Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Wild Life Journals 2017

WILD LIFE JOURNALS 2017

-submitted by Cheryl Morris-Putman for MVFN

NOTE: feature photo by Judy McGrath

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 .