Thursday, December 30, 2010

Urban Restoration Walks (Victoria)

It was great to read about these free stream restoration walks offered in Victoria, B.C.:
Cities contain valuable natural habitat that suffers from the pressure of urbanization. This three-part series of interpretive restoration walks enables participants to see first hand restoration efforts occurring in Greater Victoria’s “lost” streams to improve their value as natural habitat. Wattling to stabilize banks, removal of invasive species, planting native species to improve riparian areas, installing log weirs to create pools and riffles, cleanups, releasing salmon fry and the ultimate restoration practice of daylighting a stream are all occurring with the dedicated efforts of environmental groups, public volunteers, the Capital Regional District and municipalities.
Instructors: Val Schaefer is the Academic Administrator of the Restoration of Natural Systems Program, School of Environmental Studies. Jessica Miles is a graduate of UVic’s Environmental Studies Program who is involved with project work for the RNS Program. They will be joined by a local expert for each stream.

Note: Off campus locations. These are not strenuous walks but sturdy footwear, a water bottle and rain gear are recommended.

Read this 2011 post if you want to know the different levels of stream restoration!

Flickr photo from: poconoiridium

P.S. And what about these cool nature walks in Toronto: Lost River Walks!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Inspiring Story found Online

Green Gables: An American Landscape Designed With Nature in Mind: A Prairie Garden. Part 4

By Richard J. Ehrenberg

The view from the lake side toward the house is a seasonally changing mass of color, uninterrupted by paths.

As I sit in the shade of 60-foot willow trees, on the shore of Trippe Lake, at the south end of a bit of land I call Green Gables, it is a sunny Labor Day, 2008. In spite of the 86-degree temperature, a cool breeze off the lake makes it an ideal setting for writing about our prairie garden. With the steady wind at my back, blowing away any mosquitoes in the area, I am looking at the golden glow of the blooming meadow in the center of our back yard.

I have called it “our prairie garden”: A brief discussion of semantics may be in order. “Perennial prairie planting” has a poetic rhythmic sound which is appealing to one’s ears. Pragmatically speaking, it points out to a gardener reading this article that this is a planting of perennials, not annuals – and in fact an intended planting, not a natural occurrence. One of my fears while planning the yard, envisioned a city zoning officer responding to a neighbor’s complaint of my yard being full of weeds, to which my planned response would be, “This is a flower garden of perennial plants, no different from any other flower garden.” Then I would let the city employee try to figure out how to discredit my choice of perennials in comparison to another citizen who might choose all European or Asian perennials. An additional comment about patriotism in purchasing American-made plants might also be in order.

The confrontation, fortunately never took place. Actually, I talked to the zoning officer during the planning phase and asked if there were any planting restrictions and was informed that people can plant whatever they like. The only regulation requires that lawns be limited to a certain height.

I did receive a notice in the mail one time, no doubt prompted by a complaint from my lawn-obsessed neighbor to the east who has a $12,000 tractor with a three-point-hitch mowing deck for the large areas of his lawn, a $2,500 riding mower for tighter areas, and a $350 push mower for working around trees. The official communication stated I must remove all weeds in my yard or the city would do so and charge me for the cost. Since the notice was in no way specific as to which plants were in question, I replied in writing that the exotic weeds growing along the edge of my property were actually on city land and then indicated a willingness to pull them. No reply from the city ever materialized.

Now for a brief discussion of Pragmatics: The term “prairie garden” is most appropriate when used for small prairie plantings in yards. Early on, I once referred to “my back yard prairie” – and a professional, who collects seed from prairie remnants, told me in no uncertain terms it was only a “prairie garden.” Feeling like I had been told, “You’re no Jack Kennedy,” I humbly apologized for the error of my exaggeration. Of course he was correct. Real prairies are thousands of square miles in size, and have many more naturally growing species of forbs and grasses than any yard can accommodate. Or they may even be tiny “prairie remnants” of an acre or two of unbroken land, land that has never experienced a plow. And mine is neither. Mine is an intentional planting, on severely modified soil, of species of plants that may, long ago, have grown on a prairie.

Speaking as an insecure male, I prefer the term “prairie planting” to “prairie garden”. It just sounds more masculine. Women do gardening – men plant things like crops, trees, shrubs, and such.

