Tuesday, 31 March 2015

EcoSask News, March 31, 2015

Canada geese

Wascana’s Canada Geese, Apr. 1 (Regina)
Jared Clarke will discuss Canada geese at 7 pm, Apr. 1, at the Saskatchewan Science Centre, Regina.

Green Drinks Regina, Apr. 9
PV Waste Solutions will be at Green Drinks Regina on Thursday April, 9 at 6 pm. The company will be discussing its environmental projects including the Clean Earth Warriors Program, the compost facility, the Scrap Shack Worm Farm, the scrap metal recycling program, and upcoming community presentations.

Badlands: A Geography of Metaphors, Apr. 15-May 21
There will be an exhibition of Ken Dalgarno’s photographs of the badlands of the Northern Great Plains in the Gallery of the Frances Morrison Library from Apr. 15 – May 21.

A reception and author reading will take place from 7-9 pm, Apr. 15.

Saskatoon’s Green Carts Program
Sign up now for the City’s Green Carts program. For $55/season, the City will pick up your unbagged leaves, grass, and non-woody vegetation.

It’s possible that the City will expand the program so that Green Cart users can also use the program to recycle kitchen waste. It’s a first, albeit small, step towards a city-wide compost program.

Protecting Native Prairie
Trevor Herriot has learned that a “private golf course company is asking the Province to let them build a course on the southern half of the White Butte Recreation Site, a couple of miles east of Regina along Highway One.” As one of the few remaining remnants of native aspen parkland, it’s home to sharp-tailed grouse, an increasingly endangered species.

Herriot is calling on the public to write to the Minister of Parks, Culture and Recreation to express their support for maintaining the site as wild native prairie.

Recycling Shingles (Moose Jaw)
Roofs to Roads Recycle Inc., a non-profit initiative of Justin Fall, Advanced Roofing, a Moose Jaw roofing company, is recycling shingles. The ground-up shingles can be re-used for asphalt mixes for Saskatchewan highways. They estimate that they reduced waste to the local landfill by 300 tonnes in 2014.

Both Roofs to Roads and Advanced Roofing have been nominated for Moose Jaw Business Excellence Awards.

EcoFriendly Action Grants
In the past month, EcoFriendly Sask supported the following groups with an EcoFriendly Action Grant:

St. Gerard School, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools - $250 for a grade 4 class to participate in the Habitat and Adaptations program, Saskatoon Zoo Society

Anna & Doug Carman and Brent Veitch - $500 to support a solar power research project

P.J. Gillen School, Esterhazy - $500 to support the Go Green Club's projects (water, recycling, composting)

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).

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

EcoSask News, March 24, 2015

Walking to Innovation Place, Saskatoon

Isotopic Indicators of Global Change, Mar. 25
Dr. Keith Hobson will talk on Isotopic Indicators of Global Change: From Birds to Butterflies in Room 266, Prairie and Northern Wildlife Research Centre, at 3:30 pm, March 25. For more information, contact nicole.michel@usask.ca or david.johns@usask.ca.

Urban Agriculture for Sceptics, Mar. 27
Noelle Chorney and William Hrycan will discuss the pros and cons of urban agriculture and field questions from the floor from 2-3:30 pm, March 27, at the Frances Morrison Library.

Community Pastures, Mar. 28 (Regina)
A panel will discuss the public use and benefits of the PFRA community pastures from 1-3 pm, March 28, in Regina. The meeting is sponsored by Public Pastures-Public Interest.

Transitioning to Organic Farming, April
Saskatchewan Organic is offering a series of one-day workshops across the province in April on how to profit from transitioning to organic farming.

Return of the Prairie Bandit, Apr. 1
Return of the Prairie Bandit, a film about bringing the black-footed ferret back to Saskatchewan, will be shown at 2 pm, April 1, at the Frances Morrison Library.

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Apr. 1, 8-10 pm – Saw-whet Owling near Pike Lake
Apr. 4, 9 am-2 pm – Bluebird Trip to Pike Lake
Apr. 11/12 – Northern Owling Overnight Trip
Check the Saskatoon Nature Society’s website for full details (e.g. some trips require rubber boots, others will be cancelled if the weather is bad).

Nutana Parks Survey
A group of Regional and Urban Planning students from the U of S want to talk to Nutana residents about increasing public park and amenity spaces in Nutana. Fill out the survey on their website or email them to join their April focus group.

