Meeting Location Change for 2018

Meetings are now held at the Straffordville Community Centre, which is at 56169 Heritage Line, Straffordville, Ontario.  Time is 7:00 p.m.  Meet in the Trackless Room.

What is the OVN?

The Otter Valley Naturalists consists of about 50 members.  We are members of a much larger provincial body known as Ontario Nature (ON). Ontario Nature includes over 160 clubs and over 35,000 members from across the province of Ontario.

The OVN meets monthly, usually the 2nd Monday of each month, September through June, at the Vienna Community Centre.  The club  has speakers and activities every month. Some of the activities include: the Christmas Bird Count, the Baillie Birdathon (in Conjunction with Bird Studies Canada), a summer butterfly count, Monarch Butterfly tagging, a spring cleanup, nature walks, education and outreach, habitat creation and rehabilitation projects.

We look forward to seeing you!



Notes from Carolinian West Regional Meeting – Spring 2018

Chaired by:  Lisa Richardson, Nature Network Coordinator, Ontario Nature.

Anita Caveney, Carolinian West Regional Director, welcomed participants.  Anita is finishing her third, and final, two-year term of office in the spring, 2019.

The Executive Chair of Ontario Nature, Otto Peter, made a short presentation.   As Ontario Nature serves as an umbrella organization for some 150 plus nature clubs, Otto challenged that he would like to see individual Ontario Nature memberships promoted.  He was pleased to report that this year the ‘Youth Summit’ will expand to about 100 participants.  Sponsorship of each individual requires a donation of $350.  He suggested local service clubs might be willing to assist?  He also said the organization is in need of directors at large.

David Wake gave a presentation of Nature London’s over 150 year history and recent activities.

Attendees were called upon to provide a brief update on two ‘special projects’ their club has participated in since last regional meeting.  OVN highlighted ongoing work at the Port Burwell East Beach Project and maintenance efforts at the Arthur Langford Nature Preserve.

Lisa Richardson provided an Ontario Nature update; email addresses of delegated office contacts for respective projects are included.

  • Event/ Transforming Conservation: Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas in Ontario. London May 28, 29 and 30th  Information at
  • Ontario Nature AGM and Reunion/ June 1st to 3rd at Isaiah Tubbs Resort and Conference Centre, Prince Edward County.  Registration deadline April 17 
  • Nature Guardians Youth Council/ 21st to 23rd, Geneva Park Orillia   re; sponsorship and registration
  • Citizen Science Program/ Reptile and Amphibian Atlas.

Involving families to nurture youth interest was suggested.  Volunteers needed for ‘Atlas Area Coordinators’.

  • Ontario Nature is waiting a further ruling on whether ”court action can proceed” against the government’s allowance of two “neonic” pesticides that did not undergo an approval process.
  • Support of the ‘Protected Places Campaign’ was requested of individuals, and organizations.  This project is to hold government to account to the 1992 UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Aichi Biodiversity Targets adopted in 2010.  As a start point the online support initiative is targeting crown land for protected status towards the 17% land/water target.

Sign the declaration:


Lisa also presented a list of five questions of interest to naturalists that could be posed to candidates running in the Provincial election.

  1. Will your party commit to achieving the 17% protected land/water target of the United Nations Convention on bio-diversity and initiate actions to achieve it?
  2. Will your party commit to strengthening protections for Ontario’s wetlands and addressing the negative impacts of infrastructure, urban development and drainage?
  3. Will your party support the ban on neonicotinoid pesticides and invest in identifying and promoting pollinator-friendly alternatives to pesticides for agriculture?
  4. Will your party commit to protecting and recovering species at risk?
  5. Will your party proceed with greenbelt expansion?

Anita Caveney provided an outline of the role and responsibilities of the ‘Carolinian West Regional Director’.   She will vacate this position in the spring 2019 and a replacement is being sought.

Michelle Kanter of the Carolinian Canada Coalition encouraged attendance at the ‘Go Wild Grow Wild’ green expo to take place April 7th at the Western Fairground London.

She also gave a presentation outlining a project ‘The Big Picture Report Card’.  Details on this project encouraging data collection on the prosperity of the Carolinian Life Zone can be found at; <>

Contact email:

Bernie VanDenBelt, Nature London President, introduced guest speaker Ken Westcar who talked about the proposed high speed rail link between Windsor and Toronto.  This political project should be of interest to all Ontarians based on the cost, 30 billion, the impact, and the net benefits.  Concerned citizens can learn more at;

Brian Smith of OPAL (Oxford People Against Landfill) then gave a presentation on the proposed Beachville Ontario landfill proposal by Walker Environmental.  The presentation outlined the scope of the proposal and potential environmental impact on the local watershed and the adjacent Thames River.  Information can be found at;


The fall meeting is scheduled for Oct. 27, 2018.

Meeting adjourned at 2;30 followed by a tour of Springbank Park.