Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada
NatureHood Partner Spotlight – BC Waterfowl Society
News

NatureHood Partner Spotlight – BC Waterfowl Society

[caption id="attachment_30818" align="alignleft" width="150"]Jill Sturdy Jill Sturdy, NatureHood Program Manager[/caption] Last week, we received a lovely thank you card from a class of Grade 4 students at Holly Elementary School in Surrey, BC, who had the opportunity to visit Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, BC, as part of the NatureHood program. The BC Waterfowl Society, our local NatureHood partner, leads nature tours at the bird sanctuary for school groups and the public. Students learned about the diversity of local wildlife and habitats by exploring the trails, and also got an up-close experience feeding the birds. For many of them, this was the “best field trip ever!” Image of kids feeing birds Part of the funding we receive from Environment and Climate Change Canada enables school groups to visit places like Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary and Alaksen National Wildlife Area. Opportunities for these students would not otherwise be possible without the grant provided. BC Waterfowl Society, is one of 13 local NatureHood partners across the country who are providing hands-on nature experiences to kids and families. Experiential learning in nature, and wildlife viewing is exactly what NatureHood is all about! Providing opportunities to spend time in and explore nearby nature will help to foster a relationship with the natural world, and ultimately help develop a new generation of nature lovers! You don’t need to go far to explore in nature! You can find it almost anywhere. Now that winter has arrived (in most of the country), embrace the season and explore in the snow. Look for animal tracks in the snow and see where they lead to. Bundle up and spend some time in nature over the holiday season! “I really enjoyed being out in nature for the day” – Brooklyn “My favourite part was when the birds landed on my hand. Thanks for the Best field trip ever!!” – Marihar “I like how Gus the Goose followed us” – Michele "The class and I shared such a rich learning experience! Without you this would not have been possible. Thank you!" – Ms. Steffler, Grade 4 teacher at Holly Elementary Image of NatureHood Thank You Card

Email Signup

Want more nature news?

Discover more about the nature you love.

Canada Warbler Conservation featured at Conservation Workshop in Edmonton
News

Canada Warbler Conservation featured at Conservation Workshop in Edmonton

[caption id="attachment_21694" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Ted Cheskey Ted Cheskey
Senior Conservation Manager[/caption] Late in October, Nature Canada’s Ted Cheskey led a workshop session on conserving Canada Warbler on its northern breeding grounds with forest company representatives and biologists as part of a larger workshop on birds and forest management hosted by the Boreal Avian Modelling Project (BAM), supported by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The workshop was in Edmonton, and as a result was mainly attended by representatives from companies operating in western Canada. Nature Canada was delighted to be able to support the participation of Liz Kejick of the Lac Seul First Nation in northwestern Ontario. Big forestry operations occur widely on the traditional lands of First Nations, some of which operate their own forestry operations, but most of whom rarely have the capacity to participate in initiatives like this one. The fact that Liz was the only First Nation representative at the workshop underlines this point. [caption id="attachment_35561" align="aligncenter" width="749"]Image of participants Participants at Birds and Forestry Workshop in Edmonton this fall – photo by Ted Cheskey[/caption] My take away learning was that there are already many logging companies that incorporate Canada Warbler conservation practices into their daily operations in western Canada.  Many conduct pre-operational surveys, for example. BAM’s interest in getting the scientists and forestry companies talking was in part to apply the BAM products (e.g. predictive models for bird presence and abundance) to support improve forestry practices that support conservation. They also look to improving their models, which always require field-testing and revision. At some point in the workshop, I noted that, the overall workshop title could have been “forestry, modelling and the Canada Warbler.

Email Signup

Want more nature news?

Join our 50,000 nature lovers raising their voices for nature!

Thank You for Caring for Nature This Holiday Season!
News

Thank You for Caring for Nature This Holiday Season!

