Tuesday, 10 September 2019

EcoSask News, September 10, 2019

pronghorn and fawn

Upcoming Events
Paris to Pittsburgh, Sept. 10 & 12 (Saskatoon) 
Watch a short documentary about the forgotten people affected by climate change at 6:45 pm, Sept. 10 and 12.

Nature Photo Walk, Sept. 11 (Regina)
Join a nature photo walk at Condie Nature Refuge at 5:30 pm, Sept. 11.

Singing for a Better World, Sept. 12 (Saskatoon) 
Learn songs about protecting the earth and building peace and justice from 7-9 pm, Sept. 12.

Climate Change, Land & Food, Sept. 13 (Saskatoon) 
Margot Hurlbert, Canada Research Chair in Climate Change, Energy and Sustainability Policy, will speak on climate change, land, and food from 10:30 am-12 pm, Sept. 13.

Crows, Jays, Magpies, Sept. 13 (Saskatoon) 
Lyndon Penner will talk about crows, jays, and magpies at 7 pm, Sept. 13.

Household Hazardous Waste Day, Sept. 14 (Prince Albert) 
Dispose of household hazardous waste in Prince Albert from 9 am-3 pm, Sept. 14.

Saving the Sage Grouse, Sept. 14 (Val Marie)
Help make fencing more wildlife-friendly at the Nature Conservancy’s Wideview property from 10 am-3 pm, Sept. 14.

Nature Immersion Walks, Sept. 14 & 15 (Saskatoon) 
Immersed in Nature Photography is hosting nature walks at 9 am, Sept. 14, and 1 pm, Sept. 15. 

Moose Jaw River Superheroes, Sept. 15 (Moose Jaw) 
Discover insects in and around the Moose Jaw River from 2:30-4 pm, Sept. 15.

Native Plant Garden Anniversary, Sept. 16 (Regina)
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the native plant garden at 7 pm, Sept. 16.

110 Nature Hot Spots, Sept. 16 (Regina) 
Jenn Smith Nelson will present her book, 110 Nature Hots Spots in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, at the 7:30 pm, Sept. 16, meeting of Nature Regina.


YXE Talks Trash, Sept. 16 & 19 (Saskatoon) 
The City of Saskatoon is hosting come-and-go workshops to review options for a mandatory recycling and organics program for businesses and organizations on Sept. 16 and Sept. 19.

Science Experiments for Kids, Sept. 17 & 20 (Regina)
Kids ages 7-12 can find out how chemical reactions work from 3:30-5 pm on Sept. 17 at the and Sept. 20.

Swift Fox Recovery in Montana, Sept. 17 (webinar) 
Heather Harris, wildlife biologist, will discuss swift fox recovery in Montana at a noon-hour webinar on Sept. 17.

From Coal to Renewables, Sept. 17 (Saskatoon) 
Mark Bigland-Pritchard will discuss his research on a reliable, renewables-only provincial electricity grid at 7 pm, Sept. 17.

Adaptation to Climate Change, Sept. 18 (Regina) 
Learn about the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative at noon, Sept. 18, at Innovation Place Regina.

Seed Saving, Sept. 18 (Saskatoon) 
Find out how to save seeds while helping to harvest the Saskatoon Seed Library’s garden from 5:30-8 pm, Sept. 18.

Solar 101, Sept. 19 (Regina)
Learn how solar PV systems work and review Saskatchewan case studies from 6:30-8 pm, Sept. 19.

Farmland Moose Project, Sept. 19 (Saskatoon) 
Ryan Brook will discuss the SK Farmland Moose Project at the Sept. 19 meeting of the Saskatoon Nature Society.

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

In the News
“We can’t be approving these kinds of extractive projects that are going to pollute and remove a whole bunch of water from the water cycles.”

“It’s open season on the forest up here and we’re going to absolutely destroy our boreal forest in Northern Saskatchewan if we don’t change.”

A property owner in southwest Saskatchewan is partnering with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to protect sensitive grassland and wetland areas.

Katy Prairie, just outside of Houston, is one of the country’s few remaining tall-grass prairies and a wintering ground for millions of migrating birds. It could be replaced by a highway and urban sprawl.

Pro-nuclear and anti-nuclear are not considered policy positions. They are identities, ways of signaling membership in a tribe. . . . If you approach nuclear power as a policy question, on the merits, you will find that, like most things, it’s complicated; there are multiple, overlapping issues involved, and the answers cannot be captured in a single binary.”

Discarded fishing line and hooks are killing wildlife.

Memphis area mayor proposes that multi-car owners pay a sustainability fee.

Using new technology, researchers can watch as trees grow, shrink, drink, and breathe.

Vancouver and Lower Mainland are looking for a better way to handle thousands of tonnes of dog poop.

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, 5 September 2019

Art-Science Programming for Indigenous Youth

Two university graduate students, Janay Fox and Alexandra Nordstrom, were eager to offer summer programming for students in grades 5-9 at Chief Poundmaker School. Their aim with the Asokan Project was to bridge gaps between arts and science, and Indigenous and western knowledge systems in order to facilitate more productive and sustainable conversations regarding conservation in Saskatchewan. EcoFriendly Sask provided them with a $500 EcoFriendly Action Grant to help them with this initiative. The following is Janay Fox’s account of the event. 