In any case, our household’s prairie garden at Green Gables was designed to fill the whole center portion of the back yard. The landscape envisioned was one of a cohesive natural environment, one in which a person moves from a woodland setting to a prairie/savannah-like opening, and back to a woodland, while walking the length of the yard. I wanted to live within a nature preserve – a natural setting where plant communities come together. I wanted to create “ecotones.” Hence, the whole back yard lawn was replaced with intermingling prairie species that have been allowed to reseed themselves and thereby move around while interacting with each other, the soil, the moisture, and the dynamics imposed by the adjacent woodland.

A friend with a small tractor that has a three-point hitch enjoyed breaking the sod and repeatedly tilling in the newly germinated weeds.

The only path through the back yard is curved around the very edge of the prairie garden in order to have as little impact on it as possible. There is no arrangement of flower beds irregularly placed in the lawn or arranged with paths encircling them. Small planting beds have more edges than one large planting. More edges translate into less wildlife habitat and more maintenance. Lawn weeds migrate into planting beds. This is not what I wanted to create.

Friends and family frequently comment on the bright colors and the masses of bloom that traditional, exotic gardens normally cannot match. The seasonally changing height adds to the interest, starting with thousands of blue, white, and purple 6-inch-tall violets, which start to bloom in late March. By mid-July the color has risen to an average height of 5 feet, and to the towering 7-foot cup plants (Silphium perfoliatum), scattered about. Daisy fleabane (Erigeron annuus), a volunteer native biennial, blooms for the longest period, from May to the end of August. Some years they appear in large masses, and in other years in the odd scattered cluster. Spotted touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis), another annual volunteer, has migrated from the shady, moist lakeside, where it first appeared as soon as we stopped mowing the lawn, into the prairie garden, and has freely become part of the colorfest. When dry weather comes, a sprinkler is sometimes used to assist their survival – their vase-shaped, dangling flowers provide nectar for the hummingbirds and butterflies.

The attraction of our wildflowers is not limited to daylight hours. The constant movement and lightning flashes of fireflies at dusk and into the evening, from June to the middle of August, adds to our back yard activity and visual interest. Fireflies do not appear in my neighbor’s lawnscapes until the end of July, two months after having become very active at Green Gables. They apparently spill over after dry weather reduces my neighbor’s mowing schedule.

When we moved into Green Gables 14 years ago, the back yard open space was all lawn, for which I had very definite intentions. A friend, Mark Kuhnke, with his Ford tractor and a three-point hitch cultivator turned over the thick sod and continued to cultivate the soil throughout the growing season of 1994, each time a new crop of weeds germinated. For a brief while, Roundup was judiciously used in spots to eliminate persistent weeds. Finally a prairie mix of seed was scattered and raked into the soil. Volunteers like daisy fleabane quickly appeared. Over the years rooted plants and additional seeds have been added. When common milkweed and goldenrod spread excessively they were uprooted around the edges of each colony, and other prairie seed spread in the place they had occupied. Each year Virginia creeper (Parthenicissus quinquefolia), spreads from the woodland planting at the front of the house, and needs to be removed each fall.

A total of 30 species have been incorporated. Grasses were not included, as I had read they tend to dominate over time; I may like to rethink this. The focus is on color rather than replication of a true prairie. [Ed. Note: Grasses in a prairie garden setting not only add to the diversity of the planting, both above the soil and in the root zone, but also lend structural support to the flowering plants and habitat.]

Just prior to Thanksgiving, but after the birds have emptied the seed heads, we cut down the dry, dead forb stems instead of burning. Being in the city and having many evergreen trees surrounding the prairie garden discourages the use of fire. This year I will be trying a new approach in order to avoid the intensive labor of cutting and hauling to the city compost site. To chop the biomass a weed whacker will be used, starting at the top of the still-standing plants and working down the stems. This upper growth will be left to compost or reseed on site. A foot or two of standing stalks will provide continued habitat through the winter for both furry creatures and insects.

The prairie garden has required more time and effort than the forest plantings in other parts of our yard – especially to get started. Incursion by sun-loving alien weeds is the primary cause of all the problems related to planting a meadow.

Of course a traditional exotic-flower garden requires the same amount of effort and for the same reason. In a natural meadow planting, however, the native perennials, in time and with help, become dominant and begin to outgrow the weeds. Intervention and continual long-term maintenance will always be required by both. However, the continuous color and the wildlife activity in the prairie garden are worth the extra effort.

