Greetings!

Nature has been inspiring me every day, and I hope she has done the same for you during this unusual summer. I’ve been spending more time in the garden than ever this year (which most people didn’t think was possible) and trying to improve my knowledge of the night sky– it’s cooler when the sun goes down. I hope you have been finding fun ways to spend time outside in nature as well. 
 
I know we all need a break from the heat that’s been coming thick and fast, so I invite you to grab some shade, a lemonade and celebrate nature with us.
 
Read on to learn more about the Taylor Property, that was officially protected on Friday! Celebrate the launch of the Passport to Nature, with a Pollinator and Gardening with Native Plants webinar and All About Bats webinar. Hear from our Advisory Council, enjoy this month’s notes from the field, and peruse a few articles we have curated for you.
 
Thank you for this opportunity to share with you,
~ Courtney
Administrative Assistant
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A New Nature Reserve Created Thanks to YOU
Thanks to your support, we are celebrating another conservation success, with the protection of the Taylor property, a 175 acre (70 hectares) parcel, 14km east of Washago.

The property was owned by Dr. Ron Taylor and Charlene Taylor, making them our most recent land donors. Located between the Adams Nature Reserve (5 km to west, protected in 2016) and Ron Reid Nature Reserve (6 km to east, protected in 2017), the property has a direct connection to the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park. It is Anishinabewaki, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Haudenosaunee territory.

This project was undertaken with an 80% donation by the Taylors plus financial support from the Echo Foundation, McLean Foundation, Consecon Foundation, Ganawenim Meshkiki (Eastern Georgian Bay Initiative), Dr. Nancy Ironside plus donors.

The landscape is a mixture of open rockland with Red Oak, White Pine and Sumac, Beaver ponds, and swamp with Red Maple, Tamarack Trees and Spruce. This landscape is a prime area for Blanding’s Turtles (threatened), Eastern Wood Pewee (special concern), Five-lined Skink (special concern), Eastern Whip-poor-will (threatened) and many others. Connecting these protected landscapes is benefitial to large-range species as well, such as Moose, Black Bear and White-tailed Deer.
“It has served as our refuge from the bricks, mortar and pavement of modern life. It has been a place to explore and introduce the next generation to the beauty and quietness of nature. A trip to the property always cleansed the mind from chaos as we found nature always the best antidote for the stress of busy professional lives”, said Ron and Charlene.
Picture Above: Mink Frog by Toby Rowland

Picture Right: Left to right is Peter Gill, Ron Taylor, Mark Bisset, Charlene Taylor, and Nancy Ironside
Welcoming Two New Members to the Advisory Council
It is with great pleasure to announce and introduce you to the two newest members of The Couchiching Conservancy Advisory Council – Pam Fulford and David Warren.

Pam, a former Board Member and dedicated supporter of the Conservancy, is a biologist and has spent her career working and volunteering in the environmental and conservation space. Her extensive volunteer activities include her efforts with the Carden Field Naturalists, the Ramara Trails Committee, the Ontario Farmlands Trust Board and others.
 
David is a relative newcomer to the Couchiching area. His experience and expertise in the conservation space includes roles as a former Ontario Board Member of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, a Co-chair to the Toronto Zoo Foundation and Member of the Board of Management of the Toronto Zoo.
 
We welcome them both to the Advisory Council and value their future support.

~ Doug Varty and Jason Stewart
Pollinators & Gardening with Native Plants Webinar
Thursday, July 30th
7:00pm-8:00pm
It’s time to celebrate our local wildflowers and important pollinators! Join Linda Forster from Orillia Horticultural Society and Miriam Goldberger from  Wildflower Farm  to learn about what flowers are in bloom in late July, what flowers support pollinators, and how to design a stunning bouquet. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

There are still spots available!
All About Bats
Wednesday, August 26
7:00pm-8:00pm
How much do you know about bats? This often misunderstood family of mammals are an important part of our interconnected eco-systems. Join this webinar to learn from Toby Rowland, Citizen Science Field Coordinator, and Citizen Science volunteers Joan Vincent and Roland Rehhorn. They will share information on the different species in our region, the threats they face, and the technology we use to monitor them. There will be time for questions as well.
Pictured right is the bat recorder, a device that picks up a bat's echolocation and transforms it into a frequency humans can hear. This device can identify the bat species from its frequency!
August Kids Challenge: The ABC's of Nature
Month of August
How do you add fun to your learning while hiking? Easy, register to take our Alphabet Challenge! Toddlers to teens can adapt this Challenge by finding as many letters as possible for the plants, animals and natural things you find along the trail. A is for amphibian, R is for Rock, T is for tree or can you be more specific about the names of what you are finding; salamander, granite and oak? Once you find your nature item, we further challenge you to make your body pose as the initial letter of your word. 
Watch this fun video of Conservancy staff announcing the launch of the Passport below!
Our sincere thanks to the businesses who continue to support this program and enable us to power conservation efforts while offering these events and activities to you at no cost. Donations are always appreciated and help us do more for nature. Special thanks to Sojourn Outdoors, Cuisinart, Sophie’s Landing, NEI investments, John Madden and Al Langman Construction.
Summer Notes from the Field
The Ron Reid Nature Reserve  is 730 acres in the heart of QEII Wildlands Provincial Park. A visit to RRNR is a great way to start getting to know this area of our region. 

A relatively new acquisition (December 2017), we’ve been able to establish several citizen science monitoring teams who keep an eye on the reptiles, amphibians, and bats who call the area home.  

We also have two Land Stewardship Teams to watch out for human incursions and caretake the trail.
Thanks to Mel and Al Tuck, Ron Reid & Janet Grand, Nicole Ranville & Charleyne Hall, Larry Hrivnak & Tricia Currie, Lindsay Cass & Evelyn McCloy.  It takes a village.

Photo: Mel Tuck
David Cowl is a multi-talented volunteer, contributing to several citizen science monitoring programs and serving as a Couchiching Conservancy ambassador. 

On Saturday July 11th, David spent some time at Grant’s Woods, helping to educate trail users about our work. He also spotted this Swallowtail “puddling” in the parking lot:

“This Tiger Swallowtail butterfly is puddling, a behavior many butterfly species (and some moths) engage in. Puddling sites can include wet soil, mud, fermenting fruit, dung and carrion. The key is the chemical makeup of the site as these butterflies are looking for salts, minerals and amino acids to enhance reproduction. For nature enthusiasts, puddling behavior is a great way to capture butterfly photos.”
In the News...
These Canadian species are found nowhere else on Earth
A recent study found that there are a number of unique species that can only be found in Canada. Due to their small ranges and populations, they are at risk of extinction and it is up to Canadians to protect them.
The next pandemic is already coming, unless humans change how we interact with wildlife, scientists say
Scientists have been exploring where the Coronavirus originated and how it spread. Most individuals are placing the blame on wildlife such as bats and rats, but while these species do carry the virus, humans are the underlying cause. The fragmentation of habitats and alternation of our environment is bringing wildlife closer to us, making it easier for humans to catch viruses and diseases.
Phone: 705-326-1620
Mail: Box 704, Orillia, ON L3V 0X6
Office: 1485 Division Rd W, Orillia, ON L3V 6H2
Charitable Registration #: 13972 5030 RR0001