August 2019

Wellington Water Watchers


We would like to start this newsletter by acknowledging that the City of Guelph, where the 2Rivers Festival takes place, is situated upon traditional territories. The territories include the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), Ojibway/Chippewa, and Anishinabek, in addition to the Attawandaron neutral peoples. We’d like to recognize the enduring presence of Aboriginal peoples on this land and the history of the First Nations peoples and neighbouring First Nation, Métis and Inuit. Today there are a wide number of Indigenous peoples who call this territory home under the Haldimand Tract Treaty with the Mississaugas of New Credit. We want to express solidarity with the Chippewas of the Thames First Nations and the 18 Indigenous communities affected by the Enbridge Line 9 project, and to the 88 First Nations communities in Ontario currently under drinking water advisories.

2Rivers Festival News

Another 2Rivers Festival is over!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2Rivers Festival 2019! If you attended an event and haven't had a chance to complete this one question survey, please take a minute to answer.

We want to extend a big thank you 
to all the participating host organizations, listed below. We wouldn't have a Festival without you. Make sure you stay updated on what our host organizations are up to so you can participate in their activities throughout the year.

City of GuelphGuelph Wellington Waterloo Regional Trail Committee, Seven Generations Forward, Guelph Youth DanceGuelph Hiking Trail Club, Lisa GillOrme, Yorklands Green HubOPIRG GuelphTwo Rivers Neighbourhood Group, Sacred Earth Yoga, Architectural Conservancy OntarioKitchener Waterloo Climate SaveGuelph Rowing ClubNature GuelphSpeed River Valley Heritage Lands Association, University of Guelph The ArboretumGuelph Coalition for Active TransportationTrout Unlimited Canada Speed Valley ChapterSpeed to Sea, Waterloo Wellington Canoe & Kayak ClubThe Guelph Outdoor SchoolFung Loy Kok Taoist Tai Chi GuelphGrand River Conservation Authority.

Thank you to our important advertising sponsors. Please show your appreciation for their support of the Festival when using their services and purchasing their products. Check out who supported us in this year's Event Guide!

A special thank you to the 2Rivers Festival Steering Committee: Laura Andrighetti, Emma Callon, Trista Forth, Jane Hudson, Susan Ratcliffe, Sarah Delroy, Beth Shier, Barbara Forster, Robert Barron, and Arlene Slocombe who have dedicated their time to develop the festival program and connect us more closely with our rivers. Thank you for your passion for our rivers and the many hours of volunteer time you have put into developing the 2Rivers Festival 2019. 

The 2Rivers Festival is a project of Wellington Water Watchers, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection, restoration, and conservation of source water in Guelph-Wellington.

Meet the Steering Committee

Robert Barron,
Media Liaison

   "I have been involved with the 2Rivers Festival for one year.

I was active as a recruiter, planner and marshal for the Arboretum event. I attended the events at Niska Road, Correctional Center, Turf Grass Institute hike, and the Guelph Outdoor School.
Ever since I was a young boy I enjoyed exploring rivers and streams. The Speed River and Eramosa are very close by, and I have lots of opportunities to explore them.

      The Festival is a good way to meet people in our community who are interested in the environment, and; want to do something to save it."

Organizing the Festival is a lot of work, so we took a little break over the summer. But we will be back in action in the fall and are always looking for new Steering Committee members! Email us at [email protected] if you want to be a part of the 2Rivers Festival!


The 2Rivers Cleanup deserves a special shout out, as 2019 was the 40th anniversary of the Cleanup hosted by OPIRG Guelph!


Follow 2RiversFestival on Facebook and Twitter!

Events left to right: Crayfish Catch, Up the Creek with a Paddle, Creatures of the Arboretum Creek, River's Edge: Games that Teach, 2Rivers on 2Wheels and a Cold Brew Too, Exploring Pond Creek: Above and Below Ground, Nature in the City Scavenger Hunt, Aquatic Creatures Outdoor Discovery Event 

River Droplets – fun facts about our 2Rivers 
  • Did you know John H. Sleeman chose Guelph for the site of his first brewery in 1856 because the quality of the water was the best in Ontario for making beer?

  • Did you know Ontario’s first curling club started on the Speed near the Dundas bridge (Gordon Street) in 1838 using wooden blocks or huge boulders?

  • Did you know only two of the many streams feeding the Speed are left above ground – the Silver Creek between the Hanlon and Edinburgh and the Pond Creek between Edinburgh and McCrae Boulevard?

Upcoming Events Along the River

  • Zero Waste Festival
    Hosted by Guelph Tool Library and Grange Hill East Neighbourhood Group
Date: August 10, 2019
Time: 10AM - 5PM
Location: Victoria Road Recreation Centre, 151 Victoria Road North, Guelph ON
Cost: FREE - $35

A celebration of all things sustainable... The festival will have a vendor fair, repair cafe, bike repair station, and hands on demos that will be free with no ticket required. Ticketed programs and speaker series will be housed in the Oak, Birch, and Cedar rooms. 


