Nature Canada

Connect with Nature – Be a PlantWatch Volunteer!

Photo courtesy Eleanor Dallow

Nature Canada is looking for people in your community to take part in an important — but fun – program called PlantWatch. As a PlantWatch participant, you can enjoy the outdoors while helping us learn more about changes happening in our environment.

Why be a PlantWatch volunteer? Plants, from the largest trees to the smallest flowers, provide people and wildlife with all kinds of benefits, from habitat to food to clean air and soil. By reporting on the PlantWatch species found in your community, you can help researchers discover how common plants are responding to changes in the environment — and track where changes are taking place in Canada.

What does a PlantWatch volunteer do? Choose a local tree or plant species to monitor. At the sign of first bloom, write down the date and submit to researchers through the Internet or by mail. When you send your data electronically, it’s added instantly to the national PlantWatch database describing bloom dates across Canada, so your observations make a difference right away!

Choose your own location, even in your own backyard! You can watch as many species as you wish. It’s easy to incorporate PlantWatching into your regular routine. While the reporting instructions are scientifically rigorous, they’re quick and easy to follow, and cater to beginner and expert naturalists alike.

To contact the PlantWatch coordinator in your region, contact Marlene Doyle at Marlene.Doyle [at] ec.gc.ca. You can also visit the PlantWatch Web site to learn more.

As Canadians, we are remarkably fortunate to have abundant opportunities to connect with nature. For so many of us, some of our favourite childhood memories involve being outdoors – so I encourage you to join PlantWatch, get outside and have fun!

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Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.

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