At least it doesn’t have to be done behind or on the seat of a loud lawnmower. The work can be accomplished while listening to the sounds of nature. Even while we work in the yard, the prairie provides an ambience we prefer to the machine-intensive maintenance required by a lawnscape.


Lodging occurs when the upper portion of plant growth, typically the seed head, becomes too heavy to be supported by the stem, and the plant bends toward the ground. In a prairie planting, tall grasses and forbs with substantial stems assist in preventing lodging.

Ecotone: A transitional zone between two communities containing the characteristic species of each.


Richard J. Ehernberg, of the Madison (WI) Chapter, is a landscape architect.

Other chapters of his urban landscaping stories can be found here: Wild Ones (Wisconsin).

I especially liked his story about his front yard forest and camouflaged natural drainage.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Crow Planet

From Crow Planet - Essential Wisdom From the Urban Wilderness:

Crow nests:

"Dryer lint is soft and pleasant, and it is obvious why this might seem like a good idea, but it is not. Residue from detergent and dryer sheets can be irritating and toxic to naked young birds, and dryer lint tends to hold moisture exceedingly well, which can make the nest wet and cold, and actually increase mortality."

Caution on the road:

"...we need to be particularly careful when driving toward crows that are eating in the road; while they would normally fly easily out of the way, they are more prone to miscalculation when absorbed in such meals... the actual truth is that they usually move. Usually is a potent qualifier - in the slender margin between usually and always lies an untold number of dead crows."


"Birds raised by humans tend to be shunned by crow society - the essential crow life-support system that allows birds to find and share food, roosts, mates, protection from predators, and general good times. Without it, and coupled with a lack of proper wariness of humankind, these crows don't last long."

by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

** Flickr picture from Dogfaceboy

P.S. Read this post about local crow roosts and supportive urbanites!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

our bucktoothed neighbour

You may have heard the news this summer, that there were some beaver attacks on dogs in a Red Deer park. What was really heartening was that the dog owners did not side with the City and demand that the beavers be killed - there seemed to be some degree of appreciation for wildlife which was great. Unfortunately this story didn't end well, with one beaver being shot (by a lone vigilante?) but in the end the City changed its stance:

"the City of Red Deer will not remove or relocate the park's six to 12 beavers, because no beaver attacks have been reported since the weekend, said Trevor Poth, the city's parks superintendent.

"We see no need to trap or relocate any beaver at Three Mile Bend at this time," Poth said in a news release. "We will, however, continue to monitor the situation at the park and educate park users."

The city has installed more signs in the park warning people of aggressive wildlife and reminding dog owners to maintain control over their pets in the off-leash park."

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has a great resource on their website providing information on a little over twenty "wild neighbours" that we may encounter in urban areas. The beaver is one of those neighbours. This is a great place to learn more about these impressive creatures!

In Ottawa, the Ottawa Carleton Wildlife Centre can help people with beaver conflicts. An article in their Spring 2010 newsletter, details how they worked with concerned neighbours in the Graham Creek area who wanted to learn how to live with the beavers rather than trap and get rid of them. The OCWC has also worked with Fletcher Wildlife Garden to help overwinter a visitor in their pond.

The Fur Bearer Defenders (located in Burnaby) also has a campaign to help beavers:

"The main goals of our beaver campaign are to:

a) encourage local municipalities to replace cruel trapping with non-lethal alternatives
b) encourage city councils to pass legislation to prohibit cruel traps
c) raise awareness of the benefits of beavers in our ecosystem"

** Flickr photo by Keith Williams

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Storylistening (links to podcasts)

"Storytelling is an oral art form, so what better way to explore what storytelling has to offer environmental activism and education than through podcasts of interviews with storytellers..."

