PG Naturalists Club Event and Notes, 20 August 2015

Invasive Plants Cleanup at Hudson’s Bay Wetland, Saturday August 22 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Club members and supporters are invited to the Hudson’s Bay Wetland on Saturday August 22, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. to cut  flowers and seed heads off common tansy and Canada thistle. It’s a last chance this season to keep seeds from spreading down into the channel waterway. The work is supported by the Northwest Invasive Plant Council.
We will meet at the new observation deck and trail on the north side of the channel east of Queensway at 9 a.m. Parking is available at the ballpark on 20th Avenue near the Museum. Watch for the Club’s sandwich board and follow the flagging down to the work area.
The work is suitable for adults and older teens. Long pants, long-sleeved shirts and sturdy footwear are recommended, to protect from thistle scratches and insects. Please bring your own hand tool for cutting flower and seed heads, heavy duty work gloves and a personal water bottle. Garbage bags will be provided. A limited number of heavy duty work gloves may be available.
For more information, contact Anne at pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca.
Club Updates1. More Progress on the Wetland Project
A path has now been added on the north side of the channel, heading along past the second observation deck. This will be further improved with a universal-access ramp when funding has been gained. Meanwhile, work is underway on building the third deck, which will be located on the north side of the lake, and will be elevated to give an overview of the whole lake.

2. Paypal Added to the Website
Take a look at our website at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/ and you’ll see that there are now Paypal buttons, allowing  memberships to be paid online.

3. City Naturalist Signs
The Club has prepared about a dozen signs so far for the City’s new signage program: they cover a wide naturalist range, from cottonwood trees to thatching ants. The signs should start appearing on local walks during the fall.

4.  Galapagos!
A group of 19 Prince Georgians has just returned from the Galapagos Islands — paradise for any naturalist. Expect a Club presentation on the trip at a future date. Below: one of the hundreds of marine iguanas spotted during the trip.

maig1
Notes 
1. Moose Disappearance
Action over declining moose populations has been hampered by a lack of data. You can help with some citizen science by reporting moose sightings through http://www.mymoose.ca/ .
2. BC Field Ornithologists Photographic Essay
Nearly all the photographs in the latest “Featured Photographer” of the BC Field Ornithologists were taken in and around Prince George. See http://bcfo.ca/clive-keen/

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 22 July 2015

Club Events

1. Fundraising Berry Pick, Tuesday July 28, 8 a.m.

The Naturalists Club will continue fundraising by picking berries at Sweder Berries U-Pick on Tuesday morning, July 28. The berries are for the new winery in town. The Club will be receiving a percentage of the income from the berries. Wear clothes and footwear you don’t care about, and don’t forget a hat, water and snack. For those wishing to carpool, meet under the green Spruceland Shopping Centre sign for an 8:00 am departure.  For more info contact Sandra K at sjkinsey@direct.ca or phone 250-963-8381.

PG Naturalists are also invited to come and pick raspberries individually until about July 30. When you arrive, just let Karen know that you are there for the Naturalists. There’s a number of different varieties of raspberries. You can’t pick in the rain, but in between rain showers is fine. And the birds are moving around constantly. This is an opportunity for the local community to support local business, to source our foods locally and to network.

Thank you to those who have gone down to pick saskatoons and raspberries. We have picked 92 lbs of berries so far.

For directions and more information on Sweder Berries U-Pick, visit their website http://swederberries.farmvisit.com/ or on Facebook: Sweder Berries U-Pick Farm. Regular hours are 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Closed Wednesday and Sunday.

 2. Youth in Action at the Hudson’s Bay Wetland

The BC Wildlife Federation is holding two camps for young people all this week in Prince George. The camps include a variety of conservation and outdoor activities. On Tuesday morning, two dozen youngsters aged 9 to 12 pulled invasive toadflax from the area adjacent to the new trail and deck on the south side of the Channel. The kids’ energy and enthusiasm were contagious. On Friday, 25 youth aged 13 to 17 will spend the morning at the Wetland, engaging in a pond study and pulling invasive Canada thistle and common tansy. Three Club volunteers are assisting with arrangements for the Wetland field trips. The youth camps will hopefully inspire a new generation of naturalists!

