Tuesday 27 February 2018

EcoSask News, February 27, 2018

frosty pigeon

Upcoming Events
Saskatoon Talks Trash, Mar. 1 & 6 (Saskatoon)
City of Saskatoon is redesigning its curbside waste collection program and looking for residents’ input:
Online Survey (until Mar. 4)
Pop-up EventsMar. 1, 12:30-3:30 pm & 6:30-9 pm
Community WorkshopsMar. 1, 1-3 pm & 7-9 pm (register in advance)
Accessible Waste CollectionMar. 6, 9:30-11:30 am (register in advance)

MVA's Founding Principles, Mar. 2 (Saskatoon)
Join members of Saskatoon’s conservation community as they argue for a rededication of the Meewasin Valley Authority to its founding principles of conservation and education at a special meeting of the MVA Board at noon, Mar. 2, at the Saskatoon Club.

Bike Art Show, Mar. 3 (Saskatoon)
Saskatoon Cycles is hosting a Bike Art Show with stories, sculpture, and art from 5-7 pm, Mar. 3, in Saskatoon.

The Wildlife Society AGM, Mar. 3 (Saskatoon)
The Wildlife Society is holding its annual general meeting on Mar. 3 in Saskatoon. There will be a GIS workshop from 1-4 pm followed by the AGM with a keynote address by Patricia Farnese.

Changing Climate & Environment of Western Canada, Mar. 6 (Saskatoon)
Join the Changing Cold Regions Network for a documentary and discussion of the changing climate and environment of Western Canada at 7:30 pm, Mar. 6, Saskatoon.

Corridor Planning Program, Mar. 7 (Saskatoon)
Learn about and discuss the City of Saskatoon’s current Public Transit Infrastructure Fund projects and future plans for the city. There will be activities for all ages so bring your family.

Trends Transforming the Energy Sector, Mar. 7 (Saskatoon)
Anouk Kendall, Decentralised Energy Canada, will discuss Trends Transforming the Energy Sector at the Mar. 7 meeting of the Saskatchewan Energy Management Task Force.

Yellowhead Flyway Birding, Mar. 8 (Saltcoats)
Sarah Ludlow will speak about the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s work at the 7 pm, Mar. 8, meeting of the Yellowhead Flyway Birding Trail Association.

Swift Current Creek Watershed Stewards AGM, Mar. 8 (Swift Current) 

There will be presentations on the results of the Swift Current Creek Water Monitoring Project and on Providing Habitat for the Northern Leopard Frog at the SCCWS AGM at 1 pm, Mar. 8.

SaskOutdoors AGM, Mar. 10 (Moose Jaw)
SaskOutdoors will hold their annual general meeting on Mar. 10 in Moose Jaw with a presentation on burrowing owls and a chance to enjoy outdoor winter activities.

Owls on Tour, Mar. 10 (Regina)
Find out what makes the burrowing owl unique at 2 pm, Mar. 10, in Regina.

Low Water Gardening, Mar. 10 (Regina)
Discover water-wise gardening approaches to reduce your eco footprint and water bills from 2-3 pm, Mar. 10, Sherwood Village Branch Library.

Winter Cycling Adventure, Mar. 10/11 (Saskatoon)
Join Saskatoon Cycles for a winter camping and cycling adventure on Mar. 10/11.

frost over the river

Looking Ahead
Artifact/Artifiction, Mar. 16 (Regina)
Test your wits as you separate Artifact from Artifiction at the Friends of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum fundraiser from 7-10 pm, Mar. 16.

NatureSketch Clubs, Apr-June (Saskatoon)
The Robert Bateman Centre is offering an outdoor nature program for kids that focuses on sketching and observing wildlife habitats from Apr. 7-June 16 in Saskatoon. The Centre will also be offering an Adult NatureSketch program from May 5-June 16 in Saskatoon.

Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips
Saskatoon Young Naturalists
Apr. 14, 1-2:30 pm – Birdhouse Workshop
Apr. 22, 1-3 pm – Crocus Hike
May 5, 12-3 pm – Pike Lake Field Trip
Space is limited; register early to avoid disappointment.
Saskatoon Nature Society 
Mar. 4, 1:30-4:30 pm – Pike Lake Birding
Mar. 18, 1:30-3:30 pm – Forestry Farm Birding
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
Walking Saskatoon has a number of suggestions for improving safety on 22nd Street.

The impact of light pollution on wildlife deserves more attention - check out this U of R student's research project and help her win an NSERC prize.

Download an app and share ideas on how to get supermarkets to stop using so much plastic.

