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Science & NatureNatureSummary of MFVN Nature Talk, February 15

Summary of MFVN Nature Talk, February 15

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) held its annual Members’ Night and Annual General Meeting this month.  The evening featured three speakers and was followed by the AGM.

The first speaker was Art Solomonian, Chair of the Paddle Committee.  Art, and five others on his team, organize day trips throughout the paddling season, along with a canoe camp in September.  The theme of these trips is: “Seeing Nature from the Water’s Edge”.   Art shared photos of some of the groups’ finds, as well as shots of them paddling and picnicking. Trips normally last about 3 – 4 hours, with a slow pace to observe and photograph nature.  Trips do not involve portages, crossing wide open water or paddling in fast-moving water.  Art then outlined the trips planned for the 2024 season, including the canoe camp, and supplied the email address for more information:

The second speaker was Bob Stearns, Secretary/Treasurer of the board of directors of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT).  Bob is a biologist and educator living in Almonte and has been involved with MMLT for seven years.  Bob explained the structure, purpose and vision of the land trust, a nonprofit charitable foundation with a mission to legally protect and steward private lands which have ecological, biodiverse, aesthetic and cultural value, while at the same time fostering engagement with wilderness.  MMLT was founded in 2003 and, with the recent acquisition of a property on Palmerston Lake, it now stewards 12 properties, thereby protecting 3,384 acres. Bob outlined the processes involved in acquiring properties, as well as the ongoing stewardship activities at each one.  More information on the land trust and properties that are open to the public to visit and hike or snowshoe is available at:

The third speaker was Ken Allison, who leads the sightings portion of each MVFN meeting.  Ken shared sightings from the MVFN Nature Notebook for February, including a northern shrike, a red crossbill, grey treefrog, a northern paper wasp and trumpeter swans.  He then invited audience members to add their sightings, which included red-bellied woodpeckers, bluebirds, snow bunting flocks and others.

Val Wilkinson, President of MVFN, then presented Ken with the MVFN Champion for Nature award in recognition of his enormous contributions to MVFN and other nature-related organizations, including MMLT. This was followed by the AGM.

The next meeting on March 21 will feature author Lynn Holden who has visited all 20 World Heritage Sites in Canada.

Submitted by Chris Baburek




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