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Ecology in the Glebe

Spring is finally here and there’s no better time to embrace your green side! Read on to find out about local intiatives that help make the Glebe a beautiful and ecologically bountiful place to live, work, and play.

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A white Tree Nymph rests on a tropical Bouganvillea plant.

Exotic Butterflies

Adventure travel to far flung locales has its rewards. Surrounded by pristine tropical rainforest on one side and gurgling azure waters cascading over smooth wet stones on the other, we were hiking up Blue Creek to the Hokeba Ha Cave near Punta Gorda in the Toledo District of Belize, Central America. Somewhere, a butterfly flapped its wings and stopped us in our tracks. Entranced, we watched as one pair after another of brownish wings opened and a storm of butterflies took flight from their resting place on a verdant tropical plant. Suddenly the sky above us was filled with the impressive sight of the neon flash of hundreds of exotic blue morphos.

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Glebe Ash Trees Succumbing to Emerald Ash Borer


Now that the trees have leafed out, the devastation being wrought by the Emerald Ash Borer is there for all to see. While our foresters have been sounding the alarm bells for several years, seeing the incontrovertible evidence in our front and backyards is still shocking.

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Save Glebe ash trees – act now



The emerald ash borer arrived in Ottawa in 2008 and has now spread to every part of the city, including the Glebe. The tiny invasive bug, originally from China, is devastating Ottawa’s tree canopy, which, according to city foresters, is fully one quarter ash. Without treatment to control the ash borer, virtually every ash tree in the city will die, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of trees in the next few years. The city’s foresters are advising that this summer is pretty well the last opportunity to save ash trees – and indeed, the Glebe has already begun to lose ash trees and many more show signs of damage.

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Chimney swifts in rapid decline


International Migratory Bird Day is May 12

Chimney swifts will soon be returning to Canada from South America. Each spring, thousands of migrating songbirds pass through Ottawa. A few of them, such as the swifts, will make their nests right among us.

Unfortunately, fewer of them are returning each year and scientists are only beginning to understand the cause of their decline. (To read more about Glebe sightings see the August 2012 Glebe Report, p.33.)

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