Saving the bees: Plants to help our buzzing buddies

American bumble bee (Photo by K.S. Gardener/iNaturalist)

American bumble bee (Photo by K.S. Gardener/iNaturalist)

Humans have a very delicate relationship with bees. Despite their importance, many of us fail to understand just how much bees impact our daily lives — and how much we’re putting them at risk. Canada has over 850 native bee species,...

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Heard it from a Scout: Light a campfire like a Scout

Toronto Island campfire (Photo by Scouts Canada)

Toronto Island campfire (Photo by Scouts Canada)

Whether you are going on an easy day hike or a week-long backpacking adventure, being able to build a fire is an important survival skill. While you may plan to bring a lighter or matches, it’s always best to be prepared with fire-starting...

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Keep Halifax Wild

Colpitt Lake inside the future Halifax Wilderness Park (Photo by Adam Cornick)

Colpitt Lake inside the future Halifax Wilderness Park (Photo by Adam Cornick)

The international City Nature Challenge was bigger than ever this year, pitting 159 urban centres in a competition to identify the most diversity of living things, from New York to Hong Kong, Athens to Cape Town. This year was particularly...

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Support local biodiversity by avoiding invasive plants in your garden

Winged euonymus (Photo by John Ruter/University of Georgia/Bugwood.org)

Winged euonymus (Photo by John Ruter/University of Georgia/Bugwood.org)

With gardening season upon us, the warm weather brings hope that your favourite plot of soil will be better than it was last year. At the Invasive Species Centre, we have one request as you mull over your garden plans for 2019: please avoid the...

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Kids donate their birthday money to the Nature Conservancy of Canada

Finn and Bodhi Fletcher celebrating their birthdays (Photo by Lori Fletcher)

Finn and Bodhi Fletcher celebrating their birthdays (Photo by Lori Fletcher)

On April 27, my two sons, Finn and Bodhi, had a "toonie party" to celebrate their joint birthday. In lieu of gifts, my husband and I asked their friends and other family members to bring each of them a toonie to save or spend on something special,...

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Success under pressure: Helping landowners succeed with stewardship in southwestern Ontario

Acadian flycatcher (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Acadian flycatcher (Photo by Bill Hubick)

The Carolinian ecoregion of Canada makes up one per cent of the country’s total land mass and is limited to southwestern Ontario. Many of the region’s 70 tree species — such as tuliptree, pawpaw and sycamore — are found...

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Heard it from a Scout: The pleasures and perils of portaging

Portaging will take your canoe and camping adventures to the next level and help you explore nature’s hidden gems. (Photo by Scouts Canada)

Portaging will take your canoe and camping adventures to the next level and help you explore nature’s hidden gems. (Photo by Scouts Canada)

Portaging is like going to the gym; you don’t always want to go, but you feel proud of yourself after working out. Portaging (carrying a boat over land, between bodies of water) is a fun activity that will take your canoe and camping...

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Buzzing down the house: An update

Bumble bee (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

Bumble bee (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

This is an update to a post I wrote last year. The data has now been analyzed, and the results are ready for sharing. We commonly hear that bees are in decline and that we need to save them because they are important pollinators of crops and...

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Best places to bird in Ontario: Pelee Island and NCC’s natural areas

The burrowing owl is the bird that really started it all for us on Pelee Island. On a whim back in April 2008, we decided to bird on the island, and, incredibly, found a burrowing owl. (Photo by Mike Burrell)

The burrowing owl is the bird that really started it all for us on Pelee Island. On a whim back in April 2008, we decided to bird on the island, and, incredibly, found a burrowing owl. (Photo by Mike Burrell)

We had an interesting first visit to Pelee Island back in September 2001, where we “dipped” (missed) a trio of wood storks that had been on the island the entire summer, only to have had them leave the evening before we managed to make...

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Beech leaf disease: A new problem for Ontario trees

Early-stage leaf striping (Photo by John Pogacnik, Ohio Department of Natural Resources)

Early-stage leaf striping (Photo by John Pogacnik, Ohio Department of Natural Resources)

Beech bark disease began ravaging beech trees in Ontario in the late 1990s, after spreading west from Atlantic Canada. But recently, a new beech disease has emerged in the province. Beech leaf disease was first detected in North America in 2012 in...

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