On July 9th, The Friends hosted our first annual Meet & Greet welcoming back old and new members to thank them for their continuing support and update them on our recent accomplishments. Tours of the trails and campground were offered, the Get on Board Pillars were unveiled along with the Purple Martin house, and everyone enjoyed refreshments in the Stephanie Grady Educational Pavilion. See the pics here.
National Wildlife Week - April 10th to the 16th
April 10th to the 16th marked National Wildlife Week (NWW), and this year is especially significant to the Friends, as 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Migratory Birds Convention between Canada and the United States. This was the first international treaty to conserve wildlife.
With a focus on the skies, and all the wild winged creatures that inhabit that domain, from birds and bees to bats and butterflies, the 2016 theme for NWW is GIVING WINGS TO WILDLIFE CONSERVATION.
The Friends invited the community to come out and join them in celebrating this special occasion and presented a series of speakers on several evenings during the week which enjoyed solid attendance numbers from members of the local communities, held Education Day in partnership with South National Conservation, for hundreds of students from local schools, and wrapped up the week with a Wine & Cheese on Saturday, April 16th. Live entertainment was provided by a local group 'Put it in Park' and wildlife art and photos were displayed by Steve Winchester, Rick Lee and Hugh Metcalfe. The week was deemed a great success by all and the Friends are looking forward to next year!
Hans vanderZweep, local birding expert and member of the Cornwall and Area Birding Club held an Owl Prowl in early April 2016. Weather conditions must be ‘perfect’ so Hans called the event within 24 hours’ notice and registration in advance was mandatory. He first took the group to view the Great Horned Owls who were nesting nearby the Sanctuary and then on they went to 'call' the owls in the Sanctuary. Unfortunately a large group of noisy visitors to the Sanctuary that evening prevented the group from hearing any owls, but everyone decided to try it another time. Stay tuned for more info on the next attempt.
New Blue Bird Houses for the Sanctuary
On Wednesday, April 16th, The Friends of the Sanctuary attended a weekly meeting of the Long Sault Girl Guide troop to assist them in assembling 38 Blue Bird houses which the troop will then be donating to the Sanctuary. The kits were made by Chuck Clavet, President of the Friends of the Sanctuary.
The girls turned out to be really good carpenters and all 38 bird houses were completed in less than 2 hours. Also assisting were some Mom’s of the girls and the Cornwall Area Bird Club. The Friends along with the Cornwall Area Bird Club will also assist the girls to erect the Bird Houses at the Sanctuary later in the spring.
The installation of bluebird houses took place on April 26, 2014. The girl guides, brownies and sparks were undeterred by the rainy weather. The girls got lots of help from parents, Friends of the Sanctuary, Cornwall Area Bird Club and St. Lawrence River Institute.
As of May 18, 2014, 4 of the homes have new occupants ready to start their families....enjoy the pictures!
********** Presentation at Rothwell-Osnabruck School
On April 10th, Hans and Madeline van der Zweep were happy to go back to kindergarten class (but just to visit) after a request was received from the kindergarten teacher at Rothwell-Osnabruck School in Ingleside. What she was looking for was 4-5 taxidermy examples of birds, mammals or reptiles to brought to their school so the children could see and ask questions about the animal or bird or reptile. They were preparing a wild animal rescue project with stuffed animals and birds and the teachers thought it would be educational for the kids to actually see close up some examples of wildlife to further engage them.