Read how you can protect water in southern Ontario, join a Christmas Bird Count, nominate a conservation hero, joint the Forests Ontario Conference and much more
       
Conservation updates for member groups.

Help Protect Southern Ontario’s Water

We now have a unique opportunity to protect precious water features across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Heeding our collective call for a Bluebelt to safeguard the region’s moraines, headwaters, river valleys and wetlands, the Government of Ontario has initiated a 90-day public consultation on a study area for potential Greenbelt expansion. We invite you to join us in expressing your support for growing the Greenbelt to protect our water and urging the government to proceed without delay. You can help demonstrate widespread public support for Greenbelt expansion by signing our letter to Premier Wynne. Every voice matters.

Celebrate the Holidays with a Christmas Bird Count

The holiday season is just around the corner and with it the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC). Running from December 14 to January 5, the CBC engages bird lovers of all ages and skill levels in collecting data on Ontario’s birds. Each year, Ontario Nature member groups organize local counts in their communities as a part of this great tradition. If your group is planning a count that you would like promoted through our website and social media channels, please let us know. We also have a CBC press release template that you are welcome to adapt for media in your area. Visit the Ontario Nature website for more information and to download the press release template.

 

Good Choices, Bad Choices

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s (ECO) 2017 Environmental Protection Report, Good Choices, Bad Choices: Environmental Rights and Environmental Protection in Ontario, is now available. The report examines eight issues of concern to environmentalists this year, including pollution and Indigenous communities, Ontario’s protected areas shortfall, failing to protect the Algonquin wolf and reforming the Environmental Bill of Rights. Electronic copies of the report can be downloaded from the ECO website. To arrange to receive a hard copy, contact Lisa Richardson at lisar@ontarionature.org.

 

Who Are Your Nature Heroes?

Join us in recognizing Ontario’s nature heroes by submitting nominations for the 2017 Ontario Nature Conservation Awards. These annual awards recognize excellence by honouring individuals, groups, government agencies and corporations who have worked to protect nature in Ontario. All award recipients will be honoured at our Annual General Meeting on June 2, 2018 at Isaiah Tubbs Resort in Prince Edward County. The deadline for nominations is March 26, 2018. Visit the Ontario Nature website for more information about the award categories and submission guidelines.

Join the Forests Ontario Conference on February 9, 2018

No matter where we live, forests play an indispensable role in our lives. They are the backbone of healthy ecosystems, and will play a vital role in addressing climate change. While climate change will send ripples throughout society, the environment and the economy, it will also breed innovation and creative problem solving. Our forests may prove to be the solution. Join Forests Ontario on February 9, 2018 at the Nottawasaga Inn in Alliston, for the 2018 Forests Ontario Annual Conference as we discuss the challenges and opportunities of climate change and explore the theme of "The Ripple Effect". The conference will feature a keynote address by Mark Robinson of Storm Hunters and the Forests Ontario Annual General Meeting.

Ontario is Their Home and Yours

Ontario is home for you and the wild species you love. While many of those species are tucked away in hibernation or have flown south for the winter, they are counting on you to stand guard and protect their home for a safe return next spring. You can make a critical difference in protecting the homes of beloved species – big and small – this winter with your gift today. Together we can be there for species you love this holiday. Please protect your home and the home of Ontario’s species you love this winter with your special holiday gift. Thank you!