Above quote from Restorying the Earth

I like these two:

Emily Dodd: Inspiring Children to Care about Wildlife
Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fiona MacLeod: Trees, Stones and Water
Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sunday, December 5, 2010

get your lawn off grass

Professor Bill Freedman explains the environmental and aesthetic benefits to his grass-free lawn, made up entirely of native species in the heart of south end Halifax. Video by KM Productions.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Marsh Creek EcoChallenge (Saint John)

Interesting project to get the community engaged about a local restoration project:

As a part of the most ambitious sustainable development proposal in Atlantic Canada's history - the Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative - Atlantic Coastal Action Program - Saint John is proposing to hold the inaugural Marsh Creek EcoChallenge in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative [MCRI] is much more than a restoration project, it is a strategically-timed sustainability initiative that seeks to set an example for the rest of the country of how a once-degraded and embarrassing ecosystem can be turned into a ground-breaking example of how an urban environment can be integrated with natural systems, rather than just being built on top them. It is for these reasons that the MCRI is beginning to gain international attention from renowned environmentalists such as Alexandra Cousteau, as they look to Saint John to see how a prototypical industrial city attempts to re-invent its most abused ecosystem as not only a safe place for fish and wildlife, but as a catalyst for a new model of urban living and growth (for more information, visit

The proposed Marsh Creek EcoChallenge will continue to follow the MCRI's roadmap of sustainability by directly involving the community on environmental, social and economic levels. The Marsh Creek EcoChallenge will involve two key components:

First, a comprehensive BioBlitz of the Marsh Creek watershed, involving researchers and scientists from organizations such as the University of New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Museum and the Saint John Naturalists Club. Researchers will assess habitat, document species of fish, wildlife and birds, as well as geological features for the Stonehammer UNESCO Geopark, all while social scientists study the community's use of water features, document historical sites and evaluate the socio-economic health of urban neighbourhoods in the area.

Secondly, to help promote community wellness and bring people closer to the amazing natural areas of Marsh Creek, a full scale adventure challenge will take place across the watershed, involving paddling, running, geocaching and cycling through some of Canada's finest urban green areas. This portion of the Marsh Creek EcoChallenge will engage a greater audience into watershed issues while promoting the tourist potential of a restored urban watercourse and active transportation alternatives, all while providing a fun, engaging opportunity to meet new people and learn about nature.

When all is said and done, the Marsh Creek EcoChallenge will have gathered countless pages of invaluable scientific data on this historically degraded and abused watershed, while simultaneously showcasing its potential to local, national and international participants in a unique outdoor adventure racing event, both of which will be unparalleled in eastern Canada. In just a few short days, the Marsh Creek EcoChallenge will have brought the focus of the region onto the untapped natural beauty and geographic diversity of Marsh Creek and will truly showcase the ability of the Marsh Creek Restoration Initiative to transform the worst of Saint John's image into an economic driver for not just the city, but for New Brunswick as a whole.

(Info from the Aviva Community Fund website)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cities and the Environment (CATE) (Massachusetts)

Another great online resource: CATE - The Electronic Journal of the Urban Ecology Collaborative - published by the Urban Ecology Institute and Boston College in collaboration with USDA Forest Service.

This journal seems to be published twice a year although, the last publication is in 2009. Some great articles here: ecological landscaping, green roofs, native bees and others.

Check it out: Cities and the Environment

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Urban Landscape Lab (Columbia)

Urban Landscape Lab

This is a great resource that includes a list of different projects that the students and teachers are involved in, an encyclopedia that "links ideas, designs and issues facing urban ecosystems" and an update on newsworthy items.

The Urban Landscape Lab is an inter-disciplinary applied research group at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation that focuses on the role of design in urban ecosystems.

Helping to advance the dialogue for positive change in urban ecosystems!

Monday, November 8, 2010

parking lots to paradise (Toronto)

This made me thrilled:

"From Parking Lot to Paradise; The Making of an Urban Garden"
The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson

The Ottawa Botanical Garden Society continues to bring to Ottawa important speakers who enlighten and excite us about the world of horticulture. To that end, we are pleased to announce that The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson will speak to our members and the general public on Monday, April 26th, 2010, about building her new garden in Toronto where a six-car parking lot once stood. Our former Governor General is a keen gardener, has hosted the Canadian Peony Society national show twice at Rideau Hall, and she and her husband, John Raulston Saul were instrumental in making the splendid gardens at the official residence of the Governor General what they are today.

(I didn't get to attend the talk but would have been great to hear about!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Get involved in learning about and protecting our local biodiversity with:

Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club (including Fletcher Wildlife Garden)

- Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)

- Friends of the Jock River

- Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital

- Canadian Wildlife Federation (Backyard Habitat Program)

- Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre

- Ottawa Stewardship Council (cool turtle nesting project)

Real Action in Lanark

- Friends of Petrie Island

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Safari 7 in NYC

Love this idea!

