Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Press Release
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
Submitted by Cliff Bennett
Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2004

Seeing Both Forest and Trees Focus of Naturalists Presentation

Ontario Forest“There are no experts on biodiversity of forests but there are many highly specialized persons who study little pieces of the puzzle” stated noted forest researcher and author Dr. Brian Naylor, at the monthly meeting of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists, held at Almonte United Church on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Naylor, who works for the Ontario Ministry Of Natural Resources out of North Bay, went on to unfold many of the mysteries of forest life and how the puzzle pieces all fits together.

Noting the importance of being able to see both the forest and the individual trees and all of the relationships surrounding trees, Dr. Naylor delved into the more intricate variety and variability among the living species and environmental aspects related to each species. Noting there is infinite genetic diversity within at least 50,000 species of life forms to be considered in a forest, Naylor explained how ecosystems are studied to bring balance into forest products harvesting. “We can harvest wood products and not disrupt biodiversity’ concluded Naylor, “but we have to be very smart about it”.

Introduced by MVFN Director Franziska von Rosen, Dr. Naylor responded to a variety of questions from the large audience. He was thanked by MVFN Director Jim Bendell and presented with a gift basket of local herbal products. Also at this meeting, MVFN President Michael MacPherson announced MVFN had received a $15,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation which will ensure stable funding over the next three years to bring environmental education to schools and youth groups within our membership area.

MVFN Programme Chair Tine Kuiper announced the next presentation in the series on biodiversity. This event will be held on Thursday, January 20 and will feature Biodiversity in the insect world with noted Agriculture Canada entomologist Dr. Henri Goulet.

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Press Release
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
November 19, 2004

$15,000 Grant Helps Field Naturalists Continue To Grow Awareness  

Trillium FoundationMississippi Mills – Environmental programs for young people in our community received a boost today with the news that the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) have received a three-year $15,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). Joining MVFN president Michael MacPherson and MVFN education director Janinne de Salaberry, for the grant announcement at R.Tait McKenzie Public School in Almonte were Lanark-Carleton MPP Norm Sterling and Donna Davidson of the OTF. Also present were teacher Neil Carleton, who has used MVFN programmes in the past and students Ray Robertson and Melissa Timmins who have both been participants.

“This funding investment supports an innovative program that is designed to help local students learn more about their natural surroundings,” Sterling said. “I have no doubt it will create greater interest in science and nature, providing an adventurous educational experience for many young minds in our area.”

In a statement from Michael MacPherson, he noted “Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists strive to make today’s youth good stewards of the lands they will one day inherit. This grant from the OTF will enable our organization to continue to provide environmental education programs for schools and youth groups in north Lanark County, Carleton Place and Beckwith.”

In 2003, MVFN linked forces with the Eastern Ontario Biodiversity Museum to deliver an exciting new, curriculum-oriented program called Museum in a Suitcase. This program, divided into five key components related to biodiversity, is delivered to elementary and secondary classrooms as well as area youth groups by a qualified teacher, complete with suitcases full of hands-on material. Stable funding for this education initiative will enable MVFN to serve at least 390 students and teachers each year by providing at least twenty-five Museum in a Suitcase units in addition to helping fund at least two field trips and provide at least three special in-class presenters.

MVFN’s Environmental Education Projects Program (EEPP), coordinated by Janinne Salaberry, has been active since 2001 and projects funded to date have included field trips to outdoor centres and science museums, teacher manuals on endangered species and other nature educational materials. EEPP will also fund special speakers, special equipment, library books and any other aspects of environmental education.

Teachers and youth leaders can apply now to get involved with this unique environmental learning opportunity. For further information on MVFN programs, please contact Mrs. de Salaberry by phone at 256-7292 or by fax 256-6625.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, receives annually $100 million of government funding generated through Ontario’s charity casino initiative.

For more information on EEPP or MVFN , please call: Cliff Bennett 256-5013 or for more information on this event, please call office of Mr. Norm Sterling, 253-1171

Present for MVFN photo Trillium Grant Presentation held at R.Tait McKenzie Elementary School, Almonte, on Friday, November 19, 2004

Present for MVFN photo Trillium Grant Presentation held at R.Tait McKenzie Elementary School, Almonte, on Friday, November 19, 2004 

Left to right:

Ray Robertson, student, R.Tait McKenze Elemtary School
Neil Carleton, Teacher , R.Tait MacKenzie Elementary School
Janine deSalaberry, MVFN Director, Environmental Education Projects Programme (EEPP)
Norm Sterling, MPP
Michael MacPherson, President, MVFN
Donna Davidson, Trillium Foundation
Melissa Timmins, student, R.Tait MacKenzie Elementary School

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