Tag Archives: nature

City Nature Challenge 2024

City Nature Challenge 2024: 
Saskatoon Embraces Biodiversity on the Global Stage

In a thrilling leap into the world of nature exploration, the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas proudly announces Saskatoon’s debut participation in the City Nature Challenge 2024 (CNC YXE 2024). This international initiative invites citizens to become biodiversity ambassadors, capturing the rich tapestry of wildlife flourishing in our city.

iNaturalist City Nature Challenge 
Saskatoon, April 26 to April 29, 2024

It’s as easy as 1-2-3!  Download the free iNaturalist app to your smartphone.
Be the Voice for Nature
Find it 
Snap it 
Share it 
What will you discover?

Calling bird-lovers

Calling all bird-loving walkers! 

Birds in Real Danger, Saskatoon (B.I.R.D.S) aims to reduce bird-window strikes in the city, and we need your help to do it! All you need is a camera (your phone works great!), some paper, a pen, and a few bags, and you can help document evidence of birds injured or killed by window strikes.

Hundreds of birds are treated at Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation after striking windows – and those are just the ones lucky enough to survive the impact and be found by a caring person.

With the ongoing development of larger buildings, many covered in glass and on or near the riverbank, the City of Saskatoon may well see an increase in the number of bird injuries and mortalities from collisions with glass structures. By documenting occurrences of bird collisions with windows, and by educating the public on the issue, BIRDS aims to gain support for the adoption of bird-friendly guidelines for buildings. 

If you’d like to join us in looking for evidence of window strikes in Saskatoon’s downtown area, on the University campus, or even in your own neighborhood, contact us at lswr@sasktel.net

Your regular walk might just save the birds!

NatureCity Festival 2018

Event Name: NatureCity Festival
Date: May 22 – 27 2018
Cost: Free
Website: wildaboutsaskatoon.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wildaboutyxe/
Description: All Ages

NatureCity Festival is a week-long festival featuring 50+ events to help you discover, explore and experience nature in Saskatoon! We invite urban residents, students, families, urban planners, artists, educators, community leaders, businesses and organizations to explore the vital role of nature in our prairie city and life.

Our city is a living network of rivers and streets, trees and office towers, prairies and yards. We are a city of contrasts unified by the natural networks that hold our ecosystem together. NatureCity Festival 2018 uses the Cree concept Âniskopicikêwin (pronounced ahnsko-pich’-kewin) to describe these vital connections.

NatureCity Festival is your opportunity to explore the vitality of urban nature in our city through experiential events, workshops, dynamic speakers, guided tours, citizen science projects, music, art, performance and more!

We want to show off the wild side of the Saskatoon: the magnificent river valley, parks, conservation areas, gardens and urban forests, together with the fascinating creatures and native plants that surround us. Celebrate the assets and diversity of nature in Saskatoon and deepen your understanding, appreciation and access to urban nature through experience, exploration and education.

We respectfully acknowledge that NatureCity Festival is situated on Treaty 6 territory and traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people.

Join us on the trails, the rivers, the sidewalks, and the flyways to celebrate Saskatoon’s wild side.

Event Name: Nature Needs Half | NatureCity Festival Presents Harvey Locke
Date: Friday May 25 2018
Time: 7pm
Cost: Free
Venue: Aden Bowman Castle Theatre Saskatoon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/202996890459245/
Description: All Ages

Wild about Saskatoon is delighted to announce that Dr. Harvey Locke will be the keynote speaker at this year’s NatureCity Festival, May 22-27, 2018.

Harvey Locke is one of Canada’s and the world’s most respected voices for the protection of wildness. And he is coming to Saskatoon, as chair of the Nature Needs Half movement, to deliver an urgent message.

The Nature Needs Half movement begins with the recognition that nature needs sufficient space to function properly for the benefit of all life on our planet. In most ecosystems, science demonstrates that at least half of the region must be protected to ensure the Earth’s resilience in the face of environmental change. We only have to look around us or listen to the news to know that conservation efforts to date have not been sufficient to sustain life on Earth.

What does the knowledge mean for those of us who live along the banks of the South Saskatchewan River? How do we transform the bold vision of Nature Needs Half into an achievable strategy?

Harvey Locke will be addressing these questions at a public event at the Castle Theatre in Aden Bowman Collegiate from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the evening of May 25. We hope that you will be able to join us.

