Important Information for All

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Funding Opportunity

With septic re-inspections to commence this year, we want to pass along some very promising information about funding opportunites.  If you have reason to believe that you will be required to upgrade your septic system, this will be of interest.  Representatives of the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority will be sharing their knowledge of grants at this year’s OLRA  Annual General Meeting.  Meanwhile, Nick Ippolito, Springwater Township’s Manager of Building Services, has informed us of funding that may be available  through The Lake Simcoe & Georgian Bay Community Stewardship Program (LSGBCSP). This avenue also provides funding for shoreline projects which is an ongoing concern of our association.

The information below, along with a general funding chart that indicates rates and caps for various eligible projects may be found online by visiting the following link:

The LSGBCSP will undertake best management oriented projects that enhance water quality, fisheries habitat, and contribute to other ecological and environmental improvements throughout the Lake Simcoe and southeast Georgian Bay programming areas.  Project development, design and implementation will be facilitated through targeted, landowner-based, stewardship workshops that utilize an environmental self-evaluation guide approach that assists participants in identifying and addressing environmental issues associated with their land use practices and properties. Project landowners will receive technical & information assistance in completing personalized stewardship plans and financial assistance, staff and partner support in implementing priority projects that clearly address the goals associated with the Lake Simcoe & southeast Georgian Bay Clean Up Fund.

Projects implemented will include replacement of failed septic systems, lakeshore and stream shoreline restorations, riparian planting, naturalization, and buffer enhancements,
in-stream fisheries and aquatic improvements, coastal and riparian wetland enhancements, and initiatives that reduce dredging activities on Georgian Bay. The program will also implement and support priority agricultural best management oriented projects within the Nottawasaga and Severn Sound watersheds including livestock exclusion initiatives, nutrient run-off diversions, and other projects that contribute to improved aquatic eco-system health. This new program represents a broad collaboration of resource agencies, non-government organizations and community partners, including the Ministry of Natural Resources.

The LSGBCSP was established in recognition of the growing pressures that Lake Simcoe & Georgian Bay watersheds are facing with respect to ecological health and water quality
issues. The program encourages landowners to engage in stewardship activities that will
improve the overall health of their watershed. Access to program support is initiated through workshop attendance and the completion of an individualized environmental action plan that is contained within a Lake Simcoe or Georgian Bay Stewardship Guide (free). Once the guide and action plan have been completed, you will be eligible to apply for funding for your shore works and potentially for other environmentally beneficial works on your property.

In order to receive LSGBCSP funding for your shoreline works, the shoreline design must be an appropriately constructed, fish habitat-friendly approach (ie. rounded granite boulders, bioengineering techniques, etc). Projects that incorporate a naturalized vegetative buffer of at least 3m (approx 10 feet) incorporating native species into their design will be eligible for higher incentive funding assistance than projects that do not include a vegetative buffer.  The buffer area could include native trees, shrubs, grasses, wildflowers and can be designed to facilitate lake vistas and access features.

You will also be required to produce documents demonstrating that all necessary permits
have been obtained, submit a copy of the official final invoice for the shoreline works, and fill out an application form.

Your participation will help ensure that Lake Simcoe & Georgian Bay watersheds will be a sustainable resource for future generations. To find out when a workshop is scheduled to occur in your area, to obtain more information about the program or to discuss funding opportunities, please contact Carrie McIntyre, Stewardship Extension Technician, at 705-725-7523 or email

Monday, May 25, 2015

Bottle Drive

Just a reminder that we are holding our bottle drive this Sunday, May 31 in support of community events planned for the duration of the season.  Beer and liquor empties may be dropped at the park entrance on South Orr Lake Rd between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon only.  Alternatively, you may leave them at the end of your driveway for pick-up if your property is within Orr Lake boundaries.

