A night to celebrate turtles!

The Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre is hosting a “Shell-e-bration” on Thursday, May 26 to celebrate the hundreds of turtles treated at their hospital and the hundreds more that were released as part of their hatchling program! To join in on the festivities check out their website at: http://kawarthaturtle.org/blog/events-3/shell-e-bration-2016/


Join us for a Shell-e-bration!

Come out of your shells and join the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (home of Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre) on Thursday, May 26, 2016 for SHELL-E-BRATION!


With over 500 turtles treated at our hospital last year, plus hatching and re-introducing 1,000 turtles as part of our hatchling program, we have much to celebrate.


Tickets include food and drinks, a silent auction, and an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of our charming education turtles.


Funds raised will help OTCC continue rescuing and protecting turtles in Ontario. With seven of the eight species of turtles in Ontario at risk, we urgently need your help.

Get your tickets today, and come shell-e-brate with us!

When: Thursday, May 26, 2016. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Where: Torys LLP, 79 Wellington Street West, 33rd Floor, Toronto, Ontario

Tickets: Individual – $90, Couple – $160

Butterfly monitoring volunteers needed

Do you have love for Lepidoptera? Here’s a volunteer opportunity you may be interested in!

Leonardo Cabrera, an Ecologist with Rouge Park, is implementing a butterfly monitoring program/project across the Park starting now. He is looking for skilled volunteers (6) to help him monitor butterflies along 6 – 8 observational routes.

Please contact him directly, if you are interested. leonardo.cabrera@pc.gc.ca

Bioblitz Opportunity!

The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust will be holding a Bioblitz from May 27-28! During a Bioblitz, volunteers and specialists survey an area, documenting every living thing that they see. Participating in a Bioblitz is a great way to aide conservation research and meet natural history experts. Please see below for details about the event and how to register:


For a 24 hour period, starting at 12:00 P.M. on Friday May 27th until 12:00 P.M. on Saturday May 28th, the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust will be conducting a Bioblitz at the McLeod Woods Nature Reserve in Aurora .   

Imagine an island of green, where cool waters flow from natural seeps, at risk trees like the Butternut cling to the soil, and birds and amphibians chirp and call in the dawning hours.  This beautiful oasis is an island, but it isn’t surrounded by water.  Instead, it is surrounded on 3 sides by new housing developments.  The pressures on this 40 acres is enormous!  Now is the time to document the diversity of species in this mixed hardwood forest, so that we can better understand the impacts of development and settlement on our natural areas.  The nurse logs in this forest are outstanding, and you’ll even have a chance to see a blue beech tree – a rare sighting in this area of Ontario!

Critical to the success of this initiative will be volunteer contributions; we are actively seeking individuals from local community groups and environmental organizations to participate in this event.  Within a 24 hour period we will organize crews to provide maximum coverage, working in shifts of 3-4 hours each.

Volunteers to undertake the inventory, working in groups of 3-4, led by one individual having a high level of expertise in the identification of a certain category, e.g. plants, birds, insects, etc.  We anticipate 60-85 volunteers being involved.

A preliminary estimate shows 28 specialists being required, although some specialists may be interested in participating on more than one crew.  














Mushrooms / Lichen


Trees / Shrubs



Volunteers are requested to bring their own supplies such as:

·        Rubber boots or hiking boots depending on where they are requesting to work

·        Bug suits, head nets or spray

·        Sunscreen

·        Hats, gloves, rain gear (personal clothing)

·        Flashlights (headlights) for those on night shift

·        Diet specific snacks


Work plan essentials: 

·        A base camp will be established at the property.

·        First aid concerns will be addressed.

·        Refreshments will be provided.

·        Sites to be monitored will be identified and maps provided

·        A support crew will provide the administrative support necessary for the smooth transition and data entry for each of the monitoring crews. 


If interested, and wish to register, please contact Kristie Virgoe, Program Manager, Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, at 905-853-3171 ext 31, or by e-mail at – kvirgoe@oakridgesmoraine.org

Thanks for considering this opportunity.   To register on-line please follow the link below and select the May 27th event  https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/blitzing-the-moraine-registration-22749354933?aff=ebrowse


Kristie Virgoe, Program Manager


Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust

18462 Bathurst St.

Newmarket, Ontario L3Y 4V9

905-853-3171 ext 31


Website: www.oakridgesmoraine.org

Charitable Registration # 87320 8920

Citizen Science Opportunity!

