In light of COVID-19, we are suspending use of our Learning Library resources until further notice.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
An interactive model that demonstrates how land-use activities impact water quality. Simulated rain events show how pesticides, fertilizers, soil, and other pollutants are washed into rivers and streams through overland flow and storm sewers. This model is great for presentations to school groups, summer camps, etc. Download the story line for this model.
Through Trout Canada’s Yellow Fish Road™ program, groups can borrow stencil kits from us to stencil “rainwater only” signs next to storm sewers in their communities and distribute information on the program to people in the target neighborhoods. This is a great activity to pass along to groups after a demonstration of the stormwater model to help them take action. Both stencils and information available in French and English.
Shoreline Erosion model
This interactive model demonstrates how wave-action can erode shorelines. Participants have an opportunity to add vegetation (pine cones, sticks, leaves) to the shoreline to see how effective vegetation is at reducing erosion.
A life-size bilingual poster of an Ottawa River Sturgeon allows children and adults alike to see how old they would be if they were an Ottawa River sturgeon given their height. It uses relationships between sturgeon age and length to determine the age. Participants are given a certificate after participating saying how old they are in sturgeon years. Guide to the Sturgeon Activity.
This is a kiddy pool fishing activity simulating a river environment with model plants and animals (and garbage) that you would find in the river. Kids can go fishing in the pool with fish nets and pull out the various items in the river and determine what belongs in the river. A bilingual Species ID Sheet is used to identify what is found and kids are given a certificate (French/English) when they complete the activity.
We have four aquascopes that people can use on the shoreline to view the bottom of the river. Great to use at shoreline events to encourage people to explore the river.
Do you know your invasive species?
One of the greatest concerns surrounding aquatic health is invasive species that are threatening the ecological integrity of the Ottawa Watershed. This activity is about identifying the invasive species present in the Ottawa River and the negative impact that they have on native species and biodiversity. This can lead to a discussion on how to prevent the spread of invasive plants and animals such as safe boating practices.
How Long Until It’s Gone?
A lot of plastic and other materials end up in the environment and contaminate rivers, oceans, lakes, and streams. This activity is about guessing how much time it takes for objects to decompose in the environment. The objective is to raise public awareness on overconsumption, and the importance of recycling, reducing, reusing, re-purposing and properly disposing of the material that we use.
Species-at-Risk Memory Game
A bilingual memory card game with 10 species-at-risk in the Ottawa River watershed.
In the past 40 years, the population of the American Eel has declined by 90% due to causes such as fishing, habitat modification, dams, and turbines. This game shows how hard it can be for an eel to survive during its migration and generates interesting conversations on this species.
An activity to help children learn about the American Eel. We also have
Pamphlets and Materials
- Creating a Healthy Shoreline: An introduction to importance of healthy shorelines and best practices for shoreline owners
- Fish Species at Risk: Discusses the nine fish species at risk in the Ottawa River watershed.
- Turtles at Risk: Discusses the turtle species at risk in the Ottawa River watershed.
- Working Around Water (Quebec) : An introduction to the laws, regulations and best practices, regarding shoreline projects in Quebec.
- Working Around Water (Ontario) : An introduction to the laws, regulations and best practices, regarding shoreline projects in Ontario.
- Urban Rain Gardens: A guide to planting a rain garden to reduce urban runoff and improve water quality.
- Swim Guide: Guide to recreational water quality in the region. Download the application too.
- Identifying Water Pollution: Information on the water pollution indicators, where to report issues and steps everyone can take to improve water quality.
Guides for Action
- 10 things you can do to protect your river (Urban guide): Simple steps people can take to protect/improve the river with a focus on urban environments
- 10 things you can do to protect your river (Rural guide): Simple steps people can take to protect/improve the river with a focus on rural environments
- 10 reasons to say no to bottled water: Highlights the benefits and quality of municipal tap water and drawbacks of bottled water
**Intended to educate shoreline owners on the importance of natural shorelines: READ MORE
- Natural Shorelines Working for You! : How shorelines benefit everyone
- 10 Easy Things You Can Do to Improve your Shoreline: How shoreline owners can improve their shoreline
- Shoreline Naturalization: Guidance on what to plant, how to plant, and resources to consult.
The Riverwatch Handbook
This field guide is designed to help riverwatchers:
1) identify aquatic phenomena and environmental concerns,
2) collect the information needed to report their observations, and
3) connect with the proper agencies and organizations with these questions and concerns.
See the Riverwatch Handbook here (PDF).
- Due to high demand for these activities at ORK and riverwatcher outreach events through the spring and summer, we ask that you let us know as soon as possible if you would like to use any of these materials for an event, the date of your event, and the specific activity(ies) you want to use.
- If you haven’t already been trained on the activities, a training session should be scheduled to go over the activity prior to your event. Additionally, you must be willing to pick up the activity from our office and return it in a timely fashion so that it can be used for another event.