Tuesday, 18 September 2018

EcoSask News, September 18, 2018

floating autumn leaves

Upcoming Events
Renewable Power, the Intelligent Choice AGM, Sept. 18 (Prince Albert)
There will be a presentation about the upcoming Smarter Science, Better Buildings exhibit at the Sept. 18 annual general meeting of Renewable Power, the Intelligent Choice.

Sustainability on Campus, Sept. 21 (Saskatoon)
Join the U of S Office of Sustainability from 12-1 pm or over a pint at 5 pm, every third Friday of the month.

Fall Hike, Sept. 22 (Moose Jaw) 
Join the Moose Jaw Nature Society on a fall hike starting at 10 am, Sept. 22.

Science Experiments for Kids, Sept. 22 (Regina)
Kids ages 7-12 can participate in some fun science experiments from 1-2 pm, Sept. 22, at the Albert Branch, Regina Public Library.

Carbonless Concert, Sept. 22 (Saskatoon)
Enjoy solar-powered live music from 6:30-9 pm at the Sept. 22 Carbonless Concert.

Fall Composting for Beginners, Sept. 23 (Regina)
Learn about composting in winter from 2-3 pm, Sept. 23, at the Sunrise Branch, Regina Public Library.

Autumn Plant Walk, Sept. 23 (Regina)
Join Edible Landscapes Permaculture Design on Sept. 23 to learn about edible and medicinal plants in the Regina area.

World Rivers Day, Sept. 23 (Saskatoon) 
Celebrate World Rivers Day from 12-5 pm, Sept. 23, at Beaver Creek Conservation Area - from tiger salamanders to oceans.

Beaver Creek Riparian Tour, Sept. 23 (Saskatoon)
Find out how to protect streams and creeks from 3:30-4:30 pm, Sept. 23.

Man of the Trees, Sept. 25 (North Battleford)
Paul Hanley will read from Man of the Trees: Richard St. Barbe Baker, the First Global Environmentalist from 7-8 pm, Sept. 25, in North Battleford.

Is NAFTA Locking in a High-Carbon Future? Sept. 25 (Prince Albert)
Find out how the North American Free Trade Agreement regulates oil and gas exports and how it could impact transitioning to a low-carbon future at 7 pm, Sept. 25.

floating autumn leaves

Grassland Songbirds in Qu’Appelle Valley, Sept. 25 (webinar)
A noon-hour webinar on Sept. 25 will discuss songbird conservation efforts and the Qu’Appelle Valley as a focal area for conservation.

Discover the “Sci” in “Sci-Fi”, Sept. 25 (Saskatoon)
Learn the factual basis for fictional aliens and predatory horrors of the insect world at Café Scientifique Saskatoon, 7:30 pm, Sept. 25.

To the Ends of the Earth, Sept. 26 (Regina)
Cinema Politica Regina is screening To the Ends of the Earth about the extreme frontiers of oil and gas exploration at 6:30 pm, Sept. 26.

Richard St. Barbe Baker Presentation, Sept. 26 (Saskatoon)
Celebrate National Tree Day at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area with a reading by Paul Hanley from his latest book, Man of the Trees, at 6 pm, Sept. 26.

Nature Grandparenting Autumn Meetup, Sept. 26
Grandpairs are invited to attend the following autumn meetups: Sept. 26, 10 am & 1:30 pm – the Northeast Swale (Evergreen)

U of S Riverbank Clean-Up, Sept. 26 (Saskatoon)
Join the U of S Office of Sustainability, USSU, and Environment and Bioresources Students Association in a clean-up along the Meewasin River Valley from 12-4 pm, Sept. 26.

Man of the Trees, Sept. 27 (Biggar)
Paul Hanley will read from Man of the Trees: Richard St. Barbe Baker, the First Global Environmentalist from 7-8 pm, Sept. 27, in Biggar.

Invasive Species, Sept. 27 (Regina)
Tara Sample will discuss invasive species at the 7 pm, Sept. 27, meeting of the Regina Horticultural Society.

Going Zero Waste, Sept. 27 (Regina)
Learn about going zero waste from 7-8:30 pm, Sept. 27, at the George Bothwell Branch, Regina Public Library.

