Tuesday, 23 January 2018

EcoSask News, January 23, 2018


Upcoming Events
Starting Your Zero-Waste Journey, Jan. 24 (Saskatoon)
Cassandra Stinn will share her insights on going zero waste from 7-8:30 pm, Jan. 24, at Soul Foods Conscious Grocer.

Climate Change Initiatives in Saskatoon, Jan. 25/27 & Survey (Saskatoon)
Residents, organizations, and businesses are invited to complete online surveys (Jan. 16-Feb. 15) to help the City of Saskatoon identify climate action opportunities, priorities, and areas of interest. They’ll be hosting a pop-up conversation at the University of Saskatchewan from 11 am-2 pm, Jan. 25 and at Wintershines from 12-3 pm, Jan. 27.

Wintershines, Jan. 27-Feb. 4 (Saskatoon)
Head outdoors during Wintershines from Jan. 27 to Feb. 4 in Saskatoon.

Going Zero Waste, Jan. 28 (Regina)
Find ways to minimize your impact on the environment from 2-3:30 pm, Jan. 28, at the Sunrise Branch Library, Regina.

Renewable Power – the Intelligent Choice, Jan. 29 (Prince Albert) 
Renewable Power – the Intelligent Choice Prince Albert is meeting at 7 pm, Jan. 29, at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library.

Permaculture Regina AGM, Jan. 29 (Regina)
Permaculture Regina will hold their annual general meeting on Jan. 29. For further information, email permacultureregina@gmail.com

Greater Sage-Grouse Recovery from a Landowner Perspective, Jan. 31 (Mankota)
Miles Anderson will discuss Greater Sage-grouse Recovery from a Landowner Perspective at 7 pm, Jan. 31, in Mankota as part of PCAP-SK’s Native Prairie Speaker series.

Campus Master Plan Community Open House, Jan. 31 (Saskatoon)
See the work to date and share your ideas on the Preliminary Concept Plan for the Campus Master Plan from 5-8 pm, Jan. 31.


Looking Ahead
Transboundary Grasslands Workshop, Feb. 13-15 (Montana)
The Transboundary Grasslands Workshop, featuring presentations on challenges facing wildlife and human communities in the grasslands of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Montana, will be held Feb. 13-15 in Glasgow, Montana.

Snowlandia, Feb. 20-23 (Saskatoon)
Wildernook is offering Snowlandia, an opportunity for young women ages 10-12 to be active outdoors during the winter break from Feb. 20-23.

Passive House Planning Package, Mar. 8-10 (Saskatoon)
Passive House Canada is offering instruction in using the Passive House Planning Package modelling software to design a passive house Mar. 8-10 in Saskatoon.

A full list of upcoming events can be found on the EcoFriendly Sask Calendar 

In the News
The Co-op is awarding $2 million in Western Canada to projects enhancing community recreation spaces, preserving natural places, and small-scale urban agriculture initiatives. Apply between Feb. 1 and Mar. 1, 2018.

Trevor Herriot is celebrating the Year of the Bird with a Facebook page entitled Sparrows for a Penny and will be posting photographs and anecdotes celebrating birds’ intrinsic value.

Angie Bugg, Saskatchewan Environmental Society, shares tips on how to keep your home cozy and save energy by checking for drafts.

Some birding groups are refusing to post photos of nesting and snowy owls out of respect for the birds.

Bales of clothes – some worn out, others barely worn – are recycled in India. The workers wonder why they were discarded: Maybe white people don't like washing them? Maybe water is more expensive than clothes? [short video]

“We may be living longer, but we are doing it in a way that will rob our children of their health, well-being and long lives

The impacts of diminishing snow cover on ecosystems, animals, and plants can be highly disruptive. 

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. 

You can follow EcoFriendly Sask by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Have You Got an Environmental Project We Can Help You with in 2018?

White pelicans

What environmental issue is of greatest concern to you? Is it light pollution, protecting native grassland, food waste, urban wildlife, renewable energy? Have you got an idea that you think could make a difference but need some financial assistance? Maybe we can help.

