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NCPR News Staff: Lucy Martin

Ottawa Correspondent
Lucy Martin covers regional news and events from her home in rural Ottawa. Her radio roots go back to the early years of Hawaii Public Radio, where she had many roles, including news anchor and station announcer. A family move traded ordinary Honolulu for exotic Canada in 1999. Lucy enjoys village life with her husband, Craig Miller. When not editing sound or text on her laptop, she likes to garden, read, travel and play outdoors. E-mail

Stories filed by Lucy Martin

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Susan Chan explains the specialized pollination performed by squash bees. Photo: Lucy Martin
Susan Chan explains the specialized pollination performed by squash bees. Photo: Lucy Martin

What farmers and landowners can to to sustain bees

For years we've been hearing different reporting on a basic theme: A third of our food supply depends on bees and pollinating insects are in a serious state of decline. Most of that attention has been focused on domesticated honey bees. But there are hundreds of species of wild pollinating insects and they play key roles too.

That may be why a seminar called "Bringing back the Bees" held in Perth, Ontario last September, generated a strong response. Lucy Martin attended the day of talks, plus a field tour of a berry and vegetable farm, as experts shared simple ways to help pollinators right now.  Go to full article
David Gallant behind the display table at the MVFN annual meeting and supper. Photo: Lucy Martin
David Gallant behind the display table at the MVFN annual meeting and supper. Photo: Lucy Martin

Retired naturalists pass on knowledge to kids

In Almonte, Ontario, a local organization called Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists offers a robust array of environmental activities with year-round programming. Offerings range from nature walks and bird-watching, to canoe trips and public lectures - as well as efforts to record, research and protect flora and fauna in the area.

The majority of members are retirees. But they're making an effort to encourage a love of nature in future generations. Their "Young Naturalists" program holds monthly sessions for children aged 6-11.

The main group held its annual general meeting and supper in mid-May, which included a display table, showing what the school-age set does and why they love it. Lucy Martin spoke with the youth group's leader and four young naturalists.  Go to full article
Jane MacNamara holds a copy of her book. Photo: Lucy Martin
Jane MacNamara holds a copy of her book. Photo: Lucy Martin

Gene-o-rama: Tracking your family history through wills

All sorts of people dabble in documenting family history. Some with a stronger interest attend conferences, like one held this March in Ottawa. Organized by the local branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, "Gene-o-rama" was a weekend event featuring vendors and talks from specialized researchers with material of interest for that endeavor.

One of the featured speakers was Jane MacNamara, a Toronto-area author of a new book: "Inheritance in Ontario: Wills and Other Records for Family Historians." MacNamara spoke with Lucy Martin about how and why wills can provide a wealth of information.  Go to full article
Teacher and author Joy Forbes in her Montreal '76 Olympic jacket. Photo: Lucy Martin
Teacher and author Joy Forbes in her Montreal '76 Olympic jacket. Photo: Lucy Martin

An Ottawa teacher and author's memories of the Montreal '76 games

Athletes star at the Olympic Games; after years of training, it's their time to shine. But it also takes a small army of volunteers and workers to make each Olympics a reality. Thousands of behind-the-scenes participants come away with memorable experiences too.
Joy Forbes grew up in Quebec City and Montreal. She was a student at Queen's University in Kingston when the sailing events of the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics were held in that lake-shore town. Forbes spoke German and Spanish, on top of French and English. So she had no trouble landing a job for those Games.

Forbes went on to a teaching career in Ottawa, with a strong interest in one room school houses. She was speaking about her book on that topic when Lucy Martin noticed Forbes was wearing a jacket inscribed with Montreal '76, and asked her about her own Olympic connection.  Go to full article
Joël Mayotte in the role of donné, or lay brother, in the cookhouse at a recreated Jesuit mission, circa 1640. Photo: Lucy Martin
JoŽl Mayotte in the role of donnť, or lay brother, in the cookhouse at a recreated Jesuit mission, circa 1640. Photo: Lucy Martin

Three Sisters Soup: Thanksgiving at Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons

Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada and the U.S.

In Canada,Thanksgiving comes in October and is more of a harvest festival, without any stories about pilgrims and Indians sitting down to feast together. Even so, across North America, early European settlers improved their chances of survival by learning about native foods and techniques.

