Survivor Wetlands (Spring Training Day) was held on Saturday, April 18th and was a huge success! There were about 60 participants (including Tantramar Regional High School students, teachers, and members of Ducks Unlimited Canada) and were divided into 4 teams: Corixidae (the Water Boatmen), Nepidae (the Water Scorpions), Gyrinidae (the Whirligig Beetles), and Dytiscidae (Predaceous Diving Beetles). After participating in 5 activities (Migration Headache, Wetland Benefits, Touch Boxes, Birding, and Critter Dipping), teams were ready for the final challenge, the Great Canoe Race! It was a close race, but in the end team Corixidae (pictured above) won the trophy.
A huge thank-you to all who participated and helped make this training day possible. Now students are trained and ready for the Spring Program visitors starting the first week in May.
Spring is one of the busiest seasons at TWC since it is the time of year when we deliver our “Wonders of Wetlands” program to approximatley 2000 Grade 4 students from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This program is delivered in partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada under their “Project Webfoot” program, where they provide teachers with resource materials about wetlands and the opportunity to take their class on a wetland field trip.
In order to deliver this program TWC depends on the leadership of the Wetheads. Each year TWC holds a training day for the Spring Program (Survivor Wetlands) where Wetheads are split into teams (tribes) to learn the different activities. After much fun and good food, the winner of Survivor Wetlands is determined by the final challenge – the Great Canoe Race! Last year’s winners were the tribe Ardea, pictured above.
Another winter gone by, and with that, so has another Wetlands in Winter program. A training session for the Wetheads was held on January 13th and the program this year started on February 3rd and finished just recently, with our last class visit on March 20th, 2009. Just in time for spring to arrive! With the wonderful assistance of about
43 Wetheads, this program was successfully delivered to 703 visitors in 27 class visits. We had a few cold days, but for the most part the weather was cooperative. We had enough snow for everyone to use snowshoes and enough animals visiting the wetland to provide tracks for us to follow and identify.
In the upcoming weeks, the TWC and Wetheads are gearing up for the Spring Program (Project Webfoot) and the annual “Survivor Wetlands” Training Day. This training will be held on Saturday, April 18th. Stay tuned for the results from our challenge!
We are having a great summer at the Centre. In June we offered the local community an opportunity to “experience wetlands”. Participants learned about wetland birds, amphibians and some of the underwater inhabitants of the marsh. Our new butterfly garden is developing nicely and we now have coneflowers and black-eyed Susan’s in bloom. Our students have been continuing summer research activities, including loosestrife monitoring, examining water chemistry and surveying breeding bird populations. So come and visit us any time Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 4 pm. and we will gladly take you on a tour of the marsh!
On July 2nd five Wetheads travelled to Cornwallis, Nova Scotia for The Gulf Of Maine Institute. This conference brought together teams from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Massachusetts and New Hampshire to learn about environmental issues affecting the Gulf of Maine. The Wetheads presented their research on waterfowl banding at the Centre and shared their project goals for the future. They also participated in field activities where they learned about topics such as saltmarsh restoration, aquatic invertebrates as bio-indicators and development of natural areas as interpretative sites. During the week the students also had an opportunity to experience local First Nation customs and learn about their connection to waterways and nature in the region. The Wetheads created new friendships and had a great week in Cornwallis!
On Friday May 26, TWC and its Wetheads hosted an Open House to celebrate a recent funding announcement from NSERC’s PromoScience program and to pay tribute to the many individuals and organizations from the local community who have contributed to the success of the Centre. Over 40 invitees were on hand to view a program in action, tour the site and learn more about TWC during a short presentation followed by a reception. The rain held off helping to ensure a great day for the students from Frank L Bowser school who visiting that day and for the Open House participants. A special tribute was paid to Sackville’s Pat Estabrooks for her many efforts on behalf of the Centre.
Sixty Wetheads and teachers gathered at TWC on Saturday, April 29th as the Centre held its annual “Survivor Wetlands” Training Day. This day of fun, sun, good food and friends serves as a tune-up for the Project Webfoot Program TWC delivers on behalf of Ducks Unlimited Canada throughout May and June.
Participants competed for points in their ‘Survivor tribes’ as they rehearsed the delivery of those Webfoot activities visiting students will participate in during their visit to TWC.
The final event of the day was the Great Survivor Canoe Race that featured even more thrills and spills than in previous years. The victorious tribe for 2006 was Canis. They were simply awesome!
Spring is here and the Tantramar Wetland Centre is gearing up for a busy couple of months. Between May 2 and June 22 we are expecting close to 2000 visitors! Over 1000 of these will be participating in the Project Webfoot program that we deliver on behalf of Ducks Unlimited Canada. So don’t delay and book right away to experience wetlands with the Wetheads of TWC. Hope to see you here.
Based on the feedback from District 10 teachers participating in workshops provided just prior to Christmas, the TWC-LSF team was invited back to St. Stephen by District Staff to work with science and social studies teachers over a two-day period. The first day was devoted to teaching about Environmental Stewardship in grades 6, 7 and 8 followed by a Project WET workshop for high school teachers. We want to thank Brenda Logan, District Supervisor, for her efforts in making these sessions possible and for her efforts on our behalf. We also appreciated greatly the enthusiasm of the teachers who attended. Thanks, folks.
Wetlands in Winter, TWC’s award-winning program for visiting schools gets underway in February. This experiential program for all grade levels teaches through hands-on experience, the importance of wetlands even in the coldest months of the year.
Visitors will head out onto the marsh by snowshoe to sample the aquatic life thriving beneath the ice and to examine a wide varitey of tracks and scat left behind by our winter residents.
The Wetheads who ‘run this show’ recently gathered on the weekend to prepare the equipment and review the key components of the program. We are all looking forward to another exciting winter in the wetlands, so call now to make arrangements to join us.