There's always something new to discover at FortWhyte Alive.
As the sun set over the giant pumpkin in FortWhyte Farms' West Garden on Thursday, September 14, laughter rang through the air. The 2017 Harvest Supper had begun!
Community supporters and friends bundled-up to enjoy a delicious feast prepared by the chefs at Diversity Food Services, and boy did they enjoy a treat! Everything about the meal was fresh-from-the-farm perfection, from the vegetables that were grown within sight of where they were being enjoyed, to the Berkshire-Tamworth pig carving station.
The agrarian charm of the event itself was enough to make the guests squeal with delight. Junior Staff at the farm led games like chicken poop bingo, horseshoes and learn to lasso, which provided many participants with great fun as they visited with new friends and old, (not to mention the Harmony Honey favours that they took home if they won!). Local fiddlers Skulk and Scurry serenaded the guests throughout the evening, and under the stars some spontaneous good-old country dancing broke out! With rusty spades, wildflower bouquets and company that couldn’t be beat, the evening was a night to remember for all.
All proceeds from the supper supported youth engaged in healthy food programming and employment training at FortWhyte Farms. We are incredibly grateful to all of our community partners who helped us raise funds, create awareness and build community through this event.
· Harvest Season Sponsor - Central Veterinary Services
· Harvest Champion Sponsor - TD Bank Group
· Menu Sponsor - MacDon
· Supporters - Day Dream Linens, Dogwood Coffee, Cramptons Market, Boreal Wildcraft ...as well as our generous raffle prize donors.
From all of us, thank you!
Willows (aka Salix) are in the same plant family as poplar trees, but have long narrow or oval leaves, and a more shrubby growth habit. A plant inventory in 2005 found eleven species of willow onsite at FortWhyte Alive, the most common of which was Sandbar Willow (Salix exigua).
Willows have a well known benefit to humanity: their bark contains a traditional medicinal compound, salicylic acid, a potent pain and fever reliever. This compound was the original source of what we now know as Aspirin.
Willows also benefit ecosystems by playing an important role in stabilizing shorelines. Erosion, the loss of land to water, is a natural process, but an increase in water levels, removal of wetlands, disturbance along shorelines, and poor landscaping or land management choices are human impacts that all threaten shorelines and water health.
Planting willows along the shoreline is a cheap and ecological way to rehabilitate the area, by holding the soil together, and create a habitat for various mammals, birds, insects and plants. Manitoba Conservation Districts Association has taken on projects throughout the province involving using willows as natural shoreline protectors. But you can also plant willows on a smaller scale, in your own backyard or at the cottage, to protect your property and the support a healthy environment.
Starting willows is almost a magical process. Due to a rooting hormone called indolebutyric acid produced at the growing tips of branches, willow stems can be clipped, placed in a bucket of water, and will begin to produce adventitious roots. Willow water can induce rooting in other plants, so save your water to try rooting dogwood stems, or other cuttings of your choice.
Try it yourself! Take late fall or early spring cuttings of willow stems about 20-30 centimetres long and about the diameter of a pencil. Soak in water for 14 days, then go out and push the willow stem into the ground near water as deep as you can, so only about a thumb-length appears above the soil surface. Water is important, so plant as close to the water as you can safely go or make sure the soil stays well saturated as the plants are establishing. Planting in spring can result in better success if you are planting in a drier area. Varying opinions are out there, so try a few different things and you’re sure to have some success!
Or, come on out this Saturday, September 30, to take part in a willow planting workshop along FortWhyte Alive’s shorelines. To find out more about this event, visit www.fortwhyte.org/willowplanting.
For information on planting willows, check out this vintage 1995 article from Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources. Online: http://www.lrconline.com/Extension_Notes_English/pdf/willows.pdf
By: Katrina Froese, Education Program Coordinator
“The Sammy” was held at Pine Ridge Golf Club, and the day itself could not have been better. Clear skies blessed this friendly round with good fun and great camaraderie as golfers took to the course in support of FortWhyte Alive. Our golfers raised funds for environmental education for underserved youth and had an excellent time doing it.
We can’t thank our generous sponsors enough for their continued support. They are a part of a growing community of leaders who are passionate about making real change, and we are very pleased to have them on our team!
Deloitte & TD Financial
Golf Cart Sponsor:
Tee Gift Sponsor:
Manitoba Liquor & Lottery
Maple Leaf Construction
Great West Life
Winnipeg Building & Decorating
Many thanks go out to our tournament volunteers and staff that worked tirelessly to ensure that the tournament ran smoothly.
Watch out for 2018 Sam Fabro Golf Classic – registration will begin next Spring. With room to grow we're looking to make next year's event even better!
This event helped shed light on this very important project, thanked local community leaders for their continued support and celebrated the communities’ achievements in making Canada a more accessible and inclusive nation. We were excited to share the details of our work with the community and to celebrate the members of our community who are supporting our efforts!
Notable officials who attended the event included The Honourable Stephen Fletcher, PC MLA Assiniboia, and Mr. Jon Reyes, MLA St. Norbert on behalf of the Province of Manitoba. Local Metis fiddler Murray Jowett serenaded us as desserts and refreshments followed the formal ribbon cutting ceremony.
There is a long way to go before there is universal ‘Access For All’, however FortWhyte Alive is proud to have been able to make strides towards the betterment of our facilities in support of all our valuable guests. We greatly appreciate the Rick Hansen Foundation, the Province of Manitoba and the Government of Canada for their support of this important project.
Zebra Mussels in Manitoba
Zebra mussels are freshwater clams that are native to the Black Sea region of Eurasia. The introduction of Zebra Mussels into Canada began in the 1980s in Lake Erie. They now exist in up to 800 different lakes, mostly in eastern North America. In Manitoba, zebra mussels are now found in the Red River and the South and North basins of Lake Winnipeg, as well as Cedar Lake. One individual can produce up to 1 million eggs during a spawning event, making the zebra mussel a difficult pest to manage. Young zebra mussels, called veligers, are microscopic and free-swimming in the water column.
Like all clams, zebra mussels are filter feeders, eating any unsuspecting prey that gets caught in the current of water passing through them, and making the water clearer. But isn’t this a good thing? Unfortunately, zebra mussels remove beneficial algae and zooplankton from the water, having a negative impact on fish and smaller organisms that depend on that same food source. Toxic blue-green algae and long strands of filamentous algae are not eaten by zebra mussels, so their growth is encouraged.
Zebra mussels have sticky fibers called byssal threads which help them cling to surfaces, such as boats and equipment. Veligers are able to travel in even a droplet of water. It is illegal to transport zebra mussels in Manitoba, so it is vitally important that all boats and water equipment are cleaned with high pressure hot water (50 ºC or higher), drained and completely dried before being moved to another water body. The adult can survive out of water for 7 to 30 days depending on temperature and humidity.
Zebra mussels are already washing up on beaches around Lake Winnipeg, and their shells are extremely sharp, causing a hazard for swimmers and barefoot beach visitors. They will impact us further by causing economic damage, affecting Lake Winnipeg fisheries, clogging water intakes and boat motors, and growing on hydroelectric dams leading to high maintenance costs.
For more information on zebra mussels and what you can do to stop aquatic invasive species, please visit Manitoba Sustainable Development’s Stop the Spread at http://www.gov.mb.ca/stopthespread/ais/ .
To report an invasion in a new water body, either use the online form at the above webpage, or contact 1-87-STOP AIS-0.
Written by Nathan Entz, Summer Interpreter