Tuesday, 20 June 2017

EcoSask News, June 20, 2017

black bear

Upcoming Events
Wildlife Rehab Volunteers, June 24 (Swift Current)
The Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan is holding a volunteer orientation session from 1-3 pm, June 24, at the Swift Current Pharmasave.

P4G Regional Plan Info Session, June 27 (Martensville) 
Partners 4 Growth is holding an open house and public presentation on the draft regional plan from 4-8 pm, June 27. The draft Plan recommends a series of guiding principles and policies around land use, transportation, servicing, and implementation, as well as proposing new governance and administrative structures for the Region.

Sustainability Circle – Composting, July 6 (Regina) 
RPIRG Green Patch is hosting a session on composting and environmental sustainability from 3:30-5 pm, July 6.

Kitchen Scrap Propagation, July 7 (Saskatoon) 
The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre is hosting a workshop on kitchen scrap propagation from 6-8:30 pm, July 7, at the Garden Patch.

Wildlife Corridors, (webinar) 
Find out about the positive results of the wildlife corridors in Banff National Park in a Defender Radio podcast. Part Two will be available this coming week.

Looking Ahead
Carbon yXe, July 19-20 (Saskatoon) 
Saskatoon business leaders have invited the finalists of the international Carbon X Prize to Saskatoon for a summit on July 19 & 20, 2017. Finalists will have the opportunity to tell their stories while learning what Saskatchewan has to offer.

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

In the News
The City of Saskatoon is considering linking the cost of garbage collection with the amount of usage. Pay as you throw systems can reduce waste and promote recycling. Some methods are more effective than others.

Carlsberg Brewery is aiming for zero carbon emissions. “People in Carlsberg are more energised after Trump said no to the Paris agreement,” he said. “We feel we can take responsibility in our own hands and don’t need to depend on politicians for this." 

Swainsons Hawk with gopher

A Swainson’s Hawk had to put some effort into protecting its supper from two magpies and a crow.

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, 13 June 2017

EcoSask News, June 13, 2017

White-winged crossbill

Upcoming Events
Trump, the Paris Agreement, and Climate Change, June 15 (Saskatoon) 
Dr. Greg Poelzer will discuss Trump, the Paris Agreement, and Climate Change: What is the Future of the Global Energy Transition from 5:30-8:30 pm, June 15, at The Woods Alehouse (Tox on Tap).

Piping Plover Critical Habitat, June 20 (webinar)
Kerry Hecker is presenting a noon-hour webinar on June 20 regarding Piping Plover Critical Habitat on Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area as part of the SK PCAP Native Prairie Speaker Series.

NE Swale Prescribed Fire Tour, June 21 (Saskatoon)
The Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan is organizing a tour of less-visited parts of the Northeast Swale from 6:30-8:30 pm, June 21. Renny Grilz, MVA Resource Management Officer, will lead a comparison of areas that have and have not been burned recently.

The Prairie Ecologist, June 22 (webinar)
Chris Helzer, The Prairie Ecologist, is giving a webinar presentation, It’s All the Little Things, at noon, June 22, as part of Native Prairie Appreciation Week.

Tiger Hills Field Trip, June 24 (Saskatoon)
Join Wild Birds Unlimited staff on a field trip from 8 am-5 pm, June 24, to the Tiger Hills Uplands. Troutreach Saskatchewan is conducting a bioblitz at the property and will be available to answer questions. Meet at the Wild Birds Unlimited store to car pool.

Build a Static Pile, June 24 (Saskatoon)
Find out how to build a static pile (composting) from 12:30-2 pm, June 24, at Saskatoon Food Bank’s Garden Patch.

Biddulph Natural Area Field Trip, June 25 (Saskatoon)
The Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan will visit the Biddulph Natural Area from 1-4 pm, June 25, as part of the Native Prairie Appreciation Week celebrations.

Red-tailed hawk

Native Prairie Appreciation Week (June 18-24)
Native Prairie Appreciation Week is celebrated across the province, June 18-24, with a variety of events, including awareness booths at Farmer's Markets, a social media campaign, a photo contest, and more. SK PCAP will be on-site at the following Farmer's Markets:
Sunday, June 18, 10am-3pm - Saskatoon Farmers' Market
Wednesday, June 21, 8am-1pm - Regina Farmers' Market
Saturday, June 24, 10am-3pm - Swift Current Market Square

Saskatoon Nature Society
Golden Eagles
June 22, 8 am – Saskatoon’s Historic Trees
June 29, 8 am – Donna Birkmaier Park
Retirees and partners who are interested in birds and the natural world are invited to participate in Golden Eagle field trips.
Other Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
June 17, 8-11 am – May Haga Memorial Bird Walk, Lakewood & Heritage Parks
June 24, 7-10 am –Breeding Bird Atlas Point Counts
July 1, 9:15 am-2 pm – Wild Orchids Field Trip
Check the Saskatoon Nature Society’s website for full details and updated information.