EcoFriendly Action Grants (usually $500) are designed to assist individuals and organizations in Saskatchewan with projects that will protect, preserve, or repair the natural environment. This can be direct (habitat restoration, energy conservation) or indirect (environmental education, promotion of local natural habitats).

Have you got a project we can help you with in 2018? Here are some ideas to stimulate your imagination.

Co-existing with Wildlife
Living Skies Wildlife Rehabilitation and Saskatoon Nature Society sponsored a speaker at last year’s NatureCity Festival on safeguarding birds in the urban environment. What else can we do to promote harmonious co-existence with wildlife?

Beavers – We don’t have to slaughter beavers to stop them from harming our urban infrastructure. The Fur-Bearers offers technical workshops for municipal staff and community members regarding flow devices and other management options.

Coyotes – Common sense and education can help minimize human and wildlife encounters and conflict. Coyote Watch Canada assists communities with school and public education campaigns.


Water & Rivers – We wear jeans every day, giving little thought to their impact on the environment. Yet, each pair takes 920 gallons of water to make and their production releases toxic chemicals into some of the world’s most vital rivers. RiverBlue, a Canadian film exploring the problem and the solutions, is now available for screening in your community.

Excess Consumption
Share – Saskatoon’s Library of Things shares tools, camping gear, and kitchen gadgets that we only use occasionally. Would you like to start something similar in your community?

ReuseRepair Cafés bring people together to fix what is broken. People with experience help those without. Clothes and electrical appliances are mended rather than thrown out. Would you like to host a repair café in your community?


Urban Nature
Our towns and cities are biodiversity hotspots. What can we do to protect and support urban nature?

Pollinator Highways – The David Suzuki Foundation established its Butterflyway Project in 2017. Volunteers in five cities planted at least a dozen pollinator patches filled with native wildflowers to support butterflies, bees, and other pollinators as they travelled from one location to another.

Clean-Up Grants - Every spring, EcoFriendly Sask offers a limited number of $500 grants to clubs and voluntary organizations for cleaning up a natural area in or around their community.

For additional ideas, take a look at the accomplishments of the 2017 EcoFriendly Action Grant recipients.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

EcoSask News, January 16, 2018


Upcoming Events
Winterruption Outdoor Activities, Jan. 18-21 (Saskatoon)
Broadway District is hosting a range of outdoor activities from Jan. 18-21.

Climate Crisis: Implications & Solutions for SK, Jan. 20 (Indian Head)
Jared Clarke will present the most recent climate change data and their implications at a 2 pm, Jan. 20, meeting hosted by the Indian Head Natural History Society.

Permaculture Book Club, Jan. 21 (Regina)
The Permaculture Book Club usually meets from 1-3 pm on the third Sunday of every month. Their next meeting is on Jan. 21 at Atlantis Coffeehouse to discuss The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.

Walking Saskatoon, Jan. 21 (Saskatoon)
Everyone is invited to attend the Walking Saskatoon meeting from 1-3 pm, Jan. 21.

Moose Jaw Nature Society, Jan. 22 (Moose Jaw)
Learn about owls with the Moose Jaw Nature Society from 6:30-8:30 pm, Jan. 22.

Regina Solar Coop, Jan. 22 (Regina)
Regina Solar Coop is meeting from 7-9 pm, Jan. 22, at the Bushwakker Pub.

Introduction to Permaculture, Jan. 23 (Regina)
Learn about the principles of permaculture from 7-8:30 pm, Jan. 23, at the Connaught Branch Library, Regina.

Nighthawks and Nightjars, Jan. 23 (webinar)
Elly Knight is offering a webinar on nighthawks and nightjars at noon, Jan. 23, as part of the PCAP-SK Prairie Speaker series.

Experiment in Citizen Conservation, Jan. 25 (Saskatoon)
Dale Parker will chronicle efforts to create a nature sanctuary at Ruddy Duck Lodge and document its biodiversity at 7 pm, Jan. 25, at Wild Birds Unlimited.

Islands of Grass, Jan. 27 (Regina)
Branimir Gjetvaj and Trevor Herriot will present Islands of Grass at 1 pm, Jan. 27, at the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan’s AGM.