About Harvey:
Harvey is a conservationist, writer, and photographer, and worked closely with First Light Films on Wild Ways. He is a recognized global leader in the field of parks, wilderness and large landscape conservation. He is a founder of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and of the Nature Needs Half Movement. His work has been featured in films and television programs in many countries and his photography has been used in numerous publications. His popular writing has been published in English, French and Spanish, he has co-curated art shows about Nature in major North American museums, and he has written many peer reviewed articles. Named one of Canada’s leaders for the 21st century by Time Magazine, he has received many awards for his work including IUCN’s Fred M. Packard International Parks Merit Award for outstanding service to the worlds protected areas. He lives in Banff National Park, Canada.


Fall Photography Nature Walk

Join us for a nature walk at Beaver Creek Conservation area, with plenty of stops for taking photos. This is a free event for all photography levels and abilities. Come prepared with your camera/cellphone/picture taking device and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Led by Meghan Mickelson, who will give pointers on taking nature photos.

Date: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Location: Beaver Creek Conservation Area (just outside Saskatoon). Meet outside on the back deck.

We will walk the yellow and green trail (total distance 2.4 km).

About Meghan: A self taught photographer who has had a camera in her hand since she was 10, and spent many years working at a camera shop. Meghan lives in Saskatoon, where she is a mom, a volunteer, and an avid nature photographer.

More information and registration: http://saskoutdoors.org/event-calendar/post/fall-photography-nature-walk

NatureCity Festival 2017

NatureCity Festival is your opportunity to explore the vitality of urban nature in our city through experiential events, workshops, dynamic speakers, guided tours, citizen science projects, music, art, performance and more!

Wild about Saskatoon wants to help you access and explore the unique ecology of our urban ecosystem, cultivate awareness, appreciation and understanding that nature is a vital part of our city. We are back to celebrate NatureCity Festival this May 23rd – May 28th, 2017.

Wild About Saskatoon

Bike the Moveable Feast

WE ARE WATER: Bike the Moveable Feast

Join us on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 5pm for an evening of fun!

Enjoy a slow bicycle roll along the MVA as we discover the many hidden treasures of “We Are Water”. Delicious food served in unusual locations provided by Chef Jenni catering.

Meet at 5pm sharp at River Landing under the Traffic bridge.

Rain or shine. Gluten free/ vegetarian options. Bring your own utensils. Tickets $50 each.

Invite your friends!

Saskatoon Cycles

Nature Grandparenting

Grandparents and Grandchildren, take your special relationship outside for some fresh air learning!

This fall SaskOutdoors is pleased to be offering a unique intergenerational nature program in Saskatoon. The Nature Grandparenting program is designed for grandparents to experience nature with their grandchild (3-5yrs old) in Saskatoon’s Gabriel Dumont Park. Many grandparents are in a unique position to act as a nature mentor in the lives of their grandchildren. With practical ideas and age-appropriate activities shared each week, grandparents will have fun weaving a connection to nature into the special relationship they have with their grandchild. This program will be facilitated by Jana Miller, former Ecoquest teacher.

This program takes place outdoors. Participants will need to dress for the weather and should be comfortable being active outdoors for an hour. Public washrooms are available on site for use. An information package will be sent out to registered participants in early September.

Participants: Grandparent and grandchild (ages 3-5) pairs
Location: Saskatoon’s Gabriel Dumont Park
Wednesday mornings: September 21st – October 26th
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Cost: $95.00/pair for 6 six weeks ($16.00/week)
Registration deadline September 19th, 2016

SaskOutdoors website

Composting and Healthy Yards Services Available

The City of Saskatoon has partnered with the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council to provide many services to residents and community gardens related to composting and yards.

Home Visits
Set up a FREE Home Visit with one of our Compost Coaches. A trained volunteer will come by your home to answer your composting questions or help you start a home composting system of your own. And don’t forget to invite a friend or two if you know others who want to learn!

Home Visits generally take 15-45 minutes. To book your free appointment, call (306) 931-3249 or email compost@saskwastereduction.ca.

Compost Hotline
Have a composting question?

Simply dial (306) 931-3249 or email compost@saskwastereduction.ca. Please allow 1 business day for one of our trained volunteers to respond to your inquiry.