Looking Ahead
Generating Momentum, Aug. 24-27 (Little Manitou Lake)
Registration is now open for Generating Momentum, a 4-day camp for 18-35 year olds who are passionate about social, global, and environmental justice.

Photography Workshop, Sept. 22-24 (Cypress Hills)
Join Branimir Gjetvaj in the Cypress Hills for a workshop focusing on landscape and outdoor photography from Sept. 22-24.

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

In the News 
The Saskatoon Freeway, destined to be the most expensive transportation infrastructure project in Saskatchewan history, is set to bypass scrutiny - despite the fact that it cuts through the vulnerable Northeast Swale and passes very close to the Small Swale, home to Loggerhead Shrike, a federally threatened species.

Canadian watersheds face growing threats; water supply across the country is at risk.

The Better Good, Saskatoon, plans to launch a tool/sharing library in their basement. They're looking for organizers and volunteers.

The City of Melbourne has announced a $1.2 million Urban Forest Fund, which it will use to match private investments in urban greening initiatives (parks, tree planting, stormwater projects, green walls, and roofs).

Bald eagles are playing host to a baby red-tailed hawk in Sidney, BC.

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, 8 June 2017

Walking Saskatoon


Walking – healthy for the body and the mind, easy on the environment – it’s a great way to move around a city. Or at least it should be. Walking Saskatoon was established two years ago to advocate for better pedestrian infrastructure and development.

“Walking Saskatoon believes in the need of any city for complete, efficient, and safe pedestrian infrastructure. This means more and better sidewalks, well-lit paths, frequent rest stops and trash receptacles, proper integration with transit stops and cycling paths, and full accessibility for people with restricted mobility.” 

Walking Saskatoon held its first public meeting on May 28, 2017, and highlighted three pressing issues. More information on all these topics is available on their website.

Missing Sidewalks
The City of Saskatoon’s Active Transportation Plan Final Report highlights the benefits of walking and cycling. However, 25% of major and minor arterial streets have no sidewalks, which leaves some pretty big gaps, as demonstrated on the map on page 22 of the report.

There is no ongoing budget item assigned to sidewalk infill; however, in 2016 and 2017, City Council allocated funds from the Traffic Safety Reserve (money from traffic cameras) to improve walkability (pedestrian crossings, new sidewalks). Locations with no sidewalks on either side of the road; sidewalks connecting to schools, parks, and bus stops; and locations identified through a Neighbourhood Traffic Review are the priority. Only a fraction of the missing sidewalks can be replaced in a given year, and there is no guarantee of ongoing funding.

Walking Saskatoon is advocating for increased funding and greater transparency of the process and the choice of priorities in order to ensure that pedestrians can walk safely on sidewalks throughout the city. They are currently profiling missing sidewalks on their Facebook and Twitter feeds with the hashtag #sidewhere.


Sid Buckwold Bridge Pedestrian Crossing 
The Sid Buckwold Bridge plays an important role in connecting the east side of the city with River Landing, the Remai Arts Centre, the Remai Modern, and the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market. Unfortunately, it’s a hazardous crossing for cyclists and pedestrians:

“The existing walkway on the north side of the bridge is too small and too exposed. Stories abound about near misses from protruding lumber pieces on trucks or debris kicked up from the road, and getting splashed by a disgusting slurry of road detritus is a given from fall to spring. To make matters even worse, there is no crossing on the south side of the bridge.”

The bridge is scheduled for extensive maintenance work in the next few years, but current plans do not include any additions or improvements to the pedestrian crossing. Walking Saskatoon has been talking to City Councillors and planners, and several plans have been drawn up to improve the pedestrian crossing. One calls for wide walkways on both sides of the bridge, while the other would widen the existing walkway and provide a higher divider. Both proposals would come with a significantly lower price tag than the current long-term plan for a pedestrian bridge and would further the City’s goal to support active transportation. The advocacy group plans to take its proposal to the June 12 meeting of the City of Saskatoon’s Standing Committee on Transportation.

Pedestrian Beg Buttons 
Have you ever stood at a crossing and wondered why there’s a green light for vehicles but the signage for pedestrians says Don’t Walk? The signalling mismatch is caused by beg buttons; pedestrians need to hit the button to get a walk signal and extend the amount of time available to cross the street. The problem is that nobody knows how the walk signals work and they only affect some crossings. You’ll get a walk signal in downtown Saskatoon without pressing a button. If you want to cross Broadway Avenue, you’ll have to press the button. On top of that, you have to press the button at just the right time, or it won’t work.

“Beg buttons probably have a place on streets with lower pedestrian traffic but for corridors with heavy pedestrian traffic (Broadway, Downtown, College Drive, etc.) they should be eliminated and pedestrians should be able to count on consistent crossing lights and times. Edmonton is already in the process of doing this, recommending in three separate reports for either the full elimination of beg lights or, at the least, their elimination on major shopping corridors.” 


Walking Saskatoon & Sidewalks of Regina 
Walking Saskatoon welcomes new members. You can follow their activities on their website, Facebook, or Twitter.

