Saskatchewan winters can be pretty rough sometimes, particularly when the temperature gets really, really low. But just because there’s snow on the ground doesn’t mean that the Meewasin crew has time to kick their feet up and take a break. There’s always more work to do.
A big part of the work around the Meewasin Valley involves conducting surveys of the flora and fauna that make the jewel of the Saskatoon region what it is. And, as always, the team at Meewasin could use the help of their devoted volunteers, newly coined as the Friends of the Valley.
The Twig & Bud Surveys conducted in the winter by Meewasin are a great way to get outside and get active while helping collect important data. There are a lot of reasons to get involved but some are far more important than others.
What is a Twig & Bug Survey?
Tree & Shrub identification is integral to the health of our valley in the winter months. Tracking can do a lot of good, for both the well-being of the valley and the knowledge within our community. This year’s survey will be taking place at Beaver Creek Conservation Area, a key Meewasin location.
Participants learn how to identify trees and shrubs in the winter by looking at their twigs and winter buds. Citizen scientists examining the tips of the branches where the leaves emerge of the plants can learn an incredible amount of information. It is an opportunity to explore Beaver Creek and the South Saskatchewan River valley and to discover the beauty and diversity of these areas.
Get outside, get involved
The 2022 edition of the Twig & Bud Survey is the perfect reason to get outside and take in Beaver Creek. On top of that, it’s a great reason to spend some time walking the trails and taking in nature. Meewasin would definitely appreciate your help this year.
The weekend starts on Saturday, January 22nd. Enjoy a tour of the trails with Renny Grilz, Meewasin’s Resource Management Officer. Tours will only be offered on Saturday at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. And they’re for volunteers only, so don’t miss out. On Sunday, January 23rd, you’ll be out on your own, tracking information and reporting it to the iNaturalist database in a designated area.
If you would like to attend, please keep the following in mind:
- Register for this event here. Meewasin has COVID-19 safety guidelines in effect. All members of your party must complete this pre-screening form/waiver prior to your arrival on site.
- We are requiring all volunteers to mask during programming and all of our staff are doing the same when working with volunteers.
- The Info booth for this event and volunteer check-in will open at 12 p.m. and close at 5 p.m. Tours start at 1 p.m. and at 3 p.m. Please be on time!
- This volunteer experience requires data entry into the iNaturalist App – having your own, fully functional and charged smartphone that can access this App is required for this event.
- This is an outdoor experience – Please dress for the weather and come prepared to be outdoors. Things like a hat, mitts, and proper outerwear will make your experience more enjoyable. We’ve got the necessary equipment we’ll need for the day
- Bring a full reusable water bottle to carry with you, hydration is key and there is no potable water on-site. The main building at Beaver Creek is closed for all users except for washrooms (washrooms are available on-site!