The Ellis Bird Farm Nature Play Area is officially open!
We gathered with excited families on Saturday, August 8th to officially open the Nature Play Area onsite. Kids each got their own pair of scissors so that everyone could participate in the ribbon cutting. Linette Miller, Branch Manager of Lacombe's TD Bank was on hand to present the cheque to Site Biologist Myrna Pearman and Project Manager Kirstin Bouwsema. The Nature Play Area is a cozy area where kids can build and play with sticks and pinecones, rocks and stumps. There is a playhouse and a treehouse to explore and all kinds of loose parts for the imagination to run wild.
We are so grateful for how this project came together with project development by Kirstin Bouwsema, the support, encouragement and hard work of site biologist Myrna Pearman, the grant funding of TD Bank Friends of the Environment Fund and the artistry, creative eye and labour of Wayne Froese of Top Peg Timber Frame Construction.
THANK YOU JOHN ACORN!
We are very grateful to John Acorn for coming to Ellis Bird Farm on Saturday August 8th to lead two "Nature Nut" walks. Both walks were filled to capacity and participants enjoyed John's knowledge and humour. John has supported us over the years by attending the Bug Jamboree, sharing his images, and acting as an advisor for bug and bird identification. Thanks John!
Photographers love EBF
We have been visited this season by many flower, nature and wildlife photographers. The gardens are beautiful and the birds plentiful, so there are many photographic opportunities. Last week, we were pleased to host the LLPG (Luscious Ladies Photography Guild). These gals are not only keen photographers, but they also have a great sense of humour!
Art and Nature for Kids
Molly Siebenga led another very engaging Art and Nature Day at EBF on Thursday August 6. Participants created hanging mobiles as well as fairy gardens in the woods. We appreciate Molly (who was once a summer student at EBF!) returning to share her amazing creativity with these young nature enthusiasts.
We Have a Snake!
Thanks to Merv and Sandra Burkinshaw of Coronation, we have a new Plains Garter Snake. Shaye Hill (left) was thrilled to accept the snake from the Burkinshaws, who brought their two granddaughters, Melaina and Aleigna, to visit EBF.
We will keep the snake in a large terrarium for the remainder of the summer, then release it back where it was found so it can join others of its kind to find a hibernacula for the winter.
Bug Walk a Success
Dr. Delano Lewis led a very successful "Bug Walk" at the site on Monday August 3. He explained about how he is doing insect inventories on the EBF site, then shared some interesting bug information around the site. A highlight was that participants got to see ants farming aphids. This "farming" behaviour is one of nature's many wonders - ants guard and protect aphids, which in turn exude droplets of honeydew which the ants feast upon!
We were happy to get a close up of one of the beavers the other evening. Check out the videos about how we are coexisting with these industrious rodents HERE
Ellis Bird Farm
Video Stories here
When purchasing from our online bookstore, Myrna will be happy to "sign" any of her books for you.
All proceeds from the sales of these books support the education, conservation, and research programs of Ellis Bird Farm.
· Household brooms
· Yarn and plastic lacing cord
· Umbrellas to loan out to visitors on rainy days
· Wooden or nature-based plastic beads for our school and day camp programs
· Old fashioned one-speed bike (to keep the farmstead theme of EBF). This would be used for staff to open and close the gate and other errands around the site.
· Leaf blowers
· Bistro sets (small table, two chairs
We celebrate the contributions cats and birds make to our lives, our environment, and our communities, and invite Canadians to consider what they can do to make Canada a safer place for both cats and birds. Here.