[caption id="attachment_33387" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Jodi Joy Jodi Joy, Director of Development[/caption] As we ring in the joys of the holiday season and look with gratitude to another new year, we often reflect on the key moments of the past year, whether through lists on TV or in the paper or read online. With every member who shares their nature discoveries, memories or wishes, I’m reminded again and again how much nature nurtures our souls.  It also reminds me why our members feel it’s important to defend wildlife and wilderness. It’s truly inspiring and heartwarming to know that you care dearly about nature. Thank you for your kindness, compassion and dedication to nature this past year. Your generous support is always hard at work to defend animals, plants, and the clean air and water we all depend on. mountain lake At this sharing and caring time of the year, you might enjoy these reflections from your fellow Nature Canada members that hopefully will put a smile on your face as you read and nod along: “Nature is a never-ending source of inspiration, restoration and discovery for me. I think for all of humanity, when one opens their eyes and heart to it, from a single wild bloom in an urban field to the broad majesty one encounters on a mountain hike. So much to discover and care for.”Dorothy, BC, member since 1999 “I find solace in nature — the woods, fields, swamps, running water, rocks and cliffs are like cathedrals. Birdsong and glimpses of wildlife connect me to the living web that sustains us all." “I still remember watching the morning mist and hearing the loon’s cry at the lake for the first time as a little girl sixty years ago, like it was yesterday.”Marion, ON, member since 2013 “After camping for nearly half a century … I still love it so! My wish for our beautiful country is that Canadian nature be protected, nurtured and respected more than before and that the generations that come will understand and appreciate the importance of this vital symbiosis.”Julie, QC, member since 2003 “We say nature like it’s something separate from us. We are nature, we are part of wilderness, we must protect nature to protect mankind.” – Gisele, ON, member since 2003 “My wish is that every Canadian be grateful for all that is great about our magnificent natural heritage.”Ann, AB, member since 1998 “I hope that Canada’s citizens vow to work together to protect and expand our remaining wild spaces. We need to protect our biodiversity. We need stronger environmental protection to do so. Every form of life in Canada deserves clean air, water and soil. That’s our commitment for the next 150 years.”Karen, ON, member since 2001 As we look forward to 2018 (oh my gosh, where did the last year go?!) — an enormous THANK YOU to all of our members who stand alongside us to be a strong voice for nature. You and I can be thankful for all the gifts nature provides.

Season's Greetings and Happy New Year!

P.S. One final parting thought from our AB member Catharina:

"The greatest gift we can give to each other this year should be … an ongoing commitment to preserve and protect our precious wildlands!"

NatureHood Designation in Victoria, BC
News

NatureHood Designation in Victoria, BC

[caption id="attachment_30818" align="alignleft" width="150"]Jill Sturdy Jill Sturdy, NatureHood Program Manager[/caption] Earlier this week, the Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, unveiled a plaque that officially designated the grounds of Government House a Nature Canada NatureHood site. [caption id="attachment_35546" align="alignright" width="316"]Image of Bob Peart, Nature Canada's Board of Directors Chair and the Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Bob Peart, Nature Canada's Board of Directors Chair and the Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia[/caption] As a Nature Canada Honourary Women for Nature member, Her Honour has a strong passion for encouraging children to explore nature. Thanks to her leadership, the NatureHood plaque will help inspire visitors of the Gardens to explore and connect with nature. The Government House gardens are located on the traditional territory of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations. Open to the public year-round, they are an ideal place to inspire BC residents and visitors to connect with nature to appreciate this remarkable and unique part of Canada's heritage. The NatureHood plaque is located at the trailhead of the Woodlands trail, which features native plants of British Columbia, including unique Garry oak habitat. Government House is located within the Victoria capital region NatureHood, adjacent to Victoria Harbour and Esquimalt Lagoon and Shoal Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuaries. [caption id="attachment_35545" align="alignleft" width="303"]Image ofBob Peart, Nature Canada's Board of Directors Chair and Sue Staniforth, President of FOSH Bob Peart, Nature Canada's Board of Directors Chair and Sue Staniforth, President of FOSH[/caption] NatureHood is all about inspiring urban Canadians, especially youth, to explore Nearby Nature and help to foster a new generation of nature lovers. Working closely with grassroots naturalist groups, such as Friends of Shoal Harbour (FOSH), NatureHood promotes nature through celebratory events, educational and stewardship activities and wildlife observation. Friends of Shoal Harbour (FOSH), our local NatureHood partner in Victoria is active in providing nature-based educational activities to the public through events such as All-Buffleheads Day, and leading school groups through the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries in the Victoria capital region. Next time you’re in Victoria, visit the gardens of Government House and explore nature in the capital region!

