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March 2011 - The Local Scoop

"If what I say resonates with you, it is merely because we are both branches on the same tree."
— W. B . Yeats
Let me count the ways I love tree
This is our year – the natural environment has scored another nod from the world body, the United Nations. Last year, the UN declared 2010 International Year of Biodiversity. For 2011, it's the UN International Year of Forests. And it is also the 40th Anniversary of Dr. Seuss', The Lorax ("I speak for the trees"). So the Scoop will be scooping a little more towards our hardy, trunk-endowed friends, but not forgetting the other companions that make up "forests".
In this Scoop, our major purpose is to push the Speakers' Series which is part of the NANPS commitment to explore the diversity of our local flora and to fulfil our mandate to educate the public. Always informative – don't miss it!
Toronto Botanical Garden (in Edwards Gardens)
777 Lawrence Ave. E. at Leslie St., Toronto. Click here for map.
2nd Floor Studio
March 22, 2011
Doors open 7:00 p.m. Start time 7:30 p.m.
Members: $10.00 / per talk
Non-members: $12.00 / per talk
"Unique Plants of the Malcolm Bluff Shores, Niagara Escarpment"
by Mark Carabetta
Ontario Nature and the Bruce Trail Conservancy are in the process of acquiring 1045 acres of unfragmented forest and Georgian Bay shoreline along the Niagara Escarpment on the Bruce Peninsula, just 20 km east of Wiarton. The area contains pristine lakeshore, productive wetlands, towering cliffs and majestic woods with 4 kilometres of Bruce Trail. Several rare plant species call this home.
Mark Carabetta is Ontario Nature's Conservation Science Manager. He manages Ontario Nature's 22 nature reserves (almost 6,000 acres), located across southern and eastern Ontario and protecting many rare and at-risk native plants including endangered orchids and ferns.
Update as of March 7th: The BTC, in partnership with Ontario Nature, has negotiated agreements to purchase all 1,045 acres at Malcolm Bluff Shores in three parcels. The first of the three parcels was preserved in March 2010. Funds for the second "Parcel B" are now in place and the property will be acquired as of March 31, 2011. The final parcel will be secured in March 2012.
Photos by Ethan Meleg
Coming Soon! April 5, 2011
Native Plants in our Day to Day Lives. Changing the Culture
by Martin Galloway
On The Scoop Front
On February 9th, we launched the Local Scoop calendar in an effort to cut down on the amount of work involved in linking events from TLS issues. Now we are able to keep track in a timely manner, events happening within our local area, loosely off-centred around Toronto and defined as an area roughly from London-Simcoe-Peterborough. Toronto has always been a little off centre, so it was an easy choice as a focal point.
Be sure to check out the calendar frequently and let us know if we've missed any events. We will try to fit in the pertinent ones.
Speaking of Events...
Canada Blooms is coming up soon, and NANPS will be blooming there, too…hopefully! We say hopefully. While the table is booked, the volunteer contingency has been a little shifty. We need volunteers to plant themselves for a shift or two to promote our organisation. As a prominent native plant group, it is up to us to present an island of sanity amongst all the non-native vegetation. If no one is at our table, we lose opportunities to reach a large audience. We lose chances to promote our biggest fundraiser, the plant sale in May. As a volunteer, you get in FREE to the show, to peruse the sights and sites. Don't worry, if you can't resist and happen to fall in love with a non-native plant or gussied-up gardenscape, we have a little-known code of ethics for such circumstances that involves looking the other way and remaining silent (no snide remarks will be uttered – promise!).
It all happens here: March 16th - 20th at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto. Get $2 off the regular price and NANPS also gets $2 for every adult ticket sold. Hurry – March 15th is the deadline. More info about the show at Trusty volunteers may contact: Remember - this is your opportunity to get in FREE to the show to take in the events.
You snooze, you lose – check the websites for updates.
A NANPS Spring Plant Sale Announcement
A Treebuncle Dropped From The Heavens
Arborists would be appalled, but naturalists would be fascinated. A shear delight and just another day in the life of The Scoop. More...
Wayward Shoots
Send in your comments by March 10th. This ties in with a May 1st talk at UofT hosted by TFN outlining the issues that face wildlife that need large swaths of land. More info...
Calling All Groups
NANPS will be sending the 25th Anniversary edition of the Blazing Star across North America to promote the organization. If you know of any groups – institutions, garden groups, environmental groups, etc., that you think might have an interest in native plants, please send your suggestions and info (name, mailing address, website, email address, etc.) to
The Save Mary Lake Conservancy Group did not raise enough funds in enough time to buy the Mary Lake property out right. But, they are confident that by selling approximately 10% of the property as a co-housing option, it will ensure the remaining area is saved as a park. More info...
Only in the U.S. you say – pity! Interactive USDA Hardiness Zone Map
The Plantmaps people sent us a link to an interactive version of the current USDA zone hardiness map using Google maps. By entering a US zipcode, one can access data re: first/last freeze, heat zones, drought conditions and annual climatology for the area. It would be nice if they included Canada, as they do for their plant database. Ameri-NANPSters and Can-NANPSters living near the U.S. border might find it useful.
NEW! Draft Habitat Regulations
Ontario has been richly blessed with a wide variety of plants and animals. Over 200 of these species, however, are currently 'at risk'. One of the key threats to their survival is habitat loss. To help these species recover, the MNR is developing regulations that protect their habitat, something they neglected to do for the endangered butternut trees in the East Gwillimbury area last summer. Best management practice? Hmmph!
Ontario is proposing habitat regulations for Ogden's Pondweed, Eastern Flowering Dogwood and Redside Dace (a minnow species). The draft regulations are available for comment on the Environmental Bill of Rights (Registry #011-2471) website. It wouldn’t hurt to send OMNR a reminder to put something with a little more bite than Capparis flexuosa (falseteeth) into their proposals, for a change. Looks well and good on paper...
The deadline to comment is April 4, 2011.
Send them up the creek…without a paddle!
The Federales caused a kerfuffle and were doing some furious back paddling on the issue of licensing non-profit groups using water craft such as canoes and kayaks. This caused much distress among Boy Scouts and Girl Guide Groups who take summer excursions into the wilds. The government and their typically, vaguely-worded rules had the groups lumped in with commercial operators which have to pay a fee. Good thing the Feds are heading back to rewrite the legislation. If this fiasco went unchallenged, the Boy Scouts might have stopped helping little old ladies cross the road. The Girl Guides might have stopped selling those highly addictive Girl Guide cookies. And it would have been another sign that all hell is breaking loose.
These dates are closer than they appear:
March 12 - Seedy Saturday, Heron Pk. Rec. Centre, Scarborough
March 13 - Artists Inspired by High Park
March 22-24 - The Global Greenbelts Conference
March 25 - Geographic range limits: Ecology, evolution & conservation (plant ecology)
March 30 - TFN – Plants & Birds
April 1 - The impacts of global warming on range limits (plant community ecology)
Check the Scoop Calendar for more info and the latest listings.
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