Public Pastures Letter Writing Campaign
Public Pastures-Public Interest have initiated a letter-writing campaign in support of continued public ownership and conservation of the province’s community pastures. The full information is available on their website.

Canada’s First Net-Zero Commercial Building
The Mosaic Centre, Edmonton, is Canada’s first net-zero commercial office building.

For more information on net-zero construction, see Passive House: Comfortable, Energy-Efficient Homes.

Protecting Sage Grouse Habitat
The Harper government has refused to provided the funds for the purchase and protection of sage grouse habitat in Alberta.

Shift to Renewables
A group of academics says that Canada could shift entirely to renewable sources of electricity by 2035 and eliminate 80 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century.

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).

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative

Many of us practise sustainable transportation options. We walk or bike to work. We take the bus. But sometimes those options just don’t work. We have errands to run all over town or we want to pick up a large load of groceries. We don’t want the expense of owning a car, but we would like the convenience of using one from time to time.

Approximately five years ago, a steering committee with members from the University of Saskatchewan (Sustainability Education Research Institute, Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, The Spatial Initiative), We Are Many, and the City of Saskatoon decided to investigate the possibility of establishing a car share co-operative in Saskatoon. A feasibility study helped them to establish the fee structure and initial car locations.

The Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative (SCC) was officially incorporated in 2012 and the first cars were purchased in February 2014.

Where are the cars? 
The cars are picked up and returned to set locations, so it’s important to choose the right neighbourhood, particularly when you’re starting up a brand new service.

Car share co-operatives work best in high-density neighbourhoods with low levels of car ownership. Pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods with easy access to public transit are ideal because residents have various transportation options and aren’t reliant on cars. In addition, members from other areas can reach the cars easily by either bus or bike. (For more information, see Bringing Car-Sharing to your Community.)

The Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative chose to place its first cars close to Broadway. One is parked on Broadway Avenue at Five Corners, while the other is located at Broadway and 8th. The City of Saskatoon provided dedicated parking spaces and signage.

The SCC is considering expanding into other neighbourhoods in the future, but this won’t happen until they reach capacity with their current vehicles.

How do I book a car?
Cars can be booked online and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can book as far in advance as you want. The Co-operative currently has approximately 40 members so even last-minute bookings shouldn’t pose a problem. Other car share co-operatives have found that cars are used regularly but everyone still has easy access with 50-60 members per car, so the SCC still has room to grow.

In purchasing their first vehicles, the Co-operative had to balance affordability and energy efficiency. They chose the 2011 Nissan Versa, a compact four-door car. In the future, the Co-operative may consider purchasing a six-person van to accommodate large loads or families with children.

The carsharing arrangement works best for in-town travel or short out-of-town trips. If you’re planning an extended road trip, you’ll get better rates by renting a car.

The SCC’s coordinator looks after day-to-day operations and works closely with members to make sure their needs are attended to.

How much will it cost? 
There are four different membership categories:

Casual: If you’re not sure that carsharing will work for you, you can test the waters by taking out a casual membership. You pay a monthly fee of $10 and an hourly rate of $8.

Co-Op Member: Co-op members purchase a $500 refundable share. There is no monthly fee and the hourly rate is only $6.

Family/Household: If more than one member of your household will be using the car, you can take out a Family/Household membership. The initial refundable share costs $750 with an hourly rate of $6.

Corporate: Businesses can purchase a corporate membership ($750 refundable share, $6/hour). Employees can use the Co-operative’s cars for work-related trips.

There is an initial application fee as well as an additional charge of $0.25 per kilometre with 5 free kilometres per trip. The cars’ onboard technology tracks time and mileage.

Members submit a driver’s abstract in order to qualify for the Co-operative’s comprehensive insurance. Individuals with a recent record of at-fault accidents generally aren’t accepted.

There is an optional damage pool of $5 a month to protect drivers against having to pay the full insurance deductible in the case of any partial or at-fault damage or accidents.

How much money will I save by not owning a car? 
The cost* of owning a 2011 Nissan Versa is approximately $3,127 per year with an annual mileage of 800 kilometres. This includes fuel, registration and licence fees, insurance, maintenance, and depreciation.

The comparable cost for a Co-op member would be $892 per year, although many SCC members drive less than that.