If you live in Regina, you can follow Sidewalks of Regina on Facebook or on Twitter.

You can follow EcoFriendly Sask by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or by subscribing to our postings by email from the top right hand corner of our website.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

EcoSask News, June 6, 2017

Wolf Willow flowers

Upcoming Events
Migratory Bird Sanctuary Open House, June 8 (Last Mountain Lake)
Last Mountain Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary is celebrating its 130th anniversary from 2-6 pm at the Last Mountain Lake headquarters. There will be games and activities for kids, tours, and birthday cake.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Volunteer Orientation, June 9 (Regina)
Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan is holding a volunteer orientation session in Regina from 6-7:30 pm, June 9, at Cabela’s. Register with Sean at shonersquid20@yahoo.ca.

Campus Master Plan Community Engagement, June 13 (Saskatoon)
The University of Saskatchewan is developing a new master plan and is asking for input on topics such as natural areas, building design, transportation, outdoor landscapes. They’re holding a come and go at Amigos from 5-7 pm, June 13.

Butcher Birds and the Stewards of Saskatchewan, June 14 (Val Marie)
Ashley Vass, Nature Saskatchewan, will be talking about butcher birds and the Stewards of Saskatchewan at 7:30 pm, June 14, in Val Marie.

Small Space/Container Gardening, June 14 (Saskatoon)
The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre is hosting a workshop on small space/container gardening from 6-8:30 pm, June 14, at the Garden Patch.

The Pisim Project, June 14 (Saskatoon)
Watch The Pisim Project about high school students building an energy-efficient house at 1 pm, June 14, at the Frances Morrison Library.

Introduction to Beekeeping, June 15 (Regina)
Find out about beekeeping and how to start a honey bee colony at 7 pm, June 15, at Regina’s Central Adult Library.

Cycling Advocacy Task Force, June 15 (Regina)
Bike Regina is holding a public meeting at 7 pm, June 15, at the Artful Dodger Café, to discuss establishing an advocacy task force to help Regina become a world-class cycling city.

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

Looking Ahead
The City of Edmonton will be hosting the global Cities & Climate Change Conference in March 2018.

Wolf Willow flowers

Awards & Submissions
Rob Dumont Energy Management Awards (Saskatoon)
Nominations are now open for the 2017 Rob Dumont Energy Management Awards. Nominations for the lifetime achievement and education awards are due June 30. Nominations for the remaining award categories are due Sept. 7.

Urban Forestry & Urban Greening
Urban Forestry & Urban Greening magazine is inviting contributions for a special issue on Urban Food Forests – a potential contributor to increased livelihood in urban areas. Deadline is February 2018.

In the News
Toronto's Best Practices for Effective Lighting is a companion book to Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines

Urban wildlife photography has the power to reconnect people with nature by reminding them that we can and do coexist with it, even in the heart of the city”

An abandoned factory in Rome is now an urban wilderness and home to 62 species of birds

Calgary Zoo gives young burrowing owls a head start - back in the wild, they've mated and laid eggs

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).

Sunday, 4 June 2017

EcoFriendly Action Grants - May 2017


EcoFriendly Action Grants are intended to preserve and protect the natural environment. We offered financial support for 9 projects in May 2017 and were proud to increase our support for Saskatoon’s NatureCity Festival.

Natural Areas Clean-Up Grants 
Five organizations took advantage of our offer to raise funds for their organization by cleaning up a natural area in or around their community. A cheque for $500 was sent out once we received a photo of their clean-up crew and the garbage they collected.


Saskatoon Search and Rescue’s haul from Diefenbaker Park included two exercise bikes, furniture and car parts, several bags of food garbage, and other questionable items.

Grades 7-9 students at Ponteix School cleaned up the community park, playground, and campground.


Hudson Bay Park/Mayfair/Kelsey-Woodlawn Community Association brought together 81 people of all ages for a community clean-up.


South Nutana Park Community Association collected 3,140 kg of garbage.


Craik Sustainable Living Project is planning a clean-up; we look forward to receiving their report.

Action Grants 
In addition to the clean-up grants, we provided EcoFriendly Action Grants to the following groups:

Craik Communities in Bloom - $500 to plant a pollinator garden at the head of Craik’s main street

Ecology Camps for Kids - $1,000 to support their camps, which are designed to inspire a love of nature and teach children about the environment

Northeast Swale Watchers - $1,000 to support a Good Neighbours to the Swale community engagement campaign

Grade 5/6 class, Englefeld School - $500 to build birdhouses and set up bird feeders and benches for viewing birds


NatureCity Festival 
EcoFriendly Sask is an ongoing sponsor of Wild About Saskatoon’s NatureCity Festival.

This year, in addition to a $5,000 operational grant, we sponsored the EcoFriendly Sask NatureCity Awards and reception.

We also collaborated with Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation and Saskatoon Nature Society to sponsor a public talk and technical workshop on bird-friendly building design and a songbird window collision survey with Michael Mesure, FLAP Canada.

EcoFriendly Sask informs, encourages, and supports Saskatchewan environmental initiatives through an online publication and Action Grants. 