Large farming landscapes require roughly 80 bee species to properly maintain crops.

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 February 2018

EcoSask News, February 20, 2018

sun gate

Upcoming Events 
Climate Crisis Implications & Solutions, Feb. 24 (Fort Qu’Appelle)
Jared Clarke will discuss the climate crisis at 2 pm, Feb. 24, at the Fort Qu’Appelle Senior Centre. 

Engineering Extravaganza, Feb. 24 (Swift Current) 
Kids are invited to make a mini wind turbine from 10 am-12 pm, Feb. 24, at the Swift Current Library.

Mending Meet-Up, Feb. 24 (Saskatoon) 
There will be sewing machines and experienced sewers on hand at a Mending Meet-Up from noon-5 pm, Feb. 24.

Carbonless Concert, Feb. 24 (Saskatoon) 
Enjoy local musicians in a zero-emissions environment at the Carbonless Concert, 6:30-9 pm, Feb. 24.

Middle Lake Seedy Sunday, Feb. 25 (Pilger) 
Enjoy a Seedy Sunday event from 1-5 pm, Feb. 25, at the Middle Lake Multiplex.

Reptile Rescue Fundraiser, Feb. 25 (Saskatoon) 
A Saskatchewan Reptile Rescue Facility Fundraiser is being held from 3-7 pm, Feb. 25, in Saskatoon.

Moose Jaw Nature Society, Feb. 26 (Moose Jaw) 
Jared Clarke will talk about the climate crisis at 6:30 pm, Feb. 26.

Athabasca Sand Dunes, Feb. 27 (Prince Albert) 
Andrea Nelson will share photos and stories of her visit to the Athabasca Sand Dunes at 7 pm, Feb. 27.

Communications Webinars, Feb. 27/Mar. 1 (webinar) 
The Sustainability Network is offering two webinars: Engineering Effective Events, Feb. 27, and Engaging Email Campaigns, Mar. 1.

Meewasin Trail Upgrades, Feb. 28 (Saskatoon) 
Meewasin Valley Authority is holding an open house from 5-7:30 pm, Feb. 28, regarding the Meewasin trail upgrade from Queen Street to the Children’s Discovery Museum.

Results-Based Conservation, Feb. 28 (webinar) 
Find out more about results-based conservation during a Feb. 28 webinar sponsored by SK-PCAP.

Nature Conservancy of Canada, Feb. 28 (Saskatoon) 
Matthew Braun will discuss the Nature Conservancy of Canada and its SK research projects at 3:30 pm, Feb. 28, at the U of S.

The Price of Carbon Book Launch, Feb. 28/Mar. 7 (Regina/Saskatoon) 
Join Dr. David Maenz for the launch of his book, The Price of Carbon, at 7:30 pm, Feb. 28, in Regina, and at 7 pm, Mar. 7, in Saskatoon.

Innovating the Wicked Policy Problem of Climate Change, Mar. 1 (Saskatoon) 
Professor Margot Hurlbert will talk about policy research strategies and methods that address the gap between projected CO2 emissions and mitigation pathways from 3-4 pm, Mar. 1, at the U of S.

Looking Ahead 
2018 High Ground: Communities for All, Mar. 22-24 (Vancouver)
The Centre for Civic Governance’s conference on Mar. 23-24 will cover a variety of topics regarding cities and climate change. On Mar. 22, they will host the first public screening of Women Bending the Curve on Climate Change.

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

Stand Up for Meewasin 
Last year, the province slashed Meewasin Valley Authority’s funding, and more cuts are on the way. Stand Up for Meewasin by posting a 1-minute video or photo story.

nest building

In the News
Water management will be high priority as potash mining expands in Saskatchewan.

Fill out a survey to help Indigenous Climate Action develop a toolkit for and by Indigenous communities across Canada about climate change.

An art installation in the U of S Arts building explores the dynamics of throw-away clothing.

Too little attention is being paid to biodiversity loss.

An interesting take on Alberta’s BC wine boycott.

Climate scientists and other academics are experimenting with having satisfying academic careers without all the flying.

Why are we seeing robins in winter?

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 February 2018

EcoSask News, February 13, 2018

Pine siskin

Upcoming Events
Nature Saskatchewan Bird Walks, Feb. 17 & 18 (Regina)
Nature Saskatchewan is hosting two bird walks during the Great Backyard Bird Count: 2-4 pm, Feb. 17, Wascana Park; 1-3 pm, Feb. 18, First Nations University. Contact lweekes@naturesask.ca or 306-780-9481 to register.

