Township of Severn is dedicated to protecting our environment and combatting the effects of climate change. Learn about source water protection, how we protect and monitor our drinking water, and ways you can help with water conservation and environmental protection in our community.

Bee City and pollinators

Bee City Canada

Severn was Canada’s 25th Bee City. At the request of local conservationist Matt Thomson, Severn joined the growing family of Canada’s Bee Cities in 2019. As a Bee City Severn is committed to providing our community with information and resources to support our native pollinators. 

Severn's Bee City representative

Matt Thomson

Pollinator resources

Bee City Canada

Bee City Canada’s mission is to inspire cities, towns, First Nations, schools, businesses and other organizations to take action to protect pollinators.

They provide resources to support initiatives such as: 

Pollinator Partnership Canada

Pollinator Partnership Canada (P2C) is a registered charity dedicated to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems through conservation, education, and research. P2C is the parent organization of Bee City Canada. 

Severn Sound Environmental Association

The Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA) also provides support for municipalities and their communities to help support pollinators. 

Resources from the SSEA include:

Invasive species and insect-borne diseases

An invasive species is an introduced plant or animal that harms its new environment, causing ecological, environmental, and or economic damage. Insect-borne diseases are viral and bacterial illnesses from insect (bug) bites.

Giant hogweed

Giant hogweed is a noxious and invasive plant that can be toxic to people and pets who come into contact with it. View SSEA's video to learn how to identify it. If you spot giant hogweed in the Severn Sound area, please report it to SSEA with a location and photos. Don't touch any part of this plant as it can cause burns and skin irritation.

Spongy moth (LDD moth or Lymantria dispar dispar)

The spongy moth is an invasive insect native to Europe. This pest feeds on a wide variety of trees.

View resources by the Province of Ontario and SSEA to learn about the spongy moth life cycle and how to protect trees on your property from infestation.

Read more about the LDD moth

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause illness. This virus can be spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. For more information regarding West Nile Virus, visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

Larvicide program

At the direction of the Local Medical Officer of Health, we offer a Larvicide Program to control larval mosquitoes in order to prevent West Nile Virus. Under this program, licensed technicians will place larvicide into all municipally-owned catch basins or storm drains within the boundaries of Severn.

 Pitch-in Canada Week

Get involved

Event details

Pitch-in is the largest environmental improvement campaign in Canada. It is a partnership between municipalities, the media, industry and the public. In total, over a million Canadians participate in the program annually cleaning up over five million pounds of litter. Take part in Pitch-in Week from April 22 to 28 by registering a clean-up in your neighbourhood. Thank you for giving back and helping keep our community clean!

Pitch-in Week Registration Form

Get involved

  • complete the Pitch-in Week Registration form to register your family, organization, or group
  • pick up your supplies (blue waste bags and gloves) at our Administration Office located at 1024 Hurlwood Lane, Severn Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
  • ensure all bags are safely placed away from the side of the road and ready for pick up on Monday, April 29

Please note we will only pick up blue waste bags as supplied by the Township.

Safety tips

While undertaking your cleanup always be mindful of sharp and heavy objects.

Before you begin

  • assess the area and look out for hazards and possible dangers
  • be prepared and bring proper safety equipment and tools
  • be sure to have enough supervisors in your group
  • register to participate

During your cleanup

  • supervise participants closely and don't let children go off alone
  • don't pick up dangerous items
  • watch for cars and be careful near roads
  • wear gloves or use a litter picker
  • wash or sanitize your hands regularly 

Staff contact

Wendy Dewey
Administrative Assistant
Phone: 705-325-2315 x241
Email Wendy


Trees on private property

We don't regulate the location of trees on private property. If you have a complaint about a neighbour's tree, hedge or bushing being too close to your property, this is considered a civil matter and we won't get involved. This also applies to trimming overhanging branches from another private property. For dead or dangerous trees on your property, please contact an arborist.

When a tree trunk is located exactly over the property line and the tree technically belongs to both residents, it's regulated by the Ontario Forestry Act. For more information, contact Service Ontario.

Tree planting: tree seedling distribution program

If you're a private landowner in the Severn Sound area, the SSEA offers a Tree Seedling Distribution Program to help you plant native trees and shrubs to improve our environmental health. They also provide great tree planting tips, a species selection guide, and more. 

Watershed-based Joint Municipal Services Board (JMSB)

Severn Sound Environmental Association

The Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA) JMSB engages with our community to protect Severn Sound and its watershed. While monitoring the waters of the Sound and its tributaries, they work to prevent pollution through educational and stewardship-based initiatives. Explore SSEA's programs and projects to find a way that you can volunteer, get involved and help our environment.

Sustainable Severn Sound

Sustainable Severn Sound (SSS) is a special SSEA project that works to apply sustainability principles and awareness with the Township of Severn and local partner municipalities in Severn Sound area. Sustainable Severn Sound has developed the area’s Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP), which educates communities and municipalities on climate change, how we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuels use and energy consumption, as well as how we can adapt to our changing climate.


Severn Sound Environmental Association

Phone: 705-534-7283

Email Severn Sound Environmental Association

Water quality issues

Blue-green algae

Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) are microscopic organisms that are naturally present in lakes and streams. They are usually present in low numbers but can rapidly increase in warm, shallow, undisturbed surface water that gets a lot of sun. When this happens, they can form blooms that can make the water look blue-green or olive-green and may produce floating scum on the surface of the water.

Some blue-green algae produce toxins that can pose a health risk to people and animals when they are exposed to them in large amounts.

What to do if you suspect an algal bloom

If you think a waterway in your area may be experiencing a blue-green algal bloom, call the Pollution Hotline at 1-866-663-8477.

Caution should be used in the exposure to blue-green algae

Drinking, swimming, bathing, cooking, or eating fish caught from the lake experiencing an algal bloom can result in illness. According to health officials, boiling the water will not destroy the toxins and home treatment systems should not be relied on.

For more information on the health risks associated with blue-green algal blooms, please contact Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or toll-free at 1-877-721-7520 to speak with a public health inspector.

If a bloom is confirmed

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) collects and tests algae samples and reports the results to the health unit. If an algal bloom is confirmed, Severn will be notified by the health unit. 

After being notified, we will:

  1. post a Notice on our website
  2. share information about the confirmed bloom on our social media pages
  3. erect a sign on the shoreline of the affected body of water (if staff can access the area)
  4. post a lifted notice on our website when the bloom is no longer a threat
  5. share the lifted notice on our social media pages

For more information regarding blue-green algae, please visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. You can subscribe to this page or our News and Notices to stay informed.