Tuesday, 15 August 2017

EcoSask News, August 15, 2017

pelicans on the river

Upcoming Events
Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count, Aug. 1-Sept. 15 (Canada)
Help Friends of the Earth find out more about Canada’s bees by participating in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count from Aug. 1-Sept. 15.

Household Hazardous Waste Disposal, Aug. 19 (Saskatoon)
You can dispose of household hazardous waste in Saskatoon from 9 am–3:30 pm on Aug. 19.

Solar Eclipse, Aug. 21 (Saskatoon)
Wanuskewin Heritage Park will provide interpretation and protective eyewear for the partial solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 10:30 am-1:30 pm.

Last Mountain Lake Tours, Aug. 21 (Saskatoon/Last Mountain Lake)
Wanuskewin Heritage Park is offering hourly guided tours of Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area & Migratory Bird Sanctuary on Aug. 21, 10 am-4 pm.

Digital Planetarium, Aug. 21 (Saskatoon)
Wanuskewin Heritage Park is hosting a drop-in Digital Planetarium from 9 am-2 pm, Aug. 21. The whole family will have an opportunity to learn about the universe from Cree Science Facilitator Wilfred Buck.

Why Nocturnal Preserves are Needed in Canada, Aug. 22 (webinar)
PCAP-SK is hosting a noon-hour webinar on Aug. 22 regarding Engaging Communities in Nocturnal Conservation: Why Nocturnal Preserves are Needed in Canada.

Vermicomposting, Aug. 26 (Saskatoon)
The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre is hosting a workshop on vermicomposting from 12:30-2:30 pm, Aug. 26, at the Garden Patch.

Clean Up at Key West, Aug. 26 (Regina)
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. Join NCC at Key West from 9 am-3 pm, Aug. 26.

pelicans on the river

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Golden Eagles
Aug. 24, 7:30 am – Porter Lake and St. Denis 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
Aug. 20, 2-4 pm – Bird Walk, Gabriel Dumont Park
Aug. 26, 8-11 am – Warbler Walk, Forestry Farm Zoo
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 Canadian Journal of Environmental Education is now open access and available online.

The Canadian Youth Energy Vision Project is looking for 10 Youth Champions from across Canada to host a dialogue in their city to gather the ideas, input and thoughts of youth, and join Canadian Energy Sector leaders for the Generation Energy Summit in Winnipeg from Oct 10-12.

According to the study, Jobs for Tomorrow – Canada’s Building Trades and Net Zero Emissions, a low-carbon economy could create almost four million direct building trades jobs by 2050 – and that’s a conservative estimate. These jobs include boilermakers, electrical workers, insulators, ironworkers, and masons.

NASA lays out a 14-point plan for the best solar eclipse viewing party ever.

Let’s talk irrigation because we’re not managing our water well.

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, 8 August 2017

EcoSask News, August 8, 2017

chickadee

Upcoming Events
Nature Days, Aug. 8 & 10 (Melville) 
The Yellowhead Flyway Birding Trail Association will be sharing presentations and games about Saskatchewan wildlife with kids ages 5-15 at the Melville Public Library, Aug. 8 and 10, from 1:30-3:30 pm.

Wildlife Rehab Volunteer Orientation, Aug. 13 (Prince Albert) 
The Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan is hosting a volunteer orientation session in Prince Albert from 1-2:30 pm, Aug. 13.

Vegetable Storage & Longer Lasting Produce, Aug. 17 (Saskatoon) 
The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre is hosting a workshop on vegetable storage and longer-lasting produce from 7-9 pm, Aug. 17, at the Garden Patch.

Preserving Your Harvest, Aug. 19 (Regina) 
Edible Landscapes Permaculture Design and Consulting is hosting a workshop on Preserving Your Harvest from 1-5 pm, Aug. 19.

chickadee

Looking Ahead
Family Paddle, Aug. 25 (Regina)
SaskOutdoors is organizing a Family Paddle: Learn to Canoe with Kids from 2-5 pm, Aug. 25, in Regina.

Wildlife Society Conservation Expo, Aug. 31 (Regina) 
Wildlife professionals are invited to a networking poster session and mixer organized by the Saskatchewan chapter of The Wildlife Society from 3-6 pm, Aug. 31.

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

In the News
Germany’s transition from coal to renewable energy offers lessons for Saskatchewan.

We need to rethink the whole crazy transport system: “We tell ourselves that we cherish efficiency. Yet we have created a transport system whose design principle is profligacy. Metal carriages (that increase in size every year), each carrying one or two people, travel in parallel to the same destinations. Lorries shifting identical goods in opposite directions pass each other on 2000-mile journeys. Competing parcel companies ply the same routes, in vans that are largely empty. We could, perhaps, reduce our current vehicle movements by 90% with no loss of utility, and a major gain in our quality of life.”

Will wetlands be preserved as the City of Saskatoon develops new neighbourhoods?

Urban green roofs can become bird-roosting and bird-watching havens. 17 species have been spotted on the Javits Convention Center’s roof in New York City.

“many long established notions around nature and wilderness are disturbed by the idea of the Anthropocene. We can’t hope to leave nature alone and ‘untouched’ by human presence if our presence is ubiquitous. Nowhere can be reserved and set aside if the whole planet is changing.”

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, 1 August 2017

EcoSask News, August 1, 2017

gopher (Richardsons ground squirrel)

Upcoming Events
Build a Compost Tumbler, Aug. 12 (Saskatoon) 
The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre is hosting a workshop on building a compost tumbler from 12:30-2 pm, Aug. 12, at the Garden Patch.

Disruption, Aug. 16 (Regina) 
Cinema Politica is screening the film Disruption at 7 pm, Aug. 16. Disruption explores why we do so little about climate change when we know so much.

Summer Star Party, Aug. 23-27 (Cypress Hills) 
Observe the sun and the stars during the Royal Astronomical Society’s annual Summer Star Party at Cypress Hills Provincial Park’s dark-sky campground and observatory from Aug. 23-27.

Looking Ahead 
Nature Saskatchewan Fall Meet, Sept 29-Oct. 1 (Elbow) 
Nature Saskatchewan is holding its Fall Meet in Elbow from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. There will be a tour of the Gardiner Dam and a Sand Dunes Hike.

U of S Sustainability Networking Fair, Oct. 12 (Saskatoon) 
The U of S Office of Sustainability is hosting a networking fair from 4:30-6:30 pm, Oct. 12, so students can meet businesses and organizations involved in sustainability initiatives. The event is being held in conjunction with the UN Sustainable Development Goals Youth Training Workshop.

UN Sustainable Development Goals, Oct. 12 (Saskatoon)
The USSU Sustainability Committee and the Office of Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, are hosting a UN Sustainable Development Goals training seminar from 6:30-9:30 pm, Oct. 12.

Waste Reduction Week, Oct. 16-22 (Canada) 
The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council urges individuals and groups to plan a Waste Reduction Week (Oct. 16-22) activity.

gopher (Richardsons ground squirrel)

Nature Regina Field Trips
Aug. 19, 9 am-12 pm – Wandering Wascana Looking for Warblers
Check Nature Regina’s website for full details and updated information.

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips 
Golden Eagles 
Aug. 10, 7:30 am – Shore Birds
Aug. 17, 7:30 am – Ferries on the South Saskatchewan north of Saskatoon
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 
Aug. 10, 6:30-8 pm – Botany Walk, MVA Trail
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
"we are financing growth, in part, by irreversibly liquidating natural resources essential to our own long-term survival"

“If we can’t see the stars, how will we know our place in the universe?” Five tips for stargazing with children.

Canadians need better protection from oilsands cleanup liabilities by accounting for the costs now.

In the Netherlands, kids can borrow skates, skateboards, and bicycles.

“Peer-reviewed research shows Canada’s methane emissions are as much as 250 per cent higher than reported by industry and government,” said David Suzuki Foundation science and policy director Ian Bruce. “The responsible course is to move urgently and enact strong regulations to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector and accelerate the transition to a clean energy 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. 

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

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

EcoSask News, July 25, 2017

rabbit

Upcoming Events
How are Campuses Harnessing Renewable Energy?, July 26 (webinar)
According to a new report from the University of New Hampshire, campuses are becoming more energy-efficient, but their progress is insufficient to meet climate action goals. A free webinar, from 3-4 pm, July 26, will discuss strategies to get higher education on track to tackle climate change.

T. Rex Summer Gala, July 29 (Eastend)
Out-smart T.rex Discovery Centre’s paleontologists and scientists at the T. Rex Summer Gala fundraiser on July 29 in Eastend.

Insects: Friend or Foe, Aug. 8 (Saskatoon)
The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre is hosting two workshops on insects: friend or foe on Aug. 8 at the Garden Patch – for kids from 12-2 pm and for everyone from 3-5 pm.

Looking Ahead
Nature Grandparenting, Sept. 5-Oct. 10 (Saskatoon)
Wildernook Fresh Air Learning will be running a Nature Grandparenting program on Tuesday mornings from Sept. 5 to Oct. 10.

Introduction to Passive House High Performance Buildings, Sept. 30 (Saskatoon)
Introduction to Passive House High Performance Buildings, providing an overview of the core principles of Passive House design and building energy efficiency regulations in Canada, is being offered in Saskatoon on Sept. 30.

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

Aphrodite Fritillary butterfly

Help Wanted
Library of Things #yxe is looking for building supplies and builders to help set up a lending library.

In the News
All about crows - Cheetos, sunbathing, and funerals

"our destructive human era could be followed by an explosion of diversity – just as previous ages of extinction gave birth to new opportunities in the aftermath" [book review: Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature is Thriving in an Age of Extinction]

A new version of the California Academy of Sciences’ iNaturalist app uses artificial intelligence to offer immediate identifications for photos of any kind of wildlife

“A forward-looking approach to conservation could also involve finding ways for non-consumptive pastimes to fund state wildlife agencies, perhaps through a tax on camping gear, much in the way that taxes on hunting supplies now do. At present wildlife agencies ‘depend almost completely upon hunters and fishermen to fund their programs,’ says Elbroch. ‘This is not only short-sighted. It’s poor economics.”

UK households are applying more sustainable practices to their wardrobe, and it’s helping 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).

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

EcoSask News, July 18, 2017

Cedar Waxwing parent feeding juvenile

Upcoming Events
Science in the Park, July 18 (Regina)
Harbour Landing and the Saskatchewan Science Centre are hosting Science in the Park for kids from 6-8 pm, July 18. There will be a Superheroes of Sustainability stage show at 7 pm.

Bee-Friendly Planting Bee, July 21 (Saskatoon) 
Help re-create habitat for indigenous pollinators in a planting bee at the Prairie Habitat Garden from 9 am-5 pm, July 21.

Prioritizing Conservation in Saskatchewan, July 24 (webinar)
Kylie Garchinski will discuss the Nature Conservancy of Canada: Prioritizing Conservation in Saskatchewan in a noon-hour webinar on July 24.

Northeast Swale Bioblitz, July 26 (Saskatoon)
Meewasin Valley Authority is hosting a bioblitz at the Northeast Swale from 5 am-9 pm, July 26. Activities will include grassland bird point counts, wetland macro-invertebrate sampling, insect traps and sweeps, small mammal traps, plant inventories, ecological health assessments.


Carbonless Concert Jam Night, July 29 (Sask)
Join Jay Maillet and friends for a Carbonless Concert Jam Night from 6:30-9 pm, July 29. Everyone is invited to participate.

Family-Friendly Summer EcoTour, Aug. 4-5 (Last Mountain Lake)
SaskOutdoors is planning a Family-Friendly Summer Ecotour at the north end of Last Mountain Lake, Aug. 4-5.

Looking Ahead
Nature Grandparenting, Sept. 5-Oct. 10 (Saskatoon)
Wildernook Fresh Air Learning will be running a Nature Grandparenting program on Tuesday mornings from Sept. 5 to Oct. 10.

An Evening with Jane Goodall, Sept. 30 (Saskatoon)
Dr. Jane Goodall will describe her extraordinary scientific breakthroughs in animal behaviour and her journey to becoming one of the world’s most prominent and active conservationists from 7-10 pm, Sept. 30, in Saskatoon.

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Golden Eagles
July 27, 8 am – The Quill Lakes
Retirees and partners who are interested in birds and the natural world are invited to participate in Golden Eagles field trips.
Other Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
July 23, 8 am-4:30 pm – Shorebird Trip
July 30, 2-4:30 pm – Botany Walk, Sutherland Beach
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 

House Wren nestlings

In the News
Nelson, BC, is home to Canada’s first municipally-owned solar farm.

The City of Calgary is looking for a new strategy to help residents better co-exist with coyotes. In most cases of human-coyote conflict, it’s the actions of humans that are the primary cause.

On a finite planet, endless economic growth is not an option.

Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children, sell your car, take fewer flights, and eat a vegetarian diet.

Coca Cola sells more than 100 billion single-use plastic bottles a year. Why aren’t they 100% recycled plastic?

Since we can’t make flying sustainable right now, we need to make the best possible use of the planes that we have, cutting emissions where we can. Limiting the number of luxury seats is one of the easiest things we can do.

To be efficient and fair, a transportation system must serve diverse demands, including the needs of people who for any reason cannot, should not, or prefer not to drive.

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, 13 July 2017

Here Be Dragons - and Damsels!

Dragonfly


Darting over the water, resting on a rock – there is an abundance of dragonflies and damselflies at this time of year. But don’t take them for granted. These aerial acrobats are anything but commonplace. 

Dragonflies are insects with long bodies, big eyes, and transparent wings. They range in size from ½ an inch to 5 inches with wings from 2-5 inches across. Dragonflies were one of the first species to evolve over 300 million years ago. At that time, they were much larger with a wingspan of up to 2 feet.

Dragonflies are impressive fliers with two sets of wings that can operate independently or in unison. They can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, flying up and down, forward and backward, or hovering like a helicopter. They need warmth to fly, however, and will often land when the sun goes behind a cloud.

dragonfly


Compared to other insects, dragonflies have extraordinary vision, helping them to avoid in-flight collisions. Their large eyes take up most of their head and they can see in every direction except right behind them.

Dragonflies live near water where they can be sure to find plenty of mosquitoes and gnats. They capture their insect prey in their legs, extending a long, hinged lower lip to eat it while still in flight.

Dragonflies lay their eggs on the surface of the water. The eggs hatch into naiads that have gills and stay underwater for 2-3 years.

Dragon or Damsel?
Dragonflies and damselflies are closely related, but there are some slight differences:
     Dragonflies spread their wings apart when resting; damselflies keep their wings together.
     Damselflies are smaller with slimmer bodies than dragonflies.
     The eyes on a damselfly are separated; on most dragonflies they touch.

Damselflies mating

Live in Saskatoon? 
Join the Saskatoon Nature Society from 1:30-4:30 pm, July 16, to look for dragonflies and damselflies at a nearby wetland.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

EcoSask News, July 11, 2017

flowers

Upcoming Events
LEED Building Tour & Networking Event, July 13 (Regina) 
Canada Green Building Council is offering a LEED building tour of the Mosaic Tower at Hill Centre III followed by a networking event from 5:15-6:15 pm, July 13.

Blue Gold: World Water Wars, July 19 (Regina) 
Cinema Politica is screening Blue Gold: World Water Wars at 7 pm, July 19, in Regina.

Operation Burrowing Owl 30th Anniversary Dinner, July 20 (Regina)
Join Operation Burrowing Owl as they celebrate their 30th anniversary with a dinner on July 20.

Rainwater Harvesting, July 22 (Regina) 
Learn how to install and maintain a rain barrel and use rainwater for all your gardening needs at Edible Landscapes' Rainwater Harvesting workshop from 1-4 pm, July 22, near Regina.

Bokashi Composting, July 22 (Saskatoon) 
The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre is hosting a workshop on bokashi composting from 12:30-2:30 pm, July 22, at the Garden Patch.

Walking Saskatoon, July 23 (Saskatoon) 
Walking Saskatoon is meeting from 1-2:30 pm, July 23, in the Brainsport Event Room. They’ll be talking with the Active Transportation Plan Coordinator about the state of the Plan.

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

flowers

In the News
The Ecological Citizen is an online peer-reviewed journal. It aims to advance ecological knowledge, champion Earth-centred action, and inspire ecocentric citizenship. Articles in the first issue cover Why Ecocentrism? The Ethical and the Practical Imperative and Wild Democracy: A Grassroots Vision to Transcend Capitalism.

"one aspect of urban nature remains underappreciated: wildness. Places where nobody is telling nature what to do. Where it’s not landscaped or improved or turned to human ends"

Where do we draw the line in conservation intervention projects when we are in the midst of an ever-evolving nature? 

Will the next generation of tires be made from dandelions?

This is how climate scepticism becomes climate cynicism: doubts about the evidence are replaced by doubts about the motives of the people using it. [long read but informative]

"advances in technology and battery storage are making the grid ever-more capable of accommodating wind and solar power" 

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, 6 July 2017

Leave No Trace Upon the Earth but Footprints and Echoes

White Pelicans taking off


“Leave no trace upon the earth but the footprints of your compassion and the echoes of your laughter.” Ann Oshiro-Kauwe 

Whether we’re hiking in the woods or along a river, it seems harmless to stick a pine cone in our pocket or throw an apple core into the bushes. And yet it’s not because if each and every person did the same thing, it would have a significant impact on our natural surroundings. Over 300,000 people visited Saskatchewan’s national parks in 2015/16. To ensure that our neighbours can also enjoy our wilderness areas, each of us needs to do our part to walk gently on the land and leave no trace.

Leave No Trace Canada is a national non-profit organization dedicated to building awareness, appreciation, and respect for our wildlands, and EcoFriendly Sask is one of their partners.


Leave No Trace Principles
Plan Ahead and Prepare (plan meals that reduce waste, hike in small groups, avoid wilderness travel during spring snow melt)

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces (stick to the trails, use established campsites when available)

Dispose of Waste Properly (bury or pack out human waste)

Leave What You Find (don’t tie tent guy lines to trees or turn over lichen-covered rocks)

Minimize Campfire Impacts (use a camp stove or a fire pan)

Respect Wildlife (observe wildlife from afar, keep food and garbage away from animals)

Be Considerate of Others (keep noise down, choose earth-toned clothing and gear to lessen visual impact)

sun spangled creek

Leave No Trace Skills
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has some additional ideas that you may not have thought of – from sleeping under the stars to cleaning your bicycle.

Even Biodegradable Camp Soap Can Pollute

Hammock Camping

Feminine Hygiene

Invasive Species and Cleaning Gear

Are You a Considerate Mountain Biker?

There Are Birds on Those Cliffs

Additional Resources
Outdoor Explorations in Saskatchewan

Adventure Smart

Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers

SaskOutdoors

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

EcoSask News, July 4, 2017

gull

Upcoming Events
Quill Lakes Public Info Session, July 11 (Fort Qu’Appelle)
WUQWATR is holding a public information session at 7 pm, July 11, to discuss the potential impact of the Quill Lakes on the Qu’Appelle Valley river system.

Garden Patch Bioblitz, July 12 (Saskatoon)
The Saskatoon Nature Society and the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre are holding a bioblitz at the Garden Patch from 7-9 pm, July 12.

Plant Diseases, Illnesses & Solutions, July 15 (Saskatoon)
The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre is hosting a workshop on plant diseases, illnesses & solutions from 2-4 pm, July 15, at the Garden Patch.

Household Hazardous Waste Day, July 15 (Saskatoon)
You can dispose of household hazardous waste in Saskatoon from 9 am – 3:30 pm on July 15.

Family Day at the Zoo, July 16 (Saskatoon)
The Family Day at the Zoo fundraiser, including entertainment, animal talks, and activities for children, will be held from 9 am-4 pm, July 16.

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 July.
July 12, 5:30-8:30 pmWest Parklands Open House (near Shellbrook)
July 14, 9 am-3 pmKick Up at Kettlehut (near Central Butte)
July 22, 9 am-3 pmMessy-EH? (near Alvena)

water strider

Nature Regina Field Trips
July 15, 8 am-4 pm – Buffalo Pound Wilderness Area
Check Nature Regina’s website for full details and updated information.

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Saskatoon Young Naturalists
Aug. 1, 6-9 pm – Peregrine Falcon Field Trip
Sept. 23, 9:30 am-1:30 pm – Sandhill Crane Field Trip
Oct. 4, 7:30-9:30 pm – Saw-whet Owl Field Trip
Space is limited; register early to avoid disappointment.
Golden Eagles
July 6, 7 am – Breeding Bird Atlas Square Bashing
July 13, 8 am – Search for Prairie Lilies
July 20, 8 am – MVA Trail Walk
Retirees and partners who are interested in birds and the natural world are invited to participate in Golden Eagle field trips.

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

In the News
I am the Saskatchewan River Delta covering 10,000 sq km and yet I receive little recognition and almost no protection

Vienna manages its residual waste entirely within city limits, using trash to keep thousands of citizens warm in winter

Indigenous Climate Action is working to bridge the gap between government strategies on climate change and Indigenous knowledge

We need to start treating climate change like a public health crisis

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, 27 June 2017

EcoSask News, June 27, 2017

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Upcoming Events
Prairie Agriculture Carbon Summit, July 13-14 (Saskatoon)
The Agriculture Producers Association of Saskatchewan is hosting a Prairie Agriculture Carbon Summit, July 13-14, in Saskatoon. Topics will include carbon pricing, carbon sequestration, fertilizer management, genomics, and economics.

Looking Ahead
Summer Star Party, Aug. 23-27 (Cypress Hills)
Observe the sun and the stars during the Royal Astronomical Society’s annual Summer Star Party at Cypress Hills Provincial Park’s dark-sky campground and observatory from Aug. 23-27.

Introduction to Passive House High Performance Buildings, Sept. 30 (Saskatoon)
Introduction to Passive House High Performance Buildings, an overview of the core principles of Passive House design and building energy efficiency regulations in Canada, is being offered in Saskatoon on Sept. 30.

Flowing Waters Conference, Oct. 17-19 (Leduc)
Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin and the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance are hosting their annual conference in Leduc, AB, Oct. 17-19. The theme is Flowing Waters: Water Quality and Transboundary Issues in the Saskatchewan River Basin.

Renewables in Remote Communities, Oct. 24-27 (Whitehorse)
Pembina Institute is hosting a Renewables in Remote Microgrids / Communities conference from Oct. 24-27 in Whitehorse.

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Saskatoon Young Naturalists
Aug. 24, 1-3 pm – Grasslands Hike
Sept. 23, 9:30 am-1:30 pm – Sandhill Crane Field Trip
Space is limited; register early to avoid disappointment

Other Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
July 8, 8:45 am-? – North American Buttefly Count
July 9, 1-4 pm – Botany Trip, Beaver Creek Conservation Area
July 15, 7am-5 pm – Douglas Park Sand Dunes Hike
July 16, 1:30-4:30 pm – Dragonfly & Damselfly Viewing
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 

Congratulations!
The SES Solar Co-operative now has 140 members and has installed 210 solar panels. “The Co-op’s latest solar install is at 615 Haskamp Street in Saskatoon. It involves an innovative partnership between SES Solar Co-operative, which owns the solar panels, local building owner Montgomery Agencies (who has provided a reinforced rooftop space for the installation), and 4 private businesses at the Haskamp Street site which will now receive the majority of their electricity from a near emissions-free solar energy source.”

butterfly

In the News
"The trucks picking up and delivering our goods make up nine per cent of Canada’s total emissions, and that number is projected to exceed passenger vehicle emissions by around 2030." Driving down freight emissions will require federal, provincial, and municipal cooperation.

The era of ownership is ending. "On-demand is about using things when we actually need them. It leads to the more effective use of resources."

Passive house construction is leaping from niche to mainstream. Here are 6 strategies for accelerating market transformation.

Managed collectively backyards could become more biodiverse landscapes. “What goes on in a yard is seen as a personal decision by homeowners. But all of those individual decisions add up. ‘We think it’s just our house, . . . But forty or fifty percent of a city is people’s yards. If you put us together and replicate it across the country, it’s a very large area.”

Rampant road building is having a shattering impact on wildlife. That’s why wildlife crossings are so important - watch 60 pronghorn navigate a road crossing for the first time.



Here’s why it’s time to stop punishing our soils with fertilizer.

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, 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).