Leave those leaves on the ground

Tuliptree leaf in fall (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

Tuliptree leaf in fall (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

As a child, I heard somewhere that if you catch a leaf as it falls from a tree, it’s good luck. So, naturally, I spent most autumns staring up at the huge trees in the conservation area behind my house, waiting patiently for a leaf to dance...

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A thank you letter to the young professionals of conservation

The 2021 eastern Ontario team at Elbow Lake, ON (Photo by NCC)

The 2021 eastern Ontario team at Elbow Lake, ON (Photo by NCC)

Spring is one of the best times to be a conservation biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). I get to dust off my field boots, turn off my laptop and get back outside. There is a beautiful rhythm to resuming field work, and my to-do...

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Nature-based solutions: Benefits for people and the planet

Alpine Lake on Darkwoods, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

Alpine Lake on Darkwoods, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

There is no longer any question, scientifically speaking, that the effects of climate change are increasing both the rate and extent of biodiversity loss, not just in Canada, but globally. When combined with human impacts, such as land conversion...

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Our treasured islands of Mahone Bay

Saling on Mahone Bay, NS (Photo by MICA)

Saling on Mahone Bay, NS (Photo by MICA)

Imagine looking out from a shoreline and seeing beautiful pristine islands nearby. To row, paddle or sail to an island and find it in its natural state is not a dream in the waters of Mahone Bay, southwest Nova Scotia; it is a reality where you...

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Nature-based solutions for an uncertain future

Bow Lake, AB (Photo by Sarah Boon)

Bow Lake, AB (Photo by Sarah Boon)

Here in Canada, it’s a luxury to not think about water. Most of us watch it come out of the tap and go down the drain without considering its source or destination. But many people in the world don’t have taps or drains. In fact, over...

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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)

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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Calling in the corps — the Canadian Conservation Corps

CCC participants cutting invasive phragmites stems (Photo by NCC)

CCC participants cutting invasive phragmites stems (Photo by NCC)

They say that many hands make light work. Well, I don’t know if the hard-working young people who hauled brush, cut phragmites stems or collected buckets of acorns would tell you that the work was “light” but I can certainly say...

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Protected doesn’t always mean perfect

Volunteer cutting the giant knotweed using a hedge trimmer (Photo by NCC)

Volunteer cutting the giant knotweed using a hedge trimmer (Photo by NCC)

Imagine frolicking along on a Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) property, hoping to stumble upon some neat findings, like rare herptiles and unique plants. But then you look up and scan the landscape to see what may be your worst nightmare: a...

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Lake Erie: Recovery, or requiem?

Aerial view of Point Pelee, ON (Photo by Gerry Kaiser)

Aerial view of Point Pelee, ON (Photo by Gerry Kaiser)

Someone recently asked me how I would invest a million dollars to help conserve Lake Erie. My first thoughts were that I would use that money to protect wetlands and other habitats on the coast, or maybe to help farmers create wider buffer strips...

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A throwback to working in Backus Woods

Forest canopy in Backus Woods, ON (Photo by Neil Ever Osborne)

Forest canopy in Backus Woods, ON (Photo by Neil Ever Osborne)

I had the pleasure of working for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) for the summer of 2019 as a conservation technician out of the Norfolk County, Ontario, office. When I first came to Norfolk, I was expecting to see mostly farmland and...

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