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Trials and tribulations of native plant gardening

Oblique streaktail on my wild nodding onion plant (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

Oblique streaktail on my wild nodding onion plant (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

A few years ago when my Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) colleague Jaimee was still residing in Alberta, we had a fun email exchange on the topic of native plant gardening. She has since moved to Nova Scotia, where she has a new array of native...

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Check out these amazing finds from the 2022 Big Backyard BioBlitz

Monarch butterfly on Joe-pyeweed (Photo by NCC)

Monarch butterfly on Joe-pyeweed (Photo by NCC)

Over the July 28–August 1 weekend, thousands of volunteers joined the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) annual Big Backyard BioBlitz. Together, we were able to contribute a total of over 50,000 observations of more than...

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Tips and tricks for everyday nature photography

Volunteer and NCC staff identify a plant during a bioblitz in Alberta (Photo by Brent Calver)

Volunteer and NCC staff identify a plant during a bioblitz in Alberta (Photo by Brent Calver)

Psst…not sure if you’ve heard of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Big Backyard BioBlitz taking place from July 28 to August 1, but there’s still time to participate. This could be your excuse to get outside, connect with...

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Meeting my first monarch butterfly up close

Monarch butterfly feeding on common milkweed flowers (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

Monarch butterfly feeding on common milkweed flowers (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

A gentle breeze blew on a mid-summer evening, the sky still lit from the setting sun. I set up my step stool along the edge of my driveway for some light weeding among my collection of plants in the front yard. It’s a chore that I...

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Hey [name I don’t yet know], mind if I take a picture of you?

Two crane flies on a wild bergamot leaf (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

Two crane flies on a wild bergamot leaf (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

The other week while checking out the wild bergamot in my backyard for powdery mildew, I noticed a big insect perching motionless on the plant’s long serrated leaf. I thought it was a giant daddy long-legs (aka cellar spider). Upon closer...

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Planting trees for a greener planet

Conservation Volunteer planting a tree in Happy Valley Forest, ON (Photo by Mimi Chan)

Conservation Volunteer planting a tree in Happy Valley Forest, ON (Photo by Mimi Chan)

I recall in the 1990s when a news crew came to my school to film us — a bunch of 10-year-olds — planting trees in the perimeter of our playground for Earth Day. It was a novel experience, as a new immigrant to Canada from a concrete...

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5 ways to get involved in conservation this Canadian Environment Week

Building bat boxes at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area, SK (Photo by NCC)

Building bat boxes at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area, SK (Photo by NCC)

Since 1971, Canadians have been celebrating the nation’s natural heritage and the strides made in environmental protection during Canadian Environment Week. The week-long observance also includes World Environment Day (June 5) and World...

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10 facts about fresh water in Canada

Vidal Bay, Manitoulin Island, ON (Photo by Striking Balance)

Vidal Bay, Manitoulin Island, ON (Photo by Striking Balance)

Fresh water may seem like a ubiquitous substance to some of us, especially if we live near an abundance of it in the form of lakes, rivers and streams. When I take a stroll to my neighbourhood greenspace that has a small tributary running through...

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Tracing the roots of invasive species

A murmuration of starlings (Photo by John Holmes, Wikimedia Commons)

A murmuration of starlings (Photo by John Holmes, Wikimedia Commons)

In the media world of conservation, there seems to be no shortage of news on invasive species — plants, animals and organisms that were introduced (accidentally or deliberately) to an area outside of their native range and where their...

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5 bird species that stay for winter in Canada

Brown creeper (Photo by Mark Dennis, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Brown creeper (Photo by Mark Dennis, CC BY-NC 4.0)

Some bird species migrate south for winter, and some are year-round residents in Canada. Others migrate to southern Canada from northern forests or the Arctic and hang around until spring. Birdwatching is one of the easiest ways to enjoy nature,...

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