Saturday, September 29, 2012

More great blogs!!

Native Plant Girl Blogspot:

This blog has a glut of resources on the right-hand side and some great updates on courses and activities - mostly in Toronto.

Beans for Birds: Coffee Habitat Blog

Learn about pesticides used on coffee farms, why shade grown coffee is better for wildlife,  the different certification programs and what you can do!

Crowded Creatures (Houston)
Great blog on the humane animal "control" that is possible! They don't use traps or chemicals, and their techniques are endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States.

Meadow hawk's Blog: The Pathless Wood

Lovely naturalist's website about birding and nature adventures in Ottawa.  This summer there are many posts on butterflies, moths, dragonflies and damselflies.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

wildlife city

From the online link:

"The photo above (was) on public display in the "BTCV's Trust for Urban Ecology (T.R.U.E.) - Building a "Wildlife City" Discussion Thread of the "Natural Neighbourhood Flickr Group" of the world-famous KEW, The Royal Botanic Garden for showcasing what we are doing at our homes or in our local neighbourhood to help safeguard the diversity of plant and animal life, and celebrate the "International Year of Biodiversity 2010".

(A) real-life model of TRUE's "Wildlife City" (as shown above can be found) just outside the "Stave Hill Eco Hut & Visitors Centre" at Stave Hill Ecology Park, Rotherhithe, London."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

urban trees, plants and marshmellows...

Some great articles from online resources: 

The Easily Ignored Plants of Our Daily Life (From The Dirt)

About The Dirt (an American Society of Landscape Architects blog)

The Dirt blog covers the latest news on the built and natural environments and features stories on landscape architecture. Published weekly, The Dirt explores design and policy developments related to land and water use, urbanization, transportation, and climate change.

Planting Trees is Like Not Eating a Marshmellow (From Next American City)

About Next American City
Next American City is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting cities and informing the people who work to improve them.  (Check out the tags: landscape architecture, green infrastructure, urban trees and parks)

Photo Credit: Edward Marritz

Monday, September 17, 2012

avian research at trent

Some really interesting research on birds happening at Trent:

-  daily movements of Chimney Swifts
-  the effect of industrial mine-activity on the stress physiology of Whip-poor-wills
-  the community structure of birds on farm and  grasslands of all types in south-central Ontario
-  the role of habitat, insect abundance, and interspecific competition on nightjars

Read more here!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

tigers in the city

What thrills me is knowing — and seeing — that muskellunge thrive inside Canada’s fourth-largest city. Hendrik Wachelka admits he, too, is astounded by its ability to prosper here since, as a top predator, muskie reflect the health of the entire ecosystem. 
“It’s something we should be proud of,” he says. “It tells you there’s a pretty healthy fishery here for all species: from bluegills to golden shiners to walleye to largemouth bass to carp ... 
“I think it’s a miracle that in an urban environment like this, we have a naturally producing, wild population of muskie. It’s like having tigers in the city.”
Link to the full Ottawa Citizen article: A great big fish story: Tao of the urban muskie hunter by Andrew Duffy

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Landmark, Favorite and Heritage Trees (Ottawa)

Everybody has a favorite tree right?  One that is perfect to read a book under, or one that greets us after a long travel, a familiar trail marker or one that we personally planted.  But have we ever shared our favorite trees with others?

Justin Peters of the Ottawa Field Naturalists Club recently created a Facebook page where people could do just that:

His post reminded me that the Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee had held a 'My Favourite Tree' contest in 2003 and the 'Heritage Tree Hunt' project in 2005.  The Favourite Tree winner from 2003 was David Kitz's description of Orleans' Gentle Giant - a "10-storey tall" White Pine tree in a ravine near Jeanne d'Arc Hill in Orleans - a unanimous choice for the committee members.

The OFGAC has some great projects including the Ottawa Tree Canopy Mapping Project and a Native Tree Database (which the Ottawa Field Naturalists Club hosts).

Unfortunately at the end of this summer, the City announced that it was planning to cut back on their Advisory Committees.  RIght now there are 15 (including the OFGAC) and by the end of September (after budget approval) the committees will be streamlined to five.  Which means the mandate of the Forests and Greenspaces will be included under Environment which will also include mandates from Peds & Transit, Parks & Rec, and the previous Environment A.C..

Hear more about it here:

Photo from OFGAC website

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Nature Careers

NEW NATURE-SMART CAREERS: 11 for the Future and for Right Now

from The New Nature Movement by Richard Louv

Two of the new careers that sound interesting are:

•Nature-smart workplace architect or designer. Studies of workplaces that have been created or retrofitted through biophilic (love of nature) design show improved product quality, customer satisfaction and innovation. Successful models include the Herman Miller headquarters building, designed for abundant natural light, indoor plants, and outdoor views, including views of a restored wetlands and prairie on company grounds. After moving into the building, 75 percent of day-shift office workers said they considered the building healthier and 38 percent said their job satisfaction had improved.

Urban wildscaper. Urban designers, landscape architects, and other professionals who develop or redevelop private yards and/or neighborhoods that connect people to nature through the creation of biophilically-designed buildings and preservation of natural land will be increasingly in demand. They will design and establish biodiverse parks, urban forests and community gardens, wildlife corridors and other wild lands. Seattle recently announced plans for a massive urban forest that will produce free food. Wildscapers will also manage wildlife populations.

Read more about it here.  (Image from NNM website.)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"The Case for Urban Nature" - The New School Panel

Biodiversity in Our Cities: The Case for Urban Nature - watch this You Tube video on the Tishman Environment and Design Center Panel Presentation (from the New School) discussing "the status of urban ecology in regional policies and national trends and how cities can develop comprehensive, collaborative, and proactive strategies for biodiversity conservation, management and restoration through government policies, public education, grassroots initiatives, business strategies and living systems design."

Moderator: Marielle Anzelone, Conservation Biologist & Executive Director, NYC Wildflower Week


Marcia Bystryn, Executive Director, New York League of Conservation Voters

Chris Garvin, Partner, Terrapin Bright Green & Senior Associate, Cook+Fox Architects

P. Timon McPhearson, Tishman Environment and Design Center, The New School

Samara Swanston, Pratt Institute Graduate School of Urban Planning and Hunter College Graduate School for Urban Affairs and Urban Planning

Location: Eugene Lang Building, Wollman Hall.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Tishman Environment and Design Center |

Description for Panel Presentation:

Did you know that there is nature in New York City? The five boroughs are rich with forests, marshes, and meadows -- more nature than any other city in North America. Yet these natural resources are threatened by habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation - the same factors that threaten biodiversity everywhere. In fact, about one-third of the native flora and fauna in the United States faces extinction. In our urbanized world, the idea of cities as "concrete jungles" is inaccurate and only further alienates people from the natural world. Conserving and maintaining the ecosystems on which cities depend is essential to the health, wellbeing, and quality of life of their citizens.