Tuesday, 14 August 2018

EcoSask News, August 14, 2018

butterfly on flower

Upcoming Events
Plants for Pollinators, Aug. 18 (Saskatoon) 
Learn what to plant and how to maintain a pollinator garden from 1-3 pm, Aug. 18, at the Garden Patch.

Household Hazardous Waste Day, Aug. 18 (Saskatoon)
Dispose of household hazardous waste in Saskatoon from 8 am – 2:30 pm, Aug. 18.

Composting 101, Aug. 21 (Saskatoon) 
The Askiy Project is hosting a Composting 101 workshop from 6-7:30 pm, Aug. 21.

Into the Gyre, Aug. 22 (Saskatoon) 
Learn more about Ocean Bridge – YXE at a screening of Into the Gyre, a 44-minute documentary about an expedition to study the location, extent, and effect of plastic pollution in the North Atlantic Gyre.

Wandering to Find Warblers, Aug. 25 (Regina) 
Join Nature Regina as they look for warblers and other birds in Wascana Park from 9 am to noon, Aug. 25.

How to Build an Insect Hotel, Aug. 25 (Saskatoon) 
The Garden Patch is hosting a kid-friendly workshop on building an insect hotel from 3-5 pm, Aug. 25.

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Saskatoon Young Naturalists 
Oct.11, 7-9:30 pm – Saw-whet Owl Field Trip
Nov. 3, 1-2:30 pm – Bird Feeder Workshop
Space is limited; register early to avoid disappointment.

Golden Eagles 
Aug. 16, 8 am – North Saskatchewan River Property at Maymont
Aug. 23, 8 am – Redberry Lake
Aug. 30, 8 am – Stuglin’s at Pike Lake
Retirees and partners who are interested in birds and the natural world are invited to participate.

Other Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips 
Aug. 18, 1:30-3:30 pm – Sheep at NE Swale
Aug. 25, 9-11:30 am – Factoria Warbler Walk
Sept. 2, 8:45-10:30 am – Warbler Walk at Forestry Farm
Sept. 8, all day – Fall Bird Count
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 

butterfly on flower

In the News
Animals face new challenges with habitat fragmentation as they escape humans by becoming increasingly nocturnal

Repair cafes in the United States and some tips on how to get one started

A Toronto food court has eliminated 117 bags of garbage a day

Shipments of natural gas from northeast BC are heading to the Alberta oilsands and further east 

Finding and creating beauty in a broken world - an interview with Terry Tempest Williams

From devils to super-heroes - our complicated relationship with bats [book review]

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, 7 August 2018

EcoSask News, August 7, 2018

Jackrabbit (juvenile?)

Upcoming Events
Wild Wednesdays, Aug. 8 & 15 (Esterhazy)
Kids can learn about different animals and birds at Jean Pask Library, Esterhazy, from 1-2 pm, Aug. 8 and 15.

Nature for Kids, Aug. 9 (Yorkton) 
Kids are invited to come and learn about Saskatchewan’s owls from 2-3 pm, Aug. 9, at the Yorkton Public Library.

Meeting the 1.5 Degree Climate Target, Aug. 14 (Regina)
Regina Public Interest Group is hosting Dr. Charlie Wilson of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (UK) who will discuss transforming energy demand to meet the 1.5°C climate target and sustainable development goals from 11-noon in ED Building 114, University of Regina.

Family Paddle, Aug. 17 (Regina)
SaskOutdoors and Fresh Air Experience are hosting a family paddle from 2-5 pm, Aug. 17.

U of S Lunch & Learn Series, Aug. 17 (Saskatoon)
Join the U of S Office of Sustainability from 12-1 pm, every third Friday of the month, for presentations and discussions on sustainability.

U of S The Fix, Aug. 17 (Saskatoon)
Join the U of S Office of Sustainability and university sustainability professionals over a pint at 5 pm, every third Friday of the month, to fix some of sustainability’s most complicated issues.

jackrabbit

Looking Ahead
Wascana Junior Naturalist, Sept.-Dec. (Regina)
Sign up kids ages 9-13 for the Wascana Junior Naturalist program on Tuesdays 6-8 pm: Sept. 18; Oct. 2, 16, 30; Nov. 13, 27; and Dec. 4.

