June 29th, 2016
On Friday June 17th I spent much of the day outside. In the morning I participated in a garlic mustard mapping event hosted by the Thunder Bay Stewardship Council along with Taylor Wright and Colin Cassin from the Invasive Species Centre and Ontario Invasive Plant Council, where participants aided in mapping locations of garlic mustard along McVicar Creek. These maps would be used on the following day for a garlic mustard picking event. Taylor and Colin were very informative and knowledgeable, and taught participants about several invasive species along the creek like himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed.
In the afternoon, Brent, Nathan, and I set out to gain more experience identifying species in the section of the McIntyre River running through campus. Brent caught several minnows and small fish in his hands. We found a hidden minnow trap a local fisherman probably recently installed. Though we frowned upon the trap, it had several species of fry and small fish that Nathan used for educational purposes to teach Brent and myself about identifying species.
After having a discussion with Werner Schwar from the City of Thunder Bay’s Parks & Open Spaces Section, I went out and explored the sites he recommended for further restoration and planting events. I have a general idea of where plantings could occur, but as I am not a professional, I will take Werner’s advice. Since our meeting, he has been working on planting plans for several locations along the stream. A planting plan outlines specific locations and species desired for planting. Once he has completed the plans, we will work together to purchase the required species and quantities. Keep an eye on our Upcoming Events http://superiorstreams.infosuperior.com/category/upcoming-events/ page for more details about the volunteer restoration days!
Brent, Nathan, and I went out to McIntyre again the following week to explore some of the fish species of the area. I spotted a local friendly turtle near the edge of the water and determined I’d try to catch him for a photo op. After some advice for approach methods, I easily picked up Mr. Turtle and snapped a few pics. He was very tame and did not seem to mind much that he was being handled. His shell was seriously damaged though, many chips and scratches; as if in the past kids have thrown rocks on him from the shore line. He looked relatively healthy otherwise, though I am nothing even close to a reptilian doctor.
My tasks indoors have been much less entertaining than my outdoor adventures, though more related to education and practical experience. I began summarizing reports for restoration tasks. This is a big job and I will continue working on it as weeks and projects go on. The other indoor task I have started work on are educational posters to be put up around campus and at local public areas. One will summarize our goals with McVicar over the long term and outline stormwater management practices. The other will be an advertisement for our planting day.