Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Day at Beechwood

Kalli and Patti plant Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) beside the pond

This year I am leading a stewardship team at the Beechwood Wetland. Once a week, usually Wednesday evenings, we visit the site to perform maintenance activities. We remove invasive species, plant native trees, shrubs and plants and perform a variety of monitoring activities. I took a few pictures of our activities last night.

Richard, Yukako, and Lise plant Blue Flag Iris (Iris Versicolor) and Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

In addition to the planting, we also removed some invasive plants such as White Sweet Clover (Melilotus alba) and Dog-strangling Vine (Cynanchum rossicum)

Small minnows (species unknown) inhabit the pond

Do you know how hard it is to take pictures of fish? While I was taking pictures of the planting I noticed some tiny fish in the pond. You can just barely see some centimetre long fish in the upper left hand corner of the picture. I circled two of them (click on the picture for a better view). No idea what species they are. Also I wonder how they arrived in the pond since it would be very difficult for a fish to swim into the pond from the river. Perhaps the eggs became attached to the bottom of a visiting duck and were deposited here.

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) in full bloom. These plants were planted during the original restoration and are spreading throughout the site.

The team gets educated about pollination monitoring

This year we are starting a new program that will study flower pollinators. This is a citizen science program that monitors types of insects that pollinate flowers. Basically, you stand in a area near some flowers and wait for insects to arrive. You then count them, measure them, and identify them (as best you can) for about 20 minutes. That's all it takes. The program is looking for new volunteers. All you have to do is visit the website, download the material and print out the forms. You need a clipboard, a ruler, a pencil, and a magnifying glass and your good to go!

Cheryl, the stewardship program co-ordinator, gives a short lecture on the monitoring protocol

The Pollinator study manual

This year the stewardship program is active at six sites, four in the Don Watershed and two in the Humber. If you're interested in volunteering, you can visit the stewardship website for more information.

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