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


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

EcoSask News, May 30, 2017

20170520-DSC_9074

Upcoming Events
Tree Care, June 1 (Regina) 
Russell Eirich will discuss Tree Care: Disease, Fungus and Pest Control at a Regina Horticultural Society event, 7 pm, June 1.

Northeast Swale Phase I Development Hearing, June 2 (Saskatoon)
Meewasin Valley Authority is holding a public hearing at noon, June 2, at the Saskatoon Club to consider an application by Meewasin for the Northeast Swale Phase 1 Development (Trails and Fencing) and Chief Whitecap Master Plan Update.

Regina BioBlitz, June 9/10 (Regina) 
BioBlitz Canada 150 in Regina includes a wide variety of guided activities - from an evening insect walk and frog calling on June 9 to a plant walk, an urban ecology walk, and pond dipping/bug catching/worm charming on June 10.

Net Zero Ready Homes, June 7 (Saskatoon)
Errol Fisher, North Ridge Development Corp, will discuss net zero ready homes at the June 7 breakfast meeting of the Saskatchewan Energy Management Task Force.

Intro Composting, June 10 (Saskatoon)
Saskatoon Food Bank’s Garden Patch is hosting an introduction to composting from 12:30-2 pm, June 10.

Twisted Science, June 13 (Saskatoon) 
Timothy Caulfield will speak on Twisted Science: Policy and Public Perception in the Era of Misinformation from 10 am – 12 pm, June 13, at the University of Saskatchewan.

Canada geese goslings

Looking Ahead
ForestART, July 3 -7 (Ness Creek) 
ForestART is a 5-day art in nature event at Ness Creek, July 3-7. This year’s activities will include wild painting, blacksmithing, life lines drawing, nature and landscape photography, and encaustic. 

River Rendezvous 150, July 13-15 (Saskatoon)
Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin is hosting River Rendezvous 150, July 13-15, with voyageur canoes, film, dance, music, visual art, and storytelling. There will be free canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboard instruction; the premier of Ian Toews film, River Delta; and a Trails of 1885 paddle to Batoche.

Connecting Kids with Nature, Aug. 9-11 (North Battleford)
SaskOutdoors invites educators to participate in a two-night camping adventure to help in Connecting Kids with Nature, Aug. 9-11, North Battleford.

NCC Conservation Volunteer Program (SK)
The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Conservation Volunteers program provides great opportunities to get outside and do your part to protect or repair damage to the environment. There are 3 volunteer opportunities in June.
June 17, 9 am-3 pmBio Blitz at Saltcoats
June 24, 9 am-3 pmCheck out the View at Wideview
June 29, 9 am-3 pmBurdock Blitz (Fairy Hill)

Canada geese and goslings

Saskatoon Nature Society
Golden Eagles 
June 8, 7:30 am – St. Isadore-de-Bellevue Museum & Area
June 15, 7:30 am – Vision Quest and Bents
Retirees and partners who are interested in birds and the natural world are invited to participate in Golden Eagle field trips.

Other Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips 
June 6, 6:30-8:30 pm – Patterson Gardens Walk
June 10-11 – Ness Creek Field Trip
June 11, 1:30-5 pm – Butterfly Walk
June 14, 7-9 pm – Richard St. Barbe Baker Park
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 
Bike Regina has a bike repair/cyclist advice stand at the Regina Farmers’ Market.

The Fat Tire Club has received a WinterCity YXE grant to provide groomed trails for winter recreational opportunities at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

An Ontario community invested in fencing and culverts to protect its wildlife. Let’s do the same in Saskatoon’s Northeast Swale.

The City of Calgary has fenced off a green area to give a coyote family with new pups space, but residents are ignoring the fencing and signs, putting coyotes at risk.

New signs on the Arizona Trail highlight wildlife and point out that although you may never see bears, foxes, or turkeys, they leave plenty of signs. The images are drawn to scale in an effort to make identification of scat and tracks easier for Trail users.


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).

Sunday, 28 May 2017

2017 EcoFriendly Sask NatureCity Awards


The EcoFriendly Sask NatureCity Awards are a new initiative developed by Wild about Saskatoon for the 2017 NatureCity Festival and are sponsored by EcoFriendly Sask.

The awards were created to recognize the efforts of businesses, community initiatives, and individuals who are working to promote a sense of belonging and everyday connection between citizens and the nature within and surrounding Saskatoon.


Award Winners 
A huge round of applause for the winners of the 2017 EcoFriendly Sask NatureCity Awards:

Business 
Blazing Star Wildflower Seed Company – a family business supplying prairie gardeners with Saskatchewan-grown wildflowers

“A lot of our customers buy our seeds or plants because it reminds them of the native prairie they explored in their youth. It often gets them thinking about what has been lost and they are more likely to take steps to conserve what little native prairie remains.” 

Community 
Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation – teaching understanding, respect, and appreciation for our wild neighbours

“99% of the 625 plus animals that arrive on our doorstep for care have been impacted by humans. Our work is an attempt to ‘balance the scales’ of human impact.” 

