Thursday, 23 May 2019

2019 NatureCity Award Winners and Nominees


Congratulations to the nominees and award winners of the 2019 NatureCity Awards. The awards recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses who advocate for the conservation and restoration of natural areas in and around Saskatoon and promote a relationship of belonging, connection, and care between local residents and the Nature that surrounds us.


The awards were presented on May 21, 2019, by Sheri Benson, MP, and Joseph Naytowhow. Listed below are the award winners and additional nominees.

Business

Wildernook Fresh Air Learning was founded by Jana Miller, an outdoor educator and facilitator, in 2016. It offers nature learning to groups of people who might not otherwise have access to outdoor education. This includes grandparents in partnership with their grandchildren, young women who want to challenge themselves outdoors, and 3-5 year olds. A project this coming summer will focus on sustainability, assisting youth to develop environmental leadership skills through practical hands-on experiences. Wildernook provides an opportunity for participants to renew their connection with the natural world and branch out in new directions as well as fostering resiliency, confidence, creativity, and independence. Wildernook works closely with other organizations, including SaskOutdoors and Ducks Unlimited. Subsidized spots in some of the programs enhance accessibility for people who identify as Indigenous, Newcomers to Canada, or low-income.

Additional Nominees: CanoeSki Discovery/Cliff Speers, Wild Spirit Education


Organization
Saskatoon Nature Society was founded in 1955 to promote a deeper knowledge and appreciation of nature. They offer a wide range of birding, botany, and butterfly field trips, speakers, and courses that are open to the public, in most cases free of charge. The Society is an open and accepting community of people who care about nature in Saskatoon and want to preserve it. They are stewards of Saskatoon Natural Grasslands and strong and active advocates for nature at public hearings, committees, and other events. They support youth involvement in nature through Saskatoon Young Naturalists and the Kids in Nature program, which supports NatureCity Festival’s education program. They have published A Guide to Nature Viewing Sites In and Around Saskatoon and provided copies to schools free of charge. The book shows how to access sites by vehicle, bus, bike, or trails, and includes GPS coordinates. There is information about accessibility for those with mobility challenges.

Additional Nominees: Meewasin Valley Authority

Individual

Melanie Elliott is a strong advocate for the enjoyment, conservation, and protection of nature through outdoor education programs and wildlife protection and rehabilitation. She is passionate about getting kids outdoors so they know nature is safe and ran the Ecology Camps for Kids program through the Extension division at the University of Saskatchewan for many years. She took children for grassland walks, inviting them to lie down and “bond to the prairies.” Melanie was a founding member of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan. She saves bats, overwinters bats, and helps people love them by sharing her knowledge, introducing her educational bats, and showing people how to build bat boxes. Melanie has mentored many people who have gone on to deliver ecological programming to children in the city and has demonstrated a lifetime of dedication to nature education for all.

Additional Nominees: Nancy Barr, Elizabeth Bekolay, Valerie Martz, Andrew Whiting

2017 Award Winners

Photo Credits: Branimir Gjetvaj

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

EcoSask News, May 21, 2019

flowering trees

Upcoming Events
Beginner Bird Id Workshop, May 21 (Prince Albert)
Nature Prince Albert is hosting a 2-hour basic bird identification workshop at 7 pm, May 21.

Moose Jaw Nature Society AGM, May 24 (Moose Jaw)
The Moose Jaw Nature Society will be holding its annual general meeting at 6:30 pm, May 24.

Global Strike for Future, May 24 (Regina)
Meet at 10 am at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum for a march to the rally at the Legislative Buildings at 11 am, May 24.

Trash Tag Challenge, May 25 (Regina)
WUQWATR is hosting a trash tag challenge at the Wascana Rowing Club from 1-3 pm, May 25.

Learn to Camp, May 25 (Saskatoon)
Learn basic camping and outdoor living skills from 2-4 pm, May 25, at the Alice Turner Branch Library.

Green New Deal Town Hall, May 28 (Regina)
Help shape a Green New Deal for Canada at 6:30 pm, May 28, Regina.

Fixing SK’s Climate Change Plan, May 28 (Saskatoon)
Ann Coxworth and Peter Prebble will present the SK Environmental Society’s response to the Saskatchewan government’s climate plan at 7 pm, May 28, as part of the Sustainable Speaker Series.

Green New Deal Town Hall, May 29 (Saskatoon)
Help shape a Green New Deal for Canada at 7 pm, May 29, Saskatoon.

International Trails Day, June 1 (Saskatoon)
Meewasin Valley Authority is celebrating International Trails Day on June 1 with activities from 1-4 pm at Friendship Park.

flowering trees

Looking Ahead
Detour, July 22-25 (Saskatoon)
Youth ages 13-14 are invited to flex their creative problem-solving muscles on an urban sustainable design project from July 22-25 at Detour: Spark Ideas, Shift Gears, Activate Change.

