Tomorrow kick-starts the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s annual National Wildlife Week. Proclaimed in 1947, the festival is about reminding us humans that we must maintain a sustainable ecosystem to preserve what little wildlife we have left. This year’s theme is Canada’s North.
It seems like every small city, town, and county in Ontario will be recognizing NWW, but shamefully not Toronto. Because wildlife doesn’t matter in our urban centre, right?
To celebrate squirrels and polar bears and poison ivy, you’re going to have to head out of the city. The Ottawa Public Library is hosting a month-long lecture series, featuring talks such as “The Diversity and Importance of Lichens in Canada’s Northern Lands” and “The Ecology of Eider Ducks Wintering in the Arctic.” For something more active, take the family to Stony Swamp in Nepean on April 13 for an evening wildlife walk (call 613-839-5217 to register).
If you’re too swamped this week– no pun intended– to take a road trip, there are wildlife-centred events in the province throughout the month. On April 21, harvest edible plants in Metcalfe Park in Almonte (call 613-839-5217) or take a guided hike up Blueberry Mountain in Lanark on April 22 (call 613-259-3236).The Canadian Museum of Nature is hosting a speakers night on April 18, featuring Jeremy Inglis, wildlife technician for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and David Phillips, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist. Click here for a complete list of events.
You can try changing Toronto’s apathetic attitude towards National Wildlife Week. The Canadian Wildlife Federation suggests organizing a community wildlife film festival, holding your own nature walk, or planting a garden to create a habitat for local wild animals (imagine finding adorable wild bunnies using your shrubs as shelter). Check out Envrionment Canada’s tips as well. If anything is going to motivate you to get involved, it’s the photo of the cute seal in this post.
Photo from stopthesealhunt.com.