Who maintains the cars?
The Co-operative is responsible for gas and maintenance. Members will only have to purchase gas if they go on an extended outing.

A volunteer member monitors the vehicles once a day to make sure that they have gas and are clean. Board members take the cars to the car wash and for servicing.

The cars’ onboard technology is a small but constant drain on the electrical system. This can be a problem in very cold weather, but volunteer members start the cars once a day in the winter and the vehicles are equipped with booster cables.

Need more information?
Additional information is available on the Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative’s website. You can also reach Jessie Best, the Co-operative’s Coordinator, at scc.coordinator@gmail.com. SCC is also on Facebook.

* Costs were calculated using CAA’s Driving Cost Calculator.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

EcoSask News, March 17, 2015

Go green for St. Patrick's Day!

Upcoming Events
Land and Resource Extraction, Mar. 20
There will be a panel discussion on the social and environmental impacts of extraction and the opportunities for collective action at 7:30 pm, March 20, in the Education Student Lounge, Education building, U of S.

Protect the Pollinators Tour, Mar. 26
Join Sierra Club Canada and the Saskatchewan Environmental Society for a discussion on pollinators and pesticides from 7-9 pm, Mar. 26, at the J.S. Wood Library.

EcoBash, Mar. 28
The Environmental Studies Student Association will be hosting an EcoBash for the entire community on Mar. 28 at the Capitol Music Club. Revenge of the Trees will be headlining the show. The event is a fundraiser for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society's solar power cooperative. Tickets are $20 at the door or $15 in advance and can be purchased at the Capitol Music Club or at The Better Good on Broadway.

Healthy By Nature, May 25
Why do hospital patients who look out on trees recover faster than those who don't? Why do children who play outdoors learn faster and remember better than those who are stuck inside? Why is time spent in nature so critical for our health and well-being?

Find out how you can be Healthy by Nature from Dr. Shimi Kang and Cam Collyer, at 7 pm, Monday, May 25, at the Broadway Theatre. Dr. Kang, the director of Child and Youth Mental Health in Vancouver, is the author of the best-selling book The Dolphin Way: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy and Motivated Kids Without Turning into a Tiger. Cam Collyer, Program Director of the Evergreen Foundation, is the go-to guy on creating places where kids can go wild.

Healthy by Nature is the keynote event of the third annual NatureCity Festival.

Green Your Rooftop
Spring is (hopefully) just around the corner. If you are looking for ways to green your home, you might want to add a green roof. Michael Molaro, Higher Groundwork HortiCulture, has some excellent examples on his website. Or you can check out last year’s interview with Michael.

The University of Saskatchewan is switching to LED lighting.

A Regina group is signing up support for residents’ right to a healthy environment inspired by David Suzuki’s Blue Dot campaign.

Millennials believe that efforts to address climate change can grow the economy.

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, 15 March 2015

Building an Environmentally Sustainable Future for Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan’s Role in Global Climate Change and the Path to Sustainability

By Peter Prebble, David Henry, Murray Hidlebaugh, William Wardell 
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, March 13, 2015 

Building an Environmentally Sustainable Future for Saskatchewan examines the impact of the Saskatchewan government’s economic strategies on greenhouse gas pollution, ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity, and nuclear weapons proliferation. The authors propose 30 policy changes that could reverse the province’s poor environmental record and lead to a more sustainable environmental future.

The report, published March 13, 2015, is available online. The authors will also be presenting their findings and answering questions at 7 pm, Tuesday, March 17, 2015, at the Frances Morrison Library, Saskatoon, as part of the Sustainable Speaker Series.

Outlined below are just a few of the report’s key findings:

  • “Saskatchewan’s economy accounts for about 1/700 of the annual man made global greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change. Yet we constitute approximately 1/6,400 of world population.” 
  • The oil and gas industry account for 34% of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions. The venting and flaring of natural gas during oil and gas extraction is largely unregulated. 
  • Electricity generation and transportation each account for an additional 21% of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions. 
  •  SaskPower’s carbon capture project “will only reduce SaskPower greenhouse gas emissions by one million tonnes per year. To put this in context, that reduction will be insufficient to offset the 2.1 million tonne rise in Saskatchewan’s province-wide greenhouse gas emissions over the latest one year period (2011 to 2012) for which data has been publicly released.” 
  • Canada as a whole invested $24,000 million in renewable energy from 2009 to 2013. Saskatchewan’s investment in renewable energy, during the same 5-year time period, was only $70 million. 
  • Saskatchewan lacks a mandatory building code for energy efficiency in newly constructed buildings. The recent boom in new housing construction “is outdated from an environmental and technological point of view right from the time that construction is completed.” 
  • Saskatchewan has the highest household use of pesticides on gardens and lawns of any province in Canada. 

