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eastern region (ontario)

VOLUME 32, NUMBER 1, 2011

Klinard project friendly for wildlife

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In 2010, the Sydenham Field Naturalists (SFN), based in Wallaceburg, recognized Dan and Kelly Klinard of Pain Court with their annual “Friend of Nature” award, and in September, about 35 members toured the Klinard property as part of their outdoor program. The Klinard wetland project saw 15 acres of very valuable farmland put aside for the creation of eight acres of wetland and seven acres planted to native prairie. It is strategically located within 1,000 feet of the St. Clair National Wildlife Area. Although the project has existed for only two years, a diverse variety of vegetation is establishing and various of wildlife have already taken up residence. Mallards and coots have settled in and are raising broods, a Virginia rail was spotted by SFN members, and Dan has photos of a Blanding’s Turtle identified within a couple months of the wetland first holding water. Stewardship Kent built the project with assistance from Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC). It has many special habitat features built into it, including hibernacula (underground hibernating chambers) for fox snakes, deep soft-soil pockets for turtles to spend the winter, and pair ponds just outside the marsh. “We are very happy with how our wetland project has turned out,” says Dan Klinard. “Working at the St. Clair National Wildlife

Sydenham Field Naturalists visit the Klinard property. Area as a summer student in the early ’80s, I got to see first-hand the value wetlands have to plant and animal life. My wife and I would really like to thank Don Hector and the Stewardship Kent council members and Darrell Randell and the staff at DUC for all their help and continuing support. This is a perfect example of what can be achieved when groups like DUC and Stewardship Kent partner together with the goal of creating habitat.” S


DUC receives Watershed Award

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On Sept. 16, 2010, DUC was the proud recipient of the Grand River Conservation Authority’s (GRCA) watershed award. The award is presented to those who have undertaken projects that have enhanced the natural environment in the Grand River watershed. Working for more than three decades to return lost wetland habitat to the Grand River watershed, DUC has invested $1.6 million in 80 wetland projects totalling more than 1,900 hectares in this watershed alone. DUC works as a partner with the GRCA and many landowners to educate and install wetlands on private and public land. Contributing funds and technical expertise, DUC

(Left to right) Jeff Krete (DUC); Lynette Mader (DUC); Alan Dale, GRCA chair; Keith Murch, GRCA secretary treasurer has worked on wetland projects in Brant, Wellington, Waterloo, Oxford and Haldimand. S

Helping Ontario’s students learn about wetlands

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The TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) is a national organization, formed by TD Bank Financial Group, that supports local projects dedicated to preserving the environment. Assisting those committed to protecting Canada’s beautiful and natural environments in their own community and across the country, TD FEF has been a generous supporter and friend to DUC for almost 20 years. Since 1992, TD FEF has contributed more than $160,000 to DUC’s conservation and education programs in Ontario alone. With a recent focus on DUC’s Project Webfoot program, TD FEF funding continues to provide in-class resources and field trips for students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to visit a local wetland. Thanks to TD FEF, hundreds of children will have the chance to learn about the dynamics of wetland ecosystems, the impact wetlands have on their daily lives and the necessity of conservation initiatives. "Conservation

and education initiatives are priority funding areas for TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and DUC delivers exceptional and engaging programs," said the Foundation’s executive director Mary Desjardins. "We are honoured to support the Project Webfoot program, which ensures that youth can participate in a variety of DUC learning opportunities." DUC extends its gratitude to TD FEF for its support in helping to influence the future generation of decision-makers to care for wetlands and the environment. S

Hastings farm restored and protected for the future

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In Hastings County, just 20 minutes north of Belleville, there is a unique 335-acre farm made up of pasture, forest, creeks and rivers, interspersed with an abundance of wetlands which combine to form a productive landscape for breeding waterfowl. While 33 of the 55 small, medium and large wetlands found throughout the property already provide excellent habitat, the 22 other wetlands had been degraded by previous attempts to drain them. Earlier this year, DUC undertook extensive restoration work to return those wetlands back to health. Earthen berms and water control structures were installed within the drainage ditches to

restore historic wetland water levels, while emergency spillways and rock-topped cattle crossings were created to prevent soil erosion. Access improvements were also made to facilitate the future management and maintenance required to ensure that the wetlands remain in a productive condition over the long term. After a wet fall, the newly restored wetlands were full of water just two weeks after the project’s completion and the property owners have already reported seeing many waterfowl using them in their much improved condition. DUC’s conservation efforts on this landscape have seen the degraded wetlands restored and all habitat now protected for the future. S


eastern region (ontario)

What a duck wants, what a duck needs…

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What a duck wants and the wonderful world of water control were the topics of discussion at the recent wetland restoration workshops hosted by DUC landowner outreach staff Jeff Krete and Jenn Lavigne in Cambridge and Belleville. Wildlife biologists Dave McLachlin and Erling Armson described the life of a hen in detail, helping participants to look at wetland restoration from a duck’s point of view. “The hen needs three types of habitat – pairing, nesting and brood rearing – to successfully raise a brood of ducklings,” explained Armson. “These habitats need to be functionally connected, so if one of them is missing or there is not enough of it, then we try to work with landowners to add that missing piece of the puzzle.” Small, shallow, isolated wetlands provide pair habitat for breeding waterfowl. Once the pairs have successfully mated, the hen needs suitable nesting cover to hide her nest from predators and safely hatch her eggs. Good nesting cover for mallard hens can include dense growths of grasses, shrubs, forest or cattails. While she sits on her nest, the nearby pair pond and other adjacent wetlands provide a food source. Once the ducklings hatch and are able to travel, they are led to a larger, more permanent water wetland (brood water) where more food and cover is available. The closer the brood water is to the nesting cover, the greater chance of survival during this perilous journey. Because all three types of habitats are needed to ensure a greater chance of waterfowl nest success and duckling survival, the best