Email Signup

Want more nature news?

Discover more about the nature you love.

OECD: More Resources Needed For Canada’s Protected Areas
News

OECD: More Resources Needed For Canada’s Protected Areas

[caption id="attachment_22697" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Stephen Hazell Stephen Hazell
Director of Conservation
and General Counsel[/caption] Nearly all of Canada’s protected areas report deficiencies in capacity and resources for site management and monitoring says a December 19, 2017 report on Canada’s environmental performance authored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). “Many protected areas operate without up-to-date management plans. Most government organizations for protected areas report on programme-related performance measures, but few assess effectiveness.” The OECD also concludes that the terrestrial area under protection in 2015 (10.6%) is the fourth lowest of the 35 OECD member countries. Under the UN Convention for Biological Diversity, Canada is committed to protect at least 17% of land and inland water by 2020 (one of the so-called Aichi targets). The OECD also concludes that Canada “will need to considerably accelerate the pace of establishing protected areas or other effective area-based conservation measures to achieve this commitment”. This is exactly what Nature Canada and the Green Budget Coalition have been saying.  Nature Canada and GBC are demanding a budget for nature from the federal government in February 2018 that allocates $1.4 billion over three years to establish new protected areas, to allow Canada to meet our Aichi target.

Email Signup

Want more nature news?

Join our 50,000 nature lovers raising their voices for nature!

Christmas Has Come Early for BC Grizzlies
News

Christmas Has Come Early for BC Grizzlies

[caption id="attachment_33197" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Lenore Nadeau Lenore Nadeau, Grants and Sponsorships Officer[/caption] Nature Canada applauds the BC government’s decision to ban the hunting of grizzlies in the province, currently listed under COSEWIC as a species of special concern (western population). The decision was long overdue as the vast majority of British Columbians no longer believe it is socially acceptable to hunt these magnificent, iconic bears. The consultation process with First Nations, stakeholder groups, and the public found that 78% of respondents wanted the hunt stopped entirely – and the government has finally listened. First Nations will still be allowed to hunt grizzlies for food, social or ceremonial reasons, or for treaty rights. There is still much work to be done to address other threats to grizzlies, such as habitat loss. Nature Canada will continue to work with its local partners to ensure that provincial and federal governments protect important grizzly habitat in B.C. and through other parts of their range in Canada. Stay tuned for more on our exciting Protected Places campaign in the New Year!

Email Signup

Join the Movement!

Sign up to learn how you can protect the nature you love.

Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia unveils NatureHood site plaque to nurture a new generation of nature lovers
News

Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia unveils NatureHood site plaque to nurture a new generation of nature lovers

VICTORIA, B.C.  (December 18, 2017) — The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, unveiled a plaque today to officially designate the grounds of Government House a Nature Canada NatureHood site. Earlier this year, Her Honour designated the grounds of Government House a NatureHood site to commemorate Canada’s sesquicentennial. “Nature Canada is honoured to have its NatureHood site plaque unveiled today by the Honourable Judith Guichon,” says Bob Peart, National Chair of Nature Canada’s Board of Directors and volunteer with the Friends of Shoal Harbour (FOSH). “These historic grounds on the traditional territory of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations are the ceremonial home of all British Columbians. It is an ideal place to inspire urban BC residents to connect with nature right where they live and to appreciate this remarkable and unique part of Canada's heritage.” he adds. “Nature Canada’s NatureHood program is all about inspiring urban Canadians, especially youth, to explore nearby nature and help to foster a new generation of nature lovers,” says Jill Sturdy, Manager of Nature Canada’s national NatureHood program. “As a Nature Canada Woman for Nature, Her Honour’s leadership in encouraging children to explore nature will continue to be felt for many years to come.” adds Sturdy. The Government House gardens are open to the public year-round. The NatureHood plaque is located at the trailhead of the Woodlands trail, featuring native plants of British Colombia, including unique Garry oak habitat. Government House is located within the capital region NatureHood, adjacent to Victoria Harbour and Esquimalt Lagoon and Shoal Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuaries. The Government House Grounds The Government House grounds contain more than 14 hectares (36 acres) of maintained gardens and Garry oak meadows. The grounds are divided into numerous different zones according to plant life and/or garden style including: the British Columbia native plant garden which contains species unique to the province; a Cottage Garden which is arranged in an informal style with a mixture of ornamental and edible plants; gardens to supply cut flowers, herbs, and an orchard with apple, plum, and quince trees; a rock garden tended by the Heather Society of Victoria; iris, lily, rhododendron; rose gardens (including a formal Victorian rose garden based on the plan of that at Warwick Castle in England); and, water features such as the fountain pond and the duck pond. There is also a unique 8.9 hectares (22 acres) Garry Oak ecosystem. The gardens are open to the public year-round and are enjoyed by many visitors.


