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 within the Dish with One Spoon Treaty Lands  between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. Here in these river valleys we have learned that the Attawandaron or neutral peoples were also among the original stewards. 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 88 First Nations communities in Ontario currently under drinking water advisories.

2Rivers Festival News

Advertising Opportunities Available

Although the 2Rivers Festival only has one exclusive $10,000 Festival Sponsor spot, we have more opportunities for advertisers in the 2020 Event Guide available! Your support allows the 2Rivers Festival to be free and accessible to everyone. Each advertiser is featured in the full colour Event Guide that we distribute across the region and electronically on our website, newsletter, and social media. We distribute 5,000 print copies of the Event Guide to people in and around Guelph. Advertisement spots range from $250 to $1,000. 

This is a great opportunity to publicize your organization, while supporting conservation efforts and showing our community that you care about environmental protection. Download the Advertiser Package here or send us an email at [email protected]

Meet the Steering Committee

Beth Shier,
Data Manager

 " I've been on the 2Rivers Festival Steering Committee for one year now. I have always been concerned about environmental issues and was very pleased when I got the chance to be involved on the Committee. Last year I saw a request on Facebook for someone to do data entry and I volunteered... 

Since then, I have helped, along with the other members, to organize the Festival and have acted as a Marshall at some of the events. I've also done some work with publicity. It's been a very interesting and rewarding experience. The Committee members are a great bunch of people who care deeply about our waters and natural environment and who are very easy and pleasant to work with. 
I come from an area of the province which has no shortage of water. I grew up beside the magnificent Ottawa River which easily supplies all the needs of the communities situated on or near it. When I came to Guelph, I could immediately see the challenges the city and surrounding communities face, now and in the future, with maintaining a reliable source of water.
The home I lived in when I first came to Guelph was very close to the Speed River and both I and my children have spent countless hours exploring and enjoying the paths the meander along beside it. Now, hardly a day goes by when I am not either walking or riding my bike beside either the Speed or the Eramosa or paddling them in my kayak. I am tremendously impressed by and thankful for the care and stewardship both the City of Guelph and the community as a whole have shown to maintain the wilderness areas along the rivers that keep them healthy."  


If you'd like to become a member of the Steering Committee, email us at[email protected]!
And follow 2RiversFestival on Facebook and Twitter!

River Droplets – fun facts about our 2Rivers 

  • Did you know Halliburton’s Ice Company cut ice from the Goldie Mill Pond, near the present site of the River Run? Workers loaded the ice onto wagons to deliver it to waiting ice boxes.
  • Did you know the handmaids in the TV series, The Handmaid's Tale, stroll beneath the hanging offenders along the Grand River in Cambridge, Galt?
  • Did you know there are more than 300 Drumlins in the Guelph area which are a strong protection for our water supply?

Upcoming Events Along the River

In-class beekeeping workshop - everything you need to know!
Hosted by Tri-City Bee Rescue

This in-class workshop will take you through the basics of beekeeping. You have questions and they have answers!

  • Date: February 1, 2020
  • Time: 10AM - 1PM
  • Location:Tytler Public School 131 Ontario Street Guelph, ON
  • Cost: $25
  • Register

Grand River Trail Out and Back
Hosted by Guelph Hiking Trail Club

Hike a short section of the Grand River Trail in Kitchener. Hike to City Cafe Bakery on Lancaster St. for lunch and then hike back. Meet at 10 AM at the JA Pollock Family Trailway in Kitchener, just off Shirley Drive, 43.479266, -80.425807. Take Hwy 7 from Guelph to Kitchener. Just after crossing the bridge over the Grand River, take the first right onto Shirley Drive. JA Pollock Trailway is immediately on the right on Shirley Drive, directly across from BMW Grand River. See here. Bring 2 liters of water, icers, and snacks. No dogs please. No drop out point.

~15km, ~5hrs Level 2. Speed Moderate
Leader: Ron ([email protected] or 226-338-8969) 

  • Date: February 1, 2020
  • Time: 10AM - 3PM
  • Location:J. A. Pollock Family Trailway, 43°28'45"N   80°25'31"W
  • Cost: Free
  • Register

Women & Girls in STEM Day
Hosted by Let's Talk Science Guelph

You are invited to take part in the 2nd annual Women & Girls in STEM event to celebrate International Women and Girls in STEM Day! This year's theme of "Explore STEM" is intended to expose participants to all the diverse areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and showcase how it is changing the world.

  • Date: February 8, 2020
  • Time: 9AM - 5PM
  • Location:Summerlee Science Complex, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East Guelph, ON
  • Cost: Free
  • Register

Climate Change Town Hall
Hosted by Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph

Join MP Lloyd Longfield, MPP Mike Schreiner and Mayor Cam Guthrie for a forward-looking town hall about climate change. There will also be a display space prior to the event for local environment-focused organizations (not-for-profits) to share their work. Registration is required.