ForestART, Aug. 6-9 (Ness Creek)
Unleash your creativity in Ness Creek’s boreal forest setting by participating in ForestART, Aug. 6-9. Workshops include willow basketry, painting, silversmithing, blacksmithing, and printmaking.

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

In the News
Medicine Hat is pulling the plug on a $13 million concentrated solar power project saying its small, unreliable contribution to the city’s power grid didn’t justify the cost of maintenance during snowy winters and dusty summers.

The Great Plains Air Zone website lists the current air quality at their Belle Plaine, East Regina, and Yorkton stations.

Lawson Heights Mall in Saskatoon has installed bee hotels and flowers on its roof and has a bee-friendly mural in the corridor between the mall and Safeway.

Rare Trees of Saskatoon has a Facebook group.

Vintage clothes and natural fabrics – green fashion in Saskatchewan.

Harbour Air, based in Vancouver, hopes to zero out its emissions with electric airplanes – and save money.

Ensuring healthy ecosystems and biodiversity can force us to make tough choices. It’s caribou vs. jobs and recreation in British Columbia.

Barn swallows eat up to 600 bugs a day so don’t disturb their nests.

A BC inter-city bus service will be fuelled by vegetable oil.

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).

Friday, 17 May 2019

I Spy with my Wild Eye: Saskatoon's 2019 NatureCity Festival


Saskatoon’s NatureCity Festival returns from May 21-26 with over 60 events. It’s an opportunity to get to know your wild neighbours, try your hand at citizen science, play, and create. Here are just a few activities that caught our attention. For full details, check out Wild About Saskatoon’s website.

Urban Wild
Factoria Riverbank Warbler Walk – 7-8:30 pm, May 21
Look and listen for warblers and other songbirds with members of the Saskatoon Nature Society.

Where the Wild Things Are – 7 pm, May 22
Dr. Maureen Murray, Urban Wildlife Institute of Chicago, is the Festival’s keynote speaker. Her focus is helping humans and wildlife coexist in cities, for the good of both people and animals.
Fur in the City, Planet S magazine

Wild Spring Walk – 6:30-8 pm, May 23
Explore the ecosystem and habitat of George Genereux Urban Regional Park in Saskatoon’s West Swale.

Wetland Field Trip – 9 am-11:30 am, May 24 (date has been changed to May 24)
Join a class of students for a half-day hike at the Northeast Swale.

Spring Wildflower Walk – 9-11:30 am, May 26
Spot early-season wildflowers at Beaver Creek Conservation Area.

I Spy with my Wild Eye
iSpy with iNaturalist – 7-8:30 pm, May 23
Explore new and old techniques you can use to become a citizen scientist.

Putting Citizen Science into Practice – 10 am-12 pm, May 25
Visit the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Dundurn property and document your observations.

Untitled

Art Naturally
Creative Collaboration with the Urban Beaver – May 21-26
Join Laura Hale, NatureCity Festival’s artist-in-residence, in creating a site-specific art installation using beaver chewed wood chips, beaver sticks, willow, and other natural materials to outline the path made by the beaver in travelling to and from the river.
1-5 pm, May 21-25 & 1-3 pm, May 26 – Gabriel Dumont Park
4-5 pm, May 26 – Prairie Lily Riverboat Cruise

Photographic Scavenger Hunt – 2-3:30 pm, May 25
Explore nature and leave it wild by taking photographs not samples on a walk along the riverbank.

Art en Plein Air – 1-4 pm, May 26
Using Remai Modern’s art supplies, head outside, and create your own artwork.

Play and Learn
Adventure Smart – May 21, 23, 25 & 26
Saskatoon Search and Rescue will share safe practices for outdoor activities and preventative measures for camping and hiking on 4 different occasions. They’ll be offering Hug a Tree and Survive, a program that helps lost children survive in the woods, from 7-8 pm, May 21, at the YMCA.

Storytime – May 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25
Enjoy stories inspired by the Festival during Baby Storytime, Family Storytime, and Sleepytime Stories at various branches of the Saskatoon Public Library on different days throughout the week.

Early Learning Goes Wild – 1-4 pm, May 25
Join Preston Early Learning for a nature walk, scavenger hunt, collage activity, and face painting.

Eat, Drink, and be Merry
NatureCity Awards Celebration – 7-8 pm, May 21
Celebrate the nominees and award winners – individuals, organizations, and businesses – for their contributions to conservation and respect of nature in and around Saskatoon.

