Sciensational Sssnakes!!

Conservation Through Education

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Back from Michigan, and on to the Volunteer Weekend!

I spent most of this week in Michigan, travelling around looking for snakes! Lots of fun, and we found lots of snakes as well! We visited a couple of people who came to the Pelee Island trip in 2002, Terry in northern Michigan and Eddie in southern Michigan. They showed us around; it was especially interesting to see the habitat projects that Terry has done on his land, and the high numbers of snakes around that seem to have resulted from his efforts. Here's a list of species encountered: snakes- eastern and Butler's garters, northern ribbon, northern water, brown and redbelly, ringneck, eastern milk and eastern massasauga, turtles- midland painted, common snapper (DOR), Blanding's (DOR), frogs- green, leopard, wood, spring peeper, gray treefrog, american toad, salamanders- spotted, blue-spotted, red-backed, four-toed and tiger. Tons of neat stuff! I was accompanied by staff members Crystal and Megan, and Steve Marks; a great time was had by all!

And now we're back, and ready to dive into the volunteer weekend, which officially starts in a few minutes... better get going!

Posted by Jeff Hathaway at 8:22 AM | Comments (3)  

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Spring Volunteer Weekend, June 17-18

As mentioned in the previous post, this spring's volunteer weekend will be June 17-18. As in previous versions, volunteers from across Ontario (and possibly Quebec) will descend on Orillia to do various projects here, with the goal of moving Scales Nature Park closer to operational capacity! We hope that you will be able to join us!

The projects that will be worked on will vary with the weather, the number of people arriving, etc. We are determined to finish the outdoor red-eared slider pond this time around! The ELP students, with some guidance from Hangar Rick, installed the chain-link fencing, but we still need to put the fine mesh around the bottom (extending underground) and then backfill the trench. We could have turtles in the pond by Sunday if all goes well. Other possible projects include: bridge construction, the outdoor wood turtle pond, continuing construction of the main pond viewing/teaching platform, firewood stacking, exotic vegetation removal, and lots of other fun stuff. There are some indoor projects, too, in case it rains. Please note that there is no rain date this year; the other weekends are all booked with outreach programs.

We expect to get started fairly early on Saturday, around 9:00, though depending upon driving distances some will arrive later. And you don't have to come for the whole weekend- some people only come for the Saturday, or just Sunday afternoon, etc. If you do want to stay for the night, we have lots of room for tents, floor camping, and possibly even a couple of beds available!

This time around, food will be donated by Ontario Waterway Cruises, and possibly some local restaurants and stores as well. Don't forget your bathing suit for the ever-popular Saturday night pool party!

If you aren't familiar with our plans to convert the property into a conservation education centre focused on Ontario's reptiles, amphibians, and fish, check out the Scales Nature Park link on the left side menu of this page to see some more details and some pictures, including some from previous volunteer weekends. Please let me know if you are interested in participating, and feel free to pass on the invitation to anyone you think might be interested in helping out.

Posted by Jeff Hathaway at 8:20 AM | Comments (2)