There's always something new to discover at FortWhyte Alive.
This year's Frightening Fiver was definitely a night to remember.
We finally got a glimpse of fall, with perfectly mild temperatures and not a drop of rain or snow in sight! We had 209 racers enjoying the beautiful evening, championing either a 5km or 10km race.
Thank you to all who dressed up and everyone who participated in our largest race under the cloak of darkness, all in support of environmental education at FortWhyte Alive. You're the best!
The costumes that these troopers donned were incredible — our finalists included superman, elf fairies, and some glow stick superstars, among many more.
As always we need to thank our amazing crew of FortWhyte Alive volunteers. We couldn't do what we do without our volunteers — they are the real MVPs! Also, a big thanks goes out to Winnipeg Search and Rescue for ensuring all racers made it out of our trails safely.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS!
Check out the winner results below.
5 km Top Finalists
1st Place – Gordon Flett
2nd Place – Dayna Graham
3rd Place – Sarah Scarlett
10 km Top Finalists
1st Place – Nick LeBlanc
2nd Place – Eric Hough
3rd Place – Jenna Baraschuk-Modha
Even if you didn’t place, everyone who gets outside to support environmental education is a winner in our eyes, so thank you!
Full Race Results are available! Great job to all those who participated and finished!
Place a love note on our Wetland Boardwalk Trail, a meaningful gift perfect for graduation, weddings, and other milestone celebrations.
Your personalized plaque will be placed along one of FortWhyte’s best known and most loved trails, a floating pathway through a lively wetland ecosystem that boasts a diversity of flora and fauna. The trail is the ideal spot to stroll — or to simply pause, relax and reflect.
Boardwalk plaques are a long-time favourite gift for:
Proceeds from your gift are directly invested in the landscape that makes FortWhyte Alive a magical place for people like you and your family.
Boardwalk plaques are stainless steel, measure 5” x 2” and allow up to three lines for your personalized message. At $125 each, you will receive a tax receipt and a complimentary family day pass so that you may come to visit your special part of this beautiful trail.
To make your donation, please call (204) 989-8361 to arrange the details of your tribute gift, or click here to download the Boardwalk Donation Form.
Volunteers from all walks of life are the lifeblood of FortWhyte Alive. Volunteers are the ones on the ground, cultivating relationships with nature and making a difference in real time. You make the magic happen, FortWhyte Alive volunteers!
In the fall of 2013, Alice starting looking for volunteer opportunities. She had just retired from her role as a rehabilitation assistant and thought she would enjoy working with children in nature.
As it turned out, FortWhyte Alive was the perfect fit. Although she never worked formally in a school environment, she was very active with the parent councils, library and volunteering in classrooms when her children were young. This was all the experience she needed to jump into the role of School Program Leader.
As a FortWhyte Alive volunteer Alice expected to gain some knowledge about nature and the world and, in-turn, pass that knowledge on to young people. What she didn’t expect was that she would learn something new almost every time she comes to FortWhyte. Knowledge sharing is a big part of the culture among volunteers, staff, visitors, and even visiting students.
Alice is one of over 30 school program leaders that delivered programs to 32,843 students from 260 schools over the past year. She has also volunteered for special events such as Earth Day, Louis Riel Day, summer programs, and various gardening projects.
Alice has contributed over 1,400 volunteer hours since she started volunteering only five years ago. Wow!
From all of us, thank you Alice for your commitment and motivation to creating change in our community.
One of Alice's favourite memories:
"One winter morning, I was walking down the pathway and suddenly had the feeling like something was watching me. I looked up and there, was a marten watching me from a treetop. Where else could I have a nature experience like that in Winnipeg!"
Does this sound like you? We’re on the lookout for teens, professionals, educators and older adults who are looking to make a real difference by providing students and visitors with unforgettable outdoor experiences.
Last month, a group of 20 inspiring volunteers — including youth and university students — worked together to plant willows along the shorelines of two lakes at FortWhyte Alive.
