Ontario Power Generation

OPG Nuclear Operations Darlington and Pickering

Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada

Certified Gold through 2022

Project Name
Project Type
PNGS Peregrine Falcon Nesting and Fledgling Monitoring
PNGS Take Pride in Pickering
Awareness & Community Engagement
PNGS_DNGS_Tuesday's On The Trail
Awareness & Community Engagement
Bring Back the Salmon School Partner Program
Formal Learning
Darlington Pollinator Partners
Awareness & Community Engagement
PNGS_DNGS_March Break Madness
Awareness & Community Engagement
Pickering MOTUS Tracking System
Darlington Tree Swallow Nest Box
About the Program
The Ontario Power Generation Nuclear Operations Darlington and Pickering site is located in Ontario, Canada. The site includes forests, wetland, meadow, and landscaped habitat areas. OPG employees are involved in many projects focused on managing the habitats to increase biodiversity, conserving avian and pollinator species, and providing educational opportunities for the local community, students and teachers.

Practices and Impacts
  • The Darlington meadow and pollinator habitats were installed in 2017 to improve habitat for local pollinators. Over 700 new plants, all of local ecotypes, were added in 2018 and 2019 based on recommendations from the Pollinator Partnership intended to improve floral diversity and seasonal availability. Wildlife Protection Canada monitors bees using OPG's pollinator habitats annually.
  • The team has installed three nesting boxes, as well as nest cameras, for peregrine falcons on south west facing ledges of the station. Team members monitor for the presence of breeding pairs each spring, and protect new nests from disturbance by humans during the breeding season. Peregrine fledglings are monitored during their first flights and rescued if necessary until they successfully become airborne. The species is ranked as Special Concern in Ontario.
  • OPG employees monitor 28 nest boxes for cavity nesting birds such as tree swallows. In 2017, employees replaced 11 of the boxes with new boxes built by local students. Staff check the boxes six times per year for eggs and fledglings, and clean out the boxes at the end of each breeding season.
  • The Pickering Station participates in the Motus Wildlife Tracking System by hosting a telemetry station installed by Bird Studies Canada (BSC) in 2018. The station monitors the flight path of electronically tagged birds that pass within range, in order to facilitate landscape-scale research on migratory wildlife. The Pickering site is located along a migratory route and provides forest, wetland, and meadow habitat for birds. Since installation, the station has recorded at least 17 bird species.
  • OPG's Take Pride in Pickering days engages about 100 children and adults from the City of Pickering every year. All ages groups are welcome and take part in the events, which include spring and fall tree plantings in Alex Robertson Park, which is OPG owned land leased back to the City of Pickering for public use. Plantings have helped to create forest and transitional areas between habitats.
  • Tuesday's on the Trail is a program that engages local families and their elementary aged children in environmental education on OPG land. The programs take place in OPG's publicly accessible natural areas, such as the waterfront trail and Alex Robertson Park. Programs are lead by community partners and cover topics like backyard bugs. The program reaches 1400 people during about 12 program days per year.
  • The Darlington Pollinator Partners program leverages a partnership between OPG and a local school and the conservation authority to incorporate students into enhancing pollinator habitat on site. The program reaches about 60 students per year.
  • The Bring Back the Salmon School program engages students grades 3-5 in the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program. OPG partners with local schools to implement a classroom hatchery program in which students learn about Atlantic salmon and rear salmon eggs in the classroom release the salmon fry into the Duffins and Cobourg creeks. The program aligns with Ontario science standards and engages about 235 students per year.
  • Darlington and Pickering each host OPG's March Break Madness programs each year for local families with school age children. The program included hands-on activities about fish habitat in the local watersheds and reaches about 800 community members per year.