3. Bird-banding Station

The Mugaha Marsh banding station opened on July 19, and will be continuing to work until September 23. Club members have been volunteering or making trips individually. If you are interested in a group trip – bear in mind that this involves leaving Prince George  at around dawn – let us know by return email. For information on the station – more volunteers are particularly welcome – head to http://www.mackenzienatureobservatory.ca.

Related Events

1. Protection for the Ancient Forest

BC has taken the first steps to protect the Ancient Forest. Representatives from the province, Lheidli T’enneh First Nation and Caledonia Ramblers Hiking Club gathered recently at the Wood Innovation and Design Centre to sign an agreement formalizing their intent to work together on the next phase of what’s required to give the Ancient Forest an official designation. See more at: http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/news/local-news/ancient-forest-closer-to-becoming-official-park-1.2005083

Congratulations to the Ramblers led by President Nowell Senior for all the work they are doing to bring this unique area to the world’s attention.

2. Whitebark Pine Management and Recovery Workshop, Dunster, July 29 and 30

Whitebark Pine is an endangered species and our region is pretty much at the northern limits of its current interior population range. There are small populations of whitebarks found in Robson Park, Kakwa Park, near Fort St James and more locally in the Dezaiko Range and at Fang Mountain in the bowl above the caves.

This will be an interesting time to hear about conservation and recovery plans in our neck of the woods. There are likely to be Clark’s Nutcrackers around too! The website for the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada is  http://www.whitebarkpine.ca/ and the Link for the McBride (Dunster) meeting is  http://www.whitebarkpine.ca/mcbride-2015.html.

Trip Report

Note: members are encouraged to send in notes following any of the club’s trips.

Botanizing Walk to Livingston Springs, Sunday, July 19

Thank you, Sandra H. for leading the walk to one of our area’s most pleasant natural history sites, Livingston Springs. Hiking almost a year to the day from our hike last year, we saw most of the same species, but, most satisfying, became more comfortable in identifying a number of species. For me, to find several Round-leaved rein-orchids, many Dwarf rattlesnake-plantain and four or was it five Alaska rein-orchids (referred to by one wag as “a long, thin, green nothing) was a treat. That left some interesting ferns to be sussed out another day. Perhaps most charming was mom redstart feeding her fluttery-winged fledgling.  It was a bit of a hot slog back to the parking lot, but we made it, and I know all participants had a great time.  – Dora Hunter

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 19 June 2015

Club Events
1. Evening Presentations
The regular evening presentations are on hiatus for the summer, so the next scheduled event will not be until September. It is expected to be a presentation by the President of BC Nature, Kees Visser, on Wednesday, September 9 – watch this space for details.

2. Hudson’s Bay Wetland Planting Party 
Many thanks to all the people who dug up invasive plants and planted over 200 native plants and some spruce trees at the new observation deck  near the footbridge. Over 20 adults and young people turned out. The City watered the plants the following Monday. By the end of last week it appears that 90% of the plants will survive – we’ve been told that’s a high survival rate for reclamation sites, especially former snow dumps.

      Special thanks go to Club volunteer Andrea Eastham who guided the event, Penni Adams of Northwest Invasive Plant Council, and Katryna Schreiner and her crew from Spectrum Resource Group Inc. Clive and Sue Keen deserve special mention for their intrepid wheelbarrow work with the compost. A grant from Pacific Salmon Foundation covered the cost of the plants and other event expenses.
See Bob Steventon’s shots at https://www.flickr.com/photos/bubba55/sets/72157654263767575/
Related Events 
1. Centennial Celebration Interpretive Walk, Sunday July 12
The Caledonia Ramblers Hiking Club will lead a nine-kilometer heritage interpretive walk through the Hudson’s Bay Wetland, South Fort George and back along the Gunn Trail atop the Fraser River cut banks. This two to three-hour loop walk is part of the City of Prince George’s Summer Centennial Celebrations and will arrive back at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park (formerly Fort George Park) before noon in time for the Centennial Canoe Race finish and BBQ. Please bring a morning snack, water to drink, clothing appropriate for the weather, and of course a camera. The Gunn Trail has some steep and rugged sections, so wear appropriate and comfortable walking shoes. Participants must sign a liability waiver, and anyone below the age of 19 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Participants will receive a commemorative gift while supplies last. Please meet at 8:15 a.m. in front of the bandstand at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park.

