Small pulls for a big cause: Ridding the Happy Valley Forest of invasive species

White trilliums in Happy Valley Forest, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

White trilliums in Happy Valley Forest, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

Summer in the Happy Valley Forest is the best time to enjoy the newly emerging flowers. It's a pleasant reminder that the warm weather is well on its way. Hiking through the forest, you may come across patches of bloodroot, Mayapple and of course...

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Sky-high conservation: Why monitoring birds is important

Osprey soars around its nest (Photo by Lorne)

Osprey soars around its nest (Photo by Lorne)

You may have heard about the dramatic population declines that certain groups of birds — such as grassland songbirds and aerial insectivores —are experiencing. While much attention gets paid to the factors causing these declines and...

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Trading screens for shovels: NCC national staff lend a hand for nature

NCC National staff joined Ontario field staff for a day of planting and pulling and cutting down invasive species (Photo by NCC)

The sun was shining down on the Barr property in southern Ontario as the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) national staff gathered around Todd Farrell, NCC’s conservation biology coordinator for the Ontario Region. We were learning our...

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Celebrating a decade of the power of volunteering

Volunteers pull invasive yellow flag iris at Baikie Island Nature Reserve (Photo by NCC)

Each spring and early summer, as Canada’s migratory species start arriving at their breeding and nesting grounds, the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Conservation Volunteers also emerge from their wintering grounds. In the...

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Growing the idea to connect Canadians to nature

Plants from Great Marram Grass Plug Plant CV event on PEI (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Every so often, a big idea emerges from a smaller one and, in the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) case, it can turn into something larger than imagined. This is exactly what happened for NCC’s Conservation Volunteers...

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Connecting to nature through volunteering

Volunteers cleaning-up the Prairie Garden (Photo by NCC)

Volunteers cleaning-up the Prairie Garden (Photo by NCC)

About seven years ago, I went on a tree planting field trip with my Grade 11 biology class. Although it was optional, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity for me to connect with my fellow classmates and nature. I had a blast on this trip...

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Almost missing nature's boat

Volunteers at the Broom Bash event on James Island, BC (Photo by Ann MacDonald)

The alarm went off much too early that early winter morning. My body was heavy with sleep, covered in a sea of cozy blankets and it hurt to open my gluey eyes. I was tempted to silence the disturbance. The forecast was calling for rain and it was...

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Heard it from a Scout: Hiking tips for rookies

Hiking in the Swiss Alps (Photo courtesy Scouts Canada)

The worst mistake I ever made while hiking was unintentionally stepping on a fresh cow patty. I would have been less embarrassed if it hadn’t happened while leading a group of giggly international Scouts. At the time, I was guiding in the...

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How we can save our songbirds

Cerulean warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Cerulean warbler (Photo by Bill Hubick)

By now, I'm hoping that many of you have heard about declining songbird populations and the numerous threats that these birds face, which are, typically, physical threats to their survival. However, I’d like to discuss a different type of...

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Do you get enough Vitamin N?

Father and child by the lake (Photo by Laubenstein Karen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons)

You find yourself breathing more deeply, taking in the sharp scent of pine and the sweet mustiness of leaves returning to dust on the forest floor beneath your feet. For a moment, the quiet is broken only by birdsong — the notes that...

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