Caroline Biribauer

ERCA native garden tour a sell-out

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) gave residents from Amherstburg and surrounding areas ideas on native gardens thanks to a Sunday afternoon tour.

ERCA’s native garden tour started at the River Canard Park with guest speakers and ERCA staff accompanying 40 participants on the WE Trolley. Caroline Biribauer, outreach co-ordinator with ERCA, said the conservation authority did something similar in the past.

Darlene Bernyk of Amherstburg addresses the crowd during a native garden tour presented Sunday afternoon by the Essex Region Conservation Authority. The first stop was River Canard Park (pictured).

Darlene Bernyk of Amherstburg addresses the crowd during a native garden tour presented Sunday afternoon by the Essex Region Conservation Authority. The first stop was River Canard Park (pictured).

“We did a version a couple of years ago,” said Biribauer.

The tour was aimed at native plants and the species of wildlife and butterflies that use these sites for food and shelter. Biribauer stated that each stop had a guest speaker who talked about the plants, butterflies or anything related to the plants in the garden. Tips were also provided on garden design so that people would be encouraged to plant native species in their front yards, backyards and side yards.

“We’re highlighting three gardens within our garden network,” Biribauer explained, adding ERCA has about 10 or 11 such gardens including schoolyards. Other stops included Turkey Creek in LaSalle and the Harrow rain garden.

“We sold out,” she added, noting there were 40 people on the trolley with roughly five speakers and ERCA staff members including herself.

River Canard Park was the first stop on ERCA's native garden tour Aug. 7.

River Canard Park was the first stop on ERCA’s native garden tour Aug. 7.

The native garden tour was made possible thanks to a grant from TD Friends of the Environment, Biribauer stated. One of the deliverables of the grant was the ability to engage the community in such a tour, she added.

“We decided to start at River Canard because it was a central location,” Biribauer further explained, stating it allowed for people from the surrounding areas a chance to attend as well.

Darlene Bernyk, co-owner of Native Trees and Plants in Amherstburg, spoke at the River Canard stop and encouraged people to consider native plants in their yards.

“When you start growing native plants, you will never go back,” said Bernyk.

“Winter Owl Prowl” coming to Holiday Beach next month

The Essex Region Conservation Authority is holding two "Winter Owl Prowls" next month, one of which is scheduled for Holiday Beach Feb. 11. (Photo supplied by ERCA)

The Essex Region Conservation Authority is holding two “Winter Owl Prowls” next month, one of which is scheduled for Holiday Beach Feb. 11. (Photo supplied by ERCA)

Special to the RTT

It’s that time of year again – time to listen for owls at a woodlot near you!

The Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) is holding a pair of “Winter Owl Prowls” next month, with one of them being in Amherstburg.

Shake off that cabin fever and enjoy an evening learning about the owls of Ontario, their adaptations, calls, and behaviour, presented by Caroline Biribauer, outreach coordinator with the Essex Region Conservation Authority.

Weather permitting, participants will take a guided walk through the woods, looking and listening for owls.

“Walking outdoors on a winter evening is a special experience on its own,” says Biribauer. “However, when Mother Nature cooperates and we’re able to call in an owl, it’s really quite extraordinary.”

The public can choose between two “Winter Owl Prowls,” with the two being held in consecutive Thursday nights. The first will be at Camp Cedarwin Scout Camp Feb. 4 with the second one being planned for Holiday Beach Conservation Area Feb. 11.

Both are scheduled to run from 7-9 p.m.

The cost for each event is $5 per person, or $15 per family. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. For tickets, go to www.erca.org/birding. For more information, please contact Caroline at cbiribauer@erca.org or 519-776-5209, ext. 245.

Since 1973, the Essex Region Conservation Authority has been dedicated to protecting, restoring and managing the natural resources of the Essex Region.