Sunday 27 May 2012

Ottawa Cycling Event - Capital Velofest!

Next weekend is Ottawa's  Capital Velofest. The festival is mission is to "inspire people of all ages to ride a bike more often".  In 2011, an estimated 1000 people attended the inaugural event.  In 2012, the festival has expanded to a full weekend event with bicycle demos, rodeos, "bike-in" movies, and an evening city bike ride. On Saturday, the festival is at Ottawa City Hall from 11 am to 11 pm.  On Sunday, the festival will be continue on a smaller scale in 2 neighbourhoods in Ottawa:  Ottawa East in Brantwood Park, and in Hintonburg in Hintonburg Park.

Monday 21 May 2012

Rain Barrel Fundraiser!

I'm sharing some information on a rain barrel fundraiser from the Woodroffe Habitat for Humanity club! A friend of mine teaches at the school and is involved in the project. 

Why are rain-barrels awesome?
  • they are made of recycled materials ;
  • they capture rain and save on water bills;
  • they feed your plants rain water instead of chlorine and fluoride;
  • take better care of the environment AND sewer systems;
  • proceeds from the sale are going towards supporting quality housing for low-income families in Nicaragua~through Woodroffe High School’s Habitat build
Next March break, 11 Woodroffe High School students are planning on making a difference. Instead of a March break of sun, surf and sand, they are going to help a needy Nicaraguan family build a home and build hope for their future. Please consider supporting the fundraising efforts by purchasing a rain barrel.

Each 180 – 220 L (45 – 55 gallon) rain barrel comes fully equipped with a leaf and mosquito filter basket, an overflow adaptor that permits multiple barrels to be connected in series, 1.2m of overflow hose and a spigot that attaches directly to a garden hose.
The price is only $55. Pay online or order for cash upon delivery at for delivery June 16th at Woodroffe High School!

Thursday 17 May 2012

Gardening with Native Plants

The long weekend is almost here, and it looks like it's going to beautiful. It's the season when we are spending more time outside, and some of that time might be doing some gardening! If you are interested in plants native to the region, we have a great resource here in Ottawa. The Fletcher Wildlife Garden is located next to the Arboretum off Prince of Wales Drive. Here is some information from their website on why the project got started. 

"With habitat loss a major factor in the decline of many plant and animal species, our goal is to encourage as many people as possible to create or restore natural landscapes on their urban or rural property. Our Interpretive Centre disseminates information on conservation issues and regional natural history. Behind the centre is our Backyard Garden designed to show how anyone can transform their own garden into one that is wildlife friendly".

If you are interested in buying native plants for your garden, the Fletcher Wildlife Garden plant sale is coming up on Saturday June 2nd from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Thursday 10 May 2012

Learn More about Solar Power in Ottawa

Last summer, we installed solar panels on the roof of our house. We've been producing electricity since August 29th, and are excited to see what production will look like as we head towards summer solstice on June 21st. 

This Saturday May 12th we are part of a bike tour of solar panels in the neighbourhood! SLOWest is promoting their new bike sharing project, and the advantages of solar panels. For more information you can check out the SLOWest solar panel bike tour link  Hope to see you there!

Friday 4 May 2012

Urban Cycling in Ottawa

Did you know May is Bike to Work Month? Despite our winter weather, Ottawa leads the nation's large cities in bicycle commuting, but the percentage is not very high: 2% of employed people in Ottawa bike to work, followed by Vancouver (1.9%), Calgary (1.5%), Montreal (1.3%), Edmonton (1.2%) and Toronto (0.8%). Here's an interesting article with an interview with a Danish bicycle guru who is working on a biking strategy for the City of Vancouver. He offers his insights into how to promote urban cycling by normalizing it for city dwellers, which likely has some application here in Ottawa. 

Urban Dwellers Cycling Article (Globe and Mail)