January 2020


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

Exclusive Sponsorship Opportunity Available!

We are excited to announce that the 2Rivers Festival has one $10,000 Festival Sponsor spot available for 2020. If your business values local water protection and community collaboration, you will want to align yourself with the 2Rivers Festival this year! As our Festival Sponsor, you will receive... 

  • Logo on the front of the 2Rivers Festival guidebook
  • Full page advertisement on inside front cover
  • Banner Ad on the guidebook centerfold calendar
  • Opportunity to have organization representation at events 
  • Your banner or signage and verbal recognition at all events
  • A plaque at Wellington Water Watchers’ 10C Shared Space office
  • Promotion on 2Rivers Festival website as Festival Sponsor
  • Press release and photo opportunity when the cheque is received
  • Coordination of multiple press opportunities 
  • 2Rivers Festival displays at all local branches 
  • Inclusion in all event emails, on 2Rivers Festival website, and social media

If you think you have what it takes to be the one and only Festival Sponsor, send us an email at [email protected]

Meet the Steering Committee

Trista Forth, Website Manager

 "I became involved in the 2Rivers Festival in 2013 when a friend who was a member of the steering committee encouraged me to become a part of the festival.

I have had many different roles through the years and I enjoy the fact that there is always something new to learn or do - whether it be brainstorming new ideas for the festival, scheduling events, brochure design, website maintenance, social media, drumming up advertising or handing out festival guides.

Our rivers provide beautiful and tranquil natural corridors right in the heart of our city. I love the fact that we have these amazing natural areas that are free for everyone to enjoy.

The 2Rivers Festival is a great way to learn more about our rivers and the people that care for them and to become actively involved in the stewardship of our rivers. It is a wonderful way to meet new people and learn about local organizations that are making connections with our rivers. "

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 that OPIRG Guelph has hosted an annual 2Rivers Cleanup since 1976? Each year, OPIRG gathers the community and walks along the shore, gathering up all the visible waste they can find. Here are some photos from the 1988 2Rivers Cleanup!

Upcoming Events Along the River

Wednesday Noon Hour Walks 
Hosted by The Arboretum, University of Guelph

Bundle up and come out to explore winter in the Arboretum for the first walk of 2020!

  • Date: January 8, 2020
  • Time: 12:15PM
  • Location: Arboretum Kiosk, 200 Arboretum Rd, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
  • Cost: Free

Nature Guelph Speaker Series: Eat, Prey, Love - the Secret Lives of Spiders
Hosted by Nature Guelph

Nature Guelph is pleased to welcome John Reaume as their January guest speaker! Spiders are among the most misunderstood animals on our planet. John will provide a review of spider taxonomy, anatomy, webs (and their many uses), mating behavior, and hunting and feeding strategies. He will then review 10 species that are local to Guelph.

  • Date: January 9, 2020
  • Time: 7:30PM
  • Location: The Arboretum Centre, 200 Arboretum Rd, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
  • Cost: Free, donations accepted
  • Register

Owl Workshop: A Who's Whoo in Ontario

Hosted by The Arboretum, University of Guelph

Discover how to use your eyes and ears to identify Ontario's Owls. Through a wide variety of hands-on activities you'll learn about owl plumage, calls and behaviour, habitat requirements, migration patterns and owl folklore. Check out this video from a previous Owl Workshop!

  • Date: January 10, 2020
  • Time: 9AM - 4PM
  • Location: University of Guelph, 50 Stone Rd E, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 
  • Cost: $100 (before January 2nd)
  • Register

Second Sundays Yorklands Walks
Hosted by Yorklands Greenhub

Photography hike with Bob Fanning at 1:30PM. Bring your camera or phone to record some of the unique features of this heritage landscape. Walk the Blue Dot Trail with Yorklands Greenhub at 2PM to observe winter life on the Yorklands site.

  • Date: January 12, 2020
  • Time: 1:30PM & 2PM
  • Location: 785 York Rd, Guelph, ON N1L 1P4 
  • Cost: Free
  • Register

Nature Guelph Wildflower Series: Nature Macro Photography
Hosted by Nature Guelph

Professional photographer and Nature Guelph President Brett Forsyth will share his tips for taking great photographs of the natural world, with an emphasis on macro photography for botanical subjects.