Safari 7 is a self-guided tour of urban wildlife along the 7 subway line. The 7 Line is a physical, urban transect through New York City’s most diverse range of ecosystems. Affectionately called the International Express, the 7 line runs from Manhattan’s dense core, under the East River, and through a dispersed mixture of residences and parklands, terminating in downtown Flushing, Queens, the nation’s most ethnically diverse county.

Safari 7 circulates an ongoing series of podcasts and maps that explore the complexity, biodiversity, conflicts, and potentials of New York’s ecosystems. (This project) imagines train cars as eco-urban classrooms, and invites travelers to act as park rangers in their city.

A collaboration between The Urban Landscape Lab and MTWTF.

(All above details from their website.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

grass cultivars for the north

Would love to see him talk some day:

"Grasses and Grasscapes: From the Four Corners of the Earth to You"
A Talk by Dave Demers

Dave Demers, a modern day plant hunter and garden designer, delighted his audience with his sumptuous photographs of grasscapes in the wild, and in cutting-edge gardens. Mr. Demers, who has traveled the world to discover plants in their native habitats, outlined and described the best grass cultivars for our northern landscapes. Dave currently owns Cyan Horticulture, a design-build landscape company in Vancouver.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Streets back to Parks.... (Montreal)

“We’re looking at streets and asking ourselves, ‘Is it really useful’,’’ he said in a recent interview. “We’ve identified about 20 streets that are not useful, that can be taken out and retransformed into green spaces.’’ Mayor of Montreal on the Project Montreal

From Daily Commercial News

Saturday, October 2, 2010

winter flowers

It is well known that you can create a heaven for birds by planting native wildflowers such as purple and yellow coneflowers, bee balm, larkspur, black-eyed susan, and maximilian sunflowers.

What you may not know is that you could keep these flowers and others through the winter to continue to attract birds. Flowers such as cosmos, snapdragon, zinnia, cockscomb, aster and larkspur can be left to let dry where they stand after their bloom is finished.

Here are more details:

These delicate flowers produce seed heads that attract finches, cardinals, sparrows and others. Simply allow daisies to go to seed at the end of the season and watch the birds flock to your garden as the weather becomes colder.

Do not deadhead the plants at the end of the season. Simply allow them to go to seed naturally and enjoy the flocks of birds that gather to harvest the seeds.

Purple Coneflower
This quick-growing plant returns each year with bigger and brighter blooms. It produces a sturdy seed head that supports the weight of large birds, which stop to reap the harvest.

Black-eyed Susans
These produce thick seed heads and when left to go to seed provide seeds for wild birds.

These flowers brighten the landscape during the summer and produce seeds that attract a variety of birds in fall and winter.

Information from:
- Birds and Blooms
- Birdwatchers Digest

Image from Flickr: Kim Naumann

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

landscaping for energy efficiency

While one option for lowering our energy demands seems to be new, more efficient technology, there are many ways to work with mother nature so that our energy needs are less. Old fashioned options, such as backyard clotheslines and cold cellars utilize resources that are readily available and basically free. There are plenty of things we can learn from past generations who lived efficiently and worked with the land and the seasons and natural energy sources.

For most of us, taking advantage of the sun, wind and shelter to lessen home energy needs while designing and building a house is not an option but we can use landscaping and other easy retrofits to benefit from shade and sheltering gains offered by trees, shrubs and awnings.
- Add trees and shrubs in your yard to shield your home from road noise and prevailing winds.

- Deciduous trees are the best as they lower your energy bill all year, providing shade in summer and sunshine in winter.

- Think about using a trellis draped with vines or climbing perennials which will cool ground-floor windows facing west.

- Low-growing evergreen shrubs planted beside basement walls help keep warmth in and winter winds out.

- Flower gardens with tall plants help retain moisture in the ground. With larger gardens (and less grass) you spend less energy on watering and mowing your lawn.

- Awnings installed on upper-floor windows shade your interior space and help control heat gain in the summer.

- Porches were used extensively as shaded outdoor spaces that were cooler that the interior of homes. They also kept the front rooms of the house shaded from the sun also.
(This list was taken from a municipal site - my apologies as I don't have the link anymore.)

