May 2016
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about the Detroit River.

Message from the RAP Coordinator
Birds, birds, birds ... the spring migration is ON! Lots of great birding events this month. We're also waiting for Tree Swallows to find these newly placed boxes along the shores of the river. Tree Swallows will help us assess the Bird or Animal Deformities or Reproductive Problems Beneficial Use Impairment. Because they feed on insects that emerge from the sediment in the river, they are excellent indicators of environmental health. The nests will be monitored over the next several years to ensure the young hatch out properly and that they aren't accumulating toxins.

Did you know that the Lower Detroit River is a designated Important Bird Area? On average, more than 8,000 Canvasback (greater than 1% of the estimated North American population), and 7,000 Common Mergansers (greater than 1% of the estimated North American population) are recorded each year during the annual Christmas Bird Count. Other waterfowl species commonly observed on the river include Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneye, and Bufflehead.

If you'd like more information or have questions, please email

Claire Sanders
Remedial Action Plan Coordinator  
Detroit River Canadian Cleanup
Come work with us! The Detroit River Canadian Cleanup partnership is seeking assistance t o support the Remedial Action Plan (RAP). We're looking for an individual to assist in the coordination of the Detroit River Great Lakes Area of Concern RAP, with emphasis on reporting, outreach, and communications of remedial actions.

View the full posting here!

Earth Day = 2000 More Trees in the Detroit River Watershed! 
by Ian Naisbitt and Caroline Biribauer

On Sunday, 24 April, the Windsor-Essex community celebrated Earth Day by planting approximately 2000 trees and shrubs of various sizes! Over 1000 community volunteers participated in this event! Volunteers worked from 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Essex Region Conservation Authority and the City of Windsor organized the event, with funding for trees from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change through the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup.
Quinn Family Planting Earth Day Trees.
The weather for the day was mainly sunny with a UV index of 7 or high; a clear, blue sky, slight breeze of 20  km/h, with 10 to 12 degrees Celsius temperatures over the morning. Thankfully, there was a zero percentage of rain. In other words, it was a wonderful Spring day to plant trees!
This was the final year for planting in this section of Little River Corridor Park, between Florence Avenue and the old channel of Little River in east Windsor. Plans were made to direct the volunteers to infill the areas that required more trees.  
The species of trees we planted included: Freeman's Maple, White Oak, Pin Oak, Red Maple, Burr Oak, Sycamore, Swamp White Oak, Silver Maple, Shumard Oak, Tulip Tree and Eastern Cottonwood.
Wildlife observed in the area included: Tree Swallows, Red-winged Blackbirds, the ubiquitous Canada Goose, a pair of Mallard Ducks enjoying the wood chip pile and a pair of Ring-necked Pheasants were flushed from the meadow habitat that still exists at this site. The children were enthralled with the number of Garter Snakes roving around the area; they were definitely connecting with nature as they caught the snakes for a closer examination. It may have been a bit traumatic for the snakes, but the children were eager to meet them and release of course. However, the highlight of the day was a pleasant surprise for Ian. He was placing flags in the ground to direct volunteers to plant a tree at this spot. While bent over, he saw what he thought was a wasp's nest about 50 centimetres from his foot. After staring at it for awhile; looking at it sideways, he realized it was an American Woodcock sitting motionless on the grass. Ian removed the flag and a couple of others around the bird and slowly backed away. Seeing different species of birds surviving in the area gives us immense satisfaction of knowing the work we are doing in the Little River Watershed is benefiting wildlife.
As well, the recreation trails throughout the area will permit people to make the much needed connection with nature; they may even be lucky enough to experience the different species of wildlife that call this area home.
The Little River Enhancement Group has appreciated the efforts from the How-to Crew of volunteers. As well, thanks to the Essex Region Conservation Authority for organising Earth Day events in our adopted watershed; a big thanks to the City of Windsor for choosing this site for planting. This section of the Little River stream has benefited tremendously from the planting of 8000 trees and shrubs over the years.
Caesars Windsor's CodeGreen Cleans Little River Watershed
by Ian Naisbitt
The Little River flows north through the Twin Oaks Business Park, in East Windsor. This location is immediately south of E. C. Row Expressway, east of Lauzon Parkway and north of the Canadian Pacific Railroad tracks.
On 16 November 2015, the City of Windsor officially designated the city owned property within the Little River corridor a municipal park. Consequently, our partnership decided to clean up the area around the cul-de-sac of Munich Court.
At the request of the Little River Enhancement Group, the City of Windsor cleaned up the extensive amount of garbage that was illegally dumped at the Munich Court cul-de-sac. Using a front end loader and truck, the company hired to do the job hauled all the garbage away that was at the end of the cul-de-sac. Concrete barriers were placed across the road to prevent more dumping and access to off-road vehicle. A "Tip of the Hat" to Councillor Hilary Payne (Ward 9) for being instrumental in getting the garbage cleaned up and the barriers installed. Unsurprisingly, people came and dumped their garbage in front of the barriers and the off-road vehicles drove around them. This illegal activity has caused a tremendous amount of surface damage to the new park.
For the past few years, Kelly Laforest (Caesars Windsor CodeGreen) has contacted Caroline Biribauer (ERCA) and requested a site for them to clean up. Caroline coordinates and organizes the event to help them celebrate Earth Day.
This year, CodeGreen chose to clean up the Twin Oaks Business Park site for their first time. On Wednesday, 13 April, over 60 volunteers participated in Little River Cleanup Event # 38. Mother Nature presented us with a good day: 8 C temps, some clouds, but mostly sunny; a light wind and thankfully zero precipitation! Eager volunteers cleaned up from 5 to 7:00 p.m. This was the 5th time the community has cleaned up the debris from Twin Oaks.
Along with the CodeGreen group, there were volunteers from the City of Windsor, the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup, Essex County Field Naturalists' Club, and Lil' Reg. This robust working group collected an impressive pile of garbage. The riparian zone of Little River looks a lot better from the volunteers' efforts.