Nature Saskatchewan Fall Meet, Sept. 14-16 (Swift Current)
Nature Saskatchewan is holding their fall meet in Swift Current from Sept. 14-16. There will be a presentation by Graham Saul, Executive Director, Nature Canada, and Branimir Gjetvaj and Trevor Herriot will present their book, Islands of Grass.

Conservation Marketing & Engagement Congress, Oct. 25-27 (Arlington, VA)
This sounds amazing - the first international Conservation Marketing & Engagement Congress.

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

In the News
3 steps towards clean energy in Canada.

Our individual purchasing choices do matter: Stop buying crap and companies will stop making it.

"Traditional economics has forgotten that our economies should have a purpose: they should deliver greater well-being, increasing prosperity, improved security and comfort, without imperiling the things that make life worth living. If all government decisions are made on purely financial terms, then ultimately those decisions will benefit finance and capital at the expense of people and nature."

Can mining social media help conservationists determine areas where wildlife faces extra stress from tourists?

Tracking wildlife with cameras not collars is cheaper and less invasive.

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, 31 July 2018

EcoSask News, July 31, 2018

butterfly on flower

Upcoming Events
Earth Overshoot Day, Aug. 1 (Saskatoon) 
There will be information and conversation about Earth Overshoot Day from 2-3:30 pm, Aug. 1, at Turning the Tide Bookstore.

Prairies & Petroglyphs, Aug. 12 (St. Victor) 
Join the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan for a tour of St. Victor Petroglyphs Provincial Park from 3-7 pm, Aug. 12.

SODCAP AGM, Aug. 15 (Val Marie) 
South of the Divide Conservation Action Plan is holding its AGM from 1-7 pm, Aug. 15, in Val Marie.

Looking Ahead 
Green Economics, Sept. 20-21 (Calgary) 
The Sustainability Network is offering an intensive training in green economics for non-economists Sept. 20-21 in Calgary.

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

In the News 
Congratulations to individuals and organizations who received 2017 waste minimization awards from the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council

Salt water, old leaking wells and aging oil industry infrastructure could be serious problems in future

Wildlife needs infrastructure too - wildlife bridges + tunnels around the world 

Wild summer reading for kids

It’s time we reclaim our cities from car storage [parking] and use the space for what we need more of, from housing and bike lanes to sidewalk cafes and parks

Zero-waste camping tips

Zero footprints - photographers exploring climate change 

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, 24 July 2018

EcoSask News, July 24, 2018

stonecrop

Upcoming Events
Mending Meet Up, July 28 (Saskatoon)
Library of Things is holding a Mending Meet Up from 1-4 pm, July 28.

Northern Leopard Frog Project, July 31 (webinar)
Kimberly Pearson will discuss the northern leopard frog project in Waterton Lakes and Grasslands National Parks in a noon-hour webinar on July 31.

Free to be Me Animal Sanctuary, Aug. 1 (Moose Jaw)
Kids ages 6-10 are invited to join the Moose Jaw Public Library’s trip to Free to be Me Animal Sanctuary from 2-4 pm, Aug. 1.

Beyond the Big Dipper, Aug. 11 (Grasslands National Park)
View the stars and learn more about them from Royal Astronomical Society volunteers at Grasslands National Park on Aug. 11.

Looking Ahead
Conservation Expo, Sept. 6 (Regina)
The Saskatchewan chapter of The Wildlife Society is holding a conservation expo and networking event on Sept. 6 in Regina. Poster presentation title submissions must be sent in by Aug. 15.

Building Enclosures for High Performance Buildings, Nov. 15 (Saskatoon)
Building Enclosures for High Performance Buildings is a one-day course being offered by Passive House Canada in Saskatoon on Nov. 15.

Nature Conservancy Volunteer Opportunities
Help the Nature Conservancy of Canada maintain their properties by volunteering at one of their August events.

Aug. 11Campout for Conservation at Old Man on His Back – Clean up the bison handling facilities, repair fences, and build, repair, and install Ferruginous Hawk nest platforms.

Aug. 25Keeping it Clean at Shoe Lake – Remove shoreline debris from the Shoe Lake saline marsh.

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

In the News
Wascana Solar Co-operative and the Regina Catholic School Division are in talks about a joint project that would see solar panels put on the roof of Miller Comprehensive Catholic High School.