Events

Nature London’s Nature in the City Lecture Series
  • When the Salt of the Earth Meets Wildlife Rehab with Brian Salt, Tuesday January 16 @ 7:00pm at Central Library (251 Dundas Street) in London; for more information visit www.naturelondon.com.
  • How Do You Tail a Bird with Dr. Keith Hobson, Tuesday January 23 @ 7:00pm at Central Library (251 Dundas Street) in London; for more information visit www.naturelondon.com.
  • A Long, Long Time Ago: London’s Geologic Journey with Dr. Cam Tsujita, Tuesday January 30 @ 7:00pm at Central Library (251 Dundas Street) in London; for more information visit www.naturelondon.com.
  • Reviving Indigenous Knowledge in Interacting with the Natural World with Andrew Judge, Tuesday February 6 @ 7:00pm at Central Library (251 Dundas Street) in London; for more information visit www.naturelondon.com.
  • Changing the City’s Culture Through Permaculture with Becky Ellis, Tuesday February 13 @ 7:00pm at Central Library (251 Dundas Street) in London; for more information visit www.naturelondon.com.
  • Taking a Walk on the Wild Side with Gail McNeil, Tuesday February 20 @ 7:00pm at Central Library (251 Dundas Street) in London; for more information visit www.naturelondon.com     
Orillia Naturalists' Club
  • Audubon Christmas Bird Count and Pot Luck Supper, Saturday December 16; for more information or to register contact Fern Splichal at 705-325-2952.
  • Travels with the Nature Buffs with Chris Evans, Wednesday January 3 @ 7:30pm; for more information contact Heather Ewing at 705-259-0797.
Brereton Field Naturalists' Club
  • Christmas Bird Count and Potluck Supper, Saturday December 16; registration deadline is December 8; to register contact Chris Evans at 705-722-1136 or chrisgevans55@gmail.com.
  • Birds of the Galapagos Islands with Justin Peter, Friday January 19 @ 7:30pm at Northwest Barrie United Church Hall (464 Ferndale Drive North) in Barrie; for more information contact Cay Mills at 705-739-1094.
  • Minesing Raptors, Saturday February 3 @ 8:30am at Little Lake Park parking lot in Barrie; for more information contact Brian Gibbon at 705-721-4599.
  • Bird Banding in Africa with Courtney Shaw, Friday February 16 @ 7:30pm at Northwest Barrie United Church Hall (464 Ferndale Drive North) in Barrie; for more information contact Cay Mills at 705-739-1094.
Peninsula Field Naturalists
  • St. Catharines Christmas Bird Count, Sunday December 17; for more information contact Bob Highcock at 905-688-1260.
  • Port Colborne Christmas Bird Count, Saturday December 30 @ 8:00am; meet at the McDonalds at the intersection of Hwy. #58 and Hwy. #3 in Port Colborne.
    Bert Miller Nature Club
Bert Miller Nature Club
  • Holiday Potluck Featuring a Presentation on Eastern Bluebirds by Bill McIlveen, Monday December 18 @ 6:00pm at Stevensville Conservation Area (2555 Ott Road) in Stevensville; for more information contact Lynda Goodridge at 905-871-5856.
Saugeen Nature
  • Snowshoe Hike for Screech Owls at Kinghurst Forest Nature Reserve, Saturday January 27 @ 7:00pm; meet at the northeast entrance to Kinghurst reserve opposite Harrison Lake; for more information and to register contact saugeenfieldnaturalists@yahoo.ca.
  • Club Meeting Featuring a Presentation on the Alternative Land Use Service Program in Grey and Bruce Counties by Keith Reid (Georgian Central Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Monday February 19 @ 8:00pm; for more information contact saugeenfieldnaturalists@yahoo.ca.
  • Winter Nature Walk at Sulphur Springs Conservation Area, Saturday February 24 @ 10:00am; for more information contact saugeenfieldnaturalists@yahoo.ca.
Norfolk Field Naturalists
  • Peru and Machu Picchu with Heather Walters, Tuesday January 9 @ 7:30pm at Simcoe Seniors Centre (89 Pond Street) in Simcoe; for more information contact Len at 519-428-6796.
  • Winter Birding in Haldimand County, Sunday January 21 @ 2:00pm; meet in Port Dover at the base of the dock on the west side of the harbor; for more information contact Len at 519-428-6796.
Credit Valley Conservation York-Simcoe Naturalists
  • The American Four Corners: An Ecological Journey with Doug Jagger and Ken Vogan, Tuesday January 9 @ 7:30pm at the River Drive Park Community Centre (20 Oak Avenue) in East Gwillimbury; for more information contact ysn.naturalists@gmail.com.
  • Creating Wonderful Wetlands: Consideration for Success with Lori McLean (Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority), Tuesday February 13 @ 7:30pm at the River Drive Park Community Centre (20 Oak Avenue) in East Gwillimbury; for more information contact ysn.naturalists@gmail.com.
  • Citizen Science Programs and the Reptile and Amphibian Atlas with Emma Horrigan (Ontario Nature), Tuesday March 13 @ 7:30pm at the River Drive Park Community Centre (20 Oak Avenue) in East Gwillimbury; for more information contact ysn.naturalists@gmail.com.
Midland-Penetanquishene Field Naturalists
  • Christmas Bird Count and Potluck, Saturday December 16 @ 6:00pm at Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre; for more information contact Dave Schandlen at 705-526-8320.
  • Travels with the Nature BFFs, Thursday January 18 @ 7:30pm at Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre; for more information contact Ken MacDonald at 705-331-5263.
Toronto Field Naturalists
  • Nature Images Show, Saturday February 3 @ 1:30pm at S. Walter Stewart Library auditorium (170 Memorial Park Avenue) in Toronto.
Niagara Falls Nature Club
  • Niagara Falls Christmas Bird Count, Wednesday December 27; for more information contact Marcie Jacklin at 905-871-2577.

Upcoming Deadlines

The next issue of the Nature Network News will be sent on January 15, 2018. The deadline for submissions is January 1, 2018.

Submissions can be sent to naturenetwork@ontarionature.org.

Please note that events can be listed up to two months in advance – allowing others to put it on their calendar well in advance.

 Ontario Nature publishes the Ontario Nature Network News every month with contributions from its member groups and staff. Ontario Nature grants permission for use of the information above in member group newsletters. Please credit either Ontario Nature or the member group.

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Photo credits: Jeff Bryant, Jessica McComb, Noah Cole, Robert McCaw