2. Go Wild! BCWF Youth for Conservation Camp, July 20 to 24
BC Wildlife Federation is running a leadership youth camp in Prince George from July 20 to 24. Youth aged 13 to 17 are invited to attend. There’s no charge for this event. Members of the Prince George Naturalists Club are assisting with the event which includes learning about wetlands and how to care for them.
The camp is a wonderful way to get young people involved in nature and the outdoors. For more information see the poster at: http://bcwf.net/images/stories/Programs/2015Gowild/2015%20Go%20Wild%20Flyer%20-%20Prince%20George.pdf

3. Bird Banding Volunteers Needed
Mackenzie Nature Observatory is looking for volunteers for the fall banding season at Mugaha Marsh.  The station runs from July 19 to September 23. To date, we have volunteers just for August 25 – Aug 31 and September 1 – 5. If you are interested in helping please let us know the times you would like to come and your experience with birding or banding: contact Vi or David Lambie at JLambie@telus.net

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, May 30, 2015

First a reminder:

Annual Mt Robson Provincial Park Bird Blitz, June 5 – 7   This blitz has been taking place for more than 25 years: for details email Gail Ross at gailross1@telus.net. Registration will occur between 7 and 9 pm in Robson Meadows Campground on the night of Friday 5th. Camping is available at Robson Meadows or cabins can be rented at the nearby Mt Robson Lodge.

Club Event

Hudson’s Bay Wetland Planting Party Saturday June 6,8:30 a.m. to 12 noon Volunteers are invited to the Prince George Naturalists Club’s first planting party at the Hudson’s Bay Wetland. We will be working around the new deck and trail on the south side of the channel, close to the footbridge that crosses the channel. Parking is available at The Exploration Place in Fort George Park. From there it’s a short walk across the grass to the footbridge. People can also walk in from Regents Crescent along the paved trail.

The planting party will remove invasive plants and replace them with native plants. We will be planting over 250 individual native plants including prickly rose, northern gooseberry, thimbleberry, willow, native lupine, yarrow and blue wildrye. Our efforts will improve habitat for birds, pollinators and other wildlife. All plant and nature lovers are invited to participate!

Volunteers should wear closed shoes. If possible bring your favourite digging tool and a wheelbarrow, a large pail or a bucket to carry compost a short distance to the planting areas. We will provide shovels, spades, hand clippers and extra work gloves, also water, juice and energy bars. Coffee and donuts will be waiting for volunteers arriving at 8:30 a.m.

The Club’s first planting party is made possible with the support of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Northwest Invasive Plant Council, City of Prince George, Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, and the expert guidance of volunteer Andrea Eastham. For more information please contact Anne at pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca.

 Other Events

 Chinook Fry Salmon Release at Hudson’s Bay Wetland, Monday June 1 to Friday June 5 Everyone is invited to observe the release of chinook salmon fry at the Hudson’s Bay Wetland footbridge, June 1 to 5 between 9:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. Students from Prince George elementary schools will be releasing salmon fry into the waters of the Fraser River at intervals of an hour and a half starting at 9:00 a.m. each day. The students rear and release the fry as part of the Salmonids in the Classroom program run by REAPS since 2008. For more information, contact salmonids@reaps.org

BC Wildlife Federation presents Wetlandkeepers in Quesnel, June 5, 6 and 7 If you missed the very successful Wetlandkeepers course in Prince George last year, here’s another chance to take it. Join the BCFW over 2.5 days and learn about wetland classification, the many benefits of wetlands, GPS wetland mapping, wetland plant identification, soil classifications and more. This hands-on fieldwork course provides participants with the technical skills to steward their wetlands. Where: Hallis Lake Ski Trail Lodge, Hallis Lake Forest Service Road, Quesnel BC. Cost: free (value $100). Contact Neil Fletcher, Wetlands Education Program Coordinator wetlands@bcfw.bc.ca or 604-882-9988 ext. 232. For more information or to sign up, see bcfw upcoming events. Only a few seats left!