Last month Ottawa correspondent Lucy Martin was in the Georgian Bay region of Ontario where she visited Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons. The historic site re-creates a Jesuit mission established in 1639, as an outpost of New France. She spoke with costumed interpreter JoŽl Mayotte while he served "three sisters" soup to visitors on Canada's Thanksgiving weekend.  Go to full article
Relatives and friends cheered the crews on from the shore of the Rideau River. Photo: Lucy Martin
Relatives and friends cheered the crews on from the shore of the Rideau River. Photo: Lucy Martin

A beautiful start to rowing season at Head of the Rideau

The regatta racing season is underway for rowing teams across the region.

This past Sunday the Ottawa Rowing Club played host to U.S. and Canadian teams ranging in age from high school to master's.

It was a lovely fall day, full of brilliant sunshine. Lucy Martin checked in with the finish line crew, just past Mooney's Bay Beach. She spoke with one of the umpires, Brian Storosko.  Go to full article
Lauren and Robert Miller, at the farm in Lombardy, Ontario. Photo by Lucy Martin
Lauren and Robert Miller, at the farm in Lombardy, Ontario. Photo by Lucy Martin

Work trumps water skiing at Miller's Bay Farm

Lake country west of Perth, Ontario is dotted with a mix of woodland, rural homes and farms. Overlooking Rideau Lake you'll find Miller's Bay Farm Market Garden and Berry Patch.

Robert and Shannon Miller are raising their four children there, hoping to carry small-scale local agriculture into a 4th generation. The Millers farm about 350 acres - more or less, depending on what's in hay that year.

Lucy Martin tagged along on a group tour a couple of weekends ago.  Go to full article
Beekeeper Phil Laflamme. Photo: Lucy Martin
Beekeeper Phil Laflamme. Photo: Lucy Martin

Beekeeper Phil Laflamme on current challenges

Bees and the problems they face have been newsworthy for some time now. Efforts to understand that issue have included a well-attended seminar in Perth, Ontario on ways to bring pollinator populations back.

One of the speakers at that event was Phil Laflamme, who's been raising bees and queens for nearly 40 years. While it's something he loves, he's less sure beekeeping is right for just everyone. Laflamme spoke with Lucy Martin at the farm-tour segment of the seminar in mid-September.  Go to full article
Piper Sarah Forsyth. Photo: Lucy Martin
Piper Sarah Forsyth. Photo: Lucy Martin

Bagpipes--love 'em or hate 'em--return to Maxville

There's no shortage of pipe and drum bands across Canada, in communities large and small. Sarah Forsyth pipes as a civilian volunteer with Ottawa's Air Command Pipes and Drums, the longest continuous serving Air Force Pipe Band in the Canadian Forces.

It's a major commitment. Roughly 40 members practice weekly and perform in parades or public events at home and abroad. Forsyth says the right band feels like a second family--that works hard and has fun together.

Lucy Martin caught up with Forsyth at the famous Glengarry Highland games in Maxville, Ontario, in August 2010. Bagpipes fall into the love 'em or hate 'em category. The piper told Lucy she caught the bug when she was five.  Go to full article
Produced by the Canadian Museum of Nature and the University of Toronto Press, this 2012 publication includes art by Paul Geraghty, Julius Csotonyl and Brenda Carter along with photos from Canadian Geographic. French and e-book editions should be available soon.
Produced by the Canadian Museum of Nature and the University of Toronto Press, this 2012 publication includes art by Paul Geraghty, Julius Csotonyl and Brenda Carter along with photos from Canadian Geographic. French and e-book editions should be available soon.

Donna Naughton on "The Natural History of Canadian Mammals"

Donna Naughton has been fascinated by nature and natural science all her life.

She landed a job at the Canadian Museum of Natural Science almost by accident, while on a field trip tour as an undergraduate. Her book The Natural History of Canadian Mammals was published in 2012 to high praise as a new standard for this topic.

Now retired, Naughton recently realized a long-time dream by moving to an island in the Rideau River, near Kemptville, Ontario - brimming with trees, birds and animals.

Lucy Martin discussed the 10-year book project with Naughton on a Barnes Island nature walk in late May.  Go to full article

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