Family Day Walk in the Park, Feb. 19 (Saskatoon)
SCOA Globe Walk is hosting a Family Day walk at the Forestry Farm from 1-3 pm, Feb. 19.

Nature Travels in Iceland, Feb. 19 (Regina)
Ed Rodger will provide background on the natural history and culture of Iceland at the Nature Regina meeting, 7:30-9 pm, Feb. 19.

Landscape Photography, Feb. 20 (Regina)
There will be a presentation on landscape photography at the 7 pm, Feb. 20, meeting of the Regina Photo Club.

Cinema Politica, Feb. 21 (Regina)
Cinema Politica will be showing Our Nationhood about the Listuguj Mi'gmaq people and their efforts to maintain control over the natural resources of their land at 7 pm, Feb. 21.

Saskatoon’s Sustainability Initiatives, Feb. 21 (Saskatoon)
Share in a Lunch and Learn at Saskatoon’s Innovation Place on Feb. 21 to find out about the City of Saskatoon’s sustainability initiatives.

Bike Regina AGM, Feb. 22 (Regina)
Bike Regina is holding its annual general meeting from 7-9 pm, Feb. 22.

Conservation Awareness & Appreciation Supper, Feb. 22 (Maple Creek)
Nature Saskatchewan is hosting a conservation awareness and appreciation supper, Feb. 22, in Maple Creek.

Biodiversity Conservation, Feb. 22 (e-Dialogue)
Join Nature Canada for an online conversation about drivers and barriers to biodiversity conservation on Feb. 22.

bee on flowers

Looking Ahead
Canadian Bumble Bee Course, Mar. 14-16 (Regina)
The Canadian Bumble Bee Course, Mar. 14-16, at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, will provide participants with the skills required to accurately identify bumble bees found in Canada.

Songs 4 Nature, May 24-27 (Last Mountain Lake Regional Park)
Experienced adult songwriters are invited to create music in a natural setting and contribute to research about creativity and sense of place from May 24-27 at Last Mountain Lake Regional Park.

Great Sand Hills Photography Workshop, June 1-3 (Leader)
Join Branimir Gjetvaj from June 1-3 for a Great Sand Hills Photography Workshop.

The Urban Forest of Tomorrow, June 14-15 (Toronto)
Experts from 3 continents will guide participants through the challenges and opportunities that environmental changes pose for our urban forests, while focusing on preparing for the future, at The Urban Forest of Tomorrow conference in Toronto, June 14-15.

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

In the News
In defence of biodiversity: Carl Safina says mass extinction of species implies carelessness not necessity

11 tools for measuring urban walkability from safe, continuous walkway networks to limiting the amount of space given to motorized forms of transportation

Staying on the trail is bad for nature. Look but don't touch stops kids (and adults) from "being out there as a participating member of this beautiful, awesome, still wild world"

Green roofs and porous pavements are important tools in limiting flooding due to heavy rainfall

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 11 February 2018

2018 Seedy Saturday/Sunday in Saskatchewan

crocus seeds

Seedy Saturday (Sunday)
Yorkton, February 24
12:30-4 pm, Saturday, Feb. 24 – Yorkton Victory Church

Pilger, February 25
1-5 pm, Sunday, Feb. 25 - Middle Lake Multiplex

Regina, March 3
10 am-3 pm, Saturday, Mar. 3 – St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral (1861 McIntyre Street). Advice from seasoned gardeners on choosing seeds, adapting to climate, harvesting, and more

Moose Jaw, March 4
10 am-3 pm, Sunday, March 4 – Moose Jaw Public Library.  Seed library, film screening, bee conservation (and honey)

Saskatoon, March 10 
10 am-3 pm, Saturday, March 10 – Station 20 West. Vendors, exhibits, workshops, and storytelling for kids

Indian Head, March 11 
1-4 pm, Sunday, March 11 – Indian Head Heritage Club (505 Otterloo Street)

Saskatoon, March 18 
10 am-3 pm, Sunday, March 18 – Saskatoon Farmers’ Market

North Battleford, March 24 
12-4 pm, Saturday, March 24 – Don Ross Centre Craft Room (891 – 99th Street)

Meadow Lake, March 25
10 am-3 pm, Sunday, March 25 – location not yet determined

Prince Albert, April 21 
9 am-5 pm, Saturday, April 21 – John M. Cuelenaere Public Library

For information about Seedy Saturday events across Canada, check the Seeds of Diversity website.

rose hips

Additional Events
Plant Walks (Regina)
Edible Landscapes Permaculture Design and Consulting offers seasonal walks to identify local wild edible and medicinal plants:
Spring Plant Walk, May 26
Summer Plant Walk, July 14
Autumn Plant Walk, Sept. 23

Lichen Nature (Saskatoon)
Lichen Nature offers a variety of nature walks to identify plants and observe wildlife.

