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Showing posts from August, 2017

Road killed

Driving a car shields vehicle occupants from the visceral experience of death and destruction they wreak. Maybe that sounds hyperbolic, but let me tell you: I'll bet you didn't even see the animal you ran over.  It's different when you are on foot, or in my case, on a bike, the results are all too - graphically - apparent. There's the dead body, protective shell crushed, guts exposed, the smear of blood like a crime scene, telling a story of a violent end of life.  On my short journey between McMaster and the Urquhart Butterfly Garden I encountered 2 dead turtles crushed on Olympic Drive, and one snake, splattered at McMaster parking access. If you missed it, I've got the photographic evidence here for you.  It's no secret that Cootes and Olympic Drive, and McMaster parking, are all built in and through a biodiverse area, much of which is protected as a nature sanctuary. The presence of vehicles slicing through the middle of the natur

Cleaning the planet near you! Creek Cleanup this weekend in Cootes

Volunteers make the world go around, and these folks get right into making sure the spinning globe has some clean and tidy sections: The Stewards of Cootes do weekly clean ups and invite you to volunteer to make a difference . This session offers a chance to get right in the stream which isn't always an option due to the lifecycle of the fish. Here are the (wet or dry) details of their upcoming session in Cootes: Sunday August 27th from 9:00 am to noon Stewards of Cootes will be meeting  in the back lot on the left side as you face 64 Hatt Street.    Cootes Paradise, photo by Randy Kay Volunteers who wish will be in the streams around Dundas. We will be continuing our sweeps upstream in Spencer, Ancaster and Spring creeks. Due to our short window of opportunity for in water work things are rather urgent as we are trying to finish our stream sweep before fish hatcheries force us back onto the land for the rest of the year.  Gentle Moderate and Rugged Terrain will be av

When politics of parking gives way to science: Video with Reyna Matties

Once McMaster agreed to depave a section of their parking lot in west campus lot "M" the space quickly transformed into an outdoor science lab with researchers and undergrads taking on projects in the area once known as Coldspring Valley Nature Sanctuary. Reyna talks about her place in Hamilton and her role in the research in lot M in this McMaster produced video:

Another look at McMaster Parking Lot M after the depaving (video)

I went back to the same spot to grab a time-lapse of Lot M, post asphalt removal to create the 30m minimum required buffer between the parking lot and Ancaster Creek, a cold water creek that was moved to allow more parking in the 1960s. There's hope for the future of this space, which formerly was a Royal Botanical Gardens nature sanctuary known as Coldspring Valley. We will have some updates to announce soon! With your help, we can keep moving forward to see more of this area returned to nature. Please sign-up to keep informed about developments and campaigns from Restore Cootes!

Turtle ecology, conservation and what you can do to help our at risk turtles!

Seven of Ontario's eight turtle species are at risk. Road mortality poses a major threat. Let's talk turtle ecology, conservation and what you can do to help ! Morgan Piezak (McMaster MSc Candidate Biology) and Sarah Richer (RBG) For more info: Time: Wednesday, August 2, 5:30pm Location: Ye Old Squire 875 Main Street West, Hamilton.  website