Nature & Waste Reduction Art, Sept. 27/30 (Saskatoon)
Join Medha Bhatt Ganguly for a talk on nature and waste reduction art at Mayfair Library from 2-3 pm, Sept. 27, or visit her art exhibit from 1-5 pm, Sept. 30, at Confederation Mall.

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

underwater autumn leaves

In the News
70% of Americans think environmental protection is more important than economic growth - the problem is getting governments and businesses to act on what people want.

China's ban on imported recyclables is forcing Canada to confront uncomfortable truths about where and how we manage our waste.

Edmonton has ordered 25 electric buses.

PEI farmers are being paid to delay their first cut of hay to protect birds.

These award-winning comedy wildlife photographs are sure to make you laugh! 

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 September 2018

Wildlife Vet in the Making

Last year, Morgan Reschny made what she describes as a “terrifying career change.” She discontinued her studies in archaeology and history to follow her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian. To support this goal, she started volunteering and then working at Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation in Saskatoon. Here’s her account of her summer work experience.

Why did you choose to work/volunteer at Living Sky? 
I knew the more animal experience I had the better, and I had been following Living Sky on social media for years, daydreaming about having enough time to volunteer with them. I was drawn to working with wildlife because I have a deep respect for the natural world and I felt working with animals who were far from socialized and cooperative would be very good handling experience for me. Not even a month after deciding to pursue Vet. Med. I met Jan for my volunteer orientation and by the time April came around I was being interviewed for their summer student positions.

What were your first impressions of Living Sky?
Like most members of the public, I thought Living Sky was some sort of official establishment, like the Forestry Farm or the SPCA. When I realized that Living Sky doesn't get government funding and was simply the hobby of its founder, Jan Shadick, I was completely blown away at how much passion had been poured into that place. Here we have an entire house, with a huge yard full of aviaries and mammal pens, with an exam room stuffed with medical supplies and medicine, and it was entirely funded by Jan and whatever people happened to give us out of charity. It definitely felt weird seeing how hard Jan worked for free while I was getting paid from the student grants she received from the university.

We're hungry!

What were you asked to do? 
Oh boy, I won't be able to go into everything I did at Living Sky without writing several pages. My official job title was Assistant Wildlife Rehabilitator. While Jan ran around doing the more advanced tasks and answering calls, I, along with several other students, did everything from feeding babies, to washing wounds, to doing laundry and dishes.

Baby birds need to be fed every thirty to sixty minutes. In June this meant you were trapped in an endless cycle of feeding countless cheeping mouths as fast as possible. Baby mammals were fed every few hours, but they needed to be fed overnight too. There were a few times when I had to take a family of baby squirrels home to syringe feed through the night.

Probably the most challenging thing for me was doing intakes. This was when a new animal would come in and we'd have to assess it to determine its treatment. A lot of these animals were terrified and scared. Some of them were in pain and suffering, and a lot of them I had never experienced before so I wasn't confident in knowing what to look for. Over the summer I got much better, even with new birds. I felt more comfortable examining them and if I couldn't identify what exactly was wrong either Jan or one of the more experienced students were nearby to help me.

What has been your most memorable experience at Living Sky?
There are so many of those – it’s hard to pick. On my very first morning working at Living Sky Jan told us that she had a surprise for us later in the day. The only clue Jan gave us was that it was a mammal they had never had before, so we spent the morning guessing what cool new critter had come in. Those who had been at Living Sky for a long time immediately ruled out a bear, but lo and behold when Jan sat us down, made us promise to not even breathe too loudly, and unwrapped her bundle of blankets, there was a tiny little three-month-old black bear cub.

I think everyone in that room was surprised. I hadn't ever expected to be able to sit so close and watch such a small bear cub like that ever, let alone on my first day working at a rehab. facility. The cub only spent a few days with us before he was transported to a rehab. out in Meadow Lake that helps bears [Healing Haven Wildlife Rescue]. I don't think it would've been long before that fuzzy toddler outgrew our residential house and yard.

