2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 3:30 PM


DONALDSON, John Allan, Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre, Carleton University, Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada, donaldson6427@rogers.com

Initiated in 2002, Friends of Canadian Geoheritage is dedicated to informing the public about the geosciences. With an executive based in Ottawa, our efforts so far have concentrated on the National Capital Region. During numerous talks and geotours, we've sensed a widespread desire among the public to learn about how our planet works; accordingly, we are striving to transmit a basic understanding of our discipline to those who have had little or no training in the Earth Sciences. Our work has been aided by the Ottawa-Gatineau Geoscape poster (and its complementary website) created by the Geological Survey of Canada.

In meetings with officials of the National Capital Commission (NCC), we've suggested several significant sites within their jurisdiction for the installation of geologically informative signs. We've recently been notified that signage has been approved for our most significant site, and should soon be in place. At this site, where Ordovician stromatolites are well displayed only a few kilometers from Parliament Hill, an NCC-sponsored mural was recently painted on the abutment of a bridge adjacent to the stromatolite site, and is described as having been inspired by the stromatolites. Encouraging meetings also have been held with City of Ottawa planners, to seek development of procedures to counter the risk of destroying unique geological sites during construction, as has occurred in the past. In addition, collaboration with officials of Ontario Parks has led to the development of geotours to several parks in eastern Ontario. We have also approached individuals engaged in organizing nature tours and ecotours, to suggest inclusion of geoheritage components.

The Visitors Centre in the nearby village of Almonte displays a poster about FCG activities, and distributes our information sheets about the local geology. As a follow-up, we recently proposed to their Council that a Geopark should be created in Almonte.

Except in national and provincial parks, little legal protection is provided for geoheritage sites in Canada. By bringing citizens to better appreciate their planet, we are building support for the introduction of laws to preserve and protect unique and impressive records of geological heritage. To assist in attaining this goal, we are now seeking colleagues elsewhere in Canada to join us in the promotion of geoheritage.