* Photo from Weisert at Flickr

Monday, September 20, 2010

Woods in jeopardy

ENVIRONMENT: Ontario has quietly slashed budgets for buying woods and wetlands

September 10, 2010
The cash-strapped Ontario government has quietly slashed its budget for buying significant woods and wetlands, forcing conservation groups to seek private donations to protect the environment.

"Canadians expect the government will look after the environment. The government is not going to do it," said Don Gordon, executive director of the Southwestern Ontario-based Thames Talbot Land Trust.

"Canadians are going to have to do it themselves."

The cuts have come in several ways.

Funding for core programs that help national conservation groups buy and maintain land has been cut in half, from $5 million to $2.5 million. Greenlands Challenge, a provincial fund that provided money to regional land trusts to buy land, has been cancelled for at least one year. Funding for the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, which helps regional land trusts pay legal and survey costs associated with purchases, has been cut 25%.

"The bottom line is, these cuts are impacting very substantially on environmental work being done by volunteers," said Ian Macnab, executive director of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance.

A Natural Resources Ministry spokesperson confirmed the cuts to the three land-buying programs and a "deferral" for at least a year of the Greenlands Challenge. "It is a redeployment of resources," Audrey Tobolka said. The government remains committed to protecting the environment through other programs, and has helped land trusts buy 11,500 hectares of environmentally important land since 2006, she said.

But the NDP's natural resources critic Howard Hampton said the cuts are only the latest from a government that proudly touts its record on the environment while at the same time damaging it. "This is part of a pattern. This government has been cutting the budget of the ministry of natural resources by stealth since 2003," he said. The number of fisheries and forestry workers have been cut across the province, and now in Southern Ontario it will become more difficult to buy environmentally sensitive land, Hampton said. "You are going to have a huge natural environment deficit."

Given a financial deficit reaching $20 billion, the Liberal government is bound to continue cutting, he said.

Land trusts use the money to buy property, already identified by the province as environmentally significant, from private owners. In Southwestern Ontario, the Talbot trust has purchased eight properties, including Meadowlily Nature Preserve in London's southeast end. The lands usually support a rich diversity of species, often including rare or uncommon plants and animals. But the lands also provide an anchor to preserve much larger tracts of land, conservationists say.

For example, the Thames trust is trying to buy the Tanager Tract, a 40-hectare piece of Carolinian forest -- a type of forest with plants and trees more common in the mid-south of the U.S. than in Canada -- near West Lorne. The tract stands at the northwest corner of a much larger, 380-ha forest that's been largely protected over the years but still supports some sustainable logging, Gordon said. The 40-ha Tanager Tract will not only provide a refuge for species during logging or other intrusions into the rest of the forest, but it'll also influence how others use the rest of the tract, he said.

"The thing that makes it even more important is that there are few large natural areas left in southern Ontario."

The Talbot trust has until Nov. 1, when the deal is set to close, to raise the purchase price of $220,000 plus another $65,000 for an endowment fund that supplies an annual source of money for restoration and maintenance work.

The province's Greenlands Challenge Fund would usually supply up to half the money for such a purchase, Gordon said.

"The province very quietly killed the program," he said.

In a bid to get more donations from the public, the Talbot trust is offering tours of the Tanager Tract several Saturdays this fall (visit for more information.) Those land trusts able to find the money to buy land may find it harder to get the funds for the surveys, transfer fees and legal bills for purchases, Macnab said.

Last year, the land trust alliance supported the purchase of 29 properties, but had to turn away another 12 groups seeking help, Macnab said.

This year, with 25% less funding, there could be even more land trusts struggling without the alliance's help, he said.
Image Above: Lisa Sargent-Reed, left, and Nona Irvine walk through the Meadowlily Nature Preserve, a 5.8-hectare piece of property on the south branch of the Thames River and the first property purchased by the Thames Talbot land trust. (MORRIS LAMONT, The London Free Press)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


one of the first plants to grow every spring, ever pervasive, growing out of cracks, offering us herbal remedies and nutrients and providing the first nectar and pollen for important native pollinators.

showing us that nature can't be stopped, that no matter what, with a little rain and some sun, renewal is just a step away.

but while it's wonderful to think that nature has its own plans, that it can't be deterred, there are things that we can do to encourage a healthy biodiversity in the city and lessen our impact on this earth.

this is my scrapbook of interesting ideas and articles regarding urban ecology and wildlife.  this is where I share my collection of "clippings" with friends.

** Photo from Mikeography at Flickr