For media comment please contact:
Bob Peart, Chair, Nature Canada Board of Directors 250-655-0295 | bobpeart@shaw.caJill Sturdy, NatureHood Program Manager 613-276-7226 | jsturdy@naturecanada.ca
About Nature Canada and NatureHood: Over the past 75 years, Nature Canada, a nature conservation charity has helped protect over 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat. Today, Nature Canada represents a network of over 50,000 supporters and more than 350 nature organizations across the country and with affiliates in every province. One of its signatory initiatives is the NatureHood program that inspires urban residents to connect with Nearby Nature – nature right where they live. Working closely with grassroots naturalist groups, NatureHood promotes nature through celebratory events, educational and stewardship activities and wildlife observation. NatureHood aims to inspire a new generation of nature lovers. For more information visit www.naturecanada.ca About Friends of Shoal Harbour (FOSH): The Friends of Shoal Harbour Sanctuary Society (FOSH), a non-profit society works to build public support for the continued protection of the Shoal Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary, which encompasses several of the bays and inlets just north of Sidney, and to promote public awareness and appreciation through celebratory events. The sanctuary is part of the Sidney Channel Important Bird Area. FOSH is a local NatureHood partner. Visit www.shoalharbour.com

Nature Canada shines at the Latornell Symposium
Purple Martins pair at bird house complex
News

Nature Canada shines at the Latornell Symposium

[caption id="attachment_21694" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Ted Cheskey Ted Cheskey
Senior Conservation Manager[/caption] The Latornell Conservation Symposium is one of Ontario’s premier annual events for conservation practitioners, policy makers, environmental NGOs, and academics. The Ontario government, Conservation Ontario, the University of Guelph and many other organizations sponsor the symposium. It provides a unique forum to share work, research, and ideas with others working in the same or a similar field including those who interpret and enforce the policies that protect nature. This year’s symposium in late November explored the succession of science, knowledge, policy and organizations and the nature of this change on the environment. Nature Canada’s Ted Cheskey and Megan MacIntosh participated in Wednesday’s proceedings, and presented Nature Canada’s work to protect and recover the rapidly declining Purple Martin and Threatened aerial insectivores as part of a session called “On a wing and a prayer: the plight of our birds.” The three-hour session featured a screening of the full-length documentary “The Messenger,” introduced by film Director Sue Rynard and Producer Joanne Jackson, followed by presentations from Dr. Bridget Stutchbury, author of Silence of the Songbirds and member of Nature Canada's Women for Nature, Dr. Doug Tozer from our BirdLife Canada partner Bird Studies Canada, and us. [caption id="attachment_35490" align="aligncenter" width="599"]Image of group at Latornell Conservation Symposium From left to right: Doug Tozer, Bridget Stutchbury, Sue Rynard, Megan MacIntosh and Ted Cheskey holding Maple Syrup bottle gifts from the conference that look suspiciously like bottles of contraband.[/caption] Despite the length of our session, and our position as last speakers, we were able to hold the attention of over 60 attendees, who engaged us with many questions. Our presentation described our stewardship work focused on housing management with the Ontario Purple Martin Association and our applied research with Dr. Kevin Fraser of the University of Manitoba. Both project components are supported by many local partners and volunteers. Nature Canada receives financial support from the Habitat Stewardship Program of Environment and Climate Change Canada as well as the Ontario Ministry of Nature Resources Species at Risk Stewardship Fund to do this work. We were able to present some of our findings from recovering data tags that provide insights into the incredible migration route and timing of Martins. This was our moment to share the extraordinary news from this work that members of this species that breed thousands of kilometres apart, gather on the same islands at the same time in the Amazon River basin of Brazil. [caption id="attachment_35489" align="aligncenter" width="601"]Image of Megan MacIntosh presenting Megan MacIntosh presents to a captivated audience the results of her field work.[/caption] Another key finding with significant conservation implications is with regard to post breeding, and pre-migratory roost sites. This summer, Megan and her crew located several of these giant, multi-swallow species roosts, some with over 20,000 individuals, which would qualify them, on their own, as Important Bird Areas. Roosts are poorly understood, and difficult to monitor, and even locate, though they can house tens of thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of birds for several weeks prior to their southward departures. These roosts are largely located in wetlands along the southern Great Lakes and St. Lawrence. The concentration of birds at single roosts renders them vulnerable to different types of human activity, which may be a contributing factor to the declines. Our goal was to put up a flag for roost site protection in the conservation and resource management community. Judging from the response after our presentation, we have made our first good steps. We were thrilled to share the stage with Sue, Joanne, Dr. Stutchbury and Dr. Tozer and speak proudly about Nature Canada’s work, which we hope to continue at some level in 2018.