  • The Brooklyn Tour  
    Hosted by JayWalking Guelph
Date: August 13, August 20, August 27, 2019
Time: 8:15PM
Location: 116 Gordon Street, Guelph ON
Cost: $20

An historical storytelling stroll along the Speed River. Stories, poetry, scandals. Afternoons and evenings Approx 1 hour. Not for children.


  • Noticing Nature Art Workshop – 2019  
    Hosted by Yorklands Green Hub
Date: August 13, 15, 20, & 22, 2019
Time: 10AM - 12PM
Location: former Guelph Correctional Centre, 785 York Road, Guelph ON
Cost: FREE

Explore nature in the city - and create artistic works with your findings!! Parents and children (aged 4-11) are invited to come out to the Yorklands site and enjoy FREE morning nature and art sessions with artist Marta Orlowska. Two 2-day sessions: August 13th and 15th, and August 20th and 22nd.


  • Riverfest Elora
Date: August 16-18, 2019
Location:Bissell Park on the banks of the Grand River
Cost: $100 - $200

Riverfest Elora returns this year for festival number 11. Get ready for three days of art, food trucks, arts and craft vendors, community and of course, music!

Get your ticket!

Nature on Our Banks

Dragonflies, Fireflies and Butterflies: Mystical Beauties of the Insect World

  • Dragonflies and damselflies have large, ancient ancestors that existed at least 300 million years ago (they rubbed elbows with dinosaurs and the creatures that came before). Dragonflies and damselflies can be told apart by their general shape, and the way the wings are held at rest. Dragonflies are larger and hold their wings open, whereas damselflies are daintier looking and hold their wings together or slightly spread.

  • Fireflies are beetles (not flies) that have a special organ that produces light(bioluminescence). The lights are used to attract a mate, and some species have their own distinctive lighting pattern. In most North American species the male does the flying about and the female perches on vegetation near the ground. 
  • Butterfly-watching is at its best with many different species flying. White Admirals, Canadian Tiger Swallowtails, and European Skippers are particularly noticeable. The Virginia Ctenuchid moth also flies during the day.

  • Eastern Red-backed Salamanders are laying their eggs. Unlike most salamanders they are completely terrestrial. They lay their eggs in moist places under rocks and logs, and hatch from eggs as miniature adults.

  • Mercury has popped up in the west after sunset. Mars is close by, but a lot harder to see. Try binoculars for both 1-1¼ hours after sunset.

Updates from Wellington Water Watchers


#WaterForLifeNotProfit Billboard: A Call for a Full Environmental Assessment on all Permits to Take Water for the Purpose of Bottling

Last month, Wellington Water Watchers unveiled a billboard on Gordon Street that says Water is for Life, Not Profit!   

Nestlé is expected any day to submit an application to the Ontario government to renew their permit to take 3.6 million litres of water per day in Aberfoyle. The application and review process fails to adequately assess the consequences of Nestlé’s water taking.  

Send an email to Premier Doug Ford demanding a full environmental assessment of water bottling by Nestlé and other commercial water bottling operations in Ontario!


Stop the Campbellville Quarry!

Why does Wellington Water Watchers want you to support ACTION Milton to stop the Campbellville Quarry?

  • Blasting at the quarry could open pathways that allow surface toxins to contaminate groundwater. Remember Walkerton?
  • Blasting may also affect the the Kelso wells and private wells of local residents.
  • Emissions from blasting and asphalt re-processing will pollute the air with particulate matter. Particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5) is known to cause respiratory issues, cancer, heart attacks. PM 2.5 causes approximately 9000 deaths in Canada each year.
  • Blasting could impact wildlife and provincially significantly wetlands
  • Flyrock from blasting can cause property damage, personal injury or even death. Hwy 401 is only 100 metres from some of the blast areas.
  • Gravel trucks will haul heavy loads on local roads every 2 minutes, 13 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 20 years.

Help protect our drinking water and ask for an Environmental Assessment of the proposed Campbellvile Quarry!

Follow Wellington Water Watchers!
Instagram: @wellingtonwaterwatchers

'Bluebelt' in the Greenbelt

Greenbelt Cycles

Grab your bike and explore Ontario's protected Greenbelt! Choose from a selection of local cycling itinerariesspanning 475 km's of trails, agriculture, greenspaces, diverse communities and local food and drink. Try the Royal City Mill Run, which starts in Guelph.

There's so much to explore

Greenbelt Walks

Pack your gear and discover the Greenbelt's countryside, waterfalls and unique wildlife. Check out this map of Greenbelt Walks!



Other ways to Help...
Doing the work to safeguard our water requires all hands on deck. We are all Water Watchers! 

Please give of your time or money generously. Make us stronger. Make us more powerful. And let’s defend our waters together.

If you are richer in time then money, please volunteer!
If you are richer in money than time, please donate!

Make sure you follow the 2Rivers Festival on Twitter @2RiversFestival and Facebook @2RiversFestival!
For our waters,


Wellington Water Watchers · Canada

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.