Douglas Marsh Conservation Volunteers (Photo by NCC)

Douglas Marsh Conservation Volunteers (Photo by NCC)

A Wonderful CV Weekend

Conservation Volunteers on Waggle Springs (Photo by S. Murray)

Conservation Volunteers on Waggle Springs (Photo by S. Murray)

In June of 2019, Steven Anderson took over as engagement coordinator for the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Manitoba Region. Going from spending his days writing about climate change at his desk, to going outside and teaching kids and volunteers about their natural world (and beaver poop!) was a change he didn’t know he needed. He says that seeing the fascination that people of all ages have with nature has been wonderful, and makes him hopeful for the future of conservation.

Part of Steven’s role at NCC is to coordinate our Conservation Volunteers (CV) events, where volunteers attend events to assist us with biological surveys or site maintenance. On July 5 and 6, he got his feet wet (literally and figuratively!) with two events near Douglas and Shilo, Manitoba.

On July 5, 2019, Tim Poole from Manitoba Important Bird Areas joined NCC for a fascinating presentation and led an evening bird survey through NCC’s Douglas Marsh property. The evening made for perfect birding; clear skies, little wind and wonderful people. Volunteers and staff started off making their way (with some difficulty) through the hummocks of the prairie, circling the marsh trying to find an elusive LeConte’s sparrow. Along the way they spotted a bobolink, heard the call of a western meadowlark and witnessed the winnow of a Wilson’s snipe. The evening ended on a high note, as shortly after 11 p.m., the calls of yellow rails began to carry over the marsh. For several attendees, this was their first time hearing this elusive bird, and was the perfect way end to the evening.

July 6, 2019, started off warm and sunny; perfect conditions for some butterfly surveys! A group of excited volunteers met NCC staff at our Waggle Springs property to see what they could find on this southern Manitoban prairie. Perhaps the heat was a bit too much for the butterflies, as they were a little difficult to find, but, by the end of the day, over 23 species of butterflies, skippers and moths were observed!

Both of these survey events will help NCC build upon our knowledge of what species these properties support. We’d like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers for their time and persistence!

Also, a huge thank you to our sponsors for the events, The Conservation Trust and the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. This was an amazing first weekend of CV events, and we can’t wait for you to join us for the next one!

To view a scrapbook of photos and stories from our Douglas Marsh event, click here. To view one of our Waggle Springs event, click here.

If you are interested in becoming a Conservation Volunteer, please sign up at

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