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Showing posts from 2018

Filling In The Floodplain

I'm stepping in to fill-in for the injured Wayne Terryberry on this interpretive hike - on the filled-in floodplain of lower Ancaster Creek, formerly Coldspring Valley Nature sanctuary,  currently McMaster Parking Lot M - also the site of a rehabilitation project that has peeled back the asphalt to create a 30 metre riparian zone to separate the cold-water creek from the parking. Lots to see and discuss, and this hike will have a lot more about the natural science of the space with McMaster Biology prof Susan Dudley.

Moving toward MacMarsh at McMaster

Some interesting approaches to looking at rehabilitating a McMaster parking lot to become a coldwater wetland. I'll be on the panel discussing the historical aspects of the site, with other smarter people, 10am Thursday, October 25, 2018. Two days prior, Patricia Johanson  will be speaking about the way she uses art, site-specific art, to help heal the earth. Should be inspiring. Hope you can make it.

History Hike in West Campus Tuesday, September 11 at 2pm

We're going on a hike to introduce McMaster students (and any other interested participants) to this former RBG Coldspring Valley Nature Sanctuary and coldwater creek floodplain  - currently a parking lot - to examine the past, present and future of this place that is undergoing an important ecological transformation. Tour Leaders  Dan Coleman (English Professor and author of Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place ) Randy Kay (Restore Cootes) Judy Major-Girardin (School of the Arts)

Urquhart Butterfly Garden speaker series

A lovely butterfly garden is the perfect setting for this annual speaker series. August 4, 2018, Guest speaker: Doreen Nicoll You cannot have Monarch Butterflies without milkweed.  Doreen Nicoll has recently become a heroine for monarch butterflies, by insisting on her rights to grow milkweed in her naturalized garden in Burlington. Doreen  Nicoll has long understood that garden with nature and not against her is the best thing for our planet. She also knows that native plants are great at attracting butterflies and bees of all species. Doreen will be the first presenter in the Summer Series at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden and her topic will be Monarchs and Their Milkweed and naturalized gardening. She has wealth of information and is fun as well! The session will begin at 11 am Saturday on August 4 and last approximately one hour.  Please bring a chair. If it rains the session will be cancelled. For more information about the Urquhart Butterfly Garden please visit ur

McMaster Versus Maria's Walk

It seems that McMaster can't quite figure out a welcoming approach to this historical trail.  Signs have gone from "no trespassing" to "use at own risk" and now, "do not use" with the unwelcome addition of a chain link fence at the top and the bottom of the west campus trail. Why all the changes from threatening to personal responsibility, and now back to prohibitive with physical barriers?  Bottom of Maria's Walk trail 2013 Top of Trail C 2016 2018 top of trail with Do Not Use sign and fence 2018 Fence at top of trail looking down 2018 fence at bottom of trail Historical photo of Thorndale trailhead when the area was and RBG Nature Sanctuary                                Selected links h

Turtle Trouble on World Turtle Day

A new virus infecting the local turtle population , road mortality as cars and trucks continue their shell-crushing trips down Cootes Drive. Yes, it's  WORLD TURTLE DAY and things are admittedly pretty bad for our slow-moving reptile friends. That means it's time to make some changes! Why not start with things we can easily control, like our own behaviour. Driving along Cootes? Pledge now to use an alternate route (click on the link above to take the pledge!) A minute or two will save lives!

Dundas Waste Water making fish sluggish in Cootes Paradise

Chemicals in Cootes Paradise are making fish sluggish Study says fish are burning energy to deal with effluent from treatment plant instead of on feeding, mating by Mark McNeil, Hamilton Spectator If you've ever noticed fish looking unusually tuckered out in the waters of Cootes Paradise, a new McMaster study might have an explanation. It seems effluent from the Dundas Wastewater Treatment Plant could be the cause. The study published this week in the journal Environmental Science and Technology says wild sunfish downstream from the plant expended 30 per cent of their energy to push back the onslaught of chemicals. That means less stamina for other things like finding food and a mate. "The main thing we found is that the exposure essentially required the fish to burn a lot more energy," said Graham Scott, senior author of the research paper. A lot of chemicals — including pharmaceuticals — just pass through the treatment plants into receiving waters. Expose

Freeze Frame

Deep freeze, thaw, deep freeze. Here we are in January 2018. Cootes is looking good no matter the weather!