  • Date: January 15, 2020
  • Time: 7:30-9:30PM
  • Location:John McCrae Public School Library, 189 Water Street, Guelph, ON N1G 1B3
  • Cost: Free, donations accepted
  • Register

Nature on Our Banks

December: Witness the Snowy Owl Population Fluctuation

  • Snowy Owls (right) are arctic breeders. Every winter some show up in the south, often juveniles whose plumage is more flecked with brown (females are hard to tell from juveniles).  
  • Late this month, Great Gray Owlsmay also arrive for a winter sojourn. Great Grays are largely rodent predators, and with their large facial disk and resulting sharp hearing, these owls can hear, and catch, rodents that are beneath 30 cm of snow. 
  • Our bird feeders have gotten very busy lately, with American Goldfinches and Black-capped Chickadees in particular.  Other places to look are any areas of open water (gulls, eagles, ducks), open fields (Snowy Owls, Red-tailed HawksSnow Buntings) and roadsides (winter finches).

  • Porcupines and their sign are very evident now because they remain active throughout the winter and there are no leaves in the way.

Updates from Wellington Water Watchers

It's the end of 2019! Get yourself some positive karma for the new year by donating to Wellington Water Watchers!

Wellington Water Watchers has been accepted as a project by the Small Change Fund. If you make a donation of $250 or more to the Small Change Fund on behalf of the Wellington Water Watchers you support our work to protect water and you will receive a charitable tax receipt.

There are two priorities that you can help us fund with a donation this month.

  • Expert Toxicology Opinion on health risks of THMs in Tottenham drinking water: Tottenham’s drinking water has had high levels of THMs (trihalomethanes) for eleven of the past fifteen years. (THMs are a disinfection by-product formed when chlorine is used to disinfect drinking water containing natural organic matter. Some studies present viable hypotheses for health effects such as cancer and increased reproductive risk concerns.)

Residents of Tottenham, part of the Town of New Tecumseth, have been forced to advocate for the last four years to have the Town Council to take this problem seriously. The Town Council has failed to come up with a plan to ensure clean safe drinking water for Tottenham residents.

Wellington Water Watchers is working with residents group Tottenham Water and environmental lawyer David Donnelly to make the Town of New Tecumseth address the root causes of the THM contamination.

An important step in preparing the legal strategy to hold the Town Council accountable is to have an independent opinion from a toxicologist on the potential health risks of residents’ exposure to THMs.

We have retained this expert and the fee for an initial assessment is $5,000. Your donation the the Small Change Fund will help us pay for this expert opinion and earn you a charitable tax receipt. 

If you prefer to write a cheque for more than $250 to make your donation then make the cheque payable to Small Change Fund and mail to Wellington Water Watchers, 42 Carden St., Guelph, N1H 3A2.

Make your donation now! 

  • Say No To Nestlé: The Doug Ford government has extended the moratorium on new permits to take water for bottling in Ontario until October 2020. The moratorium was set to expire this month – but persistent advocacy by Wellington Water Watchers and our many allies pressured Jeff Yurek, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks to extend the deadline. The Ford government may be hoping that people will forget or be distracted by other issues next fall.

You can help keep the pressure on Doug Ford to Say No To Nestlé by making a donation of $250 or more to the Water for Life, Not Profit project of the Small Change Fund (and earn a charitable tax receipt for your donation).

If you prefer to write a cheque for more than $250 to make your donation then make the cheque payable to Small Change Fund and mail to Wellington Water Watchers, 42 Carden St. Guelph, N1H 3A2.

Donations of less than $250 can be made here directly to Wellington Water Watchers. 

Please consider including Wellington Water Watchers in your end of year donation plans.

Introducing our new Board of Directors!

Wellington Water Watchers is wishing you a happy holiday season and all the best in the new year!

Follow Wellington Water Watchers!
Instagram: @wellingtonwaterwatchers

'Bluebelt' in the Greenbelt

Looking back, looking forward 

From investing in natural infrastructure, to engaging underserved communities, to supporting strong collaborations with Indigenous partners, to helping build southern Ontario’s sustainable food systems, the Greenbelt Foundation was hard at work this year. While their goals remain the same – to protect and enhance the Greenbelt for the benefit of all Ontarians, the projects and programs change from year to year.

Take a look at the Annual Report Summary for an overview of what we’ve been up to this past year.

The Moccasin Identifier Project 

The project, developed by Carolyn King in partnership with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and supported by the Greenbelt Foundation, has launched a new website. This important step comes as King continues to lead the project in beta-testing and promoting a toolkit for Ontario schools who are looking to educate their students on the history and presence of First Nations on the land.




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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