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 23 May 2015

Club Events

1. Annual Mt Robson Provincial Park Bird Blitz, June 5 – 7.

This blitz has been taking place for more than 25 years: for details email Gail Ross at gailross1@telus.net. Registration will occur between 7 – 9 pm in Robson Meadows Camp-ground on the night of Friday 5th. Camping is available at Robson Meadows or cabins can be rented at the nearby Mt Robson Lodge.

 2. Further Events over the Summer

Plans are being made for a tour of the plants on a private acreage; a trip to the Mugaha Marsh bird banding station; a Shelley shorebird ID trip; a Livingstone Springs botanical walk; and a trip to discover the unexpected riches of life on old tree stumps in Wilkins Park. If you have ideas for other summer field trips – preferably with a named trip leader – please let us know.

Club Notes

1. Presentation on the Wetland Project to City Council, 6:00 pm, Monday, 25 May

The Club will be giving an update on progress to date, and will report on future plans. Supporters of the project are encouraged to attend. Council Meetings start at 6:00 pm in City Hall Council Chambers on the second floor.

2. City Signage Project

Some good ideas have been received for the 30 signs to be created around a 30-kilometre city walking route, but many more would be welcome. In particular, ideas are needed for signs relevant to particular locations. A reminder of details, with a map of the route, can be found here.

Clive Keen

http://hbwetland.wordpress.com
pgnaturalists@hotmail.ca

Another Observation Deck at Hudson’s Bay Wetland

A new observation deck has suddenly appeared on the north side of the Hudson’s Bay Wetland east of Queensway. Twelve volunteers put in 176 hours last week to built the deck over a period of four days. Special thanks go to volunteers from Caledonia Ramblers, Prince George Singles Activity Group, and Prince George Naturalists Club: George Roberts, John Glass, Ron Neukomm, Lynda Cawley, Blair Rice, Ruth McNeil, Sarah Boyd, John Vogt, Bill Dunbar, Ron Caldwell, Clive Keen and Nowell Senior. George, Sarah and Ruth provided a tasty and very welcome lunch over the weekend when construction was completed. The deck was built with the help of a Pacific Salmon Foundation grant and support from City of Prince George Parks staff.

The deck allows for observation of water birds and other animals in the wide area of the channel, which fills with water from the Fraser River spring freshet. Young salmon seek refuge in the channel during the freshet. An interpretive sign on Chinook and Interior Fraser Salmon will soon be placed at the deck.

Who knew that salmon hung out in this part of the channel!

Next steps this summer are to build a nature trail to link Queensway and Taylor Drive at Fort George Park and make the new deck fully accessible. Removal of invasive plants and replanting with native plants around the decks and trails will follow. The new decks and trails provide safe access to the channel and open up many possibilities for education, information and habitat restoration.

HBW platform north side day 3 2 Unloading cementHBW platform north side day 4 8 Work Crew

Photos by Nowell Senior

PG Naturalists Club: Interpretive Sign Program

We need your ideas for signs!

The PG Naturalists Club is partnering with the City to create 30 signs, and four information kiosks, along the 30-kilometre walking route shown in the attached map. The signs will cover all things natural  (flora, fauna, geology etc) – which is why the Club is involved – but will also cover points of Prince George history.

Each sign will ideally tell a story relevant to the particular point on the trail.

The plan is to have all the signs up and ready by the middle of the summer, so we need to move fast on this. The first stage is to gather ideas – please fire in as many as you can by return email.  You’re encouraged to walk the trail for inspiration.  Ideas can be honed in the second stage.

Jack Bowling, Carolyn McGhee, Clive Keen and Doug Wilson (Club representatives on the City project)

Naturalist club map Small