The Planning Committee approved the O’Keefe Drain Environmental Management Plan (EMP) (Item 3) on May 28th. The O’Keefe Drain is located on 211 hectares of predominantly agricultural and natural land east of Highway 416, west of Strandherd Drive, and north of the Jock River. The O’Keefe Drain runs in a southern direction beginning in a residential area north of Fallowfield Road, through agricultural lands, and to the Jock River. The entire subwatershed of the O’Keefe Drain covers approximately 506 hectares. The City of Ottawa requested the development of an EMP for the Drain to create a stormwater management plan and to ensure that the natural features of the area, as well as the downstream system are protected with increased development. The O’Keefe Drain EMP was guided by the recommendations of the Jock River Reach One Subwatershed Study, a stormwater management plan that was developed to manage the watershed in light of increased urbanization and development. The O’Keefe Drain EMP features recommendations such as protecting the core woodlot as a wildlife habitat, planting grasses and trees, developing a 46 m channel corridor that will restore the existing Drain to better enhance the aquatic and terrestrial habitat, and having discussions with the Ministry of Natural Resources for guidance on sensitive species. The Planning Committee members are awarded a Thumbs Up for approving these recommendations to protect our City’s natural environment.