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Mississippi River at Pakenham

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Mysteries of the Monarch Butterfly

NOTE: Tickets ($40) must be purchased or reserved in advance by Thursday, May 14. 2015

Also see details of the silent auction to take place during the event – Enhance Your Summer – with Art and Experiences

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists, founded in the spring of 1988, will hold their sixth annual Spring Gathering, Thursday May 21, 2015. The evening will feature  Dinner (delicious three-course meal/coffee, tea etc; you choose entree when you purchase ticket!), a Silent Auction Fundraiser for the Burnt Lands Alvar campaign, and the keynote presentation Mysteries of the Monarch Butterfly which will be given by Jean Lauriault, Monarch Conservation Specialist & Canadian Museum of Nature Associate.

When Jean isn’t out monitoring Monarch butterfly caterpillars on his own milkweed patch in the Gatineau Hills, he is either teaching environmental conservation or guiding visitors up rocky paths in Mexico, to the hillside overwintering sanctuaries of the Monarch butterfly, where he has travelled for decades to study them and help develop the North American Monarch Conservation Plan. Jean considers it a ‘super-challenge’ to conserve a species which does not stay put, but which instead makes an annual transcontinental journey through three countries.

So many aspects of the Monarch butterflies’ varied-length life cycle and migration habits are not known or understood. How do the adolescent Monarchs, born in Canada, survive and find their way to the Oyamel fir forests in the mountains of Mexico; do the firs and the adult butterflies require the same unique environmental conditions? Come to MVFN’s Spring Gathering to hear about the many mysteries of the milkweed, the Oyamel firs and the amazing migration of these beautiful creatures, directly from a man whose conservation work has been a 20+ year labor of love!

MVFN’s Spring Gathering 2015 will take place at the Almonte Civitan Community Hall. The reception will begin at 5:30 pm with a chance to meet, share a drink & chat with friends, and bid in the silent auction. Dinner will commence at 6:30 pm and then, sit back and enjoy Mysteries of the Monarch Butterfly. Tickets ($40) must be purchased or reserved in advance by Thursday, May 14 and are available in Almonte at Gilligallou Bird Store, in Carleton Place at Reads Book Shop, and in Perth at The Office. For more information or to reserve your ticket/s for pick up at the venue on May 21st, please contact MVFN’s Brenda Boyd at or 613-256-2706).

Featured image of monarch by Ken Allison

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Town of Mississippi Mills set to hear your views on environmental zoning for Burnt Lands Alvar!

NOTE: Featured photo with this post is of the wildflower Hairy Beardtongue (Penstemon hirsutus). photo by Ken Allison

One of the most effective ways you can help protect natural areas is to support municipal government when they consider policy changes to enhance protection of natural areas or restrict development in these areas.

If you live in the Town of Mississippi Mills, you have that chance Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Council is set to consider public opinion on their proposed rezoning of  much of Burnt Lands Alvar as an environmental protection zone. This is a good thing! If you agree, then attend the public meeting in support of the rezoning (or write to tell Council that you support this rezoning. Details for submitting comments are found below and on the Public Meeting Notice). Even if you do not intend to speak, attendance at the meeting would afford you the opportunity to hand deliver your written views or to simply be an observer and register your name to be informed of the Council decision, which will be made at a later date. If you cannot attend, you may wish to make your opinion known to the town by submitting your written comment, as mentioned.

When: May 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm.

Where: Town of Mississippi Mills Council Chambers, 3131 Old Perth Road, Almonte, Ontario.

What:

  • THE PURPOSE AND INTENT of the Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments are to provide environmental protection for the Burnt Land ANSI from intensive rural development by amending rural development policies in the Community Official Plan and placing the lands within the Burnt Lands ANSI within an Environmental Protection (EP) Zone.
  • ANY PERSON may attend the public meeting and/or make written or verbal representation either in support of or in opposition to the proposed Official Plan Amendment and the Zoning By-law Amendment. Written submissions regarding the proposed amendments are to be filed with the Town Clerk at the Town of Mississippi Mills Municipal Office, 3131 Old Perth Road, R.R. #2, P.O. Box 400, Almonte, Ontario, K0A 1A0.

Further information about the Burnt Lands Alvar may be found elsewhere on our website; as well as an opportunity to donate to our Burnt Lands Alvar Campaign.

