Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

2019 MVFN Members’ Night and Annual General Meeting

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Start time is 7:00 PM!

The 2019 Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ Members’ Night and Annual General Meeting will be held on May 16 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The meeting will start promptly at 7:00 p.m., instead of our usual 7:30, to allow some of our Young Naturalists to participate in Members’ Night prior to the AGM.

MVFN Members’ Night

7:00 Opening, Show and Tell                                                 Ken Allison
7:10 Presentation of CB Nature Bursary recipients                Michael McPherson
7:20 Presentation of Youth Summit Sponsorship                  Tineke Kuiper
7:30 Young Naturalists                                                           Patty McLaughlin
7:45 Previous CB Bursary Recipient                                      Laura Symon
7:55 Previous ON Youth Summit & CB Bursary Recipient     Brenda Boyd
8:00 – 8:10 Leg stretch

8:15 MVFN Annual General Meeting

1. Call to order                                                                      Ron Williamson
2. President’s remarks and committee reports                      Linda McCormick
3. Financials                                                                           Jim Atack
4. Nominating Committee Report                                          Jim Atack
5. Remarks of new president and introduction                       Pat Enright
of 2019/20 Board members
6. Other business
7. Adjournment

The AGM is a very important function in the life of any organization, so we hope you can stay and take part in learning about the affairs of MVFN during this past year. You will have an opportunity to vote on the selection of the new Board of Directors for 2019/20, the 2019/20 budget, and other policies and reports.

Date: Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Time: Doors open at 6:30, presentations start at 7:00, and the Annual General Meeting starts at 8:15.

Place: Almonte United Church Social Hall, 106 Elgin Street, Almonte

All MVFN members are welcome.

Continue reading...

2019 Ontario Nature Youth Summit

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists will sponsor two students to attend this action packed weekend from September 20-22, 2019.

What is it?

The Youth Summit brings together about 100 students in grades 9-12 from across Ontario to learn about the variety of natural life in our province and positive solutions to conservation and environmental issues in a complex and changing world. Hosted by the Ontario Nature Youth Council, all workshops and activities reflect topics that are the most important to today’s youth.

Some highlights to look forward to at the 2019 Summit:

• Compelling, interactive workshops and activities
• A keynote presentation by a high‐profile environmental speaker
• A wonderful venue to explore on Lake Couchiching, complete with hiking trails, early‐morning canoeing and nightly campfires
• Meeting diverse young leaders with similar interests from across Ontario!

What is included in the registration?

All meals, accommodation and transportation from Toronto to Orillia and back.

MISSISSIPPI VALLEY FIELD NATURALISTS ARE SPONSORING TWO LOCAL YOUTH:

The sponsorship includes the $375 registration fee paid directly by MVFN and up to $150 for travel expenses to Toronto and back.

Who is eligible to apply?

High school students (grade 9-12 as of September 2019) in Lanark County and region interested in the natural world.

Application Process

Complete the application online. Selected candidates may have a short interview with MVFN members.
Application Deadline May 1, 2019.
Winners will be announced May 16, 2019 at MVFN Annual General Meeting.

Past Attendees
Sophie Anderson
Kea McKay

Continue reading...

Arm Chair Travellers:  Viewing Nature Vicariously

To help pass the long winter, MVFN presents “Arm Chair Travellers: Viewing Nature Vicariously”

When: Friday, January 11, 2019 from 1:30 – 3 PM 

Where: Almonte Branch, Mississippi Mills Public Library, 155 High Street, Almonte, ON

Enjoy two short presentations by people who have travelled to the southern hemisphere recently.

MVFN members Sherryl and Bob Smith will show a selection of photographs from their recent trip to South Africa. They will focus on features of the landscape and environment at different elevations. And yes, there will be pictures of flora and fauna.

Our second presenter is Lauren Bazley, a recent graduate of Trent University who spent two field seasons at the Tambopata Research Center, Peru, working on the Tambopata Macaw Project. This is a long-term multidisciplinary study of natural history, conservation and management of large macaws and parrots. For more information see https://www.perunature.com/about-rainforest/macaw-project/.

Continue reading...

Grand Opening of the MVFN Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter

Wednesday, September 5th at 2:30 PM

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) are very pleased to announce the grand opening and dedication of the Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter, located just west of Almonte, behind the Municipality of Mississippi Mills Waste Water Treatment plant.

This special project to create a new local birding facility was conceived, developed and built by the MVFN Birding Committee and many other construction-minded MVFN volunteers.  The viewing shelter is dedicated and named for the late Mike McPhail, a former President of MVFN and a tireless advocate for nature in our community.  The Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter is located along the same path as the Al Potvin Observation Tower, which has been well used by birders from near and far for many years and overlooks the largest and westernmost of the decommissioned lagoons.

 

Bringing a big project from conception to completion involves a lot of planning and many steps.  Starting in the spring of 2017, the investigation of several designs and sizes and shapes of bird viewing shelters was undertaken, and a preliminary structural plan was designed by Michel Gauthier.  This was taken to Mississippi Mills municipal staff for review, and a request to build beside the lagoon on town property.  The project was approved unanimously by Council in the fall, and the necessary building permits were obtained.

