November 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

Welcoming new events for 2020!

This month we are coordinating the events that will make up the 2Rivers Festival 2020. We are looking for organizations to host events that...

  • Connect our community with our local river systems
  • Provide opportunities for community members to engage with our rivers and learn from experts and like-minded community members/organizations
  • Increase awareness of the work we all do and the waters we protect
  • Educate the public on issues affecting source waters and how to protect them
  • Build the profile of Wellington Water Watchers’ mandate, which is to educate, advocate, and celebrate our local water
  • Help grow our community

If you are interested in submitting an event and being part of next year's 2Rivers Festival, send us an email at [email protected] as soon as possible! This year our theme is making Guelph the most Nature Rich City!

Meet the Steering Committee

Barbara Forster,
Festival Volunteer Coordinator

 "I have only been involved [with the 2Rivers Festival] since September [2018]. I went to a meeting wanting to learn more about Wellington Water Watchers and agreed to serve on the 2Rivers Festival Steering Committee because they needed people. At that point I knew nothing about the work of the committee. It has been a pleasure and a learning experience. I have been inspired by the dedication of the committee members. The 2Rivers Festival seems quite miraculous when it all comes together.

I am the coordinator of the event Marshalls. One member represents the committee at each event to help the event sponsors if needed. I really enjoy seeing the pleasure and excitement of the people attending the events as they learn more about their environment and the activities available in the community. It was a great opportunity to get to know the members of the committee.

I love any and all bodies of water. I grew up on a lake in Sudbury so being near water nourishes my spirit. Of course the beauty the rivers add to the city and the recreational opportunities they provide are important to me. I consider Guelph Lake as part of the river system. It enriches the community in so many ways.

[The 2Rivers Festival] is one way to add [your voice] to the important work of safeguarding the sources of the water that is essential to our survival."

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

What's Been Going on Along the River?

  • This month, the City of Guelph is removing invasive species including buckthorn and dog-strangling vine from the covered bridge at York Road Park and natural areas in the York Road and Eramosa River area.
  • The Rotary Club of Guelph-Trillium is looking to support causes that need of financial assistance. The funds available are from the proceeds of the Club’s annual Guelph Ribfest, held each August at Riverside Park. Apply before November 15th!

  • The City of Guelph is looking for volunteers help create over 30 natural community ice rinks! Check out the locations!

  • Wellington Water Watchers organized in the early 2000's to oppose the Dolime Quarry and its risks to Guelph's drinking water. River Valley Developments, the owner of the Dolime Quarry, and the City of Guelph are proposing to shut down the quarry and include it as part of the City of Guelph. Read about the proposal and have your say about the future of the site before the end of November! 

River Droplets – fun facts about our 2Rivers 
  • Did you know the Garbasaurus in Royal City Park weighs 370 kilograms, a weight equivalent to the amount of garbage pulled from the rivers in the first Speed River clean up in 1979?

  • Did you know the trail beside the Eramosa River was the bed of the Toronto Suburban Railway that operated Toronto to Guelph from 1917 to 1931? It was an early electric high-speed railway that ran up to 130 km an hour and was the last of its kind built in North America. 

  • Did you know the Better Beef plant, which processes over 10,000 cattle per month, grew from a small Reformatory slaughterhouse that trained prisoners in handling big knives?

  • Did you know queen bumblebees dig tunnels 2-15 cm in the ground in order to hibernate through the winter? When raking, it is easy to disturb these tunnels or the queen herself. Leaving a layer of leaves provides some insulation for the queen bee and great nutrients for your soil.

Upcoming Events Along the River

Pics & Pints: Nature Photography Workshop 
Hosted by Focus on Nature

A fun afternoon of photography and photo-editing at Spring Mill Distillery! Learn how to make eye-catching images, go on a photo hike around the neighbourhood, and have a tour of the gin distillery.

  • Date: November 17, 2019
  • Time: 12 - 3PM
  • Location: Spring Mill Distillery, 43 Arthur St S, Unit A, Guelph ON
  • Cost: $30
  • Register

Planetarium Program ... What's Up Tonight?
Hosted by University of Guelph Arboretum

Join guest instructor Trevor Chandler inside his planetarium for this amazing program (families welcome and encouraged). This planetarium series explores the planets, stars and constellations that are visible in the night sky this month. 

  • Date: November 19, 2019
  • Time: 6:30 - 8PM
  • Location: University of Guelph Arboretum, 390 College Ave E, Guelph ON
  • Cost: $15
  • Register

Guelph Hiking Trail Club Annual General Meeting
Hosted by Guelph Hiking Trail Club

The Guelph Hiking Trail Club is a volunteer organization that offers guided hikes of various lengths, throughout the year in Guelph and the surrounding area. We maintain over 80km of trails, thanks to private landowner permission, from Cambridge to Limehouse and from Guelph to West Montrose.

