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Felicia Syer lead the walk on the Howard Watson Nature Trail on a beautiful Saturday. We had large enough turn out that at times we blocked the trail. Tony, the chair of the Bluewater Trails committee was there, and he did a good job keeping our group from being run over by passing bikers.

Felicia highlighted many of the tall grass prairie plants that grow along the trail. This habitat is very rare in Canada and not that common in Southwestern Ontario. Here she is showing us a stiff-leaved goldenrod.

From left to right Tony, Sharon and Felicia.

Another significant plant is the wild lupine, a host plant of the now extirpated Karner Blue butterfly. We saw a plant that had just finished blooming.

One of our members returned to this plant later in the summer to gather seed. Unfortunately the plant had been mowed down and obliterated.

The people who joined our walk had a variety of interests, some wanted to identify the rare plants and others wanted to learn about what was potentially edible. Many had binoculars just in case an interesting bird happened to fly by. The Howard Watson Trail provides many benefits to the residents of Sarnia and the surrounding area. It combines recreational opportunity, a connection to nature and a habitat for native plants and animals. We should continue to protect and appreciate this asset.

About Author

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Mary Martin

Mary has a degree in geography and has always had an interest in nature. As a high school teacher she attempts to instill an understanding of the natural world and introduce young people to the unique characteristics of our region. Volunteering with LWI has enabled Mary to assist local people make a positive impact and actively work toward preserving and enj

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