Email Signup

Want more nature news?

Join our 50,000 nature lovers raising their voices for nature!

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Nature Lovers
News

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Nature Lovers

[caption id="attachment_22916" align="alignleft" width="150"]Samantha Nurse, Web and Social Media Coordinator Samantha Nurse, Web and Social Media Coordinator[/caption] Need gift ideas for yourself or the nature lover in your family? We have a few suggestions that are sure to fill you and your family with holiday cheer!

Snow shoes

We're in for a long winter. Turn it into a positive and explore nature by snow shoe!

Chutneys, Relishes, and Other Preserves

Great if they’re from your own garden, or purchased from a local grower. If you know someone with a real appreciation for good food, you can make them happy all year long with a membership in an organic cooperative that keeps them supplied with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Head Lamp

For night time hikes and cross-country skiing a headlamp can really come in handy! Try to find one that’s light-weight (2-5 ounces), waterproof and has an adjustable light. [caption id="attachment_23536" align="alignright" width="225"]Image of binoculars Photo of binoculars[/caption]

Binoculars

Binoculars are a great gift for your bird watching friends and loved ones! Be sure to get ones with a strap so that way they can carry them around in their bird watching activities.

Bird Feed

Birds depend on reliable food sources during the winter. Suggestions: Sunflower seeds are favored by chickadees, evening grosbeaks, tufted titmice, blue jays, finches and cardinals, among others. White proso millet is preferred by ground-feeding birds such as sparrows. Corn, on or off the cob, are enjoyed by medium sized birds including the mourning dove and common grackle.

Bird Feeder Accessories

Spruce up the feeder! Consider attaching a convenience perch – simply a small tree branch or stick – to the side of the feeder to reduce congestion and provide a place for birds to crack open seeds.

Bicycle Accessories

Anything bicycle-related makes a good gift, such as a new bike helmet or a gift certificate for a comprehensive bicycle tune-up. A pass for a guided hike or wilderness trip is just the thing to get someone active outdoors! [caption id="attachment_23542" align="alignleft" width="245"]bike-926063_1920 Grad some great bicycle accessories![/caption]

Compost Bin

If you’re a gardener, composting is an ideal way to turn non-animal kitchen and yard waste into free fertilizer. If you’re not a gardener, composting is still a practical way to reduce the volume of solid waste that your household produces. Lee Valley Tools has a cool indoor stainless steel compost bin; it’s attractive enough to put on your countertop, and it comes with biodegradable compost bags.

Singing Bird Clock

Keep track of the time and learn common bird calls with a singing bird clock. Most models allow you to turn the sound off at night, and during the day, the top of each hour is hailed by a house finch, mourning dove, blue jay, house wren, tufted titmouse, or many other species.

Tree Faces

These amusing outdoor décor items add whimsy to your backyard or garden. It’s also fun to see a person’s reaction when they finally notice your tree has a face! Caution: Get the faces with the wrap-around attachments; don’t nail to the tree!

