Ottawa is situated in the southeastern part of the province of Ontario.  It has two major river systems: the Ottawa/Outaouais River and the Rideau River (pronounced "Ree-doe") and is found at the transition between the Mixed Wood Plains and the Boreal Shield eco-zones.  There are many large forested areas on the outskirts (or just outside) of Ottawa including Gatineau Park (36,000 ha to the north), Marlborough Forest (8,149 ha to the south), Larose Forest (11,000 ha to the east) and Carp Forest Hills (1000 ha to the west) and many more woodlots, forests and wooded areas in the city. Ottawa is well known for its Greenbelt that offers residents access to many natural areas within the city boundaries including Mer Bleue (a 7,700 year-old sphagnum bog formed by the postglacial Champlain Sea).

Link to all Wild. Here. Ottawa "My City" Posts

Link to Other City Posts by Wild. Here. and Guest Bloggers

-- Mer Bleue - Photo by Viliam Glazduri --

History of the Ottawa Region

"The Algonquin people have lived in the Ottawa Valley for at least 8000 years 
before the Europeans arrived in North America... 
The Algonquins were on the Ottawa River and its tributary valleys when the French moved into the area... (they) lived on both sides of the Ottawa River... (as semi-nomadic) moving from one place to the next in search of food from hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering."  (from Algonquins of Ontario
According to "The summer of 1663 was when the Algonquin Nation discovered Europeans in the Ottawa Valley and made contact with them."   
The webpage also shows an image of a tobacco offering at Chaudière or Akikodjiwan Falls.  A First Nation's "chief would ask for protection of the spirits and then throw into the falls tobacco gathered from each tribe member in the party."   
"Treaties were mistakenly made with the Mississauga who had no authority to cede the land and may not have understood the far-reaching concessions.  The Algonquin nation never made a treaty for these lands - they never consented to surrender."  (

Please visit these websites: Algonquins of Ontario and Bytown - First Nations History that offer detailed knowledge about the culture and history of Native Peoples in the region.  The Ontario Government also offers information on First Nation territories and the historic treaties.

To find out about local opportunities in Ottawa where you can learn more about the culture and history of the Algonquin Peoples including those still living on Turtle Island, please start with this Wild. Here. post:
Honouring Unceded Algonquin Lands in Ottawa

Volunteer, Participate and Learn

There are many opportunities for local residents to volunteer, participate and learn about nature in Ottawa.

Lend A Hand:

A great way to enjoy nature and get outside is by volunteering with local groups.  You can help plant trees, monitor urban stream health, participate in a bio-blitz and even share your bird observations with scientific groups.

Link to Ottawa Nature Volunteer Opportunities

Gather Outdoors:

More and more events and festivals are popping up to celebrate and join in on the delights of nature.  There are bird events, festivals for different blooming seasons and even a weekend to visit the city-wide gardens.  Even outdoor festivals can provide the opportunity to connect to nature while enjoying another passion (music, arts, sports).

Get Curious:  

There are many local nature enthusiasts, naturalists and teachers that are happy to be able to share their knowledge and passion about local flora and fauna and other natural elements. Learning opportunities can range from one-day workshops to weekly classes.


Currently Wild. Here. is focusing on the city of Ottawa, Canada.  If you have ideas for other Canadian or North Eastern North American cities, it would be great to know more and explore opportunities to collaborate! More cities coming in 2018!