The report’s 30 policy recommendations address each of these issues as well as many more.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Energy-Efficient Homes: Past, Present and Future

Some of Saskatchewan’s early pioneers built sod houses. Later, they had the luxury of ordering a house from the Eaton’s catalogue. Unfortunately, neither of these homes was very good at keeping the cold out and the heat in.

Nowadays, builders have many more options, from solar panels and insulation to low-flow shower heads and energy-efficient appliances. The Smarter Science Better Buildings program provides students in grade 7 with a chance to test their knowledge and compare some of the different features. 

The program is offered by the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and the Western Development Museum and provides an interesting perspective on housing: past, present, and future.

Classes toured the Vereco Home when it was on display at the Western Development Museum and the partners agreed that it would be worthwhile to build on the interest that had been displayed by developing a more long-lasting program.

Museum volunteers constructed six hands-on display units. Students can compare the solar energy produced on a sunny versus a cloudy day. They can examine the energy used to create and transport various building materials and measure the power consumed by various types of light bulbs.

Once they’ve visited all the workstations, the students tour the related museum exhibits. There’s a McLaughlin motor car powered by straw gas (it wasn’t very successful) as well as the prototype for an electric vehicle now being used by the mining industry. There’s a log cabin, a sod house, and an Eaton’s catalogue home as well as a display of early electrical appliances.

The exhibit has been in operation now for three years and attendance is up from 300 last year to 475 this year. Scott Whiting, Education-Public Programs Coordinator for the Western Development Museum, says it fits a nice niche in the city. “There aren’t many field trip opportunities in the sciences with a specific curriculum link,” he explains.

The work stations fold up into sturdy wooden boxes for transportation to other cities. The program is now running at all four Western Development Museum locations (Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Yorkton, and North Battleford) and there are plans to further expand its reach to other centres.

Program information, teacher resources, and student packages for the Smarter Science Better Buildings program are available on the Western Development Museum’s website. The program is just one of the educational programs offered by the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. They are all described on the Society’s website.

Note: Smarter Science Better Buildings received a $2,000 EcoFriendly Action Grant

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

EcoSask News, March 10, 2015


Recreation and Parks Master Plan Open House, Mar. 12
The City is holding open houses to give the public an opportunity to review the Recreation and Parks Master Plan on March 12 (Cosmo Civic Centre) from 12-2 and 5-8 pm.

Beaver Creek Nature Hikes, March
Join an interpreter Sundays at 2:30 pm during the month of March for a hike and discussion about how canines adapt to find their prey. Beaver Creek Conservation Area is currently open from 9-5 weekdays and 12-5 weekends and holidays.

Saskatoon Zoo Run, Apr. 19
Join the Saskatoon Zoo Society’s fun run/walk at 9 am, April 19 and raise funds for the Zoo Club program.

Building a Sustainable Future, Mar. 17
Join the Saskatchewan Environmental Society’s Director of Environmental Policy, Peter Prebble, and SES board members at 7 pm, Mar. 17, for a discussion about the unsustainable nature of our province's economic growth, climate change, and biodiversity loss. They’ll propose policies that could lead us to a more sustainable future.

Solar Power Cooperative, Mar. 19
Peter Prebble will discuss the Saskatchewan Environmental Society’s plans to establish a solar power cooperative at the Mar. 19 meeting of PermaSask. This is a well thought-out plan with the promise of huge benefits for Saskatoon residents.

Do You Want a 33rd Street Bridge?
Thousands of people visit the weir every year to admire the pelicans, sniff the wild roses, and walk or run. A 33rd Street bridge would destroy one of Saskatoon’s loveliest natural places. And for what? Research clearly shows that when we build more roads (or bridges), we invite more cars.

Saving a Tower Full of Water
Water fixture retrofits in the Education Building, University of Saskatchewan, have saved 41 million litres of water since they were installed in 2012. “The volume of water saved each year due to the retrofit would fill 10 floors of the 11-storey Arts Tower.”

