Celebrating the Champlain Oaks


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A presentation on the historical, cultural and design values of Ottawa's old growth oaks

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  • Goals: Raise awareness among the councillors of the incremental loss to the urban forest that is being driven by the focus on intensification to the exclusion of all other factors; Kick-start a review of the urban tree preservation by-law, which is weak and languishing; and, Ask Councillors and City staff to develop an integrated process to manage development applications, rather than using the current piecemeal approach.    
  • Boundaries: Ottawa River, Tunney ’ s Pasture, Transitway, Island Park Drive Approximately 13 blocks of mixed housing types and ages Primary school, church, mosque City park with wading pool, playing field Characterised by mature trees, front lawns and gardens, back yards
  • Celebrating the Champlain Oaks

    1. 1. Celebrating the Champlain Oaks <ul><li>A Heritage Forest </li></ul>The Champlain Oaks Project, Daniel Buckles March 3, 2011
    2. 2. Champlain Park – A Treed Community Location - Champlain Park Text
    3. 3. A Living Link to the Era of Samuel de Champlain <ul><li>Oldest examples of native bur oaks in Ottawa (50 years older than the oldest at the Arboretum) </li></ul><ul><li>Saplings from an oak forest standing in 1879 </li></ul><ul><li>Part of the oak forest referenced in 1686 by Pierre de Troyes, a captain in the French army (while portaging around the Des Chênes Rapids) </li></ul>
    4. 4. A Heritage Character Defining Element for Champlain Park <ul><li>Prominent structures yet nameless (till now) </li></ul><ul><li>Gnarly, cantankerous giants tolerated and protected </li></ul>
    5. 5. 24 Preconfederation individuals <ul><li>0.8 to 1.2 metre diameter trees </li></ul><ul><li>Tall (20 meters) </li></ul><ul><li>Estimated age 150-180 years </li></ul><ul><li>Riparine and savannah native species on the northern edge of its range in Eastern Canada </li></ul>
    6. 6. Older than any others in Ottawa Oldest specimen at Arboretum - 1897 Older than specimens of bur oak on NCC land
    7. 7. Undeveloped land between Ottawa and Skead’s Sawmill 1879
    8. 8. A living link to naming of the Des Chênes Rapids <ul><li>“ Then I returned to the oak portage, so called because of the number of these trees which are in the area, which is about a league and a half from the plunge of the Chaudière Falls. I climbed the many rapids which are encountered between the two on this road, and made the portage which is at nearly a league from that of the Chaudière, which is a quarter of a league as long as that of the oaks. ” Pierre de Troyes, 1686 </li></ul>
    9. 9. A Heritage Character Defining Element in Champlain Park
    10. 10. Cottages and Residences between tunney’s pasture and Island Park
    11. 11. A Heritage Character Defining Element in Champlain Park A Champlain Oak shows its power (sorry garage!)
    12. 12. Prominent and hidden
    13. 13. Public and Private
    14. 14. Loved and Protected
    15. 15. Threatened and Neglected
    16. 16. A Heritage Forest? <ul><li>Historical Value: a living link to early French explorers </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Value: a heritage character defining element of Champlain Park </li></ul><ul><li>Design Value: an unmatched plant genetic resource in the heart of Ottawa </li></ul>
    17. 17. Policy Supports <ul><li>Ontario Heritage Act Part IV allows several avenues for designation of a group of heritage trees, Part II for a conservation easement agreement held by the Ontario Heritage Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Provincial Planning Statement (2005) policies enacted under the Planning Act speak to preserving cultural heritage landscapes </li></ul><ul><li>Ottawa Official Plan policies seek to preserve natural features and the character of neighbourhoods </li></ul>
    18. 18. Action <ul><li>Undertake the Statement of significance for the group of pre-confederation bur oak trees in Champlain Park (approximately 24 trees 80 cm diameter and greater) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on willing landowners and land on which most of the trees are located </li></ul><ul><li>Seek designation of the group of trees as a “heritage forest” under Part IV, Section 37, 34.5, 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act </li></ul><ul><li>Seek designation of a Heritage Conservation District under Part V, Section 40 of the Ontario Heritage Act </li></ul>
    19. 19. Thank you!