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July 11, 2018

CNL and Ontario Nature Co-Host Fun Day at Reilly Bird Nature Reserve

Chalk River, ON, July 11, 2018 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that it will co-host a Community Nature Day with Ontario Nature at the Reilly Bird Nature Reserve, a protected parcel of mixed hardwood forest situated along the upper Ottawa River northwest of Deep River. Members of the public are invited to join CNL and Ontario Nature on Saturday, July 14, 2018 beginning at 1:00 p.m. for an afternoon of nature-based events and exploration in the reserve.

Named after a former Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) employee who generously donated the property to Ontario Nature, Reilly Bird Nature Reserve is a 27.5-hectare wilderness area that represents nearly half of the Meilleurs Bay shoreline, an Ottawa River inlet, providing habitat for a variety of animal and plant species. To encourage the public to get acquainted with the unique reserve and rich wildlife that resides within it, CNL and Ontario Nature have partnered to host the free community event, which will feature educational activities, guided hikes, and presentations on local endangered species and wildlife monitoring programs.

“CNL is absolutely thrilled to be involved in such a fun and educational event that helps bring our local communities closer to nature,” commented Meggan Vickerd, CNL’s Manager of NPD Decommissioning. “As one of the closest neighbours to the Reilly Bird Nature Reserve, CNL shares some of the unique wildlife that make their home along the shores of the upper Ottawa River. Through our own environmental monitoring programs, we know first-hand how lucky we are to live in an area with such a rich diversity of wildlife. It is our hope that this event helps bring public awareness and interest in the work being carried out in the Ottawa Valley to protect these habitats and the many species who call this area home.”

Reilly Bird, who immigrated to Deep River from the United Kingdom in 1967, quickly fell in love with eastern Ontario’s vast wilderness, setting out to canoe, backpack and explore it at every opportunity, eventually purchasing a property to enjoy as a quiet piece of wilderness. But as time passed, he felt that he wanted to give something back to Canada, and he donated the property to Ontario Nature to protect in perpetuity. Through Mr. Bird’s generosity, the public have a rare opportunity to explore a unique area that will be protected for future generations to enjoy.

“This nature reserve embodies the uniqueness of the upper Ottawa Valley,” says Tanya Pulfer, Conservation Science Manager at Ontario Nature. “With mature forests, an esker traversing the length of the property and a babbling brook connecting to Meilleurs Bay, the reserve offers a wide variety of habitats for species, but also a nice hike for nature enthusiasts.”

CNL and Ontario Nature encourage people of all ages to participate on Saturday for a day of discovery and learning. Among other features, the reserve provides excellent habitat for basking turtles and spawning fish. Huey Creek, a cold water stream that supports brook trout, runs through the reserve. Moss covered cedars and yellow birch hug the shoreline of the creek and are frequented by belted kingfishers and ruffed grouse. Great blue herons can be spotted fishing in Meilleurs Bay. Two species of orchids, the dwarf rattlesnake-plantain and broad-lipped twayblade, grow in the shade of the cedar groves. The reserve is accessible to the public to enjoy at all times, not just during the Community day event.

“This day celebrates an amazing contribution to Ontario wildlife by one of our former employees,” says Mark Lesinski, President & CEO at CNL. “But it is also a testament to our current employees, the role they play in our local communities, and the pride they take in this beautiful and unique area we all call home.”

For more information on the event, please visit Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (@CanadianNuclearLaboratories) or Ontario Nature’s (@OntarioNature) Facebook pages.

About CNL 

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally. With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity. For more information on the complete range of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories services, please visit or contact

About Ontario Nature 

Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. It connects thousands of individuals and communities with nature through close to 150 conservation groups, and 30,000 members and supporters across the province. With 25 nature reserves totaling 2,939 hectares (7,262 acres), Ontario Nature is protecting some of the province’s best remaining examples of imperiled and vulnerable habitats. For more information or photos, visit or contact To learn more about Reilly Bird Nature Reserve, visit:


Contact: Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications CNL

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