September 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

We Want You!

If any part of you loves the Speed and Eramosa Rivers, consider joining the 2Rivers Festival Steering Committee for the upcoming year. We are always looking for new members with new ideas. Each month we'll introduce you to another Committee Member so you can see the wonderful folks working behind the scenes to make the 2Rivers Festival happen! Last month you met Robert. This month we are introducing you to Laura!

Meet the Steering Committee

Laura Andrighetti, 
Program Design

 "I’ve been involved with the 2Rivers Festival since 2016, when I was looking for a role to volunteer for the Wellington Water Watchers.

My main job on the 2RF Committee has been the Festival Guide design, and in past years I’ve done the website as well. It has been a good opportunity to develop new skills, and I am happy to be able to help. Although it can be a lot of hours to put in for a couple months, it is flexible timing which works well for me right now. At the end of the process, it’s exciting to see the guides all printed and to be helping to spread the word about this fantastic festival while also raising funds through our advertising partners. I also enjoy the connections I’ve made with my fellow Committee members

I live very near the Speed River, and I love discovering the river, its wildlife, and all the changes with the seasons alongside my young children. I find going for a run or walk along the river is calming and helps me feel more centered.

The 2Rivers Festival is wonderful because there is a such a variety of events on offer, they are free, and the Festival brings together so many different community organizations in celebration of our rivers. Being involved with the 2Rivers Festival has been a great learning experience and a way to get more connected with the Guelph community."  

If you'd like to become a member of the Steering Committee, email us at [email protected]!

What's Been Going on Along the River?

Last month, Trout Unlimited Canada & Spring Mill Distilleryhosted a workday along the Speed River! Volunteers from local businesses came out to clean up lots of garbage from the river to remove waste harmful to local wildlife and help improve water quality. The clean up was done in partnership with Fusion Homes, and was approved by the Grand River Conservation Authority. A great group of people came out to help, including Spring Mill Distillery Founder, John Sleeman. And a big thank you to the The City of Guelph whose staff picked up and disposed of some of the larger debris from the work day! (Snapd)

Read more in Guelph Today!

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 the Sleeman Flats (east of the Hanlon Bridge) were used for hunting ducks? George Sleeman set up many duck blinds in the area.


    Did you know on Thursday nights, from 1895 – 1900, the Speed River Canoe Club paddled up the Eramosa, lashed the canoes together, lighted torches and floated back down to the Boathouse singing songs along the way? Edward Johnstone was in charge of the musical program.


    Did you know in 1844, Peter Gow established a water-powered tannery on the Speed at McCrae Blvd. and later added woollen and oatmeal mills also run by water power?

Upcoming Events Along the River

  • The Past and Future of the Guelph Correctional Facilities
    Hosted by Yorklands Greenhub and Alex Smith
Date: October 1, 2019
Time: 7:30 - 9PM
Location:St. Andrews Church, 161 Norfolk Street, Guelph ON, N1H 4J9
Cost: FREE or donation

Alex Smith will take us through a review of the past uses of the Guelph Correctional Facilities and look forward to its possible future as a major eco-educational location for the Yorklands Green Hub. Contact David Cameletti at (519) 823-1157 for more information. 

  • 100 Debates on the Environment
    Hosted by eMerge Guelph
Date: October 3, 2019
Time: 7 - 9PM
Location: Centennial CVI, 289 College Ave W, Guelph ON, N1G 1S9 
Cost: FREE
Be part of "100 Debates on the Environment" happening across Canada simultaneously. Come meet our Federal election candidates. Learn more about the issues that face Canadians and how our future leaders are planning to work towards solving them. This is a non-partisan event hosted at Centennial CVI by ten local not-for-profit groups.

  • GAC Historical Walking Tour VI: Ward One Guelph
    Hosted by Guelph Arts Council
Date: October 6, 2019
Time: 2-4PM
Location: Tytler School, 131 Ontario St, Guelph ON, N1E 3B3
Cost: $5

This tour of the area southeast of the downtown, between the Speed and Eramosa Rivers, reveals the rich variety of historic architecture and the diversity of peoples who formed Guelph. Particular attention is devoted to residential/industrial proximity and the city's early Italian community.