We appreciate your support, and look forward to your participation in the summer fun your contribution will help to provide.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Coming Events

We hope that everyone enjoyed the summer kick-off weekend known as May 2-4, and the Orr Lake Ratepayers have planned a season packed full of events to help keep the ball rolling.  We welcome our neighbours in Elmvale and Hillsdale to join us for any or all of the events coming up. Invite family and friends, and mark these dates on your calendar now:

Sunday, May 31, 10 AM to noon - Bottle Drive.  Drop off empties in support of community events at the park on South Orr Lake Rd or, if you live within the borders of the Orr Lake community, leave them at the end of your driveway on Saturday evening for pick-up.

Saturday, June 13, 9 to 11 AM - Perennial Exchange.  Meet us at the park on South Orr Lake Rd with whatever you have too much of and pick up something new.

Saturday, June 27, 8 AM to 2 PM - Community Garage Sale.  Just display your items in your own Orr Lake driveway and we’ll take care of the advertising at roadsides and in area papers.  Don't want to deal with leftover items?  Donate them, or your proceeds, to the Seasons Centre for Grieving Children for their garage sale in August.  Call or text 905-716-2571 or email to arrange pick-up.

Saturday, July 4, 9 AM - Golf Tournament.  Come on out to beautiful Orr Lake Golf Club for fun and prizes.  Only 72 spots available. $38 per person including cart for OLRA members, $48 for non-members.

Sunday August 2, noon to 3PM - OLRA Picnic.  Admission is free to OLRA members (includes extended families), or $10/family for non-members.  This year, in addition to races & contests with prizes for all ages, and BBQ treats at low prices we invite you to decorate your boat with a movie theme and cruise by for your chance to win.  Also new this year is a lip sync contest, open to individuals or groups of all ages. Contact Susan Eccleshall at 705-725-4120 to volunteer time, or prizes for raffles & events, and don’t forget to bring your Young Naturalist booklets (see below).  

Sunday, August 9, 1 PM – Annual General Meeting.  Topics at this year’s AGM will include healthy shorelines and septic re-inspections, with presentations from many of our partners and associates.  This is your opportunity to volunteer your time, which is desperately needed, and voice your concerns.  We hope to see you all at Orr Lake Golf Club for this important meeting.

Young Naturalist Program.  Geared toward children aged 9 and under, this program provides seven booklets of fun and educational activities covering the topics of  wetlands, mammals, birds, herptiles (amphibians and reptiles), insects, plants, and fish. Collect and complete all seven, then bring all the booklets to the annual picnic to receive a Young Naturalist Certificate.  If this program is well received, we will create a Junior Naturalist program for older kids. Check the board at the park approximately every two weeks for a new booklet. On the board, we also have an "I spotted a _____" clipboard. Write down all of the animals you have seen.  In conjunction with this program, have your kids enter our photo contest.  They can snap shots in three different categories - landscape, summer fun and wildlife.  Email digital copies of photos to  A prize will be awarded to the winners of each category.

We welcome volunteers for membership drive, clean-up, and picnic.  We are also looking for a volunteer naturalist and artist, and if we are able to enlist the volunteered help of local musicians we would love to host a musical event. Contact us via phone or text to 905-716-2571, 705-725-4120 or email 

July is a busy month for our handful of volunteers but we’re trying to arrange another event or two so check this column regularly and also visit our blog at   If you scroll down, you’ll find a link on the right that will allow you to have interesting and important updates delivered right to your email inbox.  Meanwhile, be safe and happy as you enjoy our lake this season!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Spring Clean-up and Newsletter

Our annual Spring Clean-up will be held on Saturday, May 16 from 9:00 am to noon.  You can find us at the park on South Orr Lake Road, or at the top of North Orr Lake Road near the mailboxes.  Gloves and garbage bags will be provided.  We will also be selling 2015 memberships at both locations.

The 2015 OLRA newsletter is now available with your paid membership.  This year's edition includes an update on our attempt to change garbage collection day for lakeshore properties and a form you may need for the upcoming septic re-inspections.  Those who pay their memberships online will receive the newsletter via email.