Hello Lambton Wildlife Members!
I have been so pleased to be president of Lambton Wildlife through such an important year. Despite many challenges, we have maintained a strong community of active learners, protected important Carolinian habitat, and we are pushing for habitat protection and improvement throughout the county.
Many of our activities continue to be held online. While this does have some drawbacks and we all miss seeing one another in person, we have been able to reach more people who care about the species and habitats around them with our virtual presentations. We learned about ethnobotanical studies at Aamjiwnaang from Sharilyn Johnston; prescribed burns at Pinery Provincial Park from Alistair MacKenzie; the world of moths from Basil Conlin; and about Ontario’s mole salamanders from Ron Gould. Most recently we heard from Dr. Morgan Jackson about the intersection of insects and social media, and the importance of community science in both protecting rare species and quickly identifying invasives. These presentations were recorded for anyone who could not attend live, and I know these sessions were appreciated and shared by many.
Although some in-person events had to be canceled due to health restrictions, many people were still able to enjoy wildflower, bird, butterfly, dragonfly, and fungi hikes, as well as camping outings. Our Karner Blue Sanctuary and Mandaumin Woods properties were enjoyed by hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Being outdoors has never been more important for our wellbeing, and I hope that these options gave you opportunities to do so. We have many more planned for the coming year.
December 2021 also marked an exciting accomplishment: the successful purchase of the Sydenham River Nature Reserve Expansion! You helped us contribute over $75,000 towards the purchase and protection of this stunning place. We will be stewarding its care along with our partners, the Sydenham Field Naturalists and Ontario Nature. To every donor and volunteer, we sincerely thank you for your generosity.
Going forward, Lambton Wildlife is advocating for Sarnia to become a Bird Friendly City and for the continued protection of the Lambton Heritage Forest. We have also established a Natural Environment Committee to push for species and habitat protections, and a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to remove barriers to access within our organization. If you care about these issues, please consider joining one of our committees.
All of this has been accomplished by our amazing team of volunteers. So many people have worked hard to keep Lambton Wildlife an active and effective club, and I am proud of what we have accomplished. In particular I would like to thank Alice Walent-Bellar for her artwork that is beautifying our latest events brochure, and John Cooke and the entire Bird Friendly Cities team for their work to make the City of Sarnia a better place for wildlife.
I am looking forward to supporting Mary as she again steps into the role of president. My sincerest thanks to every volunteer, and to you, for your membership and support!
Lambton Wildlife Inc. Past President