Announcements

Consider having a voice related to trail use in Grey County Forests.

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

The following is an announcement from Grey County about a public workshop on The Grey County Recreational Trails Master Plan.


Recreational Trails Master Plan

November 14, 2017

Open House and Workshop:

Join us for a workshop to learn about the Recreational Trails Master Plan.

Wednesday November 29, 2017
at 6:00 p.m.
Grey County Administration Building
Council Chambers
595 9th Avenue East, Owen Sound

This meeting is your chance to hear what we’ve done so far and to participate in a workshop for the project. The meeting is open to all members of the public. Please pass along this email to anyone that you may think would be interested in attending.

Please note this is not a formal public meeting. We will share a brief presentation at the beginning of the workshop and then break into smaller groups to discuss the project. A public meeting will be scheduled for later this year.

The Project:
Grey County is preparing a Recreational Trails Master Plan. This plan will provide a blueprint for future trails projects and requirements. It will be focused on linking community trails to County trails, determining the ultimate use of the CP Rail Trail and looking at trail use and future requirements for trails in some of the 48 forest properties owned by Grey County.

The project will develop trail standards for walking trails, bicycle trails and multi-use trails, and considering the compatibility of ATV and snowmobile users with non-motorized users. It will develop criteria to apply for restricting certain trail users to specific areas or trails.

So far, the user groups we have identified include snowmobile, horseback riding, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, dog walking, and ATV use.

If you have questions please contact Sarah Johnson, sarah.johnson@grey.ca or at 519-372-0219 ext. 1241.

For more information, updates or to subscribe to our mailing list visit the Recreational Trails Master Plan webpage.

Young Naturalists – Habitat Hike, Walter’s Creek Management Area, Sunday, Nov 26th.

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

The next Young Naturalist outing is a Habitat Hike in Walter’s Creek Management Area Sunday, Nov 26th, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Please note the new location:

County Road 29 runs north/south between Walter’s Falls and Bognor. It passes the Holland/Sydenham Townline on the west. The Townline is closed to vehicles but you can park either along County Road 29 or inside the blockade.

This is a Habitat Hike in Walter’s Creek Management Area, to look for nature’s homes, from cocoons to caves along the Bruce Trail. Parents are encouraged to join us.

  • Remember to dress for the weather.
  • Please bring a small day-pack.
  • Everyone’s should have water, tissue and a small snack.
  • You might also bring binoculars, camera, sketch book, sunglasses, lip balm.

Remember:Travel light!

About the Owen Sound Field Naturalist’s Young Naturalists’ Program

The Young Nats Club is for boys and girls ages 7 to 12 years old. Younger and older children are welcome, however ages under 7 must be accompanied by an adult during each meeting. We typically meet once a month from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm (please note offsite trips are planned), but for some events the times may vary. The program operates from October to June but with no meeting in December. Parents or guardians are encouraged to stay and participate or volunteer if they wish.

Paid Registration Required.

Find out more at Young Naturalists

Christmas Bird Counts – Grey and Bruce Counties (2017)

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Held every year between December 14th and January 5th, the Christmas Bird Count is one of the the largest citizen science projects.

If you would like to join one of the counts in Grey or Bruce counties, the contact information and dates of the 2017 counts are listed below. If you are outside the area, or would like more general information about the project, head to the Bird Studies Canada Website.

CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNTS IN GREY AND BRUCE – 2017
LOCATION COMPILER DATE EMAIL
Kincardine James Turland Dec. 15, Fri. jaturland@gmail.com
Hanover-Walkerton Gerard McNaughton Dec. 16, Sat. gmcnaughton@wightman.ca
Owen Sound Erik Van Den Kieboom Dec. 16, Sat. ekieboom@gbtel.ca
Wiarton Jarmo Jalava Dec. 17, Sun. jvjalava@gmail.com
Bruce Peninsula N.P. Tricia Stinnissen Dec. 20, Wed. tricia.stinnissen@pc.gc.ca
Meaford Lynne Richardson Dec. 28, Thur. lynnerichardson@rogers.com
Pike Bay Andrew Keaveney Dec. 28, Thur. uofgtwitcher@msn.com
Cape Chin Andrew Keaveney Dec. 29, Fri. uofgtwitcher@msn.com
Saugeen Shores Norah Toth Jan. 3, Wed. ntoth@rogers.com

Nature Club News, September, 2017

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

NATURE CLUB NEWS

by John Dickson

A version of this column appeared in the OS Sun Times on Wednesday September 13, 2017

Since last month, there have been many Nature Club activities happening in Grey and Bruce Counties.

The Sauble Beach contingent of Piping Plovers had departed by early August, after the most successful year since their return. The Plover Lovers committee and team of monitors had a very successful season, of monitoring and outreach education, including their stimulating Beach Talk speaker series.

