2019 CommuniTree Conference

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Main Event Info
Schedule & Details
Speaker & Presenter Biographies

Main Event Information

DATE: Saturday, October 19th, 2019

TIME: Registration and Breakfast 8 am, Conference 9 am – 1:15 pm

LOCATION: Just Food Farm, Big Red Barn, 2nd floor – 2391 Pepin Court, Ottawa, ON

COST: Free, registration required.

REGISTRATION: Space is limited therefore, we are requiring that all attendees register for the event.

QUESTIONS? Contact the BCA Tree Team treeteam@blackburnhamlet.ca.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow us on facebook @BHTreeTeam


In partnership with Just Food and Ecology Ottawa, the Blackburn Hamlet Community Association’s Environment Committee and Tree Team is organizing its first “CommuniTree Conference” on Saturday, October 19th at the Just Food Farm in Blackburn Hamlet. The Conference will take place from approximately 9am to 1:15pm and will include various panels, a networking break and a tour of a Community Food Forest. The Conference is an opportunity for community members to share tree-related stories, data and projects and provide attendees with new ideas, information and resources to carry out tree-related initiatives in their communities. If you are interested in promoting stewardship of our urban forest, sharing ideas, meeting community leaders and being part of innovative ways to help our environment, this Conference should not be missed. The Conference is free to attend, however registration is required as space is limited. Media or other inquiries should be made to Sarah, of the BCA Tree Team: treeteam@blackburnhamlet.ca.

Schedule & Details

Please bring your own water bottle and coffee mug. We are trying to make this event as waste free as possible.

Please dress for the weather. While the event is happening inside, there will be a walking tour of the Nanabush Community Food Forest which will occur outdoors.

Photos and videos are encouraged, so long as they are not distracting for the other attendees.

*The following schedule is subject to change

8:00-9:00 am Registration and Networking Breakfast

A registration table will be set up between 8:00 and 8:50am to hand out agendas and name tags for attendees.

Sample local foods, mingle and network with people from across the City passionate about our urban forest. Visit information tables hosted by Tree Fest, the City of Ottawa, and Friends of Hampton Park.

9:00-9:15am Welcome

Sarah Morgan-White, Blackburn Community Association

Phil Mount, Just Food

9:15-10:05 am Keynote Speech

Nick Stow, City of Ottawa

Dr. Stow, professional ecologist and senior environmental planner with the City of Ottawa, will discuss the on-going review of the City’s Ottawa Plan, with a focus on the urban tree canopy.  He will provide an update on implementation of the Urban Forest Management Plan and the review of the City’s Tree Bylaw.  He will provide an overview of the City’s current forest cover, the challenges that it faces, and the critical role that communities and neighbourhoods will play in maintaining and growing the urban tree canopy.

If time permits, there may be an opportunity for questions.

10:10-11:10 am First Speaker Panel

Susan Davies, Chapel Hill Forest Valley Trails – “Protection, Sustainability and Maintenance of the Chapel Hill North Forest and its Trails”

Iola Price, Ontario Invasive Plant Council – “Problems invasive plants cause for trees and forests”

Rob McAulay, Beaverbrook Community Association – “NeighbourWoods in Beaverbrook: Community Tree Stewardship”

Followed by Q/A

11:10-11:30 am Refreshments & Networking break

Sample local foods, mingle and network with people from across the City passionate about our urban forest. Visit information tables hosted by Tree Fest, the City of Ottawa and Friends of Hampton Park. Prepare to participate in our walking tour.

11:30am -12:15 pm Walking tour of Community Food Forest

Shelley Lambert, chief forester at Nanabush Food Forests

Join Ms. Lambert for a walking tour of one of Nanabush Food Forests’ established organic food forests within the City of Ottawa, Ontario on the Just Food farm. Nanabush Food Forests emphasize permanent, restorative agriculture. By design, gardening in these forests builds soil structure, uses less water and yields a dramatic amount of highly nutritious food per square meter.  Be inspired to join in the movement to convert small fringe spaces to ecologically beneficial food production zones.

12:15-12:30 pm Healing Forests Presentation 

Patricia Stirbys and Peter Croal will speak about their Healing Forests project by which communities designate greenspace, forest, park, or other areas to commemorate those who suffered at residential schools, missing and murdered Indigenous women, and children who lost their families during the Sixties Scoop.

12:30-1:15 pm Second Speaker Panel

Daniel Buckles, Champlain Park Community Association, Greenspace Alliance of Canada & CAFES – “Citizen Science and the Environmental Crisis discussing three community led projects: participatory Mapping of Trees in Champlain Park, Advocacy for stronger Tree Protection By-laws in Ottawa, and the Rehabilitation of Woodland Fragments along the Ottawa River.”

Velta Tomsons, Ecology Ottawa –  “Ecology Ottawa and you: How we can work together”

Followed by Q/A

1:15 pm Closing Remarks

Sarah Morgan-White, Blackburn Community Association


Speaker & Presenter Biographies

In alphabetical order

Daniel Buckles

Daniel has lived in Ottawa since 1995, and attended Glebe Collegiate in 1975. His interest in the environment comes from childhood experiences on Lake Temagami (north of North Bay), five years as a young man in the Yukon, and more than 30 years working as an Anthropologist bridging technical science with social science on rural life in developing countries and remote regions in Canada. He lived for 10 years in Mexico, and has two sons, both of whom were born there. His wife is a writer (retired) and also an avid tree enthusiast. Currently a self-employed consultant and part-time professor at Carleton University. His forthcoming retirement plans focus on volunteering for the environment, and art about the climate and biodiversity emergency.