Twisty the Crow

What is the funniest thing you observed this summer? 
There were a lot of quirky characters that came in this summer; crows especially are very funny birds. However, there is one specific patient that comes to mind, a Canada goose that we called Gary. Gary was found hanging out by the University Bridge unable to fly and limping fairly badly, so we guessed he had gotten knocked by a car. Since he couldn't fly we let him roam around the backyard during the day, but he definitely let us know when it was time to put him to bed in his aviary.

As dusk came you would see him wander closer and closer to the back door of the house and by 8 pm, like clockwork, he would literally kick open the screen door and let himself inside. There were times I'd be feeding birds in one of our rooms and I'd suddenly hear a crash and a bang and see a Canada goose sprinting past the door frame. The sound of his webbed feet slapping the hardwood floor so fast is one that will always make me laugh. He'd hang out until one of us had a spare moment to tuck him in for the night.

Do you plan to continue volunteering with Living Sky? Why?
Absolutely. And I have been already despite it not even being a week since my last shift. Part of it is that I still want to continue learning more about wildlife for vet. school, but I have also become very emotionally invested in that place. You spend so much time and energy looking after these birds; you root for them and want them to get better. Even on my days off, when I wouldn't come in for two days, I'd be sitting at home worrying about them. Now that it's migration season there are still plenty of birds that need help and I feel both obligated and privileged to be able to give that to them. 

What would you like people to know about (injured) wildlife and Living Sky? 
If any of what I have said has seemed exciting or appealing to you, you can come and experience it for yourself. Living Sky runs entirely on charity and volunteers. The student grants only pay for me and a few others to be there for the summer. Every year we take on more animals, which means we need more resources. This includes interns and volunteers for next summer.

You don't need to be a nature hobbyist or know much about birds. I was a clueless archaeology kid when I started volunteering there last January. Now that I've come out on the other side with my work for this summer done, my perspective has expanded colossally. You really cannot learn about wildlife and the challenges they face until you have worked with them one on one.

Thanks to Living Sky and a whole lot of fish, Petra is heading south with her fellow pelicans.
Photo credit: Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation & Morgan Reschny

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

EcoSask News, September 11, 2018


Upcoming Events
Guided Nature Immersion Walks, Sept. 10 & 14 (Saskatoon)
Participate in a nature immersion walk with Dolores Burkhart on Sept. 10 at 1 pm and Sept. 14 at 10 am.

The State of the Lakes, Sept. 14 (Fort Qu’Appelle)
Dr. Peter Leavitt will present his 25 years of data regarding the Qu’Appelle River Valley Watershed at the Treaty 4 Gathering at 6:30 pm, Sept. 14, in Fort Qu’Appelle.

Wild Ecol Seminar, Sept. 14 (Saskatoon)
The WildEcol seminar series is held at 3:30 pm, every other Friday, on the U of S campus:
Sept. 14 – Ecological factors driving the population biology of King Eiders

No Justice, No Adaptation, Sept. 15 & 16 (Saskatoon)
Suha Jarrar will discuss the politics of climate change in Palestine at 6 pm, Sept. 15,  and at 10:30 am, Sept. 16, in Saskatoon.

Walking Saskatoon, Sept. 16 (Saskatoon)
Everyone is invited to attend Walking Saskatoon’s meeting from 1-3 pm, Sept. 16.

Word on the Street, Sept. 16 (Saskatoon)
Paul Hanley and Trevor Herriot will be reading from their latest books at Word on the Street, Sept. 16.

Saskatchewan Owls, Sept. 17 (Regina)
Kim Mann will talk about Saskatchewan owls at the Nature Regina meeting, 7:30 pm, Sept. 17.

Fruit for the Birds, Sept. 18 (Saskatoon)
Find out which birds love eating fruit and which plants appeal to them the most at 7 pm, Sept. 18, at Wild Birds Unlimited.

Tyzzer’s Disease, Sept. 20 (Saskatoon)
Gary Wobeser will discuss the fascinating history and people in the study of Tyzzer’s disease at the Saskatoon Nature Society meeting, 7:30 pm, Sept. 20.

Looking Ahead
Nature Photography (Regina, Saskatoon)
One way to enjoy and share the beauty of the natural world is through photography. Both the Saskatoon Camera Club and the Regina Photo Club offer a varied program, including field trips.