Participants rolled up their sleeves and got their hands dirty to plant over 1500 pencil-thin willow cuttings, 600 dogwood cuttings and 100 2” thick stakes by pushing, pounding or trenching them into the soil. Incredible.
Did you know? FortWhyte Alive’s unstable shorelines are a relic of our industrial past. Our five lakes are actually the remains of pits that were excavated by heavy machinery during Canada Cement Company’s clay mining operations, starting in 1911. Bulldozers and other machinery left steep shorelines behind, prone to slumping and erosion.
Over the years, a lot has changed. Through the restorative power of Mother Nature and the helping hands of countless individuals in our community, our lakeshores are now host a beautiful variety of grasses and perennials — and have served as the backdrop for many memorable moments in nature.
Still, there are sections where woody plants — such as trees and willows — have not taken root. In seeking expert advice from Manitoba Conservation District Association, we learned about the effectiveness of using willows in shoreline restoration projects throughout rural Manitoba.
Willows happen to have an almost magical cloning ability – the buds on clipped branches soaked in water will begin to take root. When planted, this new cutting will begin to grow extensive root systems which act like “nature’s rebar” to hold the soil together. Pretty cool.
A huge thank you goes out to those who donated hours, expertise and plants to make this project happen: Chris Randall of Seine-Rat River Conservation District, Audrey and Armand Belanger of East Interlake Conservation District, and Lynne and Rebekah Vickery, permaculturists and FortWhyte Alive volunteers. Thanks to our planting volunteers and to the many other FortWhyte Alive volunteers who assisted with preparation, clipping and planting, and even capturing photos of the planting workshop.
This is an inspiring example of the restorative power of Mother Nature and the impact that individuals in our community have each and every day. From all of us, thank you!
This program was made possible by the continuing support of the FortWhyte Model Watershed Project by RBC Foundation.
Want to get your hands dirty and do good? Learn more about how you can get involved by emailing email@example.com.
Freshwater Ecology Day is an annual educational experience at FortWhyte Alive open to Grade 7-12 students from across Manitoba. Our goal is to increase students’ understanding of current water issues and actions we can take to help protect water.
On September 27, 66 high school students and 12 teachers from 10 different urban and rural Manitoba schools arrived to take part in learning stations geared around water sampling, water chemistry, shoreline remediation, aquatic invasive species and invertebrates, as well as learning about the watershed we live in.
A welcome, blessing and water ceremony from Clarence and Barbara Nepinak began with a focus on the need for all of us to protect clean water.
We got muddy and wet using a water jet planter to restore a section of shoreline on our lakes with "nature's rebar," also known as willow.
We examined aquatic insects collected in our lakes and wetlands.
We checked out an amazing table of specimens of Aquatic Invasive Species for a very thorough introduction to the impact of AIS on aquatic environments.
Overall, students were left inspired to continue to learn more… whether about watersheds, aquatic life, indigenous beliefs and practices around water, or water pollution and prevention.
Thank you to the presenters for sharing their knowledge and inspiring students to understand more about water protection, and giving them a great hands-on learning experience:
Clarence and Barbara Nepinak
Pauline Gerrard and Angela Reeves – IISD – Experimental Lakes Area
Claire Hebert – Lake Winnipeg Basin Research
Candace Parks – Manitoba Sustainable Development – Aquatic Invasive Species
Candi Bezte – Manitoba Eco-Network
Armand Belanger - East Interlake Conservation District
Chris Randall – Seine Rat River Conservation District
Freshwater Ecology Day was a fun, hands-on learning opportunity offered to students free of charge, thanks to support from the RBC Foundation and in-kind donations of time and effort from our expert presenters. Thank you!
For other high school programs related to environmental science at FortWhyte Alive, check out our Riverwatch water monitoring program, or discover more hands-on science days. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our teacher mailing list.