Lil' Reg and ERCA appreciate CodeGreen for mobilizing their volunteers and helping to coordinate this cleanup event and look forward to working with them in the future. Also, we would like to express a big thank you to the City of Windsor/ Environmental Division for hauling the garbage away, placing the cement barriers and assisting our group with the cleanup. Together, our partnership will endeavour to create a natural area that will improve the ecosystem health of the Little River and be enjoyed by people making the much needed connection with nature.

Some of the illegally dumped garbage collected included: a barbeque, bed mattress, bedsprings, butane canisters (32), carpet, cement blocks, chair, cushions, fuel tank from truck, garden hose, golf bag, lamp shade, landscaping cloth, lawn mower, paneling, patio stones, plastic jugs and pails, plywood pieces, power washer, roof shingles, sofa bed, swimming pool solar blanket and hose, televisions (2), tires (5), tonneau cover for a pickup truck, garden umbrella, vinyl house siding, and pallets.  
For additional information about the history of Twin Oaks park in the City of Windsor, please read the full article on the DRCC website.
Thanks Windsor Rotary Club 1918!
Big thanks to over 40 volunteers from Windsor Rotary Club 1918 for their dedication to Little River on Earth Day. This year was their 5th annual Earth Day cleanup event and they pulled out 3 bikes, 1 shopping cart, a 55 gallon barrel, and 100+ bags of garbage! Thanks for all your hard work to clean up our waterways!

Read more about the cleanup here.

Congratulations Lil' Reg! 
Founding Members of the Little River Enhancement Group.
On Saturday, April 30th, over 50 people joined the Little River Enhancement Group (Lil' Reg) in planting 25 trees to celebrate 25 years of stewardship in the Little River watershed. Over the years, thousands of volunteers have filled dumpsters with countless tons of debris to restore and preserve this natural area located in the urban environment. The group has also been instrumental in 90 tree planting events in the watershed, expanding their work beyond the banks of the river.