Individual 
Louise Jones – working tirelessly to protect urban nature, particularly the Northeast Swale

“As citizens, we must challenge our leaders to ensure that the lofty ideals about living in harmony with nature are demonstrated by our actions.” 

Thank you for all that you do and all that you are - you help make Saskatoon a great place to live.


Prizes 
Award winners were offered a choice of experiential outdoor adventure prizes. Many thanks to the companies who donated the prizes – we’re so glad you are helping our community to enjoy nature.

Back40 Wilderness First Aid Training (20-hour wilderness first aid training) 

Branimir Gjetvaj Photography (2-hour nature photography training session) 

CanoeSki Discovery Company (12-hour Learn to Canoe Plus course) 

Chef Jenni (wild rose petal gathering and ice cream/vinaigrette making) 

Eco Glide Adventures (tandem bike ride) 

Prairie Lily Riverboat Cruises (river cruise for 4 people)

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

EcoSask News, May 23, 2017

turtle

Upcoming Events
Powering Up Canada Book Launch, May 23 (Saskatoon)
Attend the launch of Powering Up Canada: The history of power, fuel, and energy from 1600 edited by R.W. Sandwell from 4-6 pm, May 23, at the Hose and Hydrant Brewing Company.

Fix and Release, May 27 (Yorkton)
View Fix and Release, a short film about the turtles that are nursed back to health at the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre at 11:45 am, May 27, at the Yorkton Film Festival.

Electric Cars, May 27 (Swift Current)
See a Tesla and learn all about electric cars at 1 pm, May 27, at Swift Current Branch Library.

Wildlife Rescue, May 28 (Saskatoon)
Volunteer with Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan and join Saskatoon’s duck team. A training session will be held on May 28 from 1-4 pm.

Nature Saskatchewan Photo Exhibit, May 29-June 23 (Prince Albert) 
Nature Saskatchewan is hosting a photography display by Martin Phillips and Morley Maier at SUNTEP May 29-June 23. The images have been integrated into the post-secondary biology program to show young teachers how they can incorporate images of wildlife into their curricula to bring ecology, anatomy, and art alive.

Chaplin Lake Shorebird Festival, June 2-3 (Chaplin Lake) 
Book a tour or enjoy a fundraising dinner at the Chaplin Lake Shorebird Festival, June 2 and 3.


Nature Regina Field Trips 
June 3, 8:30 am – A.E. Wilson Park Early Summer Discoveries
June 17, 4:30/7:30 am – Breeding Bird Atlas Square Bash! Fairy Hills and Hwy 99
Check Nature Regina’s website for full details and updated information.

Looking Ahead 
BioBlitz, June 9-10 (Regina) 
To celebrate Canada's 150, Nature Saskatchewan has partnered with the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Wascana Centre, and the Saskatchewan Science Centre to host a BioBlitz in Wascana Park on June 9 and 10. Volunteers and expert naturalists are needed to help with the event.

Rewild the Child Day Camp, July 4-7 (Saskatoon) 
Elizabeth Bekolay, LichenNature, is offering a Rewild the Child Day Camp from July 4-7. Mornings will be spent hiking the river valley with skill building, games, and nature observation in the afternoons.

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

Black bear

In the News
The human inhabitants of Alberta’s Bow Valley are working hard to co-habit peacefully with their wild neighbours by removing attractants, protecting and creating wildlife corridors, and by learning to be wild smart [video].

From fish to butterflies - roadsides are a huge opportunity for wildlife conservation.

The Province of Saskatchewan has picked a preferred route for the Saskatoon Freeway. Unfortunately, it still crosses the Meewasin Northeast Swale. Highways ministry spokesman Doug Wakabayashi says the Northeast Swale Watchers will be consulted as the project moves forward: “It’s an environmentally sensitive area and we have an obligation to protect environmentally sensitive land.” Let's hold them to that promise.

“So, what do we do to begin reversing the addictive cycle of over consumption? One place to start is with the next generation whom we are currently raising.”

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 May 2017

Birds in Real Danger - Find Out How You Can Help - May 24 & 26

Red-winged blacbird singing

398 migrating birds crashed into a high-rise building in Galveston, Texas, two weeks ago – 395 died. That didn’t need to happen. Bird-friendly lighting and design can minimize the problem, and early morning patrols by caring volunteers can rescue and perhaps save injured birds.

Jan Shadick, Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation, is determined to help protect the birds that live and migrate through Saskatoon. After speaking out in favour of bird-friendly building design guidelines in 2016, she has set up Birds in Real Danger, Saskatoon as a volunteer group similar to FLAP Canada and has invited Michael Mesure, FLAP’s Executive Director, to visit Saskatoon during NatureCity Festival.

FLAP Canada works to safeguard migratory birds in the urban environment through education, policy development, research, rescue, and rehabilitation. Michael will be leading a technical workshop for developers and building managers as well as an early morning walk around downtown Saskatoon to identify building hazards and rescue any injured birds.