The Bedside Book of Birds, by Graeme Gibson

For armchair naturalists who appreciate words as much as birds. Poetry, prose, myths and beautiful illustrations make this book a true joy to read. Available in virtually any book store, including Chapters.

The Birder's Conservation Handbook: 100 North American Birds at Risk by Jeff Wells

Finally! An easy-to-read book written specifically to help birders and researchers understand the status of North America's most threatened birds, and what can be done to protect them. The Birder's Conservation Handbook is beautifully illustrated and a must-read for anyone who loves birds. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="134"] The Birder's Conservation Handbook[/caption]

Waterproof Notebooks

Don’t let wet weather keep you indoors! Bird listing and sketching is still possible with a waterproof notebook, and we especially like the ones that fit inside a pocket.

Breeding Bird Atlas

For the serious birder in your family, a bird atlas is a survey of the nesting areas of birds in a particular region. You can even contribute to a bird atlas by participating in local bird counts.

Programmable Thermostat or Water-saving Showerhead

Conserving energy means preserving wildlife. There are plenty of ways to reduce energy consumption around the home.

Make a donation in someone’s name to Nature Canada or the conservation organization of your choice

There are many worthy causes that work on the local, regional and national level to protect nature. Give you and your loved ones peace of mind this year.
Email Signup

Want more nature news?

Join our 50,000 nature lovers raising their voices for nature!

The Texture of Trees
News

The Texture of Trees

[caption id="attachment_34602" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Sherry Nigro, Guest Blogger Sherry Nigro, Guest Blogger[/caption] This blog is written by guest blogger Sherry Nigro. I am always a little bit sad to see the leaves fall. But, it gives me more opportunity to admire the under-appreciated tree trunk. There is something about trees that compels me to reach out and touch the bark as I walk past. I am drawn to the texture of the tree trunks, which can range from the raised plates of the white pine to the shaggy eastern hophornbeam, to the smooth papery birch. There is something grounding about the contact; the trunk with its protective bark covering, seems to be the heart and soul of the tree. Bark varies from thin to very thick depending on the genus of tree. It can change with age, for example young poplars have a smooth light coloured surface with horizontal striations. Bark on older poplars can be thick and dark and have fissures and deep cracks. Colours can vary from the bright white of birch to true red of red osier dogwood, to bright greens and yellows of certain willows as well as every grey and brown variation imaginable. The characteristics of the bark can be very useful in identifying the species of tree. [caption id="attachment_35465" align="alignright" width="366"]Image of a Pileated Woodpecker. Photo by Sherry Nigro. Pileated Woodpecker. Photo by Sherry Nigro.[/caption] The bark, like a combination of our skin and bones, serves several important functions for the tree. The inner bark supports the transportation of water and nutrients. The outer bark provides strength and flexibility to support the crown of the tree, even during extreme weather. It provides insulation for the tree protecting it against severe cold and heat, even fire. While healthy bark can provide some protection from disease and infestations, it can be susceptible to damage from both. Witness the devastation of the emerald ash borer which lays eggs on the bark, with the larvae boring into the bark and disrupting the transportation of nutrients, eventually killing the tree. Many animals, including moose, beaver, and porcupines eat bark as part of their diet. Large animals such as bear and moose can damage trees mechanically as they claw or rub their antlers against the trunk. Birds can strip off bark for nests or puncture the bark with sharp beaks looking for insects. Woodpeckers in particular can weaken already declining trees leaving some trunks looking like a bird buffet. Observing the bark on the trunk can often provide information about the overall health of the tree. People have also found uses for tree bark.. Indigenous peoples used the birch bark for their famously durable canoes and willow bark for its pain relieving properties. Even today, tree bark can be used in tanning, building products, pharmaceuticals, and horticulture. Bark makes an important contribution to the ecosystem of the forest. It provides nutrients to plants such as moss, fungi and lichens. (Yes, moss will be predominantly on the north side of trees). And this commensalism provides another fascinating aspect to the tree trunk, one that invites me to touch the rough flakes of the lichen, or the soft velvet of the moss. Next time you are outside, touch a tree!

Email Signup

Want more nature news?

Discover more about the nature you love.

Want to Help?

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

Donate