Meewasin’s Resource Management
Congratulations to Renny Grilz (South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards) on his new job as Resource Management Officer with the Meewasin Valley Authority. He replaces Luc Delanoy who is retiring after 32 years of passionate conservation work.

Canada’s Species at Risk
"Mitigation does not facilitate species’ recovery – at best, it decreases the impact of harm; at worst, when applied as the primary policy for protecting species at risk, it leads to death by a thousand cuts."

Wild Nature
The Wild Farm Alliance promotes healthy agriculture that protects and restores wild nature.

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).

Thursday, 5 March 2015

South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards

Renny Grilz, South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards

The South Saskatchewan River flows east into Saskatchewan and Lake Diefenbaker, stretching for 716 kilometres before converging with the North Saskatchewan River east of Prince Albert. Over half of Saskatchewan’s population relies on the South Saskatchewan for drinking water and a large part of our farming community uses river water to irrigate their fields.

In 2007, the provincial government established a Source Water Protection Plan for the South Saskatchewan River watershed. Local advisory boards were established in three areas of the watershed to oversee implementation of the plan.

The South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards Inc. is a community-based, non-profit organization. Their goal is to ensure safe, sustainable water supplies for the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of the watershed and its users. The board members represent the cities, towns, villages, rural municipalities, and special interest groups of the region, including the Meewasin Valley Authority, Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation, and the Pike Lake Cottage and Watershed Association.

The organization is part of the Saskatchewan Association of Watersheds, an umbrella group for the 11 watershed associations in the province.

Watershed Protection 
The overall objective of the South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards is to protect the quality and quantity of surface and ground water within the watershed. As Renny Grilz, Watershed Coordinator, explains, this is an ambitious mandate that encompasses many different issues. With only limited human and financial resources, their goal is to collaborate with other organizations in order to address issues such as invasive species, flooding, and drainage.

“A big part of my job is to make those partnerships and connections,” Renny explains. “As a small organization, we can’t do it all ourselves.” Renny is well suited for this position as he has previously worked with a number of other environmental organizations, including Ducks Unlimited Canada, Nature Conservancy of Canada, and Environment Canada.

SSRWSI-MLA reception at the SK Legislature: Vice-Chair Rob Oldhaver, Coordinator Renny Grilz, Chair Ben Buhler

Aquatic Invasive Species
Aquatic invasive species, such as zebra and quagga mussels, have the potential to do a tremendous amount of damage to the watershed. “The mussels could have a major impact on the City of Saskatoon’s water intake,” Renny says. “They’re really small mussels, but they coat the intake pipe until its full.” They could also damage SaskPower’s equipment at Gardiner Dam, coat and compete for resources with the province’s native clams, and potentially change the water chemistry.

Zebra mussels were found in Manitoba in 2013, so Saskatchewan is at very high risk. “The costs to taxpayers would be horrendous,” Renny says. “Alberta estimates that it will cost taxpayers $75 million per year to manage their infrastructure if zebra mussels become established. The numbers haven’t been calculated in Saskatchewan but will be anywhere from $15-30 million a year.”

The Watershed Stewards will be working with the Ministry of the Environment to offer awareness and monitoring programs and presentations in 2015. Posters, pamphlets and signage for boat launches are being developed. Substrate samples from Lake Diefenbaker, Blackstrap, Pike Lake, and Saskatoon will be collected on a monthly basis to check for the presence of adult zebra mussels.

Contact SSRWSI if you are interested in helping them with their work to prevent the spread of zebra and quagga mussels.

Communities north of Saskatoon have been dealing with severe flooding and water contamination issues for the past few years. Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation has had to shut down 50 wells and cisterns due to contamination. The Watershed Stewards are working with the First Nation and the Rural Municipality of Duck Lake to develop a community-based source water protection plan. 

“Agricultural drainage is a balancing act,” Renny says. “We’re only one rain or snowfall away from a flood or a drought.” The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency recently conducted an agricultural drainage survey and this will be a key topic of discussion at the 2015 Saskatchewan Association of Watersheds Conference.

One of the primary reasons for the creation of Lake Diefenbaker was to develop irrigation capacity in south-central Saskatchewan. There is an increasing demand for irrigation to meet global food needs. However, as the demands for water from Lake Diefenbaker and the South Saskatchewan River increase, water allocation strategies may be required.