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opportunities for wetland restoration are in areas where there is an abundance of natural cover: hence DUC’s priority habitat areas. In these areas, DUC will contribute 50 per cent or more to wetland restoration projects. If a project in a southern Ontario non-priority area can demonstrate the right physical requirements (soil type, substrate and topography) and all three types of habitat, DUC will contribute up to 25 per cent of costs. Craig Berga, DUC Ontario’s engineering technician, then shared his experience with surveying, design and water control structures. Roy Schofield of Haldimand Stewardship explained that local landowners and stewardship groups can often get a good price for construction work because of personal connections within the community. Landowner Phil Holst shared his experience as a project landowner and said that the best advertising is word of mouth. “We’ll be standing around in a neighbour’s garage and someone will start talking about the project they’re working on with DUC and Stewardship Oxford, and the next thing you know, there are three more projects to do.” Robert Messier of Grand River Conservation Authority and Tim Trustham of Quinte provided a regulator’s perspective and offered advice on navigating conservation authority regulations. In the end, these workshops were extremely successful and created tremendous interest for future DUC workshops. S


Ducks return to Thunder Bay

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After an eight-year break, Ducks Unlimited Canada has returned to Thunder Bay. With award-winning outdoor writer Mick Bohonis and past committee/district chair Terry Olsen leading the way, the Thunder Bay chapter has assembled a committee of both seasoned veterans and passionate newcomers, eager to re-establish the Thunder Bay event. And re-establish they did, as the inaugural event held Nov. 13 was a resounding success. A sold-out crowd of 225 guests enjoyed an extraordinary evening with dinner, entertainment, live and silent auctions and a multitude of raffles and prizes, all made possible by generous support from local corporations and the entire community. DUC has been active in Thunder Bay for 30 years, and every dollar raised through Ontario’s fundraising program is reinvested back into Ontario, through conservation projects, research and education. “This Thunder Bay dinner and the resurgence of a dedicated committee in Thunder Bay was especially gratifying for me,” says Rob Watson, DUC’s new fundraising manager for Ontario’s northwestern and northeastern districts. “Everyone stepped up to the plate and did an amazing job to put this together. DUC survives on the strength of its local volunteer committees, the generosity of our sponsors, and those who attend our fundraisers. When you have such a successful event I think it shows that DU was never really absent from Thunder Bay, it was just taking a breath to gear up for an even bigger swell of support for the future!” “DU is here to stay,” says Mick Bohonis, chairman. “We are honoured to carry on the legacy that has been passed onto us by the original founders to preserve, conserve and enhance the wetlands that richly bless this area. Our team is dedicated to fundraising to expand our efforts in conserving our area’s wetlands, so there is a place for our grandchildren to hunt, fish or just enjoy the ecosystem in its natural form.” S

eastern Region (ontario)

The Flyway newsletter is published by Ducks Unlimited Canada Oak Hammock Marsh Conservation Centre P.O. Box 1160, Stonewall, Manitoba R0C 2Z0 tel (204)467-3000 fax (204)467-9028 toll-free 1(800)665-DUCK Please direct your inquiries to the following: Eastern Region Atlantic: Krista Elliott Quebec: Bernard Filion Ontario: Joanne Barbazza Western Region British Columbia: Wendy Thatcher Flyway production staff Editor: Duncan Morrison Assistant: Deb Menard Manager Creative Services: Lindsay Pikta-Marie Graphic Designers: Christa Edwards, Aquila Samson, Jeope Wolfe © Ducks Unlimited Canada, 2011 Printed in Canada on 100% recycled paper including 100% post-consumer fibres

New Thunder Bay committee: (l to r) Tim Hardie, Mick Bohonis, Rob Watson (DUC), Terry Olsen, Nancy Milani, Mike Sawatsky, Ken Lieske, Andy Laidley (DUC). Absent from picture: John Stewart, Davis Viehbeck, Dan Nuttall, Brad Coslett.

Ontario Area Contacts Director of Regional Operations Eastern Canada, Mark Gloutney (902) 667-8726 Manager of Provincial Operations Jim Brennan (705) 721-4444 Conservation Programs Owen Steele

(705) 721-4444

Landowner Programs Lynette Mader

(705) 721-4444

Education Program Coordinator Stephanie Walker (705) 721-4444 Government Relations Julie Cayley

(705) 721-4444

Fundraising Development Aaron Everingham James D. Lee

(705) 738-9929 (647) 345-3223

Eastern Region Manager of Event & Volunteer Programs Steve Stinkowji (705) 544-8437 Event & Volunteer Customer Service (613) 389-0418 (866) 389-0418 Fundraising Steve Stinkowji

(705) 544-8437

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Flyways-Ontario-2011-32-1  

A Ducks Unlimited Canada newsletter featuring conservation stories from across Ontario