Heard it from a Scout: Plastic-free camping

A group of Scouts on a camping trip (Photo courtesy of Alyana Lalani)

For Scouts, the natural world is incredibly important. The environment is our home, a place where we play, learn and have fun, so it is our duty to take care of it. The Leave No Trace principle, which provides guidelines on how to minimize your...

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What the heck is a neotenic salamander?

Lemon-yellow prehistoric-looking creature that I later found out to be a western tiger salamander (Photo by Sherry Nigro)

My dad told me about it during a phone call. A neighbour had discovered some weird, not-seen-here-before creatures in his dugout. Bright yellow ones, dark ones, some with frills around their necks like miniature dinosaurs; these creatures were...

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How to build a bug hotel

Bee homes come in all shapes and sizes. (Photo by NCC)

Mason bee home (Photo by CBT/NCC)

Looking for a fun gardening project to help the pollinators in your yard? Why not build a bug hotel? What is a bug hotel? Designed to attract and shelter garden insects, bug hotels are home-made structures constructed from plant material and...

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Why take the time?

Bioblitz in action at Dundurn, NCC's newest property in Saskatchewan (Photo by Meghan Mickelson)

A first-timer’s experience with volunteering for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC): It was a Saturday morning in June — cloudy and windy, as most prairie days are. My partner and I loaded up our gear and head off to pick up a...

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If you build it, they will come: Black bear dens on Vancouver Island

An example of the purpose-built den pods (Photo courtesy of Helen Davis)

For 26 years, I have been captivated by black bears and where they spend their winters. It all started with my masters of science research project in the Nimpkish Valley on Vancouver Island. I’ve been to lots and lots of dens ― usually in...

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Heard it from a Scout: How we can take a LEAP for the environment

Hiking allows you to explore nature and get moving! (Photo courtesy Scouts Canada)

No matter who we are, where we live or what we do, we interact with the environment daily. For children, nature is often a playground. For some adults, it can be a place of silent refuge. Regardless of one’s relationship with the outdoors,...

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Why you should send your kids to nature's summer school

People spending time in nature (Photo by Joe McFarlane/iStock)

Ahh, summer. A break from backpacks and lunches, homework and bedtime fights. But under the relief, there is a niggling thought about how Jack/Jane will spend their summer, and about how ready they will be for school in September. How about...

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The return of the swamp forest

Conservation Volunteers planting trees at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Robert Britton)

Imagine, if you will, an abandoned-looking farm in the southern Ontario countryside. You park your car and start walking into the back sections of it. After a while, you find yourself in a thickly grassed and soggy area with a tiny stream running...

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Long live loons and their research

I paddled hundreds of kilometres searching for loons and their nests. (Photo by Kent Prior)

In the 1970s, North Americans were already concerned about the effects of human activity on the common loon, a large charismatic diving bird that breeds on lakes. My bachelor’s thesis at Queen’s University examined this concern on...

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Welcoming our summer visitors

Canada warbler (Photo by Gerald Deboer)

Spring at the cottage is so exciting. I have many clear memories of those first steps out of the car each year after the lake ice has broken up…The scent of trees coming back to life, humidity from breezes blowing across the waves, the...

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