Currently Mr. Buckles is the Co-Chair of the Environment Committee for the Champlain Park Community Association (Kitchissippi Ward), a Board Member of the Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital, and a Tree Animator for Community Associations for Environmental Sustainability (CAFES). CAFES is a network of more than 40 Community Association Environment Committees, that meets 2-3 times and year and maintains a very lively email-list serve for discussions and sharing of news on environmental issues in Ottawa.

Iola Price

Iola Price, President, Ontario Invasive Plant Council is a retired biologist.  She started her career as a wildlife biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service, working on contaminant effects on fish-eating birds on the Great Lakes. Throughout her distinguished career, Ms. Price has worked in a number of roles focusing on the environment. She retired from the federal government in 2003.  For many years she has been involved in environmental issues both in Rockcliffe Park and the greater Ottawa area – trees, greenspace issues and the impact of development on greenspace among others.

The Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC) is an incorporated, non-profit, multi-agency organization founded in April 2007 by a group of individuals and organizational representatives who saw the need for a coordinated provincial response to the growing threat of invasive plants.

Nick Stow

Nicholas Stow (Ph.D., EP) is a professional ecologist and a Senior Environmental Planner with the City of Ottawa, where he works in the Natural Systems and Rural Affairs policy unit.  With his colleagues, Dr. Stow has responsibility for the City’s policies, strategies, and studies related to the urban forest canopy, urban greenspace, the natural landscape, watershed-based land use planning, and the importance of Ottawa’s natural features in responding to climate change.

Patricia Stirbys

Patricia Stirbys is a member of Cowessess First Nation (Saskatchewan) and works in the financial sector. Born and raised in Ontario, she holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Ottawa and has worked with Indigenous communities, industry, and government on a broad range of issues. Her goal is to foster positive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities that can lead to lasting gains for Canada.

Peter Croal

Peter Croal was an exploration geologist for the federal government and later with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), contributing to programs that allowed the development community to better work with Indigenous peoples to create more effective impact assessments and poverty reduction programs around the world.

Phil Mount

Born and raised on a dairy farm in Ottawa, Phil pursued an interdisciplinary education that included law, sociology, silviculture, graphic design, farming, political economy, and web marketing. After doctoral studies which focused on the challenges involved with the transition to sustainable regional food systems, Phil has served for years as Associate Researcher with the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, and Associate Director of Just Food. In his spare time, Phil serves on the board of Sustain Ontario, and is Associate farmer to his wife Denise—planting, raising and building agroecologically on Flat Earth Farm.

Rob McAulay

Vice President of the Kanata Beaverbrook Community Association for many years, including the past three years launching the ‘NeighbourWoods in Beaverbrook’ project.  Retired from three decades as an Information Technology Project Manager in high-tech and federal government.  Interests include nature, kayaking, woodworking, backpacking and log house / timber frame construction.

Sarah Morgan-White

Sarah Morgan-White is a lawyer and resident of Blackburn Hamlet who is a volunteer member of the Blackburn Hamlet Community Association’s Environment Committee and Tree Team. She is passionate about trees and our environment, and believes bringing good people together leads to positive change and innovation. She is the organizer of this conference.

Shelley Lambert

Shelley Lambert is the Chief Forester at Nanabush Food Forests.  She balances a busy career in software development with her love of growing food.  Shelley spends much of her spare time nurturing her food forests, preserving their bounty and teaching others how to grow food in their own low-maintenance, restorative forest gardens.

Nanabush Food Forests established organic food forests within the City of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with emphasis on permanent, restorative agriculture. By design, gardening in these forests builds soil structure, uses less water and yields a dramatic amount of highly nutritious food per square meter.  We encourage others to join in the movement to convert small fringe spaces to ecologically beneficial food production zones.

Susan Davies

Susan Davies has been a City of Ottawa resident since 1974 and the Chapel Hill North (Orleans) community since 1985. She has a BASc (Guelph) and Financial Management Certificate (Algonquin). Her career in the federal government involved economic and statistical analysis, trade investigations, and extensive experience in international development in regional and country programs in Asia, Caribbean and Africa involving such areas as environment, forestry, gender equity, health and education. She has been a member of the CHNCA’s Forest Valley Trails Working Group since 2017 and its Chair since mid-2018.  She is an active volunteer and community member.

Chapel Hill North Community Association (CHNCA) is an Orleans East community-based, volunteer supported organization, in Innes Ward 2 Ottawa.  Chapel Hill North (CHN) was created in the mid-1980’s and is surrounded by Environmental Protected (EP zoned) natural forests designated as Urban Natural Area and Core Urban Area owned by the City of Ottawa and the National Capital Commission, with high-value ecosystems and natural features (e.g. significant woodlands, ravines, creeks, wildlife habitat). In October 2018, CHNCA’s Forest Valley Trails Working Group (FVTWG) released a report “Protection, Sustainability and Maintenance of the Chapel Hill North Forest and its Trails”, followed by a public meeting and feedback (reports available at www.chapel-hill-north-forest-trails.ca)

Velta Tomsons

Velta is a self-proclaimed life-long nature lover. Velta decided to take action to protect Ottawa’s environmental landscape in 2013 when she began volunteering with Ecology Ottawa. Now, with over 6 years of community engagement and public education experience under her belt, she is leading Ecology Ottawa’s Living City campaign. In her spare time, Velta has found ways to green the indoors through her indoor plant company, TerraVelta, thus spreading photosynthesis-y goodness around the Ottawa area!

Ecology Ottawa is a not-for-profit, grassroots and volunteer-driven organization.

We believe that Ottawa residents are concerned about issues such as climate change, pollution and waste, and that they want sustainable communities where clean energy, air, and water, public transit, recycling, and green space protection take priority. We provide residents with the information and tools they need to understand local environmental issues and promote environmental leadership at city hall.

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