On Thursday, April 20 at 7:30 pm., the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) will host their annual Members Night, to be held in the Social Hall of Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St., Almonte Ontario. We will welcome from our membership four ambassadors for nature, Bob and Sherryl Smith, and Karen and Bruce Thompson. During the first presentation we will be inspired by a dedicated project in our region involving local youth, gardening experts and enthusiasts, and environmental educators from MVFN, all partnering to create garden habitats for our area’s pollinators, and in particular Monarch Butterflies. The second presentation will feature stunningly beautiful photographic images inspired by nature and created by two accomplished photographers from Almonte.
Sherryl and Bob Smith, who reside in Pakenham have authored the first interesting presentation entitled “Partnerships, Pollinators, and Plants”. Sherryl is an active member and past-president of Pakenham Horticultural Society (PHS) and also volunteers with the Pakenham Public School (PPS) Garden Club. Bob is the chair of the MVFN Environmental Education Committee (EEP). EEP enhances opportunities for youth education relating to the wonders of the natural world in the Mississippi Valley Watershed, one of the key goals of MVFN. The presentation highlights the partnerships which have been created between PHS, PPS, and MVFN. EEP’s latest project, The Pollinator Garden Project, began in the spring of 2015 with 5 schools and continued through to the fall of 2016 involving 15 schools and utilizing the knowledge, skills, and dedication of volunteers from PHS and EEP in creating gardens that nurture and provide habitat for diminished numbers of Monarch Butterflies. The project was initiated and funded by MVFN and EEP in an effort to alert young people to the issue of the threatened Monarch. Over 100 Monarch butterflies were nurtured, hatched and released by the students and teachers of these schools. Bob and Sherryl will describe plant selections that attract Monarch butterflies and other pollinators. They will also outline the life cycle of the Monarch and will provide some observations about garden conditions necessary for pollinator habitats in our region.
Karen and Bruce Thompson have entitled their presentation “Takin’ A Hike”. They are gifted photographers and have traveled extensively coast-to-coast and abroad, all the while nurturing their ‘first love’ of nature photography. They are founding members of “Photography Matters”, a group of local photographers. The members of this talented group include professionals, amateurs, film aficionados, and digital enthusiasts. There is an organized monthly and sometimes a longer-term photo challenge theme, a photo critique, as well as guest speakers or presentations, all of which helps this talented group of photography artists to further develop their artistic passion and skill. Karen and Bruce will guide us as we step into the natural world around Prince Edward County and beyond. Our eyes will feast on the beautiful photographic images of birds, flowers, animals, and native scenery. Soft music will further enhance the experience.
Please join us for this relaxing and informative evening. The doors will open at 7 pm. for those wishing to socialize until the start of the presentation. Refreshments will be available throughout the evening. The MVFN Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at 7:30 pm. followed by the presentations at 8 pm. There is a visitors fee of $5; there will be no charge for youth 18 and under. For further information, please contact MVFN’s Program Chair, Gretta Bradley at .
Join MVFN for two Member’s Night presentations following MVFN’s Annual General Meeting (note: only current MVFN members may vote during the AGM). Doors open 7 pm for refreshments, which are also available after the presentations and meeting. The AGM will begin at 7:30 pm, and following a short break, there will be two presentations.
Member’s Night presentations:
“Partnerships, Pollinators and Plants” by Sherryl and Bob Smith
“Exploring Prince Edward County” by Karen and Bruce Thompson
Advance tickets for MVFN’s Spring Gathering 2016 will be available starting tomorrow night, April 21st at our Annual General Meeting/Member’s Night and as outlined below.
MVFN’s Spring Gathering 2016 will take place Thursday May 19, 2016 at Almonte Civitan Community Hall. The evening will feature a reception, banquet dinner, silent auction fundraiser for our Environmental Education Program, and a keynote presentation. Meet Jennifer Kingsley, an award-winning naturalist and journalist who will be our Spring Gathering 2016 guest speaker sharing her experiences from visits with people around the top of the world. After dinner, sit back and enjoy the stories and spectacular images of her presentation: “Meet the North: Life in the Arctic, One Introduction at a Time.” Tickets ($40) will be available at the AGM/Member’s Night tomorrow night. Tickets will also be available in Almonte at Gilligallou Bird Store, in Carleton Place at The Blossom Shop, and in Perth at The Office. Or, to reserve your ticket/s for pick up at the venue on May 19, please contact MVFN’s Brenda Boyd at or 613-256-2706. All tickets must be purchased or reserved in advance by Friday, May 13.
REMINDER: Following the brief AGM tomorrow night, we have a wonderful pair of Wildlife Journals presentations planned, highlighting intriguing owls and then loons. Also, if you have not already renewed your MVFN membership for the April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 membership year, you may do so tomorrow night prior to the AGM. Elizabeth Veninga of the Membership Committee will be at the Membership table to answer your questions.
Members and friends of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) are invited to attend the organization’s 2016 Annual General Meeting. The meeting will take place beginning at 7:30 pm on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin Street, in Almonte. The meeting will be followed by discussion and refreshments, and two, sure to be engaging, “Wild Life Journals: Member’s Night” presentations! Full details at http://mvfn.ca/wild-life-journals/
For the presentation “Encounters with Intriguing Owls,” Simon Lunn, biologist and nature photographer, will introduce us to several very different owls that he has encountered in recent years, both in his wooded backyard and special places within an hours drive of his home just south of Smiths Falls. Each of the owls has a unique story to tell.
Photo: Great Gray Owl photo by Simon Lunn
The second presentation will be “Loons and Human Interaction” by MVFN President and well-known bird expert and local naturalist, Cliff Bennett.
Photo of loon by Gloria Opzoomer.
The past year was a busy one for MVFN (a local member of the Ontario Nature Network serving Lanark County, West Carleton and areas), with significant growth in membership and interest. Highlights included a very successful Program schedule (led by committee Chair Gretta Bradley) – a speaker series and many nature related outings, including an ever popular canoeing program led by Linda McLaren and new birding events held by the Birding Committee, chaired by Tim Pullen. Other highlights were the vigorous fund raising and education effort supporting a campaign to protect Burntlands Alvar, led by Environmental Issues Committee (EIC) Chair, Theresa Peluso; and formation of a new committee, Conservation and Habitat Restoration, chaired by David Garcia. In an effort led by EIC member Tineke Kuiper, MVFN continues to work with the Municipality of Mississippi Mills (MM) on the recognition of Natural Heritage Areas and “wildlife corridors” in MM. The popular Young Naturalists program at Mill of Kintail, continued to thrive under the guidance of instructor Patty McLaughlin (of the Wild Bird Care Centre) and coordination by Ron Williamson of MVFN’s Environmental Education Committee chaired by Bob Smith. Also in 2015, the Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary committee (chaired by Mike Macpherson) awarded a $1000 nature bursary to Almonte and District High School graduate Ruth Tamas. The meeting will feature reports on all of these activities plus a complete financial report and voting for election of directors for the coming year.