On August 19, the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy featured a “Species at Risk Walkabout” with Naturalists Miptoon and Jarmo Jalava.

For several weeks in August the Bruce Birding Club made forays to the Mitchell area to see and study the diverse bird populations in the wetland areas of West Perth.

The Owen Sound Field Naturalists held its first field trips for this new season of 2017-18, by joining in with two of the Monarch tagging days hosted by Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores, an organization dedicated to enhancing the habitat for Monarch and other butterfly species. Formed in the fall of 2014, this organization has engaged in developing habitat sites called pods, along the shores of Lake Huron with an enthusiastic team of volunteers to look after them and many individual butterfly gardens in the residential areas of Southampton and environs. As James Kamstra told us at Kinghurst Butterfly ID event back in July, even then, it was looking like the best year for Monarchs in the last five. In the Southampton area, some properties have been very successful as “roosts”, where butterflies gather to feed and rest while on their journey south. There have been reports of up to five hundred Monarchs in one location there. I too have been noticing many Monarch butterflies working their way south, throughout the area, whether while I was swimming at Sauble Beach with grandchildren, cycling in the Arran Lake area, or running on trails near Tobermory and Dorcas Bay.

At the Monarch tagging event we attended on August 29, Kerry Jarvis and Melitta Smole explained identifying features of Monarchs, male and female, and demonstrated the tagging process, whereby a numbered and recorded lightweight sticker, (an initiative first developed by Canadian Dr. Fred Urquhart in an effort to learn more about the destinations of this iconic species), is carefully attached to a wing. Thereafter, anywhere that butterfly is discovered the origin of its tagging and its eventual final destination can be tabulated, to build on the collected data, from which patterns of travel and interruption can emerge.

Sticky Tofieldia at Petrel point. (Photo by Carol Harris)

Sticky Tofieldia at Petrel point. (Photo by Carol Harris)

OSFN members were also invited to join Botanist Barbara Palmer and members of the Sydenham Bruce Trail Club on Thursday morning, September 7, for a leisurely walk at Petrel Point Nature Reserve to enjoy wildflowers, including lots of asters and goldenrods!

The Owen Sound Field Naturalist Club has already launched its 2017-18 season, sending its Hart’s Tongue Herald newsletter to its membership, and getting started with a flurry of activities in September.

Two separate and complementary September Fern Hikes entitled “Rock Stars of the West Rocks: Ferns in abundance” were filled to capacity with waiting lists, so quickly, that it suggests that OSFN’s popular hike leader and speaker Peter Middleton, is not unlike a Rock Star himself. These opportunities to learn in an outdoor classroom are a special component of OSFN’s programming.

The Owen Sound Field Naturalists Club is getting ready to present its 2017-18 season of speakers and field trips.

Kerry Tagging Monarchs, Sept. 2015 (Photo submitted by Kerry Jarvis)

Kerry Tagging Monarchs, Sept. 2015 (Photo by Melitta Smole)

The OSFN Speaker Series begins this Thursday September 14, with Kerry Jarvis of the “Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores”, and his presentation “Fantastic Pollinators & Where to Find Them”. You are invited to see and hear Kerry Jarvis as he shares the plight of the Monarchs and what one community is doing to attract them, and other pollinators. Discover how you too can lead the way to finding fantastic pollinators! This will take place in the auditorium of the Public Library in Owen Sound. The evening begins at 7PM, and it is recommended to arrive early, if possible. OSFN personnel will be on hand to process membership purchases and renewals as early as 6:30PM. Admission for the evening is free, although donations are welcome.

Peter Middleton leading an earlier fern hike.  (Photo by Carol Harris)

Peter Middleton leading an earlier fern hike. (Photo by Carol Harris)

The club’s Field Trips or “Outings”, will fill up the rest of September with Peter Middleton’s second Fern Hike, and Bob Gray’s field trip to trace a unique watercourse in the area of Colpoy’s Bay, (September 17) and rounding out the month on September 30, is a Trout Hollow Saunter – with Robert Burcher, “Following the Footsteps of John Muir”, near Meaford. The OSFN field trips are splendid opportunities to learn, at first hand, from knowledgeable hike leaders, and are primarily for members, with pre-registration required.

Membership information for mail-in, and/or online membership registration is available at http://owensoundfieldnaturalists.ca/category/membership/

In addition, OSFN is involved as a partner in a supportive role for two special events – a special tree planting programme being planned by the City of Owen Sound to plant 150 trees, in Celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial. Here is the information about that for you to get involved in a volunteer capacity for a community event.

The Big Canadian Tree Plant
Planting of 150 trees at Kelso Beach Park, Owen Sound
September 23rd, 10am to 12:30pm

This event will require the help of many volunteers, who can register on the TD website

The second partnering OSFN is doing is in support of the newly created bursary fund for the Outdoor Education Centre’s association to fund bursaries for attending Outdoor Wilderness Leadership Symposiums (OWLS), diversity initiatives and more.