Compost Coach Training (Saskatoon)
Take a two-day training on Mar. 3 & 4 and join Saskatoon’s team of compost coaches.

Join your local permaculture association:
Permaculture Regina
Permaculture Research Institute of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon)
Prince Albert Parkland Permaculture Guild

Tuesday 6 February 2018

EcoSask News, February 6, 2018

winter sunrise

Upcoming Events
Winter Sustainability Week, Feb. 7-9 (Saskatoon)
It’s Winter Sustainability Week at the University of Saskatchewan with a winter cycling and maintenance workshop from 10 am-3 pm, Feb. 7; a sustainable clothes swap from 9 am-2 pm, Feb. 8; and a farmers’ market from 9 am-2 pm, Feb. 9.

We Were Once Wolves, Feb. 13 (Prince Albert)
Brad Muir, Sundogs Excursions, will discuss the boreal forest ecosystem and its canine representatives at 7 pm, Feb. 13, at the John M. Cuelenaere Library.

Food Evolution, Feb. 13 (Prince Albert)
The John M. Cuelenaere Library is showing the film Food Evolution at 7 pm, Feb. 13.

Climate Change & Canadian Public Opinion, Feb. 14 (webinar)
The Sustainability Network is hosting a webinar on Climate Change & Canadians: New Public Opinion Research by Ecoanalytics on Feb. 14.

Wind Energy & Bats, Feb. 14 (Saskatoon)
Erin Baerwald will discuss wind energy development and bats at 3:30 pm, Feb. 14, at the U of S as part of the Wild Ecol Seminar series.

Beringia: Relics from the Ice Age, Feb. 15 (Regina)
Syd Cannings will share stories from his explorations in Beringia and discuss how an environment’s past shapes its future at 7:30 pm, Feb. 15, at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.

Australia’s Biological System, Feb. 15 (Saskatoon)
There will be a presentation on Australia’s biological system at the Feb. 15 meeting of the Saskatoon Nature Society.

Sustainability Slam, Feb. 15 (Saskatoon)
The U of S Graduate Students’ Association is holding a Sustainability Slam on Feb. 15.

Winter Birds & Wildlife, Feb. 17 (Regina)
Join Nature Regina for a Wascana winter birds and wildlife field trip from 10 am-12 pm, Feb. 17.

Looking Ahead
Winter Family Nature Play Retreat, Feb. 19 (Earl Grey)
Wild Spirit Prairie Sanctuary is hosting an outdoor play day for the whole family on Feb. 19.

Compost Coach Training, Mar. 3 & 4 (Saskatoon)
Take the two-day training on Mar. 3 & 4 and join Saskatoon’s team of compost coaches.

Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Course, Mar. 17-18 (Saskatoon)
The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council is offering an introductory course for beginning or novice wildlife rehabilitators Mar. 17-18.

Passive House Designer/Consultant Exam, Mar. 24 (Saskatoon)
Passive House Canada is providing an opportunity to take the Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant exam on Mar. 24 in Saskatoon.


Saskatoon Nature Society
Feb. 11, 1-3 pm – Chorney Acreage Bird Feeders
Feb. 17, 1-3 pm – Weir & City Park Birding
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 

Water Security/Sustainable Environmental Management
Apply by March 30 for the U of S School of Environment and Sustainability’s Master’s programs. The Master of Water Security investigates concerns such as drought and climate change using a holistic approach that incorporates science, social dynamics, and policy. The Master of Sustainable Environmental Management, a transdisciplinary, project-based degree, develops a student’s ability to assess and evaluate sustainability issues and their potential solutions.

Marsh Monitoring Program
Bird Studies Canada is looking for volunteers to install wetland monitoring recording units. Email LeeAnn Latremouille for more information.

Marcella Pedersen: Global Citizen Award 2018
Marcella Pedersen has received a 2018 Global Citizen Award from the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation. She and her husband are members of the North Saskatchewan River Environmental Society, live in a passive solar-heated house, have installed 4 wind turbines on their farm, and use solar panels to heat the honey house. Marcella promotes “food sovereignty through sustainable cropping practices, such as gardening, saving seeds, mulching, and protecting the soil rather than mining it.”

In the News
Don’t have a compost bin? Maybe your neighbours will share theirs: Share Waste.

