WRN Teens – Summer/Fall 2022 Report

(This article appeared in the Winter 2022 Heron newsletter)

 This summer and fall, members of the WRN Teens continued to meet every Saturday morning at SpruceHaven Farm in St. Agatha. The land is made up of many different native environments including woodland, bog, pond, and grassland. It is exciting to observe all the changes in the environment from week to week, month to month, and season to season.

WRN Teens at SpruceHaven after monitoring salamanders and tree frogs

WRN Teens adult volunteers (Linda Dutka, Michelle MacMillan, Graeme Smith, Thelma Beaubien, and Marg Paré) accompanied us on these activities at SpruceHaven. We checked on salamander boards and frog tubes and in the spring and summer we monitored nest boxes. This year we found Red-backed Salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) under the salamander boards and Grey Treefrogs (Dryophytes versicolor) in the frog tubes. (Thanks to Levi Moore for setting up frog monitoring for us and being our consultant.) Nest box residents included Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) and Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor). At the end of the summer when things quietened down a bit we helped by doing some maintenance on both the nest boxes and salamander boards. 

WRN Teens river study at rare Charitable Research Reserve

During the summer, Graeme, Michelle, and Thelma helped out by leading some additional Saturday morning activities at SpruceHaven. In July, Graeme led a tree measurement activity and Michelle led a benthic pond study. Thelma introduced us to some of the many butterflies that call Ontario home.

 On some Saturday afternoons we also had work projects and learning projects led by community partners and nature experts. In the summer, these activities included a Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) removal at White Cedar Forest in Waterloo led by Linda Sloka, a former Teens parent, and an Ecology Hike led by Dr. Cory Wallace at Huron Natural Area in Kitchener.
Gardening at Forest Heights Pollinator Patch
Mushroom Hike at Homer Watson Park
 So far this fall, we attended a birding hike with David Gascoigne at Riverside Park in Cambridge, worked at a pollinator garden with Giselle Carter at Forest Heights in Kitchener, participated in a Mushroom Hike with Janet Ozaruk at Homer Watson Park in Kitchener, and did a Benthic Invertebrates Study in the Grand River at “rare” Charitable Research Reserve with Michelle MacMillan. We’re also happy to welcome a new adult volunteer, Philip Pyatt.
We’ve got a bunch more activities coming up in the fall, which I’m sure everyone is excited about!
By Brynn Roderick
Photos: Marg Paré