Tuesday, 30 July 2013

EcoSask News, July 30, 2013

Butterflies, Shorebirds & Wildflowers
American Robin with bug Join the Saskatoon Nature Society on their frequent field trips. Additional information is available on their website.
August 4 – Butterflies IV
August 5 – Lucky Lake Shorebirding (bring a lunch and rubber boots)
August 10 – Cranberry Flat Wildflowers

Food Preservation, August
CHEP Good Food Inc. is sponsoring canning workshops and demos on August 7, 14, and 21.

On August 10 and 24, from 10 am to 4 pm, the kitchen at Station 20 West will be available for 5 people who are experienced in food preservation.

Phone 306.655.4575 to register and for information about additional workshops that are in the planning stage.

The Better Good Yard & Home Walking Tour, Aug. 18
The Better Good is organizing a yard + home walking tour to look at ways of living green and providing for yourself in Saskatoon – backyard chickens, intensive gardens, solar homes, permaculture.

SWRC Fall Workshops, Sept. 24-26
The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council is holding fall workshops in Yorkton, Melfort, and Swift Current on September 24, 25, 26. Topics will include multi-material recycling, hazardous waste, composting, and agricultural plastic.

Below Your Watershed, Oct. 21-23
Below Your Watershed: Your Connection to the River and Groundwater conference will be held in Medicine Hat from October 21-23. The conference will explore topics such as extreme weather, sustainable economic development, unregulated constituents and their impact on water quality.

New! Kids in Nature Grants
The Saskatoon Nature Society (SNS) has established a grant program called Kids in Nature to strengthen existing programs and encourage new ones that reconnect kids with nature. Each spring SNS will invite applications from existing or new programs and select one or more for financial support. More details about the grant process will be announced in the fall.

You’re invited to contribute to the program and help it grow.

Volunteers Wanted: Fruit Harvesting
Out Of Your Tree is looking for neighbourhood coordinators and volunteers to cooperatively harvest local fruit trees, putting the fruit to good use rather than leaving it to go to waste.

Environmental Education
Northern FlickerOrion has added a new title to its Nature Literacy series of environmental education books. Place-Based Education emphasizes connections among schools, community, and the environment.

Interesting Reading
BC’s carbon tax is reducing fossil fuel use while the economy thrives

Can mining be sustainable - yes or no?

Is the future of conservation about managing change rather than stopping it?

Protecting Saskatoon’s urban forest - SNS position paper on clear cutting in Cosmopolitan Park

Top 10 iPhone apps to access on your nature walk

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. Additional upcoming events can be found on our Calendar.

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

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Plastic Smart Saskatoon

What do you find when you clean up the river bank? Well, you find a lot of garbage – and most of it is plastic.

Over 25 people joined in a river bank clean-up organized by Plastic Smart Saskatoon* on May 26.

The volunteers collected over 700 pieces of trash and 85% of it was plastic. 22% of the plastic collected was Styrofoam chunks; 21% was food wrappers; 10% was cups and cutlery; and 12% was bags.

* Plastic Smart Saskatoon received an EcoFriendly Action Grant in April 2013.

Did you know?
Approximately 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States every year. That’s more than 1,200 bags per US resident, per year.

Los Angeles is on the verge of becoming the biggest city in the United States to ban single-use plastic bags.

Over 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds die each year from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic.

A 19-year-old student has developed plans for a tool that could remove over 7 million tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

SPIN Farming Doing Well in Uganda

Francis Baita used his EcoFriendly Action Grant to establish a SPIN farming operation in Kasese, Uganda. He sent us an email this past week to let us know that his organic garden is doing well.

African Black Nightshade
Francis has started selling his vegetables. He puts together bundles and delivers the orders to his customers twice a week.

Francis has also started planting more vegetables.

Pok Choi

Key government officials visited the garden recently and appreciated the effort he has put into developing the project.

District Vice Chairperson with Francis Baita

Local Government Officials
SPIN Farming in Uganda: Getting Started
Discover Uganda, Share Gardening Expertise

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Summer Volunteer Events with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (Saskatchewan)

Photo credit: Nature Conservancy of Saskatchewan

Do you enjoy being outdoors? Would you like to help protect some of Saskatchewan’s natural places? If so, why not participate in one of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC) volunteer events this summer? 

This is your chance to explore unique habitats, observe rare species, and experience conservation firsthand.