Thoughtful recommendations from the Saskatchewan Environmental Society on addressing climate change.

Farmers are very concerned about damage to their land following Husky’s salt water leak.

The United Church of Canada plans to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050. The initial focus is on energy efficiency and building retrofits. [video]

When we subsidize roads . . . make it impossible to live without a car, we send people strong signals to buy and own cars, and to drive... a lot.

Wide arterial roads designed for heavy traffic usage (such as 22nd Street in Saskatoon) don't have to be death traps for pedestrians.

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, 19 July 2018

Prairie Beauty: NCC's Dundurn Property

Harebell

As we bump our way down a leafy lane, a white-tailed deer pokes its head out to see who’s come to visit. Verity Moore-Wright, Acting Director of Development, and Ryan Dudragne, Conservation Science Co-ordinator – LIS, have invited us (Andrew and Penny McKinlay) to join them on a hike around one of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s newest properties near Dundurn.

Rolling hills – stabilized sand dunes – stretch out to a clear blue sky. A red-tailed hawk soars overhead and there are treasures to be found at our feet. A patch of wild bergamot is flowering near the entrance to the property attracting long-tongued bees, bee flies, butterflies, and moths. Wasps may steal the nectar by drilling a hole in the nectar tubes.

Bergamot

We’re delighted to spot a hunch-backed Mormon cricket. It’s not a cricket at all but a shield-backed katydid. Although they have no wings, they can travel up to 2 km a day when they’re swarming, heading out in the thousands to find food.

Mormon cricket

There are plenty of other grasshoppers and katydids. We tend to think of grasshoppers as pests, but only a few of them destroy crops. There is such variety in their sizes, colors, and patterns.

grasshoppers

We weren't initially able to identify the following insect, but, with help from iNaturalist, we now know it's a Broad-winged Bush Katydid (scudderia pistillata) late instar nymph.

insect on wild rose

We need to watch where we step as there are plenty of cactus – both pincushion and prickly pear.

Prickly-pear cactus

pincushion cactus

The rush skeleton plant, with next to no leaves, is another plant that can tolerate dry conditions.

Rush skeleton plant

The red-blue checkered beetle stands out against the goldenrod’s bright yellow flowers. Pollen will stick to the long hairs on its body and legs and be passed along to other plants.

Red-blue checkered beetle on low goldenrod

A flycatcher keeps a close eye on us as we pass by, but many of the site’s inhabitants are harder to spot. They do, however, leave us clues – moose poop (these guys are part of Ryan Brook’s Saskatchewan Farmland Moose Project), a freshly dug badger hole, heaps of loose dirt left behind by pocket gophers. If you look really closely at the loose dirt, you’ll spot small round holes indicating the homes of tiger beetles. Ryan describes them as predatory bullies, dragging other insects into their hole or chasing them down.

Alder Flycatcher (?)

We’re hot and hungry after a long walk around the property but very grateful to Nature Conservancy of Canada for inviting us out to see the site and for the important work they do in protecting natural areas and maintaining biodiversity. And a special thank you to Ryan who was so helpful in identifying all the fascinating species we were fortunate enough to spot.

For more information about the Dundurn site and the work of the Nature Conservancy, take a look at the article we posted in May.

bee on purple prairie clover

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

EcoSask News, July 17, 2018

adult and young sparrow

Upcoming Events
Native Species Plant Garden, Thursdays (Regina)
A group of Nature Regina members are renewing the Native Species Plant Garden at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and would appreciate help any Thursday morning between 8:30 am and noon until the end of September.

Metamorphosis, July 13-19 (Regina/Saskatoon) 
Metamorphosis, a film about how humanity is being transformed in new ways by the environmental crises we have created, is showing in Regina and Saskatoon from July 13-19.

SK Parks Virtual Bioblitz, July 15-21 
If you’re visiting a Saskatchewan park between July 15 and 21, be sure to take part in the virtual bioblitz.

The Amazing World of Falconry, July 22 (Saskatoon) 
Meet Lynn Oliphant’s peregrine falcons on July 22. Meet at Wild Birds Unlimited at 6:30 pm.

Amazing Facts about Animals, July 25 (Saskatoon) 
Sally Meadows will launch her new book, When Sleeping Birds Fly: 365 Amazing Facts about the Animal Kingdom at a come-and-go event at Wild Birds Unlimited from 6-8 pm, July 25. There will be hands-on activities for kids.