The Path to Wild Food – 1-2:30 pm, May 24
Look for edible wild plants, from licorice to sarsaparilla, with Sandra Walker, an ethnobotanist.

NatureCity Beer Release – 8 pm, May 24
Enjoy a pint of beer brewed specially for this year’s Festival at 9 Mile Legacy Brewing and celebrate with Saskatoon’s own Parab Poet.

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

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

EcoSask News, May 14, 2019

new leaves

Upcoming Events
School Climate Strike, May 17 (Regina)
Regina School climate strikes are ongoing on Fridays from 10-11 am at the Legislative Buildings.

Explorer Camp, May 17 (Saskatoon)
Kids ages 6-10 are invited to discover the fauna and flora of the river valley on a guided bike tour with Wild Sky Adventure Learning from 9 am-5 pm, May 17.

Spring Bird Survey, May 18 (Fort Qu’Appelle)
The Fort Qu’Appelle Nature Society is holding a spring bird survey on May 18. Contact Alan at 306-432-5262 or 331-9181 or by email at alanmlazgar@hotmail.com if you plan to participate.

SOS Elms Coalition AGM, May 19 (Saskatoon)
SOS Elms Coalition is holding its annual general meeting (with a surprise guest speaker) at 2 pm, May 19.

Migratory Bats, May 20 (Regina)
Erin Swerdfeger will report on her work with migratory bats from 7:30-9:30 pm, at the May 20 annual general meeting of Nature Regina.

Blue Gold, May 20 (Saskatoon)
Pint of Science is all about water on the prairies from 7-9 pm, May 20, in Saskatoon.

Snakes & Bat-ers, May 21 (Regina)
Enjoy a Pint of Science about snakes and bats from 6-8:30 pm, May 21, in Regina.

From Himalaya to Space, May 22 (Saskatoon)
From mountains in Saskatchewan to badass women astronomers – find out more at Pint of Science, 7 pm, May 22.

Zero Waste: Where to Start, May 23 (Saskatoon)
Find out how to arrive at zero waste from 7-8 pm, May 23, at J.S. Wood Library.

new leaves

Looking Ahead
Star-Gazing, June 1/July 27(Grasslands National Park)
Join astronomers in exploring the skies in Grasslands National Park, one of Saskatchewan’s Dark Sky Preserves, on June 1 or July 27.

Traditional Plant Walk, June 16 (Saskatoon or Regina)
The Saskatchewan Archaeological Society is hosting a traditional plant walk led by Sandra Walker from 10:30 am-12 pm, June 16, in the Regina or Saskatoon area. Pre-registration is required.

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Saskatoon Young Naturalists
May 29 – July 3 – Bluebird Trail
Space is limited; register early to avoid disappointment.
Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips 
May 20, 1:30-4:30 pm – Hyde Park Birding
May 28, 7-8 pm – Lakewood Pop-up Naturalist Event
Everyone is welcome. 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
In response to the UN Biodiversity Report, the Saskatchewan Environmental Society urges the government to give top priority to expansion of protected areas, wetlands preservation, and reducing greenhouse gas pollution.

Green your wardrobe – buy less and buy non-conventional fabrics from environmentally responsible companies.

1 square metre of prairie = 113 plant + animal species [video].

Fires, pests, disease and increased mortality – Canada’s forests have not captured more carbon than they’ve emitted since 2001.

Wildlife corridors and bridges are key to protecting biodiversity.

A local company is offering a furniture rental service.

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, 12 May 2019

Happy Mother's Day!

Fishing spider carrying babies

Fishing spiders take good care of their young. They stand guard over the eggs and, once the eggs hatch, the babies climb up onto Mum’s back and stay there until they’re ready to go out on their own.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Nature Programs for Kids

Baby canada geese

Regina
Royal Saskatchewan Museum 
School programs (grades pre-K-12)
Storytime (ages 2-5)

Saskatchewan Science Centre
Science Time for Tots (ages 3-5)
Day camps (Easter and summer) (ages 6-8 and 9-11)
Camp-ins for community groups, clubs, schools (grades K-9)
Go! Science outreach programs (grades K-12)

Wascana Centre 
Summer day camps (ages 6-11)
Day in the life of an ecologist (grades 9-12)
Wascana Junior Naturalist – spring and fall sessions (ages 9-13)
Coming soon! Sprouts Gardening Day Camp

Wild Child Adventure School (Earl Grey, SK)
Mini adventures (ages 3-5)
PD days (ages 5-12)
Home-schooling wild adventures

elk

Saskatoon
Saskatoon Young Naturalists
Year-round nature-based activities (families with 5-11 year olds)