Attend Public Meeting to support Burnt Lands Alvar

At approximately 6:30 pm, April 21, 2015 in Town of Mississippi Mills Council Chambers, 3131 Old Perth Rd there will be a public meeting regarding the rezoning of lands designated “Rural” and identified as ANSI (Burnt Lands Alvar; Area of Natural and Scientific Interest). The intent by proponents of a cluster lot development within the alvar ANSI is to convince Council to allow for a rezoning of their land to “Rural, Special Exception” in order to remove a current restriction on the proposed building in the alvar.

At the meeting, council will hear and deal with the issue of a proposed development in the Burnt Lands Alvar, directly for the first time. The applicants are seeking approval for a Zoning Bylaw Amendment to allow them to go ahead with a development proposal in the Burnt Lands Alvar.   The result could be 100+ acres of provincially significant ANSI (alvar species, wetlands, threatened species) being degraded, and “a loss of connectivity and ecological function in this pivotal portion”. MVFN’s Burnt Lands Alvar Campaign committee opposes this and believes that the alvar area should be protected with better municipal development guidelines.

There will be a sign up sheet for the Public to receive further information on the issue. However, those wishing to have their input registered should either speak at the meeting or forward their comments and opinions to the appropriate contacts.

Details: Please attend this public meeting. For further information, follow this link to the agenda package documents: http://www.mississippimills.ca/uploads/12/Doc_635647910377718231.pdf

The order of items in the agenda in the Committee of the Whole Meeting (immediately following Council meeting which starts at 6 pm):
A. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
B. DISCLOSURE OF PECUNIARY INTEREST
C. DELEGATIONS/PRESENTATIONS/PUBLIC MEETINGS
1. Public Meeting and Background Report for Zoning By-law Amendment
#Z-01-15 – 1463 Golden Line Road, Cluster lot Pages 1-6

Your silent auction items and ideas in support of Burnt Lands Alvar

Looking for  . . . quality items for a silent auction to be held at the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN)  Spring Gathering dinner and talk, May 21, 2015.  We are  looking for . . . . quality items,  offers of experiences, your skills, tours (nature or garden), gourmet meals, spa treatments, greens fees; any good idea will be considered.  Both private and commercial contributions are welcome for this silent auction. All proceeds will go to the campaign to protect Burnt Lands Alvar from development.

If you believe that wilderness and rare natural areas should be managed with care, then join MVFN in its effort to ensure Burnt Lands Alvar and its unique habitats remain intact for future generations to enjoy.

Please contact Bob Smith at 613-624-5307 or  (that’s ‘bob’ underscore ‘o’ underscore ‘links’) with your item, your offer or your idea/s.

Information and tickets will soon be available for the  Spring Gathering. Tickets will include the reception, dinner, keynote presentation by Jean Lauriault, and of course the silent auction!  Information about how to purchase tickets will be announced soon.  See you there!!!

Burnt Lands Alvar Campaign goes to Carleton Place

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists Burnt Lands Alvar campaign continues to draw crowds to its popular pub night fundraisers.  Join us in celebrating the return of Spring to the alvar (rubber boots optional!). We go on the road again for another Alvar Fundraiser Pub night to a “lively spot with all the trappings of a pub”: Ballygiblin’s Restaurant and Pub, 151 Bridge St., Carleton Place, on Friday, April 10 from 7 to 9 pm. The popular trivia, heads-or-tails draw, a silent auction and music of The Jimmy Tri-Tone Band will again provide the entertainment for the evening. Arrive early: Ballygiblin’s salads, ribeye steak, butter chicken or gluten-free menu items, such as curried salmon salad, may entice you if you opt to enjoy a Friday night dinner.  Some of the more adventurous may want to try the fried pickles or quinoa poppers with a pint.

The Burnt Lands Alvar Campaign was launched earlier this year to raise funds to support preservation of the ecologically sensitive Burnt Lands Alvar region just outside Almonte. There is no charge for this event. Come just to connect with people who genuinely care about this wild space with its unique ecology. For further information about the campaign and events, contact the committee at  or visit the mvfn.ca website.

Alvar Habitat: Dropseed meadow. Photo ken Allison

Alvar Habitat: Dropseed meadow. Photo ken Allison

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FULL-SIZED  CALENDAR WITH DETAILS

Our natural history talks are at 7:30 pm on the third Thursday in January, February, March, April,  September, October and November at Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St. in Almonte, Ontario. All are welcome to attend! Non-members $5. 

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