  • Date: November 21, 2019
  • Time: 7 - 9PM
  • Location: Unifor Local 1917, 611 Silvercreek Pkwy N, Guelph ON
  • Cost: Free
  • Register

Limehouse Hike
Hosted by Guelph Hiking Trail Club

Meet at 1PM at the Guelph Covered Bridge on Gordon Street for a loop hike in Limehouse. Come see the hole in the wall and heritage lime kilns restored. Bring water and snacks! You can also meet at the school in Limehouse at 1:30PM. 2 hours, level 2, moderate speed. Contact Norm at 519-831-3657.

  • Date: November 30, 2019
  • Time: 1 - 4PM
  • Location: Covered Bridge, Guelph ON
  • Cost: Free
  • Register

Nature on Our Banks

November: When Leaves Fall

  • Leaves are falling, or have fallen. The ground in wooded areas is a kaleidoscope of colour. Keep an eye out for what trees are still clinging to their leaves. Among natives, there may be young American BeechSugar Maple, and Ironwood, and mature Red OaksSilver Maples, and Tamaracks

  • Most Common Loons in their winter plumage are departing (the adults before the juveniles) for coastal waters, to be replaced by Common Mergansers coming down from the north.

  • Not all butterflies head south - some species stay here and brave the winter.  Mourning Cloaks tough it out as adults seeking a sheltered refuge.
  • If you’re lucky, you may still see the odd dragonfly or butterfly, most likely the Yellow-legged (Autumn) Meadowhawk (dragonfly), Clouded Sulphur and Compton Tortoiseshell (open; closed). 

  • White-tailed Deer bucks are “in rut”, or at their sexual peak. At this time they are very aggressive, and should be viewed only at a distance. Look for antler rubs on saplings and small trees – they are smooth instead of tooth-marked, and carry scent signs. 

  • Brook Trout (actually a char), whose colours we began to admire in mid-September, are spawning. They prefer places where groundwater wells up, but also spawn over gravel substrate in shallow headwater streams.

  • November can be drab and dismal, and it may seem that it’s always raining. However, the total precipitation for November in Ontario is less than 8% above the monthly average, and it has about 14% more rainy/snowy days.

  • Listen carefully on calm days and you may hear the soft chirps and squeaks, barely audible by humans, of the Common (or Masked) Shrew.
  • The South Taurid meteor shower (page down), debris shed by Comet 2P/Encke, peaks around Nov. 4/5/6, but moonlight increases each night.

Updates from Wellington Water Watchers

The All Eyes On Nestle Tour

You are invited to attend one (or more!) of a series of public events Wellington Water Watchers is sponsoring this week, from November 11th to November 14th.

International speakers from communities impacted by Nestlé's water-taking will speak about their experience opposing Nestlé. There will be four public events.

The first three events – in Waterloo, Toronto and Hamilton - will feature Franklin Frederick, a Brazilian writer and political/environmental activist now living in Switzerland, and Bernhard and Rene Lisee Schmitt, founders of Collectif Eau 88 in Vittel France.

The fourth event on Thursday, November 14th is Guelph will include speakers from communities in Maine, Florida and Michigan, USA.

Learn about the impact of Nestlé water bottling in communities around the world and learn more about how to take action to protect water and #SayNOToNestlé water bottling in Ontario.

  • Monday, November 11th in Waterloo 
  • The Atrium, Renison University College, 240 Westmount Rd. N., Waterloo
  • 7 - 9PM
  • RSVP here

  • Tuesday, November 12th in Toronto
  • Wilson Hall Lounge, 2nd Floor Wilson Hall at New College, 40 Willcocks St., Toronto
  • 7 - 9PM 
  • RSVP here

  • Wednesday, November 13th in Hamilton
  • Joseph’s Church Hall, 280 Herkimer St., Hamilton
  • 7 - 9PM 
  • RSVP here

  • Thursday, November 14th in Guelph
  • Trinity United Church, 400 Stevenson St. N., Guelph
  • 7 - 9PM 
  • RSVP Here

Water is a human right and a public trust and should never be under the control of private corporations like Nestlé.

Wellington Water Watchers Annual General Meeting: Protecting Water Together

Now is our time to take back our power and help generate momentum for change that protects water and a future for all life on earth. Join us for Wellington Water Watchers' 2019 AGM!

  • Date: November 16, 2019
    Harcourt Memorial Church, 87 Dean Ave, Guelph ON
    1:30 - 3:30PM
    RSVP here

You can become a member of the organization here.

PS. All events this month are FREE!


Follow Wellington Water Watchers!
Instagram: @wellingtonwaterwatchers

'Bluebelt' in the Greenbelt

Fresh Water in a Changing Climate: How Climate Change Affects Ontario's Waterways 

Our Greenbelt, covering 7,200 km2 of environmentally sensitive land, is key to protecting the quality of that water for the 9 million people living in the Greater Golden Horseshoe who rely on it as drinking water.

Joyce Chau, Executive Director of EcoSpark, discusses the multi-faceted importance of water in the latest In a Changing Climate series.




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

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