We provided 4 days of summer art-science programming for Indigenous youth on Poundmaker and Little Pine First Nations that focused on the intersection between arts, science, and conservation from an Indigenous perspective. We had 15 students attend each day and provided them with arts supplies that they could take home, prizes that encouraged scientific learning, outdoor activities, and healthy food every day. Students were able to learn from professional Indigenous artists, hear from real scientists leading conservation in Saskatchewan, and participate in programming that creates space for the exploration of Cree culture and Indigenous ways of learning – an opportunity that is rarely given in western institutions. We also took students to performances put on by the Storyteller's Performance Festival so that they could engage in the wider artistic and Indigenous community.

Our project also impacted the community by supporting two local Indigenous-owned companies (the caterer and the bus driver) as well as supporting an Indigenous artist (Dana Standinghorn). Leftover food from each day was sent home with students and the rest was donated to the local homeless shelter. Remaining art supplies were donated to Chief Poundmaker School.

We allowed students to engage in productive dialogues about how we can communicate environmental issues through art practice from an Indigenous perspective. We also allowed students to learn about art and science together as opposed to the diametrically opposing way they are taught in western schooling. The project helped foster connections between the local school, art and conservation communities, and the community at large and contributed to important discussions about conservation in our area. We hope that we helped students see that their perspectives have an important place in the scientific community and that they can meaningfully participate in environmental conservation.

The biggest success was the relationship we built with our students. From the beginning we wanted to maintain an environment where there was no hierarchy between instructors and students, working to create a space of openness and support where all people involved could learn from each other. Accordingly, my colleague and I found ourselves learning so much from our students and noticed that they felt comfortable to speak their minds. Additionally, all of the students gave us feedback on what we could change for next time and expressed interest in attending another camp put on by us.

We learned many lessons regarding what kind of activities students like to engage in (especially needing to include more physical activities!), what age groups would be best to break groups into, general logistical things that we did not think of, and also just to relax a little more during the actual camp (The kids have more fun if you're having fun too!). Honestly, there is nothing that immediately comes to mind to change. It was an extremely successful first run and while we had hoped for more students, more than 15 would have likely been unrealistic for us to handle. One thing that we will put in place for future camps will be the incorporation of a land-based learning component and the use of locally employed youth mentors.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

EcoSask News, September 3, 2019


Upcoming Events
Nature Photography
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.

Public Astronomy Nights, Sept.-Dec. (Regina) 
Join members of the Royal Astronomy Society – Regina Centre for public astronomy nights from 8-9:30 pm, Sept. 6 & 27, Oct. 4 & 25, Nov. 22 & 29, and Dec. 6 & 20.

Nature Immersion Walks, Sept. 7 & 8 (Saskatoon) 
Immersed in Nature Photography is hosting walks to help you connect with the natural world from 9-11 am, Sept. 7 & 8.

Household Hazardous Waste, Sept. 8 (Saskatoon) 
You can dispose of household hazardous waste at City of Saskatoon’s Civic Operations Centre from 9 am – 3:30 pm, Sept. 8.

SK Hummingbirds, Sept. 11 (Regina) 
Find out about hummingbird migration patterns from 7-8:30 pm, Sept. 11.

Composting, Sept. 11 (Saskatoon) 
Saskatoon Compost Coaches are offering a Composting 101 workshop at The Garden Patch on Sept. 11 from 5:30-7 pm.

Hug a Tree and Survive, Sept. 12 (Prince Albert) 
Find out how children can stay safe in the woods at 7 pm, Sept. 12.

grass flowers

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Golden Eagles
Sept. 5, 8:30 am – Blackstrap Birding
Sept. 19, 9 am – Birding at Donna L. Birkmaier Park
Retirees and partners who are interested in birds and the natural world are invited to participate.

Other Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips 
Sept. 7 – Fall Bird Count
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
Environmental groups are concerned about demolition plans for Saskatoon's SLOWPOKE-2 nuclear reactor.

Advocates in the Prince Albert area say there isn't enough public awareness and hasn't been enough consultation for a 20-year logging plan for the nearby boreal forest.

Town of Canora considers its waste management options.

"With a lack of any detailed environmental assessment prior to determining the freeway's routing, CPAWS-SK is concerned decisions and endorsements are being made without the necessary information."

“As climate change intensifies and fire frequency continues to increase we are likely to see a greater area of boreal forests shifting from carbon sinks to carbon sources and large declines in old growth conifers by the end of the 21st century.”

237,750 people attended The Open, golf’s oldest major championship. For the first time in decades, there were no single-use plastic water bottles.

“For 10,200 miles the monarchs were my guide. They provided the route. They were my teachers. . . . By crossing a continent alongside the monarch butterfly, my migrant teachers taught me how to see.”

British retailers are banning microplastics such as glitter from Christmas cards and wrapping paper.

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).