Edmonton's green spaces network is designed to support healthy ecosystems, diverse wildlife habitats, and quality of life.

"Beetles are, without a doubt, the most important organisms on 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).

Thursday 1 February 2018

Municipal Climate Action

green wall map

Communities around the world have realized that cities can play a significant role in establishing a more environmentally sustainable way of life. Here is a sampling of steps municipalities are taking to address climate change.

Waste Management
Europe has established the Zero Waste Municipalities Network, encompassing “people-led programs for waste reduction, reuse and repair programs, composting, recycling, changes in consumption habits, redesign and toxic-free production.”

Ljubljana, Slovenia, has 8 collection centres and mobile units for waste which isn’t picked up at the door, including “hazardous waste, metals, plastic, waste electronic and electric equipment, garden waste, construction waste, car tires, wood and wooden products, bulky waste, clothes and textiles.” Households can also request the collection of bulky items.

In Besançon, France, 70% of residents “compost their food scraps at home or have a community composter in their building or a small-scale composting site next to their house. The diversion of the organic waste from the incinerator has saved €800,000.” 

Renewable Energy Production
Oxford County, Ontario, and Vancouver, BC, plan to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050. 

Oxford County has set up solar thermal installations at their social housing complexes as well as at a retirement home where solar energy heats the pool, supplies hot water, and powers the air conditioning. Cow manure from Greenholm Farms Biogas Plants powers 200 homes.

Vancouver’s plans include energy-efficiency building upgrades, neighbourhood energy utilities, a new fire hall built to passive house standards, and a network of electric vehicle charging points.

yet another traffic problem!

Improved Active & Public Transportation
Public Transit: Economist Irwin Kellner argues that public transit isn’t a business that should be expected to recover its costs from income. Instead, it should be viewed as “a service that feeds the entire economy and enables a society to thrive, because it provides that essential urban good: mobility.” Erik Olin Wright states that free public transit should not be seen as a subsidy but as the “optimal allocation of resources,” reflecting the true cost of transportation alternatives. A study in the UK showed that free bus passes enabled “older and disabled people to have fuller and more efficient access to the key public services they need and to take part in activities that would not be affordable without the free pass.”

Walking: In the words of Jan Gehl: “Life happens on foot. Man was created to walk, and all of life’s events large and small develop when we walk among other people. There is so much more to walking than walking. There is direct contact between people and the surrounding community, fresh air, time outdoors …” But, to ensure that walking is enjoyable, Jeff Speck says "a journey on foot should satisfy four main conditions: be useful, safe, comfortable and interesting.”

Improved Land Management Practices
 UK’s Wildlife Trusts have published a pamphlet entitled Homes for People and Wildlife: How to Build Housing in a Nature-Friendly Way. The pamphlet states, “A good nature-friendly development retains existing meadows, wetlands, hedgerows, trees and woods, and joins them up with wildlife-rich gardens, verges, amenity green space, cycle paths and walkways.” Tools include permeable driveways to reduce flood risk, lighting designed to avoid disturbing wildlife, wildlife corridors, wildlife-permeable boundaries between gardens and open space, and native, wildlife-friendly plants in gardens and landscaping.

An apartment development on the Thames established floating barges for bird roosts, intertidal terraces as habitat for smelt, and landscaping that included shallow pools favoured by certain native plants and invertebrates.

supertrees and flower dome

Energy-Efficient Buildings
Most Canadian building codes fail to address energy efficiency. Vancouver has updated its building bylaw to make buildings more energy efficient. The bylaw covers new homes and renovations with special provisions for passive house builds.

Enhanced Water Management 
Calgary’s stormwater management plan includes rain gardens, man-made wetlands with natural vegetation, bioswales, and low impact development.

Toronto was the first City in North America to have a bylaw requiring green roofs on new development. Green roofs improve stormwater drainage, moderate the temperature, create wildlife habitat, and promote biodiversity.

Since 2001, the population of Okotoks, Alberta, has more than doubled, necessitating a focus on water conservation and retention. Water meters have reduced system leakage and given residents real-time feedback on their consumption habits. The City also emphasizes maximizing water productivity. For example, new residential properties “must have at least 12 inches of topsoil to maximize water retention, help manage stormwater and reduce the need for lawn watering.”

Snake River

Improved Air Quality
Idle-free bylaws are a straightforward way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Cities across Canada and around the world have established anti-idling bylaws. Here are a few examples from British Columbia.

Saskatoon Takes Action
The City of Saskatoon is developing a climate action plan and is requesting input from residents, businesses, and non-profit organizations. Fill out a survey or tell your story (until February 15).