The beachside community of Pasadena is situated in the expansive Humber Valley and sits on the edge of Deer Lake. With abundant green spaces, surrounding forests, and neighbouring mountains, Pasadena is a community with a strong connection with the environment. Recognizing the importance of the surrounding landscape, Pasadena signed a Municipal Habitat Stewardship Agreement in June, agreeing to conserve three areas in town: South Brook Conservation Area, Pasadena Ski and Nature Park Conservation Area and Blue Gulch Conservation Area, a total of 1,515 acres of wildlife habitat.
The South Brook Conservation Area focuses on a tributary of the Humber River and is home to the important Atlantic salmon. The Conservation Area includes an intact riparian habitat near the mouth of South Brook, and a popular municipal walking trail. The Pasadena Ski and Nature Park Conservation Area is upstream of South Brook and surrounds the hiking and cross-country ski trails of the park. The intact upland forest provides important habitat to many different types of wildlife like moose, fox, plenty of trilling songbirds and even the threatened Newfoundland marten. The third Conservation Area, Blue Gulch Pond, is an open water wetland within the town’s important water supply watershed area and supports an intact riparian buffer. Thank you to the town of Pasadena for this important commitment to your community.
Located on the Northwestern side of Smith Sound, Trinity Bay, is the recently incorporated Municipality of George’s Brook-Milton (GBM). Two main rivers flow through town, George’s Brook and Ryder’s Brook that eventually drain into the mudflats of Flowers Cove. Wetland ecosystems are dispersed through the town, comprised of hundreds of ponds, mixed with slope bogs, basin bogs and fens. To maintain the integrity of these areas, GBM signed a Municipal Habitat Stewardship Agreement in June, agreeing to conserve George’s Brook Conservation Area, Ryder’s Brook Conservation Area, and George’s Pond Watershed Conservation Area, a total of 4,500 acres.
Both the Ryder’s Brook and George’s Brook Conservation Areas support an intact riparian buffer, a healthy aquatic environment, and a historic salmon river. The intact buffer along these brooks provides habitat for wildlife species like the Boreal chickadee, the Belted kingfisher, or even the Newfoundland marten. Locally known as ‘the Meade’, the mouth of Ryder’s Brook also supports some critically important species like the Red knot, the Semipalmated sandpiper and flora like Sea wreck or Bristly sarsaparilla. The George’s Pond watershed lies upstream of George’s Brook, supports many different wetland types and is hydrologically connected to many areas downstream. We are very excited to have George’s Brook- Milton apart of SAM and sincerely thank you for your commitment to environmental stewardship.
Nestled along the north shore of the Humber Arm of the inner Bay of Islands is the beautiful community of Irishtown- Summerside. Named respectively for the background of the early settlers and for being on the “sunny side” of the Humber Arm, the area attracted settlers due to the rich salmon, herring, and lobster fisheries, as well as the potential to harvest and trade lumber and furs. The town of Irishtown- Summerside is a vibrant, growing community with nature at its core. To support this the town signed a Municipal Habitat Stewardship Agreement in August, designating the Hughes Brook Conservation Area (North and South) - a total of 89 acres.
The Hughes Brook Conservation Area contains impressive wildlife habitat with several important species, including the Atlantic salmon, and the Rusty blackbird. An intact riparian habitat frames the estuary, with adjacent wetland and forested uplands contained within. Many other species can be found in this well-known ecologically and culturally significant waterway, including muskrat, beavers and dozens of species of songbird and waterfowl. Many environmentalists, scientists, and students from the local Grenfell Campus of Memorial University are attracted to the area for its biodiversity, while others in the community and outdoor enthusiasts turn to the area for recreational benefits. Irishtown-Summerside shares responsibility for the management of this important salmon river and we want to thank the leadership of Irishtown-Summerside for making this commitment to your community!
Located on the western side of Conception Bay on the Avalon Peninsula and noted as one of the oldest towns in North America is the municipality of Harbour Grace. The long harbour stretches from Rolling Cove in the southeast to Cookroom Cove on the northeast, while open water wetlands and bogs stretch inland, the surrounding rocky hills are covered with balsam fir forest. Despite being founded in 1517 and the long-standing influence of humans in the area, Harbour Grace maintains impressive and intact wildlife habitat and signed a Municipal Habitat Stewardship Agreement in July, conserving three areas: the Harbour Grace Estuary, Pirates Path, and Bannerman Lake, with a total of 387 acres.
The Harbour Grace Estuary hugs the internal coastline, directly across from the grounded S.S. Kyle, next to the Spirit of Harbour Grace park and supports a myriad of avifauna, including American black duck, Bald eagles, cormorants, sandpipers, Common terns and other seabirds. The Pirates Path Conservation Area encapsulates a municipal hiking trail, and conserves important nesting habitat for many seabirds including Black guillemots and numerous sheltered beaches provide suitable capelin spawning habitat. The large Bannerman Lake Conservation Area has an intact riparian buffer and is important to the watershed’s overall health. As the 50th signatory on a Habitat Stewardship Agreement, we are so honoured to have Harbour Grace join the Stewardship Association of Municipalities, and thank you for an impressive commitment to conservation stewardship.
2023 SAM Environmental Steward Award Student Scholarship Winner!
Congratulations to the 2023 SAM Environmental Steward Award Scholarship winner, Emmerson Wilson!
2023 SAM Environmental Steward Award Student Scholarship Presentation. Left to Right: Julie Pomeroy-Sparrow (Member of SAM's Board of Directors), Zachary Burrows (SAM's Executive Director), Emmerson Wilson (2023 Scholarship Winner)
First awarded in 2015, the SAM Student Scholarship is awarded annually to a student either from or studying in Newfoundland and Labrador whose interests, activities and post-secondary goals are focused on the conservation of habitat in this province and includes a prize of $1000.
Scholarship Winner, Emmerson Wilson, completing field work.
Emmerson is a Master of Science student at Memorial University of Newfoundland with the Ecosystem Ecology Lab. She is estimating the amount of carbon stored in the boreal forest of Newfoundland’s National Parks. This research will allow natural resource managers to determine how managing disturbances (like insects, fire, and moose) can affect carbon storage. To do this, Emmerson and her field technician, Lilly, spent the summer measuring plants, soils, and more at sites across Gros Morne and Terra Nova National Parks. Emmerson will use these measurements to calculate the amount of carbon stored in