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

The 2Rivers Festival 2021, will be our 10th Annual Festival!

Hats off to the entire steering committee and to all the host organizations of the 2020 Festival. We did not let this pandemic foil our plans for the 2Rivers Festival 2020! Instead, we got creative and reinvented almost all of the events into an online format. Congratulations everyone.

This change resulted in some unforeseen benefits - such as allowing a broader range of supporters to engage in this festival, and resulting in a significant increase in our rsvp levels. Going forward, we will always include some online content. 

We now need to turn our attention to our 10th Festival - the 2Rivers Festival 2020. As such, we are seeking to expand our volunteer steering committee from our pool of passionate devotees to these beautiful rivers. If you would like to learn more, please email us at [email protected]. We protect what we love and the 2Rivers Festival helps us fall in love with these rivers, over and over again.

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

Thanks to our 2020 Festival Sponsor

Thanks to our Festival Sponsor The Guelph Outdoor School (GOS) who graciously supported our 2020 festival financially as well as hosting 2 events. Thanks to GOS for their willingness to quickly adapt to our changing circumstances and work with our online format. We managed to pull together some incredible offerings for our community in the online format and are grateful to the Guelph Outdoor School for all their support. 


Nature on Our Banks

Featured Species:  Cicada (taken from Step Outside - early September edition)

For me, nothing says “end of summer, beginning of school” more than the buzzing drone of the cicada (which means buzzer in Latin), a large (2-5 cm., up to 15 cm in the tropics) insect that spends most of its life (usually 2-5 years; up to 17 in some species) underground (up to 2.5 m deep!), busily sucking on plant roots.

Eventually, the nymph emerges, crawls up onto a trunk or branch, and moults (video!).  As an adult, its prime function is reproduction, with the males only doing the buzzing to attract females by vibrating its tymbals, complex membranes on either side of its abdomen.  These timbals are also used to hear with.  Fortunately, the males disable this hearing function before calling – otherwise, they’d probably go deaf!  All this activity in turn exposes cicadas to predators, including the Cicada Killer Wasp, which paralyzes the cicada in order to feed its developing young.  After mating, cicada females lay eggs in twigs.  After hatching, newborn nymphs drop to the ground, dig in, and the cycle begins again.  Cicada calls can be found here. Other insects commonly heard this time of year include crickets, katydids and grasshoppers.  Species most commonly heard in late summer include the Fall Field Cricket, Carolina Ground Cricket, Bush Katydid, and Marsh Grasshopper.  The males stridulate, which means that, unlike cicadas, they rub body parts together (crickets use their wings) to create their call.  Successful (well-fed) male crickets literally wear themselves out calling, dying sooner (but presumably more satisfied) than less successful males, which call less and later in life.  Here are resources for crickets in the classroom

Other Happenings:

  • Another sure sign of the return to school are Red Maple samaras that helicopter to the ground, providing entertainment on the walks to school.                                                 
  • Blue Jay calls are common sounds. Some Blue Jays move south, while others will stay.         
  • With the change of season, many birds are on the move to Central and South America. To get an idea of the volume of bird migration, stand outside on a calm, clear night and you’ll hear the contact calls  of thousands of migrating songbirds – particularly thrushes  and warblers.                                                                                                                 
  • Migrating Common Nighthawks are most visible during the last three hours of daylight. They migrate in groups, sometimes quite high, and all moving in a southwesterly direction.                          
  • Red-winged Blackbirds are massing prior to migration. Check your local marsh!                   
  • American Pipits show up in recently ploughed fields.                                                          
  • Some butterflies are migratory, too. In the early morning and evening, migrating Monarch Butterflies can be found clustering in trees and shrubs along shorelines, on their way to their wintering areas in Mexico. You can view their fall migration over time on the Journey North website , where there are tons of information, activities and lessons about Monarchs sign up to become part of this incredible journey.  You can see the isolated mountaintops where they will over winter and the incredible profusion of resting butterflies.  We’ll keep tabs on this bit of Canadian biodiversity while the snow flies, and then get ready for the journey back north in the Spring.  As a preview, watch this Monarch caterpillar hatch from its egg.                                                                                                                          
  • Clouded and Orange Sulphur viewing is good in September.                                                           
  • The Giant Swallowtail is Canada’s largest butterfly. It appears to be moving eastward from out of its Southwestern Ontario ‘home’ to become more noticeable in Southcentral and Southeastern Ontario, all the way to Ottawa and parts of Quebec.  And at a wingspan of up to 15 cm, they do get noticed!.  They may eventually reach the geographic limit of their food, the Prickly Ash and Common Hoptree.  Taken together with the northern expansion of many other southern species, they may be a harbinger of additional changes related to global warming.  And they may still be flying around your area, so keep an eye out!             
  • Fall Webworm nests are noticeable on shrubs and broad-leaved trees. They will over-winter as pupae.                                                                                                                         
  • False DragonheadFringed-topped Bottle GentianBrook Lobelia, and White Snakeroot bloom.                                                                                                                           
  • Beavers get busy cutting trees for their winter food supply.  Look for loose piles of branches near their lodge.                                                                                               
  • Eastern ChipmunksEastern Grey Squirrels, and Red Squirrels are also busy storing food for the winter.                                                                                                                 
  • Goldenrod are now in full bloom and will continue to the first frost in early October. It is worth a trip to look at these every few days.  They can be found in some schoolyard naturalization sites, most old fields or the manicured edges of parks.  Goldenrod attract many insects which make observing them so interesting.  These include Monarchsbees  and spiders.  The children’s picture book On One Flower is a great resource to use before or after a goldenrod field trip.                                                                                                                                                                             
  • Pegasus, the flying horse, is a well-known fall constellation in the southeast sky.  The Great Square, which makes up the body of Pegasus, is the most obvious part.  One of these stars is also shared with Andromeda and can be used in locating the Andromeda galaxy – the most distant object viewable with the human eye.  Andromeda is our closest galactic neighbour and is also a spiral galaxy.  If you are able to make it out, you are seeing the past.  The light that you see actually left the galaxy two million years ago! Stellarium is a great, free program for introducing and teaching the night sky in the classroom.                                 
  • The moon parades by Mars September 4-6 while Saturn and Jupiter will be high to the south just after sunset.  Ten meteor showers also occur in September, with the Alpha Aurigids occurring this week.
     •   Keep an eye out for the Corn Moon on September 1st and 2nd..

Updates from Wellington Water Watchers

Join the movement for water justice in Ontario – register for Watershed 2020 today!

What: Watershed 2020 Digital Convention

When: Saturday, September 26th, 10:00 – 5:00PM

Where: Online via HopIn Conference Platform

The People’s Water Campaign is bringing together NGOs, experts, indigenous peoples, community members, and politicians on September 26th to define a collective agenda to restore environmental protections, uphold water security, and build the movement for water justice in Ontario. We want you to join us!

“Watershed 2020: Towards a Water Justice Agenda” is a digital convention to define the pathway towards a water justice agenda in Ontario. With plenary sessions, special guest speakers, workshops, working sessions, networking, on-demand content, performances, and an Expo Area featuring digital booths from local organizations, we’ll come together for 1 day of collective sharing, planning, and action. We will:

🔹 Engage with renowned experts, NGOs, and grassroots groups
🔹 Share your opinions with the broader community
🔹 Define the critical actions needed to move Ontario to a more just & secure water future

Registration is now open, so get your Watershed tickets today and help Ontario commit to a just & water-secure future.

This is our watershed moment. Are you in?

*Attendee scholarships available! Inquire at [email protected]
*Please email us at [email protected] if you have an accessibility concern

Power of 10 RaffleScreen_Shot_2020-08-31_at_3.18.47_PM.png

For 10 months in 2020, Wellington Water Watchers are running a raffle. Prizewinners will be drawn on the 10th of each month; after purchasing your ticket(s), you are entered to win for each of the remaining months. This month's prize is "Bookshelf in a Box" & Red Brick Cafe Credit ($225 total value)

You can buy tickets here. Tickets are only $10!


We Protect what we Love. If you support the work of the Water Watchers (Love = celebrating precious groundwater through hosting the 2Rivers Festival and similar celebrations. Protect = our advocacy work), please Consider making a donation. We are currently seeking monthly donors to help us establish a consistent base for our work.

You can also make a $250+ donation and receive a tax receipt or make a donation of less than $250 - both are greatly appreciated!


Click here for your tax deductible donation

Follow Wellington Water Watchers!
Instagram: @wellingtonwaterwatchers

'Bluebelt' in the Greenbelt


Earlier this week over on TVOKids, Earth Ranger (and friend of the Greenbelt) Liam visited the show from his home. Liam showed us photos from his favorite hike and cycling trail to do with his brother in Newmarket, part of the Ontario Greenbelt!

Watch the video here and find a local Greenbelt adventure near you.


Content from Greenbelt Foundation.



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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You can also keep up with 2Rivers Festival on Twitter or Facebook.

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