A call was sent out to MVFN members for help with construction, and the response was amazing – 22 people signed up!  The first step was to level the ground, and spread gravel, which was done by Howard Robinson and his trusty tractor.  Because of the early onset of winter in mid-November, the cement support posts had to be formed and dried in Al Potvin’s heated garage.  Over the long winter months, volunteers calculated materials needed and arranged to purchase them from Home Hardware in Almonte.

Then the long wait for spring to arrive began, and the crew waited, and waited, then waited some more. Finally, we emerged from early spring to high summer weather, the ground was dry and firm, materials were ordered, and the eager volunteers finally began construction. There were many talented volunteer carpenters and apprentices, which kept the cost down significantly.  However, the “commanders-in-chief” had a knack for organizing work crews on the very hottest days of June!  In spite of the heat, however, the construction moved along quickly, and by early July, the shelter was complete.

And what a beautiful and sturdy shelter it is, with a perfect panoramic view of the lagoon and marsh areas.  Constructed of beautiful pine with a green metal roof, it can be seen off in the distance from Wolf Grove Road. Future plans include permanent signage along the path to the shelter and at the shelter, educational material inside, and natural landscaping around the shelter, which hopefully will attract even more wildlife.

The MVFN Board of Directors and members are delighted with the results of the tireless efforts of the co-managers and construction crews over the past year.  We are proud to offer the public birding community a unique place to visit, spring, summer and fall.  MVFN is also very grateful to the Municipality of Mississippi Mills for allowing the shelter to be built, for the help and support they offered throughout, and to Home Hardware for their expert advice.

Besides migrating waterfowl and shore birds at the lagoon, there are woodland birds along the path, and field birds which can be seen out from each side of the path.  To access the path, turn right off Wolf Grove Road to Concession #8.  The path is located a few hundred meters up Concession #8, across the road from the far end of the Auld Kirk Cemetery.  Parking is permitted on both shoulders of the road, except in front of the gate.  The rather hard-to-see entrance to the pathway is marked with a small yellow sign on the right.  Please respect the “Rules of Etiquette” on the path and in the shelter.

MVFN Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter: photos August 29, 2018, P. Donaldson

The Official Grand Opening and dedication of the MVFN Mike McPhail Bird Viewing Shelter will take place Wednesday, September 5 at 2:30 PM at the shelter. All are welcome to attend the ceremony. This also marks the start of four September Birding Open Houses taking place every Wednesday in September from 3 to 5 PM, when you will have an opportunity to speak to an MVFN bird expert who will have a scope ready for very close-up and personal views of the birds!  Bring your binoculars!  All summer, spring and fall, the Observation Tower and the Bird Viewing Shelter are open at any time for the public to walk in and view birds.

NOTE: Link to current E-bird checklist for this location is at https://ebird.org/canada/printableList?regionCode=L2327732&yr=all&m

For further information, please visit mvfn.ca or email inquiries to or 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading...

A very “beary” MVFN Spring Gathering 2018

Thursday, April 19, Almonte Civitan Hall

IMPORTANT NOTE: Tickets ($40) must be purchased or reserved in advance, by Thursday April 12

MVFN proudly announces Spring Gathering 2018, featuring a presentation by Dr. Martyn Obbard: Bears in Hibernation: How do polar bears and black bears survive the winter?”

After many years of research, noted bear scientist Dr. Martyn Obbard will share his knowledge and experience gained after many exciting years studying bears in Ontario. Join us for an entertaining evening as we learn about the nutritional requirements and other details of black bears and polar bears as they survive the harsh Canadian winters.

Dr. Martyn Obbard is an Emeritus Research Scientist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and adjunct professor at Trent University. He retired in 2016 after a 32-yr career with the ministry and is past Chair and long-time member of the Canadian Federal/Provincial/Territorial Polar Bear Technical Committee.

Martyn Obbard and cub

 

MVFN SPRING GATHERING 2018

Spring Gathering 2018 will include a buffet dinner.

Dinner choices include Maple Glazed Chicken, Roast Beef or Vegetarian.

Dessert, coffee and tea are also included.

Doors open 5:00 PM ~ Cocktail hour 5:30 PM ~ Buffet Dinner 6:30 PM

50/50 Draw and Special Prizes Raffle

 “Best Dressed Teddy Bear Contest” . . . bring your favourite bear to win!

 

TICKET DETAILS:

NOTE: Tickets for Spring Gathering 2018 are $40 and must be purchased or reserved in advance, by Thursday April 12th.

Contact Sylvia Miller – or 613 256-7825 to reserve a ticket.

Tickets are also available at the Gilligallou Bird Store., Almonte (Almonte Heritage Court, 14 Mill St.); The Blossom Shop, Carleton Place (167 Bridge St.); and at The Office, Perth (11 Wilson St. E.).

We hope to see you at this popular annual gathering! 

 

Continue reading...