Last year’s October speaker for OSFN, Adam Shoalts, also well known as Canada’s Indiana Jones, in tribute to his northern explorations, mapping, anthropolgy, writing and academics, is returning to Owen Sound. Just last week he completed his mammoth solo summer voyage, crossing norhern Canada by canoe, and portage from the Yukon-Alaska Border, to the mighty Mackenzie River. and all the way east to Baker Lake, a voyage of discovery, research and celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial.

6:30PM Saturday November 4th is the date and time for his new presentation in the Community Hall in Harrison Park. This special fundraising evening will include special hors d’oeuvres, a trading blanket feature and more.

Tickets are $60. each and can be reserved for you by contacting Deb Diebel at the Outdoor Education Centre, by email at Deborah_Diebel@bwdsb.on.ca or by telephone at 519-534-2767 or 519-379-0864 (cell) Only 70 tickets will be sold, on a first come first serve basis.

Again, this fundraising event is an initiative of the Outdoor Education Centre and its association of Outdoor Educators, with the supporting partnership of Owen Sound Field Naturalists, and Adam Shoalts’ appearance is generously sponsored by Caframo.

The rest of this season’s Speaker Series provides an eclectic array of topics and themes, ranging from the witty and wise ecological fables of Paul Aird, complemented by the exquisite line drawings of Thoreau MacDonald, to local and national representatives of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Then in December a fascinating look at Tom Thomson the Naturalist (and Artist). In January Peter Middleton returns with a talk to follow up on his fern hikes. Always popular Willy Waterton and Audrey Armstrong will share with us their voyage to the North West passage. Dr. Sonja Ostertag will share her research findings related to the Beluga whale. Popular columnist and bird artist Barry Kent McKay joins us in April. Members night in May features a variety of presenters from the club, and the season finale features a friendly social occasion and potluck dinner followed by Markdale native Ted Armstrong’s up to date presentation on the iconic Woodland Caribou.

In addition there is a plethora of outdoor activities, providing opportunities for learning, and for Knowing Nature Better, our club’s motto.

Nature Conservancy Canada, John Lounds and Esme Batten

Friday, September 8th, 2017
Event
Nature Conservancy Canada, John Lounds and Esme Batten
When
Thursday, November 9, 2017
7:00pm - All Ages
Where
Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library (map)
824 First Avenue West
Owen Sound, ON N4K 4K4
Other Info
Nature Conservancy Canada - NCC President and CEO John Lounds, and Esme Batten, Coordinator, Conservation Biology Saugeen Bruce Peninsula will team up to share with you, NCC's history, accomplishments, current projects and future visions, nationally and locally. Learn about Canada's preeminent Conservation organization first hand.

OSFN_Indoor_2017_11_09

Esme Batten


Esme Batten and a Queen snake. (Supplied Photo)

Esme Batten and a Queen snake. (Supplied Photo)


Esme is an assistant conservation biologist for midwestern Ontario with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), and has a background in environmental science from Carleton University.

As a lover of natural history, Esme is lucky to live on the Northern Bruce Peninsula where she spends most of her free time birding, botanizing, herping, hiking and generally enjoying the outdoors.

 

 

John Lounds



John Lounds. (Supplied Photo)

John Lounds. (Supplied Photo)



President & CEO

Leading the helm of Canada's largest non-profit conservation organization is no small task. It requires plenty of energy and passion.

There's no question that the President and CEO of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), John Lounds, is passionate about what he does.

A passion for nature and conservation

John Lounds’s passion for conservation and appreciation of nature was developed while growing up in rural Ontario and spending late summers at a family cottage. John then applied these interests at university, obtaining his undergraduate degree in environmental studies (urban and rural planning) from the University of Waterloo and then a master’s degree in environmental studies from York University.

Prior to joining the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), John was the Executive Director of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists (now Ontario Nature) for six years. Previous to that, he also held several positions with the Government of Ontario, including as a program director for the Ontario Round Table on Environment and Economy, a management board analyst for the ministries of Environment and Northern Development and Mines and an energy conservation planner with the Ministry of Energy.

Leading the way for conservation success

John joined NCC as its president and CEO in October 1997. Through his leadership, NCC has further defined its unique role as an organization that works with individuals and groups across Canada who share NCC’s passion for land conservation. NCC uses creative means to achieve this goal.

Under John’s leadership, NCC has achieved great success, having grown from an annual budget of $8 million in 1997 to approximately $80 million by 2017. In the process NCC has helped conserve 2,800,000 acres (more than 1.1 million hectares) of ecologically significant lands across Canada since 1962. While NCC has accomplished much over the past decade, in John’s view, “there is so much more to do.”