The public is invited to find out how we as individuals and businesses can minimize bird injuries and deaths at 7 pm, Wednesday, May 24, in the Frances Morrison Library auditorium. Everyone is welcome at this free event.


Further Information:
Bird experts call for community action after 398 birds crash into Galveston building
River Landing Proposal = Bird Hazard 
Wanted: Early Morning Bird Lovers
FLAP Canada
Bird Rescue

Michael Masure’s visit to Saskatoon is sponsored by Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation, Saskatoon Nature Society, and EcoFriendly Sask.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

EcoSask News, May 16, 2017

sparrow bath

Upcoming Events
Queen of the Sun, May 17 (Regina) 
Watch Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us? at Cinema Politica, 7 pm, May 17.

Tree ID, May 23 (Moose Jaw)
Take a walk through Crescent Park at 5:30 pm, May 23, and learn how to identify and understand the importance of the most common trees (Moose Jaw Public Library).

NatureCity Festival, May 23-28 (Saskatoon) 
EcoFriendly Sask is a proud sponsor of Wild about Saskatoon’s NatureCity Festival. You’ll find a full list of over 50 activities on the Festival Events Calendar.


Seed Starting Party, May 24 (Saskatoon)
Kids are invited to a seed starting party at 6 pm, May 24, at the Dr. Freda Ahenakew Branch Library.

Looking Ahead
Petroglyphs Lifeways & Land Festival, June 2/3 (St. Victor)
There will be tours of the petroglyphs and Missouri Couteau Escarpment, a Monarch butterfly release, speakers, displays, and a supper at the Petroglyphs Lifeways and Land Festival, June 2-3, in St. Victor.

Wilderness Navigation & Orienteering Course, June 4 (Saskatoon) 
CanoeSki is offering a one-day wilderness navigation and orienteering course on June 4.

Compost Day, June 8 (Saskatoon) 
Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council is holding a compost field day on June 8 in Saskatoon.

Saskatoon Nature Society
Golden Eagles 
May 18, 7:30 am – Warblers in the Borden Area
May 25, 7:30 am – Shorebirds in Perdue Area
Retirees and partners who are interested in birds and the natural world are invited to participate in Golden Eagle field trips.

Other Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips 
May 18, 5-7 pm – Spring Picnic at Meewasin Park
May 23, 12:15-1:15 pm – Mendel Riverbank Bird Walk
May 23 & 30, 7-9:15 pm – Birdwatching for Beginners
May 26 & June 15, 7-9:15 pm – Wildflower Identification 101
May 28, 10 am- 4 pm – Shorebird Driving Trip to Radisson Lake
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

Urban Forestry
SOS Elms Coalition is supporting Ifeanyi Chiedo, a Master’s Student in the School of Environment and Sustainability, who is studying how the City of Saskatoon can better protect its urban forest.

If you’re interested in urban trees, you may want to follow Urban Forestry & Urban Greening on Facebook. And take a look at the City of Vancouver’s Urban Forest Strategy with its goal of planting 150,000 trees by 2020. The City of Coquitlam’s tree management bylaw covers residential trees and takes into consideration the size of the tree, where it’s located (e.g. slope or protected riparian area), and replacement trees. We published an article about Saskatoon's urban forest in 2016.


In the News 
Bears and coyotes are now our neighbours. They're adapting to their new environment - so must humans.

When trees die, so do people.

When did birds start migrating? How have their routes evolved? The evolution of bird migration.

Surface parking lots represent an extraordinary opportunity - to lower the heat, encourage families to live downtown, and increase real estate values. 

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 May 2017

EcoSask News, May 9, 2017

trees flowering

Upcoming Events
Bike to Work Week, May 15-19 (Saskatoon) 
This year’s first Bike to Work Week, May 15-19, offers daily commuter stations, a bicycle scavenger hunt, bicycling north send-out, and a bike rave.

Watching Wildlife in PA National Park, May 16 (Saskatoon) 
David Henry will talk about his book Watching Wildlife in Prince Albert National Park (book review), at 7 pm, May 16, at the Frances Morrison Library as part of the Sustainable Speaker Series.

Textile Waste and Recycling, May 17 (Saskatoon) 
What happens to unused clothing and how can we keep textiles out of our landfills? Find out more about textile waste and recycling from 2-4 pm, May 17, in Saskatoon.

Permaculture Saskatchewan AGM, May 17 (Saskatoon) 
Permaculture Saskatchewan is holding its annual general meeting at 7 pm, May 17. Guest speaker Steven Wiig will talk about the Oltumo Maasai Project.

Saskatoon Seed Library, May 17 (Saskatoon) 
Learn about seed harvesting, seed insecurity, and the Saskatoon Seed Library at 7 pm, May 17, at the Cliff Wright Branch Library.

Spring Bird Count, May 20 (Regina) 
Naturalists are relaunching Regina’s Spring Bird Count. Meet at 7:30 am, May 20, in front of the Legislature. All skill levels are welcome; each group will be led by a knowledgeable birder.