Ken Thompson, SCB-TO member and graduate student at the University of Toronto, is seeking help from home owners/renters that would permit him to establish small 1.5 m2  experimental populations of white clover on their property continuously from late May to early September, 2015. Ken is studying the evolution of antiherbivore defenses in urban landscapes. To learn more about his research click here.

He hopes to have populations that span a wide range of locations, as far west as Milton, as far North as Newmarket, and as far east as Whitby. He is especially interested in hearing from homeowners/renters that have lawn-space in the downtown core of Toronto.

If any members are willing to help by hosting one of these small plots, please contact Ken Thompson directly (ken.thompson@utoronto.ca).

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Conservation Events

Community Tree Planting at Alex Robertson Park and Duffins Heights (Pickering). Saturday, April 25. 10am-12pm. Want to enjoy some spring weather while making a positive impact on our green spaces? TRCA is looking for volunteers to restore natural habitat by planting trees at two different parks in Pickering. More information available here 

Clean-up of Colonel Sam Smith Park. Sunday, April 19, 2015. 9am-3pm. If you need somewhere a little closer to home but would still like to lend a helping hand to a green space, TRCA is also hosting a clean-up of Colonel Sam Smith Park, a lakeside park which is accessible by the Queen streetcar. More information available here

Ontario Biodiversity Summit in Niagara Falls. May 19-22. This summit is the first of its kind in Ontario, and its goal is to provide information about the state of biodiversity in Ontario and our current actions to protect it. The summit will feature speakers from various backgrounds, networking events, research poster exhibition, and field trip activities. More information is available here

The Water We Drink at High Park Nature Centre. August 12 and 13. A two day workshop for middle school and high school teachers where participants learn about our urban watersheds, collecting data, constructing watershed models, measuring the health of a stream, and more hands-on projects to teach unforgettable conservation biology lessons to students. More information is available here

Meet Our Chapter Members


SCB-TO Member Spotlight: Ken Thompson

I am a M.Sc. student at the University of Toronto Mississauga. I am an evolutionary biologist currently studying the effects of urbanization on driving evolution in plant populations. All plants have ways to defend themselves against damage from herbivores, and the goal of my M.Sc. research is to understand how urbanization can influence the evolution of these defenses by altering herbivore communities. Defenses are costly for plants to produce, and if there are no herbivores, then there is no reason for plants to spend their limited resources making defenses! Have you ever seen a grasshopper in downtown Toronto? I haven’t, and I hypothesize that the absence of many dominant herbivores in cities should cause plants to evolve lower levels of defense in cities than in rural areas. Preliminary data collected last summer lends strong support to this hypothesis, and I am now preparing to conduct a large experiment this summer to further test these ideas.

For this project, I need support from residents of Toronto. I am looking for homeowners / renters who can lend 1.5 square meters (approx. 16 square feet) of lawn space with at least partial sun upon which I can set up an experimental population of potted plants from June through August. If you are interested in volunteering for this project, please contact me directly at ken.thompson@utoronto.ca and I will be in touch with more specific information.

Upcoming Events and Workshops

Woodpeckers by Ewag

City of Toronto Subcommittee on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Public Meeting

The Subcommittee on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation was recently created by the city of Toronto in order to help achieve a goal of reduction of greenhouse gases of 80% by 2050. Their first meeting (Monday, March 2) is open to the public and will discuss the subcommittee’s goals and objectives. They would like to hear from members of the public about what the subcommittee should have achieved or created by their end of their two year term, and how you or your group would like to be involved in the subcommittee’s work.

More information here

Winter Waterfowl Event

Many duck species seen in Toronto during the winter migrate from the Arctic where they breed, and on Saturday, March 7 Toronto Region Conservation will teach you about these species as you watch them on their wintering grounds.

Registration with the TRCA

Reviving Native Plants at the Riverwood Conservancy Talk 

Canada’s endangered Carolinian forest is home to rare native wildflower species. The importance of including them in our gardens will be the subject of this talk by Dr. Nina Barabas on Thursday, March 19 at 1pm. This talk is presented by North American Native Plant Society and the Toronto Botanical Garden.

Registration here

Urban Watershed Forum

A full day of presentations, seminars and workshops on sustainable approaches to urban watershed management, which is critically important to conservation work. Student price for tickets is only $10. Held at the Brickworks in the Don Valley on Friday, March 20.

Registration with Evergreen

Spring Birding Workshop at High Park

This two day workshop will teach you how to find and identify birds of Ontario by sight and sound, and how to use binoculars and field guides. The first day is indoors where you will learn the necessary skills, and the second day you will practice what you learned while exploring High Park. Wednesday, May 6 and Saturday, May 9.

Registration here