Natural Prairie Ecosystems

NPSS Annual Conference

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Chet Neufeld
Email address of primary contact person: 
info@npss.sk.ca
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

The NPSS annual meeting and workshop is typically held in February each year. Workshop themes vary from the native plant industry, to conservation issues, to native plants as part of our culture. The event is attended by conservation professionals, scientists, gardeners and nature enthusiasts. The event typically includes a workshop on plant identification or vegetation management.

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

Annually in February

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
Annual meeting, workshop, awareness, informal education
Describe the educational component of the project (e.g. formal education, training, or public awareness advanced by the project): 

Workshops on plant identification or vegetation management offered during the meeting

What level of education does this project address?: 
Public awareness, for example, through the media (informal education)
Project sponsors/funders: 

Varies by year, but Ducks Unlimited Canada, Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, SaskPower, Meewasin Valley Authority and True North Specialty Products sponsored the 2008 annual conference.

How did you find out about this survey?: 

Student researcher

Mike Badham Park

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Janine Daradich, Landscape Architect
Email address of primary contact person: 
jrdaradi@regina.ca
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

A neighbourhood park redeveloped as a storm water detention site. Areas nearest the storm inlets are designed as naturalized wetland areas.

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

Ongoing.

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
Naturalisation, informal education, urban greenspace
Describe the educational component of the project (e.g. formal education, training, or public awareness advanced by the project): 

An interpretive sign for the wetland area is planned for the next year or two.

What level of education does this project address?: 
Public awareness, for example, through the media (informal education)
Project sponsors/funders: 

City of Regina

How did you find out about this survey?: 

Student Researcher.

Canadian Plains Research Centre

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Dr. Polo Diaz
Email address of primary contact person: 
harry.diaz@uregina.ca
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

The Canadian Plains Research Center, established in 1973, is the longest-serving research institute at the University of Regina with a initiate, undertake, encourage, support, and publish scholarly research on all aspects of prairie life, including its history, resources, land, and people. It does so through contributing to the development of a broad community of scholars of the region using interdisciplinary approaches that initiate and support scholarly research on all aspects of prairie life.  CPRC's mandate is served by its programs for inter-disciplinary research, scholarly publications, graduate (Masters and PhD) studies, research fellowships, and its lecture / conference / workshop series.  Our aims are to foster an understanding and appreciation of the Canadian Plains region, develop a community of people studying the region, study and help solve problems of the region, its people and its resources, provide services to prairie institutions and researchers and publish scholarly work which examines life in the prairie region of Canada.

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

Ongoing

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
Formal education, interdisciplinary research, prairie communities, North American plains
Describe the educational component of the project (e.g. formal education, training, or public awareness advanced by the project): 

The Centre offers a graduate program for masters and PhD students facilitating trans-disciplinary research on topics relevant to the Great Plains.  In addition, the Centre specializes in publishing scholarly titles about life on the prairies, including Prairie Forum, a multidisciplinary journal for research in the Plains.

What level of education does this project address?: 
Post-secondary institution
Are there any research questions and opportunities that have or could be examined with this project?: 

Many research opportunities available for graduate students and other collaborators.

Publications (Has there been any documentation of this project/research?): 

Student research projects listed at http://www.cprc.ca/history.htm#paststudentshistory

How did you find out about this survey?: 

Student Researcher

A. E. Wilson Park

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Janine Daradich, Landscape Architect
Email address of primary contact person: 
jrdaradi@regina.ca
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

A.E. Wilson Park is Regina's largest city park built at a decommissioned sewage treatment plant. 

There are several naturalized areas within the park. The key ones being:

1. Meadow Area - an area left as long grasses, which receives an annual mowing and periodic maintenance.

2. Prairie Island - an island used for the recreation of the prairie habitat.

3. Boreal Forest - an island used for the recreation of the boreal forest habitat.

4. Nesting Island - an island, not accessible to the public, left natural for bird and wildlife habitat.

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

Ongoing.

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
Naturalisation, prairie restoration, birds, wildlife, habitat, informal education, urban greenspace
Describe the educational component of the project (e.g. formal education, training, or public awareness advanced by the project): 

There is an existing sign on-site to explain Prairie and Boreal Islands. However, it is in poor condition and will be replaced with a more comprehensive interpretive station in the next few years.