Wascana Walk & Imax Pandas, Jan. 27 (Regina)
Join Nature Regina for a walk in Wascana Park followed by the film, Pandas – The Journey Home, at the Kramer Imax Theatre from 9:30 am-12 pm, Jan. 27.

Gone Wild for Wildlife, Jan. 27 (Saskatoon)
Gone Wild for Wildlife, a wildlife and nature educational event, will be held from 10 am-5 pm, January 27, at the Saskatoon German Cultural Center.

Wascana Unstructured Play Day, Jan. 27 (Regina)
Join SaskOutdoors at Wascana Marsh from 2-4 pm, Jan. 27, for an afternoon of family fun.

Carbonless Concert, Jan. 27 (Saskatoon)
Round two of a series of carbonless concerts begins on Jan. 27 from 6:30-9 pm at D’Lish by Tish.

frost and ice

Looking Ahead
AB/SK Renewable Energy Finance Summit, Feb. 5/6 (Calgary)
The Alberta and Saskatchewan Renewable Energy Finance Summit, Feb. 5 & 6 in Calgary, will focus on financing and delivering successful projects in Western Canada.

Sustainability Slam, Feb. 15 (Saskatoon)
The U of S Graduate Students’ Association’s Sustainability Slam on Feb. 15 is a chance for students to share their opinions of what the university should and could be doing for sustainability, to take care of the land, protect our environment, and our people and cultures.

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Jan. 28, 2:15-3:15 pm – Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility Visit
Feb. 3, 1-4 pm – Beaver Creek Winter Botany
Check the Saskatoon Nature Society’s website for full details and updated information.

A full list of upcoming events can be found on the EcoFriendly Sask Calendar 

In the News
Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation offers educational programming with Cheesie and Crackers, 13-Lined Ground Squirrels.

Saskatoon Young Naturalists celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2018. What an accomplishment! Take a look at their newsletter.

The Saskatchewan Alliance for Water Sustainability is petitioning the federal government to stop water from Quill Lakes entering Last Mountain Lake.

Guidelines for building housing in a nature-friendly way from the UK’s Wildlife Trusts. And a housing development by the Thames maintains bird, fish, and plant habitat.

Light pollution may promote the spread of West Nile virus.

Urban forests are under threat from climate change.

What do we really measure when we discuss energy efficiency? Why doesn't it result in energy savings? How about a new approach - energy sufficiency?

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. 

You can follow EcoFriendly Sask by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

EcoSask News, January 9, 2018


Upcoming Events
Science Experiments, Jan. 16 (Saskatoon)
Kids are invited to get their hands dirty with science experiments at the JS Wood Library from 7-8 pm, Jan. 16. Please register.

Wasted, Jan. 16 (Saskatoon)
Watch Wasted: The Story of Food Waste at The Two Twenty’s Community Film Night, Jan. 16.

Cinema Politica, Jan. 17 (Regina)
Cinema Politica is showing two films at 7 pm, Jan. 17, at the University of Regina. The Good Neighbour looks at people living near the oil sands in Alberta. Hands-On profiles 5 women tackling climate change through policy, protest, education, and innovation.

Transit Villages Pop-Up Workshop, Jan. 17/18 (Saskatoon)
Transit Villages, large commercial sites designed to be hubs of activity where home, work, and entertainment coincide, will be part of Saskatoon’s future rapid transit system. The public is invited to help plan these villages during pop-up workshops from 4-8:30 pm, Jan. 17, and 10 am-8 pm, Jan. 18, at Confederation Mall.


Friends of Wascana Marsh AGM, Jan. 18 (Regina)
Join the Friends of Wascana Marsh for their AGM at 7 pm, Jan. 18 at the Saskatchewan Science Centre (small theatre). Learn about the group and hear a presentation about Gardening for Birds by Kim Mann.

Balancing Agriculture & the Wider Ecosystem, Jan. 18 (Saskatoon)
Darrin Qualman will discuss Low-input Agriculture: A solution for birds, bugs, the climate, and farm income at the Jan. 18 meeting of the Saskatoon Nature Society.