Lil' Reg has made a significant impact in improving the health and awareness of the Detroit River watershed. We are very grateful for their continued efforts, and congratulate them on 25 years of dedication and success!!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
The Detroit River in the are some relevant, external links to news articles that may pique your interest. Click on the link to read on.
Upcoming Events
Save the date for these great local events! Please ensure you contact the organizer for more information.
March 22-May 14, 2016
1347 Ottawa Street, Windsor

Come to POP Gallery to celebrate local art! The exhibition will be showing from March 22-May 15. For more information, contact POP Gallery at 519-915-0346. A portion of all sales from this exhibition will be donated to Citizens Environment Alliance.
April 29-May 18, 2016: 5:00am-10:00pm
Point Pelee National Park, 1118 Point Pelee Drive, Leamington

Located at the crossroads of major migration routes, Point Pelee National Park welcomes thousands of birds and birdwatchers alike each spring. Dedicated to the protection and preservation of this unique part of Canada, Point Pelee National Park is home to a diversity of species seen few other places in the country. For more information, click here. 
April 30, May 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 17 2016: 4:00-6:00pm
1826 Mersea Road 2, Leamington
Join experts from the Ontario Field Ornithologists to watch shorebirds migrating to their Arctic breeding grounds. A great chance to learn from some of the most knowledgeable birders in the province. The diverse and unique habitats of Hillman Marsh attract a wide range of marsh, shore, and field bird species. The shorebird cell water levels are actively managed to create ideal habitat conditions each spring, making it a top birding spot in North America. Admission fee is $6 per vehicle, or purchase a Hillman Marsh Spring Pass at
May 7, 2016: 12:00-3:00pm
Tranby Park, Tranby Avenue, Windsor

Play a part in "greening" your local community by joining Forests Ontario, CAA South Central Ontario, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Ontario Wood, City of Windsor and the Essex Region Conservation Authority on Saturday, May 7th for the eighth annual Community Planting Weekend. To register online, click here.
May 7, 2016: 10:00am
Heinz Woodlot, Leamington

Come one, come all! May 7th will be a lovely day for a little exercise and a lot of good when you join Essex County Field Naturalists' Club members to pull Garlic Mustard. Garlic mustard comes up before the native plants and makes a chemical that impairs the ability of native plants to germinate. If we don't pull it, it will eventually become the only ground cover. For more details or directions, e-mail
May 7 and 8, 2016: 9:00am-3:00pm
1826 Mersea Road 2, Leamington

Join experts from the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory to see banding and release banded birds at the Nature Centre. See flocks of migrating shorebirds feeding in the mudflats along the shorebird trail. Make a nature craft for Mother's day. Not to be missed! Visit  for more information.
May 10, 2016: 5:30-7:30pm
915 County Road 50, Harrow

Join volunteers from the John R. Park Homestead to help rid the grounds of this invasive species. No experience necessary. High school students can earn volunteer hours. For more information, e-mail
May 11, 2016: 7:30pm
Ojibway Nature Centre, 5200 Matchette Road, Windsor

Erin Mallon from Ontario Nature (formerly Federation of Ontario Naturalists) will be speaking about Ontario Nature and their upcoming plans for stewardship of the Stone Road Alvar Nature Reserve. Please join us for this informative talk and learn more about Ontario Nature. The Essex County Field Naturalists' Club is a subcommittee of Ontario Nature. Everyone is welcome to attend.
May 14, 2016: 5:00-9:00pm
Ford Yacht Club, 29500 Southpointe Road, Grosse Ile, MI

The International Wildlife Refuge Alliance cordially invites you to their 11th Annual Benefit Dinner in support of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. The event promises to be an evening filled with music and food! There will also be live and silent auctions, games and raffles. Reservations are $75 per person or two for $125. For more information, visit
May 15, 2016: 1:00-4:00pm
1495 Arner Townline, Essex

Come out and help battle this forest invader! Volunteers needed to pull the invasive garlic mustard plant out of the woods of Camp Cedarwin.  No experience necessary. Students can earn volunteer service hours. For more information, e- mail .
May 21, 2016: 9:00am-noon
Nashua Trail, Belle Isle, MI

Join the DNR and Belle Isle Conservancy for stewardship Saturdays. Our focus is cutting invasive shrubs, especially glossy and common buckthorn and honeysuckle, to restore the wet mesic flatwoods on the island. Meet on Woodside Drive at the trailhead parking area just north of the canal bridge. From The Strand, pass the athletic fields and Vista Drive, then turn left at the next road (there is a brick bathroom building at the corner). For more information, contact Laurel Malvitz at 313-331-7760. Register here. 
Job Postings
These postings are for jobs at various locations with varying deadlines. Please click on the job title to view job details. Contact the listed agency in the job ad for more information.