Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Pollinators: A Vital Key to Garden Success




Zone 8’s Technical Update Committee is pleased to present a star-studded program featuring a very special keynote speaker, Dr. Peter Kevan. Dr. Kevan will be ably supported by excellent local presenters on the vital matter of pollination – that quiet activity that often goes unnoticed and under-appreciated, but which plays a major role in the ongoing survival of our fragile planet.
We want this up-to-date information to leave you inspired, better equipped to explain the pollination process and ready to take a stand on the protection and encouragement of our complex population of pollinators.


Keynote Speaker
Peter Kevan is Professor in Environmental Biology at the University of Guelph, and is regarded as one of the most active pollination biologists world-wide. He is presently principal investigator on a multi-million dollar NSERC-Canadian Pollination Initiative research network, chair of the Task Force on Declining Pollination of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources), part of the steering committee for the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, and a member of the Canadian Pollinator Protection Initiative. Dr. Kevan is actively involved in initiatives in pollination stemming from the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as many other pollination or pollinator-related projects.

Scott Olan
Scott joined the Ministry of the Environment as a Pesticides Specialist and designated Provincial Officer in Eastern Region in March 2005. Before beginning his career, Scott graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. He is presently working on his Masters of Science in Environment and Management from Royal Roads University. His passion for gardening developed early while growing up on the family farm. Scott has never used pesticides on his lawn. His motto is “enjoy a lawn for what it is, not what others think it should be”. Scott was a Master Gardener from 1997 to 2003. He also spent three years as Zone Director on the MGOI Board. He was a Certified Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture from 1997 – 2006.

Ken Farr
Ken Farr is a forest taxonomist and science policy advisor with the Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada. He is a Registered Professional Forester and a member of the Canadian Institute of Forestry. His current activities include international forest trade issues, invasive forest pests and plant quarantine issues. He is the Canadian Forest Service Scientific Authority for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Ken has taught horticulture, urban forestry and arboriculture in the Horticulture Department of Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario and also as adjunct professor of Dendrology at the University of Toronto School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. He was project dendrologist for the well-known reference text Trees in Canada by John Laird Farrar, and is author of the Canadian Forest Service publication The Forests of Canada.

Dale Odorizzi, Gloria Oopzoomer and Ankaret Dean
Partnership for Pollinators
Master Gardeners Gloria Oopzoomer and Dale Odorizzi present a case study on developing and maintaining an all-volunteer public Butterfly Garden, combining the strengths of the Rideau Valley Field Naturalists, Rideau Valley Conservation area and Lanark County Master Gardeners.

The Secret Life of Bees
Master Gardener and Beekeeper, Ankaret Dean, will describe the life of bees and the important plants that attract bees to your garden.

To Register, forward a cheque to the following address, including your name, Mailing Address and Email address if you have one. Also, include any group affiliation (MVFN) or United Counties Master Gardeners
Mail To: E. Falconer, 3276 Klondike Road, North Gower, Ontario K0A 2T0
$35 for Master Gardeners, $40 for all other participants

Lunch and refreshments for the day will be catered by the Algonquin College Catering Service. Cost of all food and beverages is included in your registration fee. If you have special needs, please note them in this section. If we can accommodate them we will.

If you have any questions, please contact Dale Odorizzi at 613 264-8135 or .
Hope to see you there.


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Birds In My Garden

Almonte United Church’s ‘Spirit of the Garden’ event (Apr 2009) featured many speakers. In honour of Poetry Month, the Lanark County Live Poet Society was invited to perform poems as an introduction for each speaker. Tammy MacKenzie, who loves both gardening and birds, wrote and performed the following (posted here with Tammy’s permission) to introduce MVFN member Cliff Bennet’s ‘Birds in the Garden’ talk:

Birds In My Garden

Turning and digging and tilling the soil
I work the earth in loving toil
under the watchful eyes of robins in the dew-bejeweled grass,
their red breasts bright in the morning sun,
hopping ever nearer in hopes of snatching an easy breakfast revealed by my labour.

Having laid out line and row
I gather my seeds and begin to sow,
closely watched by hopeful sparrows
and soon joined by cheery chickadees
chatting their dee-dee-dee as they flit in bobbing flight to the tree
where higher up perches a blackbird adding his musical erk-a-lee.
After I’m done they come down to the ground for a good look around,
but the seeds are well covered and they soon leave, disappointed,
and tired of the brash bullying of brazen blue jays boldly hollering their raucous kwe-kwe.

Time passes and my garden grows green,
lush and full with occasional nibbles from critters unseen.
Hummingbirds visit to sip from each flower
and sometimes when I water, indulge in a shower.
The robins still visit, and the occasional small bird,
in search of worms in the dirt and other juicy morsels on the leaves of the plants,
leaving the aphids to the ladybugs and ants.
It’s nice to see these birds in my garden, tilling the soil and tending the plants.

I smile as I watch them flitting around, now in the air and then on the ground.
their bright colours and energetic antics cheer my day,
their cheeping chatter and sweet song lift my heart.
But I must admit the misleading mimicry of the catbird’s eow brings a frown to my brow
when I hear it coming from my strawberry patch!
I really don’t mind sharing a berry or two, but their wanton pilfering simply won’t do!
They and the waxwings search out the best, always finding the biggest and brightest,
eat about half and just leave the rest!
If you heard me speak then I’d have to beg your pardon,
‘cause I really get vexed by those birds in my garden!

But I know in the end, when all’s said and done,
the garden harvested and earth bare to the sun,
when summer is passed and fall almost ended, the birds will move south or grow quiet.
I’ll feel sad and a little lonely, and miss every one
of the birds in my garden.

Tammy MacKenzie April 2009

For more information on Tammy’s work, or the Live Poets Society (LiPS), contact  or visit the LiPS website at

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