Mowing for nature

NCC intern Breanna Silverside on a tractor that pulls the industrial mower. (Photo by NCC)

“The lawn mower broke again” is a phrase I have heard from my fellow Saskatchewan Conservation Interns more than once over the summer. When they finally had the tractor and lawn mower working, they would come into the office after a...

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Burning for change

Prescribed burn at NCC's Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area, SK (Photo by NCC)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is committed to conserving nature in all its diversity, to create a legacy for future generations. NCC uses the latest conservation science to safeguard Canada’s lands and waters. As a part of this...

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Plugs for the prairies

Team hike to the planting area (Photo by Robert Britton)

Since I was a child, I was fascinated by the way a seed could spring to life inside moist soil. I remember faithfully planting seeds in my mini-greenhouse and marveling at the miracle unfolding before me. This fascination carried on for me in...

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Giving the grass a haircut

Maymont 5 property, SK (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Maymont 5 property, SK (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Last summer I gave the grass a haircut. It seemed like a strange idea, but I was excited to learn something new. As I arrived at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Maymont 5 property in Saskatchewan, I was struck by the number...

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Conservation needs a common language to describe Canada’s ecosystems

Tatlayoko Ranch, British Columbia, (Photo by Bernadette Mertens)

Tatlayoko Ranch, British Columbia, (Photo by Bernadette Mertens)

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” ~ Ancient Chinese proverb For organisms, we use the concept of a “species” to assign proper names. Having standard names for species is critical in both...

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Regeneration ablaze on the Rice Lake Plains

A black oak engulfed in smoke from the prescribed burn at Hazel Bird Nature Reserve. Black oaks are tolerant of low-intensity fires, allowing them to thrive in tall grass prairie ecosystems. (Photo by NCC)

“Why is that on fire?” ― a burning question I have received from many curious folks on my Instagram account after posting videos of a prescribed burn that took place at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) Hazel Bird Nature Reserve...

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Protecting what matters most: Identifying and conserving freshwater key biodiversity areas

Richelieu River, îles de Jeanotte et aux Cerfs, QC (Photo by Claude Duchaîne)

Nature conservation is fuelled by urgency. With over 750 Canadian wildlife species at risk, and many habitats being lost and degraded, it’s clear we need to do more conservation in Canada, and we need to do it faster. There are spaces and...

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Poweshiek winter wonderland

Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by Jaimee Dupont)

Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by Jaimee Dupont)

Forget about crocuses and birds — the first sure sign of spring on the prairies is when the insects start to fly around. Have you ever wondered what happens to the insects in the winter? A few, like the monarch, fly south with the birds, but...

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On a quest for the alluring swift fox

Swift fox cub and its mum (Photo by Catriona Matheson, Cochrane Ecological Institute)

Cub and mum. (Photo by Catriona Matheson, Cochrane Ecological Institute)

My unsuccessful search for the elusive swift fox has spanned nearly a decade.It was 2008, the winter semester of my first year at Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alberta, when I first learned about the history of swift foxes in Canada. The smallest...

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Places worth protecting: The Canadian prairies

Prairie Day event, Manitoba (Photo by NCC)

Prairie Day event, Manitoba (Photo by NCC)

So you’ve decided to conserve biodiversity. This decision may lead to many false starts, disappointments and re-negotiated deadlines, but ultimately and eventually, it will lead to land conservation! Now, how does the Nature Conservancy of...

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