Looking Ahead
Boreal Forest Eco Kids Camp, Aug. 6-10 (Ness Creek) 
Camp at Ness Creek from Aug. 6-10 and your kids can take part in a boreal forest eco camp.

Summer Star Party, Aug. 8-13 (Cypress Hills Inter-Provincial Park) 
The Regina and Saskatoon Centres of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada present their annual Summer Star Party in Cypress Hills Inter-Provincial Park, Aug. 8-13.

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

mallards and ducklings

In the News
The Last Mountain Lake Stewardship Group and SAWS have prepared a series of information sheets regarding the Quill Lakes drainage issue

A University of Saskatchewan professor has received a grant to test green roofs designed for cold regions

Help shape the future of Canada’s forests by responding to the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers’ survey. CPAWS is urging the ministers to adopt a bolder vision that recognizes the health of the ecosystem as a priority above all else

Nature Canada is offering to help nature/conservation groups with their public engagement

Research shows that predator removal is an ineffective and costly approach to conflict prevention and resolution [podcast]

The Norwegian government places an environmental tax on all producers of plastic bottles. The more they recycle, the more that tax is reduced

A single cigarette filter can contaminate hundreds of litres of water because of the chemical substances it contains and can take more than a decade to decompose

People are so annoying that animals are becoming more nocturnal

Bird diversity has already doubled as Madrid launches a strategic plan for biodiversity

Recycling plastic is to saving the Earth what hammering a nail is to halting a falling skyscraper

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, 10 July 2018

EcoSask News, July 10, 2018

solitary male pronghorn

Upcoming Events
Household Hazardous Waste Day, July 14 (Saskatoon)
You can dispose of household hazardous waste in Saskatoon from 8 am-2:30 pm, July 14.

Go! Science, July 19 (Swift Current)
Kids in grades 1-6 are invited to attend interactive science activities presented by the Saskatchewan Science Centre from 1-4 pm, July 19, at the Swift Current Branch Library.

U of S Lunch & Learn Series, July 20 (Saskatoon)
Join the U of S Office of Sustainability from 12-1 pm, every third Friday of the month, for presentations and discussions on sustainability.

U of S The Fix, July 20 (Saskatoon)
Join the U of S Office of Sustainability and university sustainability professionals over a pint at 5 pm, every third Friday of the month, to fix some of sustainability’s most complicated issues.

Healthy Planet, Healthy Life, July 23-27 (Regina)
Kids ages 5-12 are invited to discover the technology scientists use to measure changes to the environment at the July 23-27 Regina Public Library program presented by the Saskatchewan Science Centre.

Looking Ahead
The Dammed Rivers, Oct. 1-3 (Saskatoon)
Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin in collaboration with the Canadian Water Resources Association will hold their annual conference Oct. 1-3 in Saskatoon. The conference will bring together experts from many fields related to the existence of dams. Early bird registration until Aug. 31.

Environmental Law Toolkit Workshop, Oct. 2 (Toronto)
The Sustainability Network is offering a 1-day workshop on Oct. 2 in Toronto on the legal tools available to protect our air, water, land, and human health.

pronghorn and fawn

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Golden Eagles
July 19, 8 am – Gabriel Dumont Park
Aug. 9, 8 am – Shorebirds and Early Migration
Retirees and partners who are interested in birds and the natural world are invited to participate.

Other Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips 
July 14, 10 am-1 pm – Botany Trip to Beaver Creek Conservation Area
July 22, 1:30-4:30 pm – Dragonfly Field Trip
July 28, 9 am-12 noon – Shorebird Driving Trip
Aug. 11, 8:15 am – Douglas Park Sand Dunes Hike
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
Nature Conservancy of Canada has purchased 335 acres of native grasslands and natural wetlands in the Upper Qu’Appelle Natural Area close to Craven. The Natural Area is home to a number of species at risk, included Sprague’s Pipit, Chestnut-collared Longspur, and Baird’s Sparrow.

Lead poisoning from fishing tackle kills loons.

5 tips for having fun birding with kids.

Want to live a more sustainable life? Individual choice isn’t enough - you have to change the system.

What trash on Everest can teach us about tackling problem waste.

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).