Edenwold Up Close, July 13
When: 8 am – 4 pm, Saturday, July 13, 2013

Meeting Location: Bus leaves from Victoria Park, Regina, at 8 am (on location at 8:30)

Task: Help identify plant and animal species on the Edenwold 1 and 2 properties while experiencing native grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, and viewing many wildlife species.

Caring for Reed Lake, July 20
When: 8 am – 4 pm, Saturday, July 20, 2013

Meeting Location: Details will be provided prior to event

Task: Identify common and rare species, control invasive plants, and remove garbage at Reed Lake, an Important Bird Area and a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Site. The native rangelands and saline lake are ideal stopovers for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. You may even catch a glimpse of the endangered piping plover.

Photo credit: Adam Crosby

A World of Grasslands at Old Man on His Back 
When: 8 am – 4 pm, Saturday, August 17, 2013

Meeting Location: Details will be provided prior to event

Task: Help count bison calves, identify and manage significant weed infestations, repair infrastructure, and map wildlife corridors at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area, a 13,000 acre ranch in southwestern Saskatchewan that is home to a domestic bison herd and numerous wildlife species, including pronghorn antelope.

You will be working around livestock and open grassland, so expect to encounter mosquitoes and deer flies.

Photo credit: Karol & Don Dabbs

Walk the Wild Side, Thursday, August 22
When: 10 am – 4 pm, Thursday, August 22, 2013

Meeting Location: Details will be provided prior to event

Task: Moderately skilled birders and botanists who are in good physical condition are invited to help NCC create an inventory of plants and animals as you hike through grasslands, aspen stands, and along the sandy river bank.

You’ll be helping to create a long-term management plant to protect Maymont 5 nature reserve in the West Parklands Natural Area, NCC Saskatchewan’s newest protected area along the North Saskatchewan River.

Additional Information for All Events
RSVP: To attend an event, RSVP online at www.conservationvolunteers.ca or contact Sara Burns at sara.burns@natureconservancy.ca or 306.347.0447.

Transportation: Transportation will be provided from the nearest large urban centre in order to encourage more people to participate. Anyone who wants to drive their own vehicle can request a map of the area.

You Need to Know: You may be hiking considerable distances, so be sure to wear good hiking boots and a hat. Eat a hearty breakfast, and bring a bottle of drinking water. NCC will provide lunch and additional water.

What to Bring: You’re encouraged to bring reference books, binoculars, or other field equipment for data collection. GPS units would also be helpful and appreciated. Tools and gloves will be provided.

Acknowledgements: The information for this article was provided by Sara Burns, Nature Conservancy of Canada (Saskatchewan). Financial support for the Conservation Volunteers events has been provided by the Imperial Oil Foundation and the Community Initiatives Fund.

Additional upcoming events are listed on EcoFriendly Sask's Calendar.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

EcoSask News, July 2, 2013


Radiance Cohousing BBQ/Potluck, July 6
Radiance Cohousing is holding a BBQ/Potluck at 5 pm on July 6 to share their progress in building a green community. RSVP so they know how many burgers to make.

Summer Star Party, Aug. 8-11
Join the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Saskatoon branch, for their annual summer star party at Cypress Hills Provincial Park from August 8 to 11.

Environmental Education Conference, Oct. 4
Land, Place, and Environment: Advanced Learning and Practice Toward a Sustainable Future is a full-day conference on October 4 to share knowledge and best practices in environmental education.

The conference is hosted by the Sustainability Education Research Institute in partnership with the Saskatchewan Outdoor Environmental Education Association. It will be held at the College of Education in Saskatoon and will offer three concurrent workshop strands focusing on Early Childhood to Grade 12 Education, Post-Secondary Education, and Community-Based Education.

Interesting Reading
Will Calgary’s flood be a climate change wake-up call for Alberta and Canada?

Prairie Pastures – listening to stories of native grass, wildlife, birds and ranchers

Steps towards sustainable fashion and recycling textiles

Climate change is a wicked problem - it requires us to change how we live

Living differently with water – reimagining urban infrastructure

Business innovators tackle environmental and social challenges

High-tech eco designs promote neighbourhood safety (e.g. living walls to deter graffiti)


Summer Break
Penny is heading for the Kootenays for a couple of weeks, so we’re taking a break from our weekly postings. EcoSask News will be back again on July 30.

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. Additional upcoming events can be found on our Calendar.

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