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President's Corner

We just returned from Nature Saskatchewan's Spring Meet which was held in Coronach. We toured the Big Muddy Valley and were introduced to the natural and cultural history of the area. The stories told by our guides helped create a sense of place that no photographs could capture. We were fortunate too that the weather cooperated. We dodged some major rainstorms earlier in the week, but as a result the hills and valleys were verdant. One of the unexpected sightings was finding a burrowing owl in a field just a few kilometers from the US-Canada border. Mark your calendars as Nature Saskatchewan's Fall Meet will be held September 14 to 16 in Swift Current. More information will be provided in the Blue Jay and at Nature Saskatchewan's website.

The weekend also provided an opportunity to meet with representatives from other societies and discuss common issues. Most everyone would like to increase their membership and many have trouble identifying speakers. Some of the presenters at our speaker series, including some of our members may be asked to visit other societies. Nature Saskatchewan provides grants to local societies to help defray the costs of inviting speakers.

Through one of these grants from Nature Saskatchewan, we provided support to the Nature City Festival for the keynote speaker, Harvey Locke. In addition to the keynote address, a workshop was held that included participants from the City of Saskatoon, Wanuskewin, the University of Saskatchewan and other organizations, including SNS, to discuss local initiatives. According to Locke, Canada is way behind other countries in meeting the global target for ecosystem protection set under the Convention of Biological Diversity. At the end of 2015, 10.6% of Canada's land area and 0.90% of its marine territory were recognized as protected which is well short of the global targets of 17 per cent of the land and 10 per cent of the oceans. For more information see Pathway to Canada Target 1 at www.conservation2020canada.ca/home

Some of you will have noticed that our website was offline for several days due a problem with our webhost's server. It has been resolved, but there are some things on the website that need updating or re-posting including our list of links and resources. The Board has discussed updating the website, but this will take time and some money. While the website was down we relied more on Facebook to provide information about events, especially during the Nature City Festival. There were several events during the Festival. Field trips to NE Swale such as the firefly walk continue to draw large crowds. We met many new faces at our pop- up naturalist event at the Lakewood Park too. Thanks to Sara Bryson for keeping the field trip information current.

Thank you to Gord Edwards for being our Newsletter Editor for over the past year and half. Due to work commitments, Gord has resigned from the Board and as newsletter editor. Kathy Meeres has volunteered to be our new newsletter editor. Please let Kathy know if you would like to write an article for an upcoming newsletter (godmee [at] sasktel.net).

I hope everyone has a great summer.

Valerie Martz
SNS President

   
   
Last updated: 22 July, 2018