Friends of Minesing Wetlands

Inspiring Respect and Sustainability for a World Class Wetland, for People, Forever


A look back at 2017…in pictures

Another year of outreach and education from the Friends of Minesing Wetlands. As usual we were very busy.

This collage of pictures shows:

  • Our annual spring paddle through the Minesing Wetlands
  • FOMW volunteers doing a roadside cleanup
  • Viewing platform upgrade at Mayers Marsh
  • Our annual curling bonspiel
  • Ontario Nature members at the Minesing Wetlands along the Mad River hiking trail

Thanks to all our members and partners for another successful year!


FOMW Spring Canoe Trips 2015

FOMW Spring Canoe Trips 2015

The Friends of Minesing Wetlands are excited to announce two dates when we will be leading trips into the Minesing Wetlands via canoe or kayak! April 18th and May 9th.

To join us on the 18th of April, please contact:
Kristyn Ferguson at 519-826-0068 x.222/519-400-9140 Kristyn.Ferguson@natureconservancy.ca

If you would like to join us on May the 9th, please contact:
Sean Rootham at
s_rootham@ducks.ca

This will reserve a spot for yourself and anyone accompanying you.
We only take 20 boats per trip.

We will meet at 8:30 a.m. (at the latest) at the Willow Creek Canoe Coral on George Johnson Road (County Road 28) in Springwater Township. This should give us enough time to off-load our canoes and shuttle our cars to the end destination, which is approximately 10 minutes away. Hopefully this will be done quickly so that we can get on the water for 9 a.m. The trip will take approximately 5 hours.

Dress appropriately for the weather conditions of the day, which should include high cut boots or rubber boots for possible portages. Also, bring extra clothing in case you get wet. Bring your own warm drinks, snacks for along the way, and a packed lunch for our break around noon.

At least a basic paddling knowhow is required for this trip. All boats must be equipped with the required safety equipment (lifejackets, bailer, whistle, light and throw rope). We do not rent equipment, however if you need a boat there are at least three local providers you can contact.

The cost for joining us is $40 for non-members and $20 for members.
This includes safe passage with certified leaders and ecological interpretation of the Minesing Wetlands.

fomw_paddle_pic  FOMW

 


The Ethics Around Snowy Owls

We are in the midst of a second straight year of a snowy owl irruption (some have referred to this as an “echo”) where snowy owls move south in large numbers from their tundra habitat. In this area, snowy owls are typically seen on hydro/telephone poles, fence posts and trees in open agricultural landscapes though some have even been observed in urban Barrie! Snowy owls are typically not migratory – they are moving south into the area due to food scarcity. They have expended significant energy to get here and are basically trying to find enough food to survive the winter months and fuel up for their return trip back to their tundra habitats in northern Canada.

Snowy owls are magnificent birds to view and are often quite visible in their open habitats. They are thrilling to observe and photograph. Unfortunately, reports have surfaced of unethical behaviour with issues ranging from purposefully flushing the birds and even baiting the owls using live mice to get the “perfect photo”. Lack of respect for private property is also a significant concern. The snowy owls are using these “working landscapes” created by our agricultural community. Trespassing – aside from being an illegal act – disrespects the very landowners that are providing habitat for the owls.

The Ontario Federation of Ornithologists has a Code of Ethics that provides some common sense approaches to this issue. http://www.ofo.ca/ofo-docs/Code_of_Ethics.pdf

Bottom line…the snowy owls need space to hunt, rest, and keep from becoming overly fatigued in order to survive. Please enjoy these unexpected winter visitors responsibly – let’s give them the best chance possible to return again one day!


Leave a comment

Water Walker Festival

Saturday March -22nd

Water Walker Festival

– presented by the Barrie Canoe and Kayak Club

The Uptown Theatre-55 Dunlop St. Barrie

Tickets as follows:

In advance $12.00/person-(Children 10 and under Free)

Available at: Canoe North, Sojourn, MEC, Paddleshack, Tropical North

Also on the internet at : bckc.ca

At the Box office: $15.00/person-(Children10 and under free)

About the Waterwalker (from Paddle Canada)

Paddle Canada’s Waterwalker Film Festival is a tribute to the late Bill Mason, the great conservationist, canoeist and filmmaker. Mason once stated, “The medium of film is for me a means of expressing my love and enjoyment of the natural world, and of sharing my concern for what’s happening to it with anybody who looks and listens.”

Passionate in his beliefs, always speaking from the heart, his films inspired many people to dedicate themselves to the enjoyment and conservation of Canada’s wilderness and waterways.

By taking part in the festival, it is our hope that you will be encouraged to become more involved with the protection and conservation of our unique Canadian wilderness and waterways.


Leave a comment

Spring Paddles 2014

Paddle the Minesing Wetlands

The Friends of Minesing Wetlands (FOMW) are excited to announce the dates for our annual spring paddle in the Minesing Wetlands.  They are:

April 12, 2014

May 3, 2014

May 17, 2014

To R.S.V.P. for one of these paddles (space is limited) please contact nsaunders@nvca.on.ca

All trips depart from the Willow Creek Canoe Coral on George Johnson Road (County Road 28) and will take approximately 5 hours.

Dress appropriately for the conditions of the day, which should include high cut boots for possible portages.  Bring your own warm drinks, water, and snacks for the go – as well as a packed lunch for our break around noon.

Midday break for lunch

Midday break for lunch

At least a basic paddling know-how is required for this trip and ensure that you bring the required safety equipment for your boat (life jacket, bailer, throw rope, whistle, flashlight). We can arrange for the rental of canoes and life jackets if needed.

The cost is $40 for non-members and $20 for members.  This includes safe passage with certified leaders and ecological interpretation of the Minesing Wetlands.


Leave a comment

Highlights from February 1, 2014 Snowshoe

The Friends of the Minesing Wetlands celebrated World Wetlands Day by leading a snowshoe into the Minesing Wetlands. Our goal was to locate the current location of heronry (or rookery) and get a count on the current number of nests. We also wanted to share knowledge on past and current ecological conditions in the Minesing Wetlands.

It was a blustery day to for a snowshoe led by FOWM directors Sean Rootham, Dave Featherstone and David Walsh…

And we're off

And we’re off!

The FOMW crossed Willow Creek and then on to the Nottawasaga Levee. Although the overcast skies and heavy snow limited views, the group was still able to see the expansive floodplain. We came across examples of challenges facing the Minesing Wetlands including invasive species.

Phragmites at Downey Drain Crossing

Phragmites at Downey Drain Crossing

From a recent analysis of forest cover in the Minesing Wetlands, Sean Rootham reported a 60% decline in deciduous floodplain forest between 1953 and 2013. This forest decline has led to a significant shift in wetland structure in the Minesing Wetlands where closed canopy swamp forest (floodplain and boreal) once constituted the majority of the wetland habitat, now, open canopy habitats (marsh, fen, thicket swamp) predominate.

Talking About Forest Change

Talking About Forest Change

The group of friends collected fruit from Hackberry trees along the Nottawasaga River levee, which will support afforestation projects aimed to bolster remaining deciduous floodplain forest in the Minesing Wetlands.

Hackberry Fruit Collection

Hackberry Fruit Collection

Also on the snowshoe the FOWM identified the nesting site of Great Blue Herons in the Minesing Wetlands. We confirmed 8 nests and 2 “maybes”.

It was a fun winter activity on a perfect winter day for the Friends of Minesing Wetlands showing once again that the Minesing Wetlands truly is a “wetland for all seasons”.

image