Compost Bin and Rain Barrel Rebate
We offer $20 rebates to Saskatoon residents who purchase a compost bin or rain barrel from a Saskatoon retailer. Your household is eligible for one rebate per item per year. Receipt and proof of Saskatoon residency (copy of utility bill, driver’s license, or similar) must be sent in with your completed Rebate Form. To apply, please fill out our online rebate form.

Composting Workshops
There are a number of free composting workshop offered throughout the year. For more information, visit www.saskwastereduction.ca/events/Saskatoon-composting-events.

Dishing the Dirt Research
The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council conducted a year-long study on the performance of 20+ home composting systems. The results of this research will be launched this summer and will help residents select the best composting option for their home.

Community Garden Services
Saskatoon’s Compost Coaches will work with 3-5 community gardens this year to develop and/or improve their composting systems. The Compost Coach Coordinator is currently working with CHEP’s Community Garden Coordinator to determine which gardens to ask to participate. We hope to expand this program to more community gardens in future years, but do not have the resources to engage all of the gardens at once.

The Compost Coaches will provide compost bin materials, assistance to build the bins, compost education/training as needed, monthly garden visits to assist with the composting process, and signage for the bins to show what goes in.

Community Gardens will commit to improving their composting system, help build the compost bins, recruit volunteers to help with the composting process throughout the season, and encourage their members to receive compost education/training.

Community Gardens who are not participating this year may still access composting support through the Home Visit and Compost Hotline services.

Green Cart Program
To register for the curbside Green Cart program for food and yard waste collection, visit www.Saskatoon.ca/GreenCarts. Please note that food waste is now accepted.

Community Gardens and lawn bowling clubs may also register for Green Cart collection.

Boulevard Gardening
Residents may garden on the boulevard adjacent to their homes. Please read the City of Saskatoon’s Boulevard Gardening & Maintenance Guidelines and complete the Boulevard Garden Agreement before getting started.

Healthy Yards Program

How-To Guides
The City of Saskatoon has partnered with experts from the community to develop a series of Healthy Yards How-To Guides.

Topics include:
· New Gardeners
· Composting
· Rain Barrels
· Low-Water Gardening
· Mulch
· Pesticide-Free Gardening
· Lawn Care
· Growing Food
· Biodiversity
· Small Space Gardening

To access the How-To Guides, visit www.Saskatoon.ca/HealthyYards

Gardening Workshops
There are a number of gardening workshop offered to residents throughout the year. For more information, visit: https://ccde.usask.ca/gardening/workshops

Demonstration Garden
The City of Saskatoon has partnered with the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre and the University of Saskatchewan Master Gardeners to develop the Healthy Yards Demonstration Garden, located at the Garden Patch (900 block of 3rd Avenue North, just south of 33rd Street East and Warman Road).

Visit the garden for free at any time during garden hours. You’ll see a productive vegetable garden, rain barrels, composting systems, multiple types of mulch, pesticide free practices, native plants, and more!

Come for a self-guided tour, bring your lunch, or contact brit.m@saskatoonfoodbank.org to set up a group tour. Knowledgeable staff will be on site to help answer your questions.

Waste Wizard
The Waste Wizard provides an easy way to look up proper disposal information on recyclables, compostable items, hazardous materials, and other waste. The online tool is available at www.saskatoon.ca/wastewizard.

Master Naturalist Program
The Saskatchewan Master Naturalist Program is launching this spring in Saskatoon. The program is open to everyone and participants will learn about different facets of the natural world through a series of fun and interactive learning modules. The purpose is to develop a network of reliable, highly-skilled “citizen scientists” to assist with local conservation projects, while at the same time providing learning opportunities to people interested in nature.

For more information, visit the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan’s website.

2016 Nature Photo Contest

Get your cameras ready… Nature Canada is happy to announce the launch of its 2016 Photo Contest!

Last year’s Nature Photo Contest was a huge hit. We received over 6,000 entries and the top photos were featured in our Nature Calendar!

Starting May 24th and running until August 14th, we will be accepting photo entries which capture the beauty of Canadian nature all around us. Special prizes from our generous supporters are available for the winners who will be announced.

In case you were looking for inspiration, we’ve created a variety of themes into which you can submit your photo(s)!

Canadian Wildlife
Canadian Landscape
Fauna & Flora
Nature Nearby
Nature in Action
Families in Nature

There will be Early Bird draws, so get your submissions in early!

