Check before you develop

As a result, developers are sometimes dis- appointed when told their projects aren’t compatible with the environment and must be modified accordingly. “It can be expensive and time consum- ing to deal with these issues after a project is already launched,” notes SNC Watershed Planner James Holland. “But when property owners come to us at the beginning of the process, in the early planning stages, we can work with them to facilitate the project.” Holland emphasizes there are no fees as- sociated with preliminary discussions of a

project with SNC planners, regulations of- ficers and technical experts. In pre-consultation, the applicant pro- vides conceptual and sometimes technical information on a development proposal. Together, the owner and SNC staff review location and key environmental issues while looking for opportunities to speed up the process and reduce costs. When buying or selling a property or considering new development, an environ- mental report can be provided for a small fee. The report identifies natural features such

as provincially significant wetlands and characteristics that may create dangerous conditions such as unstable slopes or flood- ing risks. Detailed information in the report may inform on how a development should pro- ceed. It will clarify for the owner whether permits and studies will be required, fees associated with the final proposal, and an estimated timeframe. “When it comes to land use planning, early consultation is always best,” Holland concludes. “But it’s always better late than never.”


FINCH | Want to develop? Better think of the environment before digging. That is the message from South Nation Conservartion. Environmental considerations should be among the first things examined when proposing new construction in the South Nation Conservation watershed, but unfor- tunately, they’re often the last.


Team Lead, Communications and Outreach, who managed the CWP for many years. “Other jurisdictions have used it as a model when introducing similar programs intended to work in a cooperative way with landowners and other stakeholders.” Depending on the nature of the project, the maximum grant is $10,000. Beneficia- ries must provide the equivalent in cash, goods, or services. Since 1993, more than 720 projects valued at about $11.5 million have been triggered by over $2.2 million in CWP grants.

“It’s definitely a flagship program for SNC,” said General Manager Dennis O’Grady. “Not only has it been effective in reducing pollu- tion, particularly phosphorus, but it has cre- ated considerable goodwill along the way.” The CWP isn’t administered from on high. It’s operated at the grassroots level by a committee representing farmers, industries within the watershed, along with various levels of governments and agencies. Applications are reviewed using a rating system to identify projects with the highest priority for water quality improvement. Site visits are made by farmers and other land- owners with experience in the program. Three years ago, a new component was added to the CWP allowing agricultural or- ganizations to apply for support for initia- tives connecting agriculture and the envi- In light of the rising cost of food, the East- ern Ontario Health Unit is launching an online Directory of Local Food Programs and Services. The resource, which can be found at, enables residents of the five counties to easily find resources and pro- grams where they can access nutritious food in their neighbourhood. Food banks, the Green Food Box program, Meals on Wheels and community kitchens are a few examples of programs and services listed in the directory. The cost of eating healthy in Prescott- Russell and Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry has increased by 52 per cent over the last ten years. In 2003, it cost a bit over $125 per week to feed a family of four consisting of two parents and two children. By 2012, a survey on the cost of a nutritious food basket conducted by the Eastern Ontario Online food directory

ronment. Last year, two $500 awards were approved for farm groups within the 4000 square-km watershed. Boutz noted the CWP is usually over-sub- scribed and those interested should apply early. Eligibility for agricultural applicants re- quires completion of a third edition Envi- ronmental Farm Plan; non-farmers must complete the Healthy Home Guidebook available through SNC. Among projects regularly considered for funding are well decommissioning, ma- nure storage, livestock access restriction to waterways, buffer strips, septic system upgrades, milk house wastewater disposal, barnyard run-off controls, stream bank ero- sion prevention, and controlled tile drain- age. Health Unit (EOHU) determined that it cost about $190 a week, or $823 per month. This amount does not include conve- nience food items, eating out, or the ad- ditional cost of inviting company to share a meal. The results of the Nutritious Food Basket survey show that households with limited income struggle to pay rent, bills, and eat healthy. Limited accessibility and insufficient income to purchase nutritious food is therefore threatening the health and well-being of many families and individuals in our communities. The Green Food Box is a non-profit pro- gram available in the five counties that gives clients access to a box or bag of fresh fruits and vegetables at a fair price on a monthly basis. To find out more about the Green Food Box program in your commu- nity, call 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120 and ask for Health Line. www. editionap .ca Everything at your fingertips Tout au bout des doigts


FINCH| South Nation Conservation’s ground-breaking Clean Water Program is entering its 20th year of partnering with landowners in the watershed to re- duce contaminants entering its rivers and streams. “It’s one of the longest running programs of its type in Ontario,”said Ronda Boutz, SNC

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