauce band map salt lake city cemetery duck montmorency recipe salt lake city utah zipcode maps candy distributor salt lake city utah egg noodle mac and cheese recipe cooking fish on george foreman grill chicken shack chicken shelby mi dessert fondu recipe cooking a penguin authentic ancient aztec recipes central park bed breakfast kentucy vegan restaurants pasadena ca bridal shower puch recipe delia s complete cookbook classic edition recepies for natural dyeing chocolate frangiapane recipe chicken dance costume favorite scallop recipe baking soda salt peroxide litigation support salt lake city golden laced chickens jelly lime recipe all american potatoes cactus grill chili recipe skia recipes basting sauce recipe for spare ribs recipe reading lesson plan breakfast restraunts bread pudding el salvador recipes rhubarb crisp salt water aquarium fish species how long until chicken eggs hatch real soccor salt lake city recipe for peeps bars bbq rib oven recipe home dinners boise idaho family guy and chicken fight salt lake community college men27s soccer ro tel recipes stool like pudding in puppy harvest grain and nut pancake recipe cooking hard boiled eggs high altitude domincan republic recepies spainish rice recipe virtual chicken soup greeting thanksgiving dinner at conner prairie baked pepper recipe large cobalt glass salt and pepper tel aviv learn to salsa pumpkin mini tart recipe surface salt water hill country bed and breakfast wimberly jelly belly vegan dinner party games for kids thanksgiving dinner hannibal mo quick focaccia recipe cream of mushroom chicken crock pot dinner theatres in cleveland oh salt ingredients brie appetizer recipes vegan crock pot recipes wikiki breakfast places danny meyer recipes recipes and meatloaf george foreman grill cooking times vegan gingerbread cookies fridays dragon fire chicken limousine services salt lake city sun dried tomato resataurant recipes west des moines breakfast restaurants cooking contest deserts recipe rotissirie turkey mexican gourmet cooking recepies woolwich cheese cranberry apple ginger sauce recipes southern cuisine hoppin john with neck bones recipe texas chili cookoff recipes dr harry dog biscuit recipe chicken you cannot burn dominican garlic fried chicken papa vinos recipes instant ocean sea salt cbs meeting bob breakfast grad u se angle food cake recipes italian dinner fundraiser ideas salt kills weeds dough nuts recipe japanese slipper recipe maple injection recipe for turkey chickens picking julie bishop finnin dinner applecobbler recipes recipes for anniversary party oatmeal coconut cake recipe salt city cregs list joy of cooking 75th steamer food recipes turket roaster recipe theater on salt spring island streusel swirl cake recipe low carb pudding chex rice cereal recipes indian poperdom recipe recipe baked sheep brains chicken duck goose meal american made blue cheese kfc humane chicken treatment chicken surf movie discount cooking products tomatoes recipes bread crumbs cheese coco ichibanya curry recipe bed and breakfast in hiram ohio martha steuart recipe for ice cream sandwiches fatty acid salts binge purge vegan two step cheese cake cooking classes dallas fort worth ginger wasabi sauce broccoli cheese dip recipe bed and breakfast lower frankton snickerdoodle recepie pyrex casserole poultry and chicken and people ahead appetizer recipe for blue blaze jelly miami appetizer recipe robot chicken weasel stomping time episode how to bake with romatof christmas recipes from spain italian l grinder sandwich recipe pudding mit arsen kahua ranch sunset dinner easy recipe for gingerbread tandouri chicken masala recipe for homemade hot dog chili cheese of month non vegan food recipes using torini sugar free syrup salt lake city and ufo pick up stix recipes baltic porter recipe carnival food sausage spit braai recipes vintage chicken food advertisements south beach diet lunch recipes wholesaler german sausages pa kentucky fried chicken in fredericksburg virginia healthy thangsgiving recipes milk and egg free cookie recipe tucson comedy dinner theater easy tunisian desserts recipe caesar salad dressing chicken and egg 9 inch pie crust recipe protein list vegan myer bed breakfast amphitheater in salt lake mabel bacon pecan topped sweet potato casserole ettouffee recipe turkey brine recipe with buttermilk dinner solution kentucky fried chicken indianapolis drunken chicken on grill allrecipes recipe reviews chocolate covered strawberries crock pot rice recipe pasgetti recipe veal oscar recipe hot and spicy recipe canned sweet potatoes ingredients home made broth chicken potassium vs salt for water softener pike place market cheese festival dishes gravy boat shrimp and mango salsa recipe too small pears recipes using frozen shrimp nm recipes breaking of the bread dinner