It is our hope that by spending time in nature you will experience and learn about the natural beauty our country has to offer. So get up, get outside, and enjoy the great outdoors! – See more at: http://naturecanada.ca/2016-photo-contest/?platform=hootsuite#sthash.rGTY0CiY.dpuf

Wild About Saskatoon

Wild about Saskatoon is an informal collective dedicated to the conservation and enrichment of wild lives and wild places in and around Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, a middle-sized city on the banks of an ancient river.

Wild about Saskatoon is thrilled to announce the fourth annual NatureCity Festival, May 24-29, 2016. The Festival is growing in audience and influence year by year. To make the good times roll, we need your help!

The Festival is a collaborative undertaking by more than 70 local organizations and businesses, all dedicated to creating excitement about the wild side of urban life.

2016 NatureCity Festival Calendar

Jane’s Walks 2016

Saskatoon is a booming place with people moving to our vibrant city from all over Canada and the world. New and old residents alike, there is no better way to rediscover or ‘MEET YOUR CITY’ than by participating in a Jane’s Walk.

Making change: 23rd Street protected bike lane
Led By Cathy Watts
May 7, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Meeting at Corner of 23rd. St. and 4th. Ave.
Considerable controversy has surrounded the first protected bike lane for Saskatoon. As a pilot project there have been many issues. Maintenance, usage, and design have all been vigorously debated by both those who have used it and those who have been inconvenienced by it from their car. Should the citizens of Saskatoon expect the city to play a role in facilitating healthy lifestyles through design of public space? As time permits the conversation may also include equity for all citizens who require convenience and safety in their daily travels. This could include transit riders, persons who are unable to drive, choose not to drive, or don’t have access to a car. Age-friendly issues which cross the community may also be included. Walk will conclude in the coffee shop “Karma” on the west side of 2nd Ave. close to 23 St.

Downtown Trivia Walk
Led By Pamela Brotzel
May 7, 2016 at 2:00 PM
Meeting at Spadina Cres & 23rd St
The Trivia Walk is open to anyone! Don’t worry the answers are all multiple choice! We will be walking around downtown stopping at interesting buildings, art installations, and other downtown attractions to hear a little bit of background information and answer a trivia question. Any red lights along our route, is just another opportunity for a trivia question. This walk will be full of facts and fun! There will be a prize for the winner and bragging rights of course!

NE Swale Part 1: Guided hike of the Meewasin
May 7, 2016 at 6:00 PM
Meeting at Northeast Swale on Lowe Road (Range Road 3050)
The hike will provide an opportunity to learn about the natural and cultural heritage of the Meewasin Northeast Swale and the plans to try to protect the area as it is surrounded by urban neighborhoods and crossed by numerous roads. Spring wildflowers will be in bloom plus grassland birds and waterfowl will be back. We will be walking on rough terrain; please bring shoes with adequate ankle support. Event will be cancelled in case of a heavy rain. There is no cost to participate.

NE Swale Part 2: Nature Photography
Led By Branimir Gjetvaj
May 7, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Meeting at Northeast Swale on Lowe Road (Range Road 3050)
We will focus our lenses on wild critters and details in nature found on a beautiful prairie landscape at the northeast edge of Saskatoon. The nature photography field trip will take place immediately after the guided nature hike with Renny Grilz and Louise Jones (6 – 7 p.m.). Come early and learn about things you will be photographing later during the golden evening light. Bring your camera, snacks and drinking water. Optional but recommended: tripod and a macro lens (or a zoom lens that can focus close enough to photograph lichens on rocks). We will be walking on rough terrain; please bring shoes with adequate ankle support. Event will be cancelled in case of a heavy rain. There is no cost to participate.


Gone Wild for Wildlife Event

SOS Wildlife Rehabilitation presents:
Gone Wild for Wildlife: A Wild Life Educational Event

The annual educational fundraiser for the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan
Saturday, November 14 at Prairieland Park from 10 – 5pm.

There will be 6 speakers on the following topics: Boreal Wolf Project, Bat Ecology, Wildlife Rehabilitation, Black Footed Ferret Recovery Project, Owl Biology, and the Reptile Show.

There are many activities planned such as making animal track casts, short science experiments with Science Connections, owl pellet dissections, juggling school and many more.

Come out and meet your local conservation officers and get up close and personal with some local wildlife too. This is a great, fun filled educational event for young and old alike.