Saskatoon Zoo Society
Preschool programs (ages 3 and up)
PD day camps (ages 5-12)
Summer & winter camps (ages 7-10 & 11-14)
Outreach school program
Coming soon! Bio-Bits and Bio-Explorer summer camps

Wild Sky Adventure Learning
Saskatoon Forest School (ages 3-6)
Ecological summer camps at Ness Creek (ages 3-13)
Urban explorer camps (ages 5-10)
Coming soon! Forest Kids Camps in July and August

Wildernook Fresh Air Learning
Nature Grandparenting (grandparents with 3-5 year old grandchildren)
Nature PlayCare (ages 3-4 & 4-5)
Summer and school holiday day camps (ages 10-11 & 13-14)
Coming soon! Detour: Spark Ideas, Shift Gears, Activate Change

What is missing? If you know of other nature programs for kids in Saskatchewan, email us and we'll add them to Nature Programs for Children & Youth.

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

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

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

EcoSask News, May 7, 2019

three-flowered aven

Upcoming Events
Hort Week, May 8-12 (Saskatoon) 
Hort Week workshops include The Magic of Moths, May 8; Identifying Insects in Your Yard, May 9; and Bears and Botany, May 12.

Bat Release, May 8 (Regina) 
Help release the bats that have been overwintering at the Sask Science Centre from 8:30-9 pm, May 8.

Bats, May 14 (webinar) 
Craig Willis, University of Winnipeg, is offering a noon-hour webinar on white-nose syndrome in bats on May 14.

Wascana Solar Co-op, May 15 (Regina)
There will be a presentation on the Wascana Solar Co-op at noon, May 15, at Innovation Place Regina.

Bike to Work Day YXE, May 15 (Saskatoon) 
May 15 is Bike to Work Day in Saskatoon.

Looking Ahead
Chaplin Lake Shorebird Festival, May 31-June 1 (Chaplin) 
Take a tour of the Chaplin Nature Centre during their Shorebird Festival, May 31 to June 1.

Generating Momentum, June 2/Aug 17/Aug 18 (Regina/Saskatoon/Prince Albert) 
In honour of its 10th anniversary, the Regina Public Interest Research Group is hosting 3 one-day activist leadership training camps for 18-35 year olds this summer:
June 2 – Regina
August 17 – Saskatoon
August 18 – Prince Albert

Lodgepoles Under Living Skies, June 21-23 (Cypress Hills) 
Connect with plant enthusiasts from Montana, Alberta, and Saskatchewan at an event planned by the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, June 21-23.

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

Wildlife Champion 
Thank you Jan Shadick for speaking up for jackrabbits who lighten our days and pigeons who grace our skies. As Jan says, “A healthy wildlife population is an indicator of a healthy city.”

three-flowered aven

In the News
Proposed federal regulations would exempt major oil and gas projects from environmental assessment while discouraging renewables.

Meet the new generation of climate change activists: the teenagers who are marching in the streets, putting adults to shame and demanding action (Rolling Stone)

This is what conservation looks like: safe passage for pronghorns in Wyoming thanks to a wildlife overpass (short video).

Flushable wipes aren’t flushable and are blocking sewage systems and waterways.

Dragonflies fly up to 1500 miles over the course of 3 generations, but changes in temperature could foil their itineraries.

Here’s how to identify different sorts of bees.

À 14 ans, il ferait tout pour sauver la biodiversité.

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, 2 May 2019

Jane's Walks 2019 in Regina and Saskatoon

Canada goose & goslings

Jane’s Walks is an annual festival of citizen-led walks encouraging people to explore and learn about their neighbourhoods. They’re designed to promote the community-based approach to urban planning initiated by Jane Jacobs. Jane’s Walks began in Toronto in 2006 and have now spread to 225 cities around the world. 

A number of the 2019 walks explore Regina and Saskatoon’s natural areas and sustainability.

Regina
May 3, 7-8:30 pm – Rebuilding Riverside Dyke
May 4, 10-11:30 am – History and Nature of Wascana Lake
May 5, 11am-12:30 pm – From the Science Centre to Far Away Place

Saskatoon
May 4, 10 am – Cohousing using Sustainable Building Practices
May 4, 2 pm – Saskatoon’s Man of Trees
May 4, 2 pm – Forestry Farm Walking Tour
May 4, 7 pm – Spring Evening Hike at Northeast Swale
May 5, 2 pm – Moose Jaw-Saskatoon Trail: A Remnant of Native Prairie
May 5, 1:30 pm – 17th Street Walking Path: From Rail Line to Multi-purpose Trail
May 5, 2 pm – Woodlands Walk: St. Barbe-Baker Afforestation Area
May 5, 3:30 pm – Wild Spring Walk: Flora & Fauna of George Genereux Urban Regional Park