What level of education does this project address?: 
Public awareness, for example, through the media (informal education)
Project sponsors/funders: 

City of Regina

How did you find out about this survey?: 

Student Researcher.

Operation Burrowing Owl

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Habitat Stewardship Coordinator - Operation Burrowing Owl
Email address of primary contact person: 
obo@naturesask.ca
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

Nature Saskatchewan's Operation Burrowing Owl (OBO) was launched in 1987 to protect Burrowing Owl habitat from cultivation, monitor population changes, and increase awareness of the owl. Landowners voluntarily agree to conserve grassland habitat for endangered Burrowing Owls and other prairie wildlife.

Over 450 private landowners participate in OBO, and together are conserving over 21,000 ha (52,000 acres) of grassland habitat in pastures and other lands while using their land as they always have. These landowners annually report the number of owls on their land.

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

Ongoing.

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
Burrowing Owl, stewardship, education, private landholders, species at risk, informal education, awareness
Describe the educational component of the project (e.g. formal education, training, or public awareness advanced by the project): 

OBO provides educational material to landholders and the general public about Burrowing Owls and native prairie conservation.  OBO also participates in 'Steward Appreciation Days' a forum for producer education on Burrowing Owls and other prairie species, habitat conservation, and trips to habitat restoration sites, coupled with an appreciation barbecue for those participating or interested in the program. OBO works with the Prairie Conservation Action Plan (PCAP) and the Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretative Centre (SBOIC) to provide information and educational opportunities to the public about the importance of prairie conservation. OBO participates in PCAP's Eco-Extravaganza, an educational event that visits children in rural schools for a day of fun and games with a positive message about grassland conservation.

What level of education does this project address?: 
Elementary school
Middle years school
High school
Public awareness, for example, through the media (informal education)
Professional and other training outside the formal school/higher education system (non-formal education)
Are there any research questions and opportunities that have or could be examined with this project?: 

 

Publications (Has there been any documentation of this project/research?): 

 

Effectiveness of Voluntary Habitat Stewardship in Conserving Grassland: Case of Operation Burrowing Owl in Saskatchewan Robert G. Warnock and Margaret A. Skeel, in Environmental Management.  Volume 33, Number 3 / March, 2004

Abstract: There have been no published performance evaluations of nongovernmental, voluntary habitat stewardship programs. The Operation Burrowing Owl (OBO) stewardship program, initiated in 1987, was evaluated for its effectiveness in conservation of grassland habitat during 1986–1993. The 108 OBO sites from 1987 to 88 and 98 randomly selected non-OBO sites that were grassland in 1986 in the Regina-Weyburn, Saskatchewan study area were classified by size and agricultural soil suitability. By 1993, 41 (38%) of the 108 OBO sites had been withdrawn from the program. The 1986 area of grassland was compared with grassland area calculated from digitized 1993 LANDSAT imagery. A correction for satellite inaccuracies was determined. Grassland retention in 1993 was significantly higher at OBO sites (66%) than at random sites (49%), demonstrating that the OBO voluntary program effectively conserved habitat. Also, grassland retention was significantly lower on sites with better agricultural soils, and for sites <12 ha in size. Site type (OBO or random), size and their interaction, followed by agricultural soil suitability, had the greatest effects on grassland retention. During an era of accelerated grassland loss, OBO strongly and positively (statistically significant) affected conservation of grassland sites most at risk: sites <12 ha in size and with good to excellent agricultural soils. This suggests that grassland conservation efforts focus on vulnerable sites (small size and/or good agricultural soils) to provide nesting habitat for burrowing owls. Our study demonstrates that a voluntary stewardship program can significantly increase conservation of habitat.

See also: Warnock, R. (1997) "Is habitat fragmentation a factor in the decline of the Burrowing Owl in Saskatchewan" Blue Jay 55: 222-228

 

Project sponsors/funders: 

Greencover Canada Program, Government of Canada Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada - Summer Career Placement Program, Saskatchewan Environment - Fish & Wildlife Development Fund, Saskatchewan Environmental Industry and Management Association - Green Team, SaskEnergy, SaskPower, The EJLB Foundation, TD Friends of the Environment, World Wildlife Fund and Environment Canada - Endangered Species Recovery Fund, Nature Saskatchewan Member Donations, US Fish and Wildlife Service - Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Program

How did you find out about this survey?: 

Student Researcher.

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