  • Date: February 13, 2020
  • Time: 6:30 - 8M
  • Location: Harcourt Memorial United Church, 87 Dean Avenue Guelph, ON 
  • Cost: Free
  • Register

Nature Guelph Speaker Series: Eye of the Beholder - Beauty in the Natural World
Hosted by Nature Guelph

Nature Guelph is pleased to welcome Kyle Horner as our February guest speaker! There is perhaps no concept more subjective in this world than that of beauty. When it comes to nature though, consensus is easier to come by. Beloved are the creatures of feather and fur, while things that slither and crawl seldom find themselves in the spotlight. In this humorous and light-hearted presentation we will re-examine our preconceived notions of beauty, and try to find it in some unlikely places!

  • Date: February 13, 2020
  • Time: 7:30 - 9PM
  • Location: University of Guelph, Arboretum Centre, 200 Arboretum Road, Guelph ON.
  • Cost: Free, donations accepted
  • Register

Nature Guelph Wildflower Series: The Mailtland River Valley
Hosted by Nature Guelph

Rachel White will present a big picture look at what makes the Maitland River valley so special. Her presentation will cover the physiography of the area, different habitat types, and some of the cool and rare species of plants and animals.

  • Date: February 19, 2020
  • Time: 7:30 - 9:30PM
  • Location:John McCrae Public School Library, 189 Water Street, Guelph ON
  • Cost: Free, donations accepted
  • Register

Nature on Our Banks

Groundhog Day and Other Hibernators

  • The Groundhog, also known as a Woodchuck or Marmot, is the largest member of the rodent family and a true hibernator. It puts on a thick layer of fat in the fall, and then retires below the frost line in its burrow, where it enters a profound sleep. Its heart rate will drop from 80 beats/minute to 4 or 5, respiration to once a minute, and its temperature may drop as low as 30C. Groundhogs will carry some of their fat into spring because when they emerge (generally March in Canadafresh greens may be weeks away.

  • Other mammals that truly hibernate include the Meadow Jumping Mouse, Woodland Jumping Mouse, Franklin’s Ground Squirrel and the following bats.

  • Many insects also use hibernation-like state called diapause to survive winter including the invasive Emerald Ash Borer which is destroying Canadian trees like Black Ash. This beetle probably arrived here in wooden shipping crates from Asian countries like China and was first detected in Ontario in 2002. It has now spread through southern Ontario into Quebec and threatens forested areas in other provinces.

  • Great Horned Owls are calling and are beginning to breed (the first owl to do so). Barred Owls are also vocal, and will respond to call imitations. They are also sometimes seen in parks or wooded areas near or within towns. 

  • Eastern Grey Squirrels mate this month and there’s a lot of chasing going on related to territory and general amorousness. And keep an eye on those dreys for increased activity.

  • On average, the first week of February is the coldest week of the year.
  • The Pleiades (Seven Sisters) are high in the western sky, eternally being chased by Orion. The related mythology can be found here

  • Mercury shows up before dusk early in the month, and can be pretty easily seen for the next few weeks. Venus will be above it along the ecliptic. In fact, all 5 easily visible planets can be seen this month, 2 in the evening sky and 3 in the morning.
  • The February full, or Snow, moon occurs on the 9th.

Updates from Wellington Water Watchers

Power of 10 Raffle

Congratulations to our first Power of 10 Raffle winner, Mathew Glass!

Wellington Water WatchersPower of 10 Raffle is a 10-month, 10-draw raffle in support of our Water Heroes Fund. Each ticket purchased has 10 chances to win a fantastic prize provided by our community supporters. Purchase your tickets before February 10th, 2020 for a chance to win two tickets to "A Musical Evening with Sarah Slean and Hawksley Workman"  along with dinner at Miijidaa. Get your tickets now!

Big year for Guelph's Water Wagon


The numbers are in and it was a big year for Guelph's Water Wagon. The Water Wagon was put in service in 2013, replacing a water tanker the city had been using since 2009. A city report says that in 2019 the Water Wagon had its busiest year yet, being used at 31 community events.

read the article in Guelphtoday

What really happens to plastic drink bottles you toss in your recycling bin | CBC News


The recycling symbol may give the comforting impression that your plastic pop or water bottle will be recycled into other plastic bottles again and again. Unfortunately, there's a good chance it won't become even one new bottle. Here's what really happens - and what's needed to boost recycling.

Read the article on CBC Today




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Instagram: @wellingtonwaterwatchers

'Bluebelt' in the Greenbelt

Mental Health In a Changing Climate

For this the instalment in the series, Catherine Macdonald of the Alliance for Healthier Communities, and Katie Hayes, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health, discuss the mental health impacts which climate change can create for youth, women, and newcomers. Read more here.

The Moccasin Identifier Project 

The Ontario Greenbelt plays a big role in regulating temperatures in Southern Ontario. Robert McLeman of Wilfred Laurier University discusses why a protected #ONGreenbelt is more important than ever in this video!




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,



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