Technology is now available that would allow farmers to minimize water usage by programming irrigation equipment to manage local conditions – individual sprinklers can be turned off over roads and wet spots, while increased volume can be provided on drier hilltops. “The cost is still prohibitive,” Renny says, “but it could revolutionize irrigation. California farmers are adopting it because water is at a premium. It won’t be long before it reaches here.”

variable rate irrigation system at Outlook

The Watershed Stewards are planning to ramp up their fisheries work. They’ve already done an initial assessment of some creeks that flow into the South Saskatchewan. They’d like to expand this work to look at threats and to start offering programs to mitigate risks. For example, they could work with a municipality to lower a culvert so that fish can get through.

Lake Diefenbaker 
We’re fortunate that the water quality in Saskatoon is really good considering the population upstream. “Lake Diefenbaker acts as a large settling pond,” Renny explains. “The water quality is greatly improved when it leaves the lake.” This does, however, lead to accumulation of organic contaminants behind the dam and slows down water flow.

There have been concerns about the lake level going up and down. When the level drops, it causes erosion. When it goes up, there is flooding and fences are washed out. There are also recreational concerns, and changes in the level can alter the amount of water available for irrigation. The Water Security Agency has been working on a management plan, but it is not yet complete.

Pike Lake community-based watershed planning meeting

Pike Lake 
The South Saskatchewan Watershed Stewards are working with the Pike Lake Cottage and Watershed Association and other stakeholders in the area, including Pike Lake Provincial Park, the Rural Municipality of Asquith, local landowners and farmers, to develop their own community-based watershed management plan.

Public Awareness 
An ongoing task for the Watershed Stewards is to create public awareness of the importance of watersheds for healthy communities and livelihoods. By being proactive, they can reduce risks of contamination and fix past issues.

The organization is currently working with the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan to develop a Master Naturalist Program. Similar programs exist in other areas (Alberta, Texas) and trained volunteers could play an important role in monitoring storm water (not currently monitored), river water, and zebra mussels.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

EcoSask News, March 3, 2015


Down to Earth, Mar. 4
Jasmin Fookes and Brit MacDonald are the new hosts of CFCR Radio’s environment and sustainability program that they’ve renamed Down to Earth. They’ve asked me (Penny McKinlay) to be their first guest! I’ll be on the radio this coming Wednesday, March 4, at 6:30 pm, to talk about EcoFriendly Sask - how Andrew and I started it and how to apply for a grant.

Predators and Prey, Mar. 8
Adam Crane, a Ph.D. student at the University of Saskatchewan, will discuss how animals behave when threatened by prey at 2 pm, Mar. 8, at Wild Birds Unlimited. He’ll probably be accompanied by some live reptiles.

Young Naturalists
Mar. 14, 1 pm – Great Horned Owl Ecology
Mar. 21, 1 pm – Bat Ecology
Apr. 11, 1 pm – Birdhouse Workshop
Space is limited; register early to avoid disappointment.

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Mar. 14, 1-3 pm – Weir and City Park Birding
Check the Saskatoon Nature Society’s website for full details (e.g. some trips require rubber boots, others will be cancelled if the weather is bad).

Wildlife Rehab Volunteer Orientation, Mar. 15
Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan is holding a volunteer orientation session from 1-3 pm, Mar. 15, in Cabela’s Conference Room.

Green Products
If you’re looking for green living products, check out these events in Regina and Saskatoon.

PV Waste Solutions will be selling tiered vermicompost bins at the Regina Spring Home Show, March 26-29.

The Saskatchewan Green Living Expo is coming to Saskatoon May 1-2. Exhibitors include the Canadian Passive House Institute, Rock Paper Sun, and Vereco Homes.

via Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

2015 NatureCity Festival, May 23-29
A special highlight of this year’s NatureCity Festival, Wild about Saskatoon is a gala evening on Monday, May 25, with author Dr. Shimi Kang of Vancouver and Cam Collyer of the Evergreen Foundation, Toronto, speaking on the theme of Healthy by Nature.

These two speakers are experts on the increasingly well documented connection between human health and access to quality natural surroundings.

Local organizations are invited to sponsor an activity during the Festival. Current participants include Escape Sports, Slow Food Saskatoon, and SaskOutdoors.

In the News
Edmonton has a plan to become a world-class winter city

Guelph is turning a decommissioned landfill into a pollinator park

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).