Is it time for Canada and the world to create carbon parks?

Black River Bog, NS (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Parks and protected areas have been established across Canada to conserve many things we value. Banff National Park was originally established in 1885 to protect hot springs and breathtaking scenery for tourists. In 1893, Algonquin Provincial Park...

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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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Wading through the wonders of wetlands

Forested wetlands in summer (Photo by Mary Gartshore)

Forested wetlands in summer (Photo by Mary Gartshore)

Wetlands are dynamic places, where the land is, quite literally, wet. From day-to-day fluctuations, to seasonal changes, the amount of water in a wetland can change over time. As water levels shift, you might not know exactly what to expect when...

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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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Call of the Wetland

Volunteers search the wetland shoreline for amphibians. (Photo by Melanie Rathburn)

Have you ever heard frogs or toads calling in an urban environment? Or spotted a secretive salamander as it makes it way to an urban pond? If you live in Calgary, the Miistakis Institute is interested in your observations! With Miistakis’...

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Coasting along Canada’s habitats

Musquash Estuary, NB (Photo by NCC)

Musquash Estuary, NB (Photo by NCC)

Canada is a nation bordered by three oceans: Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic. In many ways, the habitats, local culture and economies are shaped by them. Often when those of us who don’t live near the shoreline think of oceans, we picture a...

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Turtles: Canada's culture in a shell

Blanding's turtle, Frontenac Arch Natural Area, ON (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

Blanding's turtle, Frontenac Arch Natural Area, Ontario (Photo by Ryan M. Bolton)

It was a gloomy day in southern Ontario. Although the canoe I paddled in was quiet, the landscape — filled with croaks and chirping — was anything but. Ten feet away, a small creature emerged from the glass-like water to stretch its...

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Heard it from a Scout: Wonderful wetlands

Forested wetlands in summer (Photo by Mary Gartshore)

Forested wetlands in summer (Photo by Mary Gartshore)

Wetlands are a pivotal part of Canada’s environment. They play a vital role in maintaining the natural balance of ecosystems. Wetlands are areas of land that become submerged or saturated with water either year-round or throughout part of...

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Bringing communities together: The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Hauling foam, a buoy and other marine debris during a 2016 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Schoeler)

As an avid open water swimmer, I learned to respect our waterways while fighting through the smack and splash of ocean waves during long training swims. I fell in love with our waterways during calm, quiet morning swims out on the lake. And I...

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Look for these first signs of spring across Canada

Red-winged blackbird (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Red-winged blackbird (Photo by Bill Hubick)

With the springing forward of our clocks and increased daylight, many Canadians are getting antsy for the arrival of spring, perhaps especially for our friends in the Atlantic provinces (darn you, Nor’easter!). What can be more delightful...

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