Nature on Our Banks

Canada Geese are migrating

  • The end of the flowering plant season is heralded by Heath Aster, a white-flowered aster with tiny leaves. It is one of our last flowering plants. 

  • Osprey are departing on migration and will fly over resident populations in the southern U.S. to winter in Central and South America. 

  • Northern Canada Geese are beginning to migrate to wintering areas usually in V’s or skeins moving south or southeast high in the sky. Giant Canada Geese, a subspecies, are flocking and moving around, but will not leave unless there's a local freeze up. 
  • A few Spring Peepers and Gray Treefrogs  may be calling from wetlands during the day. These are typically first-year males, and they may be responding to similar day/night patterns as in the spring. 
  • This part of the month brings the fall equinox, the time when day equals night. 

Updates from Wellington Water Watchers

Wellington Water Watchers has two great events lined up!

Keepin Water in the 'Shed - BARN DANCE!

Wellington Water Watchers is preparing for the Nestlé Hillsburgh permit renewal application to be posted. Join the Hillsburgh/Erin area residents in solidarity around water protection - and have some fun doing it!

This event owes a big thanks to Bela Farm, who have generously donated their newly renovated barn for the event. Fun thing is.... from this property, one can look across the road and see the Nestlé's pumping tower at their Hillsburgh well. The perfect back-drop! Relative Harmony and Judy Greenhill also deserve a special thanks for making the music and providing the calling for the foot-stomping Contra Dance experience. Lastly, thanks to Phil and friends at Goodlot Farmstead Brewing Co., and Val and Brent, and friends at Heartwood Farm and Cidery for helping to stock our cash bar with local artisanal brews at this event.

Let's all raise our glasses in a toast to celebrate local water and local water artisans - and to KEEPIN' WATER IN THE SHED!!!!

Date: October 05, 2019
Time: 6:30 - 11PM
Location: Bela Farm, 5750 Sixth Line, Hillsburgh ON, N0B1T0
Cost: $10 in advance

Tickets will be $15 at the door, so get yours today!

James Gordon's Emergency Climate Musical

This is James Gordon's latest one-man show with 20 songs, visual images, videos, a creepy puppet and lots of audience participation. This event is in partnership with Wellington Water Watchers! 50% of proceeds are going to Wellington Water Watchers.

Before the last federal election, songwriter/activist James Gordon barnstormed his way across the country with his hugely successful one-man show “Stephen Harper: the Musical”. It worked. You’re welcome. Now he’s back with his “Emergency Climate Musical” -- a ninety-minute theatrical investigation of what surely is THE issue in these uncertain times. Filled with compelling songs, videos, images, stories, rants, laughter, tears, audience participation, a creepy puppet and some concrete ways to face this crisis, James promises to entertain, inform, and leave you with homework. Follow along as he outlines his premise that we need a total political, societal and economic make-over to face the incredible challenge ahead. James moonlights as a Guelph City Councillor, where he’s introduced climate change motions, and he’s a member of the National Climate Leadership Caucus. 

Doors open at 7:30PM and the show starts at 8PM. Tickets are $25, with a pay-what-you-can option available at 10C. 

Date: October 18, 2019
Time: 7:30 - 10PM
Location: Royal City Evangelical Missionary Church, 50 Quebec St, Guelph ON, N1H 2T4
Cost: $25 or PWYC

Get your ticket now!

Follow Wellington Water Watchers!
Instagram: @wellingtonwaterwatchers

'Bluebelt' in the Greenbelt

Discover Breweries in the Greenbelt


You can check out nine brewery discovery routes at that showcase Ontario’s independent craft brewers, cideries, distillers. There are restaurants, farmers' markets and the bounty of Ontario and its protected Greenbelt. Curated by a partnership of eighteen food and beverage Associations, tourism organisations and the Greenbelt Fund, the Brewery Discovery Routes Map recommends hand-picked itineraries to help you explore the best of Ontario’s tasty craft beverages and fresh local food.

Taps, Tastes & Trails goes through Guelph and Wellington County!


The Greenbelt Foundation is hiring a Research and Policy Manager! Submit your application before October 31, 2019.



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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