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


We are delighted to be an ongoing sponsor of Saskatoon’s NatureCity Festival. This year’s Festival Calendar of Events is amazing! 

In the News 
"we humans have created near immortality, not for ourselves, but for our supermarket food wrappings"

A neighbourhood flyways program and an urban bird treaty - great ideas from Seattle, Washington 

Vancouver is currently reaping the benefits of a green building policy. Let’s hope Saskatchewan cities follow their lead.

Here are some ideas for getting people to stop using disposable coffee mugs.

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, 2 May 2017

EcoSask News, May 2, 2017

chipmunk

Upcoming Events
Recognition Awards, May 3 (Hafford)
The Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development in Saskatchewan is presenting awards to 25 projects on May 3 in Hafford.

Breeding Bird Atlas Workshop, May 7 (Regina) 
Find out how to collect data for the Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas in Regina from 10 am – 4 pm, May 7.

Bees, May 10 (Regina)
Find out why we need bees and what we can do to help them from an experienced beekeeper from 7 – 8 pm, May 10, at the Connaught Branch, Regina Public Library.

Nature Moose Jaw AGM, May 12
Nature Moose Jaw is holding its annual general meeting at 7 pm, May 12, at 510 Main Street North.

Build Your Own Rain Barrel, May 12 (Herbert)
Join the Swift Current Creek Watershed Stewards at 7 pm, May 12, in Herbert, and build your own rain barrel.

Great Canadian Birdathon, May 13 (Regina)
Join Nature Regina for the Great Canadian Birdathon in Wascana Park from 7 am – 4 pm, May 13.

International Migratory Bird Day, May 13 (Last Mountain Lake)
Nature Saskatchewan will be hosting International Migratory Bird Day activities and the official launch of the Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas from 11 am, May 13, at the Last Mountain Bird Observatory, Last Mountain Regional Park. (updated - May 3/17)

Wildlife Rehab Banquet, May 13 (Saskatoon)
Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation is holding a fundraising banquet on May 13 with entertainment by Jody Peters.

Breeding Bird Atlas Workshop, May 13 (Yorkton) 
Yellowhead Flyway Birding Trail is hosting a breeding bird atlas workshop near Yorkton from 9:30 am – 2:30 pm, May 13.

Beekeeping Workshop, May 13 (Prince Albert)
Prince Albert Parkland Permaculture Guild is hosting a beekeeping workshop from 10 am – 4 pm, May 13.

Compost Workshop, May 13 (Saskatoon) 
Join Waste Not yxe and the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council for a composting workshop from 10 am – noon, May 13.

Household Hazardous Waste Day, May 13 (Saskatoon)
You can dispose of household hazardous waste in Saskatoon from 9 am – 3:30 pm, May 13.

SOS Elms AGM, May 14 (Saskatoon)
SOS Elms Coalition is holding its AGM at 1:30 pm, May 14, at the Marr Residence.

Nature Regina AGM, May 15 (Regina)
Join Nature Regina for their annual general meeting from 7 – 9:30 pm, May 15. Following a strawberry social, Kathy Hamre, Regina birder/photographer, will present an overview of Arizona's Patagonia Lake and other desert ecosystems.

chipmunk

Looking Ahead
Nature Saskatchewan Spring Meet, June 2-4 (Candle Lake)
Nature Saskatchewan’s Spring Meet will be held at Candle Lake from June 2-4. Take a geology tour, help band owls, find out about bat vocalization, and more.

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

In the News
A solution may be on the horizon for Quill Lakes flooding.

Two University of Saskatchewan water researchers are part of an international team that has discovered that global reserves of underground water once assumed to be pure are vulnerable to contamination. 

“When you photograph an insect up close for the details you need to ID them, they become more than just a ‘bug’ . . . . You realize it has a face. It has eyes. It’s looking at you. It’s got beautiful designs on its body.”

Untitled

Useful resources from Environment Lethbridge: a Sustainable Events Guide and 50+ Ways to Host a Sustainable Event: Tips and Ideas for Planning Green Events

Whether it’s sun screen or beauty products, it’s important to consider how our purchases impact the environment.

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, 27 April 2017

Distance Learning Students Go Winter Camping


EcoFriendly Sask was pleased to provide Sun West School Division’s Distance Learning Centre with an EcoFriendly Action Grant to help their Outdoor Education Club have a more sustainable winter camping trip. 

"At the Sun West Distance Learning Centre, we started up an Outdoor Ed Club for the first time ever. The first event we planned was a Winter Camping Trip that took place March 14-15 at Elk Ridge Resort. The purpose for this trip was to allow our Distance Ed students the chance to connect and build relationships with other DLC students and their teachers while also letting them discover a variety of outdoor activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. The weather for outdoor activities could not have been better!

"Our students arrived via their own transportation and we spent two days outside participating in winter hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, nature photography, curling, ice skating, a scavenger hunt, tobogganing, and roasting our lunch over the fire. We also had two presenters from Sundogs come up and give a presentation on dog sledding! They even brought one of their sled dogs, Aster, and their dog sled for us to try out. At the end of the day we took advantage of the waterslide, hot tub, and pool inside at the Elk Ridge Resort to relax before hitting the sack.