Admission – $5/person
$20 family pass
$30 combined event pass with Saskatoon Family Expo and Gone Wild for Wildlife

Join the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan for a fun filled day at Gone Wild for Wildlife. There will be live wildlife from near and far, interactive and educational displays, fun and informative lectures, a silent auction, and activities such as owl pellet dissections, science experiments, juggling school and much more.

The event will take place on Saturday, November 14th at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon from 10 am until 5 pm. All funds raised from the event will go towards helping WRSOS continue their efforts to help keep Saskatchewan’s wildlife wild. Admission is $5/person or $20/Family.

WRSOS’ primary goals are: to prevent the unnecessary removal from the wild of wildlife, to provide rescue and transportation to qualified care of those that do need help and, to ensure the return to the wild of rescued and rehabilitated wildlife. Through events such as Gone Wild for Wildlife, WRSOS aims to raise awareness and knowledge about wildlife, rehabilitation and nature preservation in Saskatchewan and to promote understanding and respect for wildlife.

Established in 2006, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan is a volunteer driven, registered non-profit organization. WRSOS’ first line of defence is our emergency hotline. This phone line is manned 12 hours/day, 365 days/year. The hotline gives the public an avenue they can take when they find an injured or orphaned animal or when they have questions or need advice regarding wildlife issues. A dramatic increase in calls – from 177 in 2006 to almost 2000 in 2014 – only highlights the need for an organization like WRSOS.

WRSOS has 70 volunteers and one paid summer employee on the emergency hotline. WRSOS’ efforts are supported by 20 vet clinics province wide that volunteer their services free or at a reduced rate and 20 provincially licensed wildlife rehabilitators from Moose Mountain to Meadow Lake.
To learn more visit www.wrsos.org.

An Evening with George Reed

Come out and meet CFL Legend George Reed!!!
Hurry!! Deadline to get your ticket is May 1st!

Meet the legendary George Reed on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at a charity dinner to support Wildlife Rehabilitation.

Tickets available at McNally Robinson, Wild Birds Unlimited, or by calling Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation at 306-652-5975, or online here.

‘Go Wild’ with WWF-Canada this Spring!

This spring WWF-Canada wants you to join us and Go Wild. From March 5 to April 15, tell us how you will get people in your community more involved to help nature thrive and we’ll support the top five ideas with up to $1,000 each!

We are looking for ideas that will help you rejuvenate the experience of nature in your community – that bring people together to make a difference. Whether your idea involves planting or protecting, counting or training, celebrating or solving, leading or inviting, we want to hear from you!

Here are some fun ideas from WWF staff to get your creative juices flowing:

“To get my friends engaged in the watershed they live in, I’d like to take them fishing in the Rouge River, near Toronto’s downtown. There’s an impressive diversity of native fish species in this urban river. While we’re at it, I’ll ask them to help me take some water and bug samples to include in WWF’s Freshwater Health Assessment!”
– James Snider, Acting Freshwater Director, WWF-Canada

“People in Vancouver are always surprised to hear that one of the significant threats to whales in the Salish Sea is underwater noise from passing ships and boats. I’d like to set up an underwater microphone in the habitat of endangered orcas that is linked to a public institution to broadcast underwater sounds live. This would allow the public to appreciate how orcas communicate and how noise pollution affects them, and encourage them to think more about ways to help the whales in our region.”
– Hussein Alidina, Senior Officer, Marine Planning, WWF-Canada.

Why Go Wild?

Nature isn’t only a far-off place or pristine wilderness. Thinking of nature as something that is “over there” makes it easy to ignore in our daily actions and decisions. But, experiencing nature doesn’t necessarily require a long car ride or a map or the right gear.

Nature is something you experience and benefit from every day. It’s our backyards, gardens and ravines. It’s our rivers, lakes and oceans. It’s our fresh air and clean water, our parks, both big and small. Nature is on your doorstep, no matter where you live, and it provides you with unlimited benefits that are essential for a healthy life. And the more we get involved with nature, the more we understand how it needs our help.

We invite you to open the door to a little more nature in your life and tell us your great idea to help nature thrive in your community.

When Canadians Go Wild and experience nature and conservation within their community, their impact grows beyond their single act. It grows the presence of nature in their community and it inspires a deeper connection to nature that colours future actions and decisions, keeping nature and its value top of mind.

See website for more information.