The Mysteries of Proxima Centauri, Jan. 18 (Regina)
Dr. Martin Beech will discuss the mysteries of Proxima Centauri at the Jan. 18 Science Pub in Regina.

Garbage Warrior, Jan. 18 (Regina)
Watch Garbage Warrior about a man who turns garbage into energy-independent housing at 7 pm, Jan. 18, at the Regina Public Library.

Loraas Recycling, Jan. 18 (Saskatoon)
Learn about Loraas’ local recycling facility, environmental effects of recycling, diversion techniques, and other tips and tricks at noon, Jan. 18, at Innovation Place, Saskatoon.

Spin by Evalyn Parry, Jan. 19 (Saskatoon)
Join Saskatoon Cycles for the musical and spoken word performance, Spin by Evalyn Parry, at 7 pm, Jan. 19, in Saskatoon.

Experiments in Botanical Art, Jan. 20 (Regina)
Try your hand at botanical art from 1-4 pm, Jan. 20, at the George Bothwell Branch Library, Regina.

Echo Valley Loppet & Snowshoeing, Jan. 20 (Regina)
Regina Ski Club is hosting a loppet on the Echo Valley Provincial Park Ski Trails and a Learn to Snowshoe event from 9 am-3 pm, Jan. 20.

Looking Ahead
Rubbish: A Dinner about Food Waste, Feb. 5 (Regina)
The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council is hosting a dinner highlighting the issue of food waste on Feb. 5 in Regina. The Backyard will create a delicious meal using foods that would often go to waste.

Wascana Junior Naturalists, Mar. 6-May 8 (Regina)
Registration is now open for the spring session of Wascana Junior Naturalists (Mar. 6, 20, 27; Apr. 10, 17; May 1, 8). Activities include astronomy, water sampling, fish surveying, and more.

A full list of upcoming events can be found on the EcoFriendly Sask Calendar 

In the News
Plastic plants, manicured lawns, neatly trimmed trees - how might we get back to wildness?

Two thirds of us rarely or never talk about climate change - this has to change if we want to develop broad-based collective support.

A Welsh hamlet of social housing used local labour and materials, passive house design, and solar power. And they provide an electric car for residents to share.

A surprising study shows fungicides may be a major threat to bees.

From snow golf to winter picnics - fun outdoor winter activities for the young at heart.

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. 

You can follow EcoFriendly Sask by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Thursday, 4 January 2018

2017 EcoFriendly Action Grants

“Do your little bit of good where you are. It’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” (Desmond Tutu) 

In 2017, 32 Saskatchewan organizations took advantage of over $21,000 in EcoFriendly Action Grants to protect, preserve, or repair our natural environment. Take a look at what they accomplished.

2017 EcoFriendly Action Grants
Have you got a project we could help you with in 2018?

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

EcoSask News, January 2, 2018

tall trees
“Natural treasures, in roots, wood and leaves, for beauty, for use, the air that we breathe. Imagine: a wood starts with one small seed. We’re stronger together – people and trees.” Harriet Fraser
Upcoming Events
Science Time for Tots, Jan. 9-30 (Regina)
The Saskatchewan Science Centre hosts Science Time for Tots from 10:30-11 am, Tuesdays.

Learn to Winter Camp, Jan. 13-14 (Lumsden)
SaskOutdoors is offering a winter camping skills workshop Jan. 13-14 in Lumsden. The last day to register is Jan. 5.

Islands of Grass, Jan. 15 (Regina)
Branimir Gjetvaj will present Islands of Grass at the 7:30 pm, Jan. 15, meeting of Nature Regina.

Black-tailed Prairie Dogs, Jan. 16 (Prince Albert)
Jillian Kusch will talk about stress responses and social interactions of Black-tailed Prairie Dogs at the Jan. 16 meeting of Nature Prince Albert.

Looking Ahead
Gone Wild for Wildlife, Jan. 27 (Saskatoon)
Gone Wild for Wildlife, a wildlife and nature educational event, will be held from 10 am-5 pm, January 27, at the Saskatoon German Cultural Center. There will be presentations, interactive booths, and live animals.

Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan Conference, Jan. 27 & 28 (Regina)
The Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan will hold their annual general meeting and conference in Regina, Jan. 27 & 28. The Prairie Ecosystems learning module of the Saskatchewan Master Naturalist program is scheduled for Jan. 28.

Native Prairie Restoration & Reclamation Workshop, Feb. 7 & 8 (Saskatoon)
The theme of this year’s Native Prairie Restoration & Reclamation Workshop, Feb. 7 & 8 in Saskatoon, is Look to the Future: Learn from the Past.

School Garden Summit, Mar. 2-3 (Saskatoon)
Learn and share innovative approaches to garden-based, food-literacy, inquiry-based, environmental and agriculture education at the School Garden Summit from Mar. 2-3 in Saskatoon.

A full list of upcoming events can be found on the EcoFriendly Sask Calendar 

big trees

In Celebration of Trees
The Woodland Trust’s Charter for Trees, Woods and People sets out the principles for a society in which people and trees can stand stronger together.

“When we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy.” - Herman Hesse on what trees teach us about belonging and life.

In the News
Congratulations to Harold Orr, one of the original engineers of the Saskatchewan Conservation House, on receiving the Order of Canada.

View the world through the eyes of octopuses and cuttlefish - alien intelligence close to home (short video).

Conditions are brewing for a major irruption of Red Crossbills this winter.

There are at least 4 alternatives to using productive farmland for utility-scale solar installations.

Flowers emit heat signals to attract insects.


The Philippine Eagle is the world’s largest and rarest eagle. Watch Bird of Prey and find out what it will take to save it from extinction.

Project Coyote has released a film on wildlife killing contests where wild animals become living targets. It will be shown at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival.

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. 

You can follow EcoFriendly Sask by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or by email (top right corner).

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Nature's Boxing Day Specials

Graybar grunts
Graybar Grunts produce a grunting sound by grinding their teeth
“The lasting pleasures of contact with the natural world are not reserved for scientists but are available to anyone who will place himself under the influence of earth, sea, and sky, and their amazing life.” (Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder)

Explore, Admire, Learn
Papiliones, Jonathan Bradley – “butterflies are part of the poetry of nature” – 33 poems about butterflies

Urban Biodiversity: From Research to Practice, Alessandro Ossola & Jari Niemela (eds.) – Interdisciplinary science-based information for urban biodiversity management – rewilding, urban agriculture, engaging the public


Klamath – “Ancient forests of the Klamath Mountains survive as a vivid living window into life’s long history on earth. They are one of a few remaining in the world home to great troves of the ideas life has conjured over 3.8 billion years of evolution.” Watch online (55 minutes): KS Film or Vimeo

River Blue – exploring the impact the fashion industry has on the world’s major rivers and calling for change from top fashion brands – now available on iTunes and dotstudiopro

Forest Man – “Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island. To date he has single handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC. His forest has transformed what was once a barren wasteland into a lush oasis.” Watch online (16 minutes) on YouTube

Christmas tree worms
Christmas tree worms filter out tiny plants and animals by pumping water up and over their crowns

Changing the World - Through Science, Art, and Conversation
Citizen Science
Submit a photograph and iNaturalist can now help you identify over 20,000 species. Got one that stumps the computer? That’s great as it will help increase the system’s capacity.

London’s Natural History Museum has been collecting specimens for over 250 years and has about 35 million insects in its collection. They’ve developed Inselect, software that rapidly catalogues and categorizes images digitally. It’s open source and available for anyone to use.

Disruptive Artists
Faviana Rodriguez: “Artists help us imagine how things can look different and they can help tell a story of the future. . . . Problems are often a consequence of habit and of systemic ways of working. Artists can disrupt those habits or those systemic ways by showing complexity and by actually shining a light on what’s really happening, which helps people change focus.”

Hold a Party
Climate for Change is an Australian not-for-profit helping “people who care about climate change have better discussions about why they care with the people they care about.” Hosts invite friends to a conversation with a trained facilitator and guests are invited to take action against climate change. One conversation leads to another.

You can follow EcoFriendly Sask by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or by email (top right corner). A full list of upcoming events can be found on the EcoFriendly Sask Calendar