"We had many activities planned and had a hard time getting students to move onto the next activity because they were so engaged. We all tried something new during the trip! We shared many laughs together especially over our attempts at curling on the pond, falling down while cross-country skiing on the trails, and tobogganing down the hill in tractor tire tubes.

"When we needed a break from the outdoor elements we came inside the cabin and baked bannock, made jam, and whipped butter ourselves. We also did a relaxing ‘soap stone carving’ activity where we warmed up and carved our soaps into little figurines. All activities were intended to celebrate outdoor education and bond together as a group.


"With the grant money that was provided to us by EcoFriendly Sask we were able to buy reusable camping equipment to completely eliminate the need for paper cups, plates, and utensils. This was an investment that we will use year to year as we plan to do more winter camping excursions and plan a spring canoe trip as well. We also purchased a few outdoor-related clothing from a local thrift shop as some students were not able to bring the clothing they needed to be outdoors. This has helped us to make a sustainable club for years and years to come.

"Thank you so much for providing us with this grant money. The students and teachers had a phenomenal experience and we are already counting down the days to our next big adventure together!"


Tuesday, 25 April 2017

EcoSask News, April 25, 2017

larch flower

Upcoming Events
Meditations on a Prairie Landscape, May 1-June 30 (Saskatoon)
John Penner’s photography exhibit, Meditations on a Prairie Landscape, is on display at The Eye Gallery from May 1-June 30.

SK Master Naturalist Program, May 3 (webinar)
Join Chet Neufeld, Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan, at noon, May 3, for a webinar on the Saskatchewan Master Naturalist Program (SK-PCAP Native Prairie Speaker Series).

Saskatoon’s GHG Emissions, May 3 (Saskatoon)
Natasha Spence will report on the City of Saskatoon’s GHG emissions accounting at the May 3 meeting of the Saskatchewan Energy Management Task Force.

Identifying Local Wildflowers, May 4 (Saskatoon)
Join Renny Grilz at Wild Birds Unlimited at 7 pm, May 4, for help in identifying wildflowers of the Saskatoon area.

Subatlantic Video Essay, May 4-July 5 (Regina)
Check out Ursula Biemann’s science fictional video essay on the changing environment from May 4-July 5 in the Central Library Mediatheque, Regina.

Compost Workshop, May 6 (Prince Albert)
Prince Albert Parkland Permaculture Guild is hosting a compost workshop from 10 am-12:30 pm, May 6.

Jane’s Walk (Regina, Saskatoon)
Find out about urban water issues and gardening at 6:30 pm, May 5Saskatoon.

Join a guided walk of the Northeast Swale at 8 pm, May 5, Saskatoon.

Join Nature Conservancy of Canada for a walk through Wascana Marsh and learn about urban ecosystems at 7 pm, May 6, Regina.

From boulevard gardens to a parklet, explore how residents are bringing life back into roadways at 1:30 pm, May 7, Saskatoon.

larch flower

NCC Conservation Volunteer Program, May (SK)
The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Conservation Volunteers program provides opportunities to get outside and protect or repair damage to the environment. There are 3 volunteer opportunities in May in Saskatchewan.
May 6, 9 am-3 pmMay the Forage Be With You Part Two – Meetup at Meeting Lake 3

May 26, 9 am-3 pmPeeping it Real at Reed Lake (Part 1)

May 27, 9 am-3 pmPeeping it Real at Reed Lake (Part 2)

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
May 6, 9 am-3 pm – Waterfowl Outing to Dundurn Area
May 7, May 14, May 21, May 28, 7-9:30 am – MVA Trail Bird Walk
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
The City of St. Louis is encouraging residents to connect with nature with a poster listing places and opportunities.

Most businesses on urban streets make their money from pedestrians and cyclists.

What kind of education are we giving our kids if we, the adults in their lives, don't know much and can't share about the natural history of where we live?

The March for Science was the first step. We need to follow through in our personal lives as well as in our community.

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, 20 April 2017

Natural Areas Clean-up Grants 2017

American Robin

Raising money for your club, sports team, or voluntary organization? EcoFriendly Sask is offering a limited number of $500 grants to clubs and voluntary organizations for cleaning up a natural area in or around their community.

Apply by sending us an email telling us about your group and your clean-up plans. We’ll let you know whether or not your grant application is approved.

Groups that are approved for a grant will be sent a cheque once we’ve received a photograph of your clean-up crew and the garbage you’ve collected.

See also:
Meewasin Annual Clean Up Campaign

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

EcoFriendly Sask informs, encourages, and supports Saskatchewan environmental initiatives through an online publication and Action Grants. EcoFriendly Action Grants are intended to prevent, reduce, or repair damage to the environment. 

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


Proud to partner with Leave No Trace Canada, a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and inspiring responsible outdoor recreation.