John is a governor of the University of Waterloo, and was previously a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee at the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. He has served as a director of the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation, the Smart Prosperity Initiative, the International Land Conservation Network and on the Canadian councils of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

Born in Brantford, Ontario and raised in Meaford, John enjoys outdoor pursuits, particularly canoeing, birding and cross-country skiing. He is also an avid traveller, having explored various parts of the world, including Japan, India, Africa, Southeast Asia and South America.

John is married to Ellen McRae, and has four step-children: Aimee, Scott, Ed and Melanie.

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Rock Stars of the West Rocks: Ferns in abundance Hike B

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

PeterMiddletonFern2017_2

*** NOTICE – This event is currently full! ***

Event
Rock Stars of the West Rocks: Ferns in abundance Hike B
When
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
9:00am - noon. - All Ages
Where
West Rocks (map)
Owen Sound
Other Info
Join Peter Middleton to explore the rich diversity of fern species and habitats, that make the West Rocks one of Owen Sound’s natural gems.

This is the second part of a series, see also Fern Hike A.

Trip difficulty:
  • Washrooms are not available during the hike.

  • Walking is over woodland trails with exposed rock ridges. Good walking shoes are advised.

  • Water, snacks, sun block and insect repellent should be carried.

Meeting place:
  • Parking area on Concession 3 Derby, north of Co. Rd. #5 (Creamery Hill).


Suggested limit 8, Please register at letham.middleton@icloud.com
or telephone directly (519) 376 - 3242.

(rain date - later the same day - time TBA)

Fern

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Rock Stars of the West Rocks: Ferns in abundance Hike A

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

PeterMiddletonFern2017_1

*** NOTICE – This event is currently full! ***

Event
Rock Stars of the West Rocks: Ferns in abundance Hike A
When
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
9:00am - noon. - All Ages
Where
West Rocks (map)
Owen Sound
Other Info
Join Peter Middleton to explore the rich diversity of fern species and habitats, that make the West Rocks one of Owen Sound’s natural gems.

This is the first part of a series, see also Fern Hike B.

Trip difficulty:
  • Washrooms are not available during the hike.

  • Walking is over woodland trails with exposed rock ridges. Good walking shoes are advised.

  • Water, snacks, sun block and insect repellent should be carried.

Meeting place:
  • Parking area on Concession 3 Derby, north of Co. Rd. #5 (Creamery Hill).


Suggested limit 8, Please register at letham.middleton@icloud.com
or telephone directly (519) 376 - 3242.

(rain date - later the same day - time TBA)

Fern

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Tagging Monarchs at Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores

Monday, August 14th, 2017
Photo © Kerry Jarvis

Photo © Kerry Jarvis

Event
Tagging Monarchs at Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores
When
Saturday, September 2, 2017
1:00pm - 3:00 PM - All Ages
Where
Big Flag (map)
Foot of High Street
Southampton
Other Info
Join Kerry and Melitta near the big flag at the foot of High Street, Southampton.

Sturdy footwear urged. Butterfly nets welcome, some available for use.

Rain Date: Sunday, September 3rd, 2017 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Register: butterflygardensofss@gmail.com

For more info about the Butterfly Gardens at the BGOSS Website, including a monarch tagging video.

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Around the Bay with Fred – Waterfowl ID: Tips and Techniques with Fred Jazvac

Sunday, August 13th, 2017
Fred Jazvac (Photo courtesy of Jim Punnet).

Fred Jazvac (Photo courtesy of Jim Punnet).

Event
Around the Bay with Fred - Waterfowl ID: Tips and Techniques with Fred Jazvac
When
Sunday, November 12, 2017
10:00am - 2:00 PM - All Ages
Where
Bayshore Community Centre (map)
1900 3rd Ave E
Owen Sound, ON
Other Info
Tips and techniques for waterfowl identification, while visiting birding hotspots along Owen Sound's shorelines

Be part of this delightful and educational birding tradition with Fred Jazvac! Meet at the front of the Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound. It is recommended to bring a lunch and to dress for a waterfront environment.

Register: Fred Jazvac, fredjazvac@gmail.com or 519.379.2323.

Limit: none

To learn even more about Fred please visit -
https://huronfringefest.wordpress.com/tag/head-coach-fred-jazvac/

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Butterflies and Mussels, Two Upcoming July Outings

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

There is still room to register in two upcoming events:

Learn about our fluttery friends on the Butterfly ID Workshop (hosted by Ontario Nature), July 16th, 9am-12am, Kinghurst Forest. Click the link for more details, or head directly to the registration form.

The follow up with some freshwater fun on the Freshwater Mussel Field Trip, July 20, 12pm-3pm, near Hanover. More information through the link, please register in advance with jwdickso@gmail.com.