Star-Gazing (Regina, Saskatoon)
Both the Regina and Saskatoon centres of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada offer a monthly program. Check their websites for program information. Saskatoon also has a youth astronomy club.

Rollin’ It Up, Sept. 22 (Regina)
Help the Nature Conservancy of Canada remove old fencing and install bat houses on their Edenwold property on Sept. 22.

Canoe Certification Course, Sept. 29-30 (Regina)
SaskOutdoors is hosting a Paddle Canada canoe certification course in Regina Sept. 29-30.

Junior Nature Sketch Club, Sept. 29-Nov. 3 (Saskatoon)
Kids ages 5-12 are invited to join Junior Nature Sketch, an outdoor nature program that focuses on sketching and observing wildlife habitats.

Adult Nature Sketch Club, Sept. 29-Nov. 3 (Saskatoon)
Observe and sketch in wildlife habitats as part of the 5-week Adult Nature Sketch program.

Permaculture Design Course, October-April (Regina)
Edible Landscapes Permaculture Design & Consulting is offering a permaculture design certification course over 6 weekends from October to April in Regina. Registration deadline is Sept. 30.

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

In the News
An interview with Passive House pioneer Harold Orr.

Soil is filled with more biological diversity than any other habitat on Earth - here are some of the organisms that keep our soil healthy.

Wildlife corridors aren't a complete solution - generational knowledge isn't easily replaced.

Edward Burtynsky's new book records human changes to the planet.

When traffic-clogged highways are expanded, new drivers quickly materialize to fill them. Here’s how “induced demand” works.

George Monbiot refuses to believe that a better form of consumerism will save the planet.

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, 4 September 2018

EcoSask News, September 4, 2018


Upcoming Events
Renewable Rides, Sept. 5 (Saskatoon)
The Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative and the Saskatchewan Environmental Society are launching their 3rd and 4th 100% solar-powered electric vehicles at 9:30 am, Sept. 5, at the YWCA. The new vehicles will serve the City Park, Downtown, and Riversdale neighbourhoods.

Drive Electric Week, Sept. 8-16 (Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current)
Drive Electric Week events are being held in Regina, Sept. 8; Swift Current, Sept. 12; and Saskatoon, Sept. 15.

Climate Change in Palestine, Sept. 12 (Regina) 
Suha Jarrar will discuss the politics of climate change in Palestine at 7 pm, Sept. 12, at the University of Regina.

Albatross, Sept. 12 (Saskatoon)
There will be a free screening of Albatross at 7 pm, Sept. 12.The screening is hosted by Ocean Bridge YXE and they’ll be talking about their ocean conservation work in Haida Gwaii and Saskatoon.

Building a Batty Neighbourhood, Sept. 13 (Saskatoon)
Build a bat house and hear Melanie Elliott talk about bats from 7-8:30 pm, Sept. 13.

Environmental Advisory Committee, Sept. 13 (Saskatoon)
The Saskatoon Environmental Advisory Committee is meeting from 11:30 am-1 pm, Sept. 13. The public is welcome to observe.

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

Household Hazardous Waste Day, Sept. 15 (Prince Albert)
You can dispose of household hazardous waste in Prince Albert from 9 am-3 pm, Sept. 15.

Sacred Trees Day Retreat, Sept. 16 (Regina)
Explore your sacred connection with trees at an outdoor retreat on Sept. 16.

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

In the News 
Let's slow down - just a little - to protect world-class grasslands #Saskatoon

Retraining coal miners for the solar industry is a win-win

Environmentally friendly solar installations include bees and native plants

The water crises aren’t coming - they’re here [long read]

Improving air conditioners could do more than anything else to reduce greenhouse gases

The house sparrow’s closeness to humans might have changed its genes, giving it a larger beak and a tolerance for a starchy diet

A newly constructed footbridge on the Englishman River Nature Trails, St. Walburg, will allow walkers to cross this natural drainage area during spring runoff and rainy spells. The trails serve as an all-season outdoor classroom and are much enjoyed by the whole community. Congratulations to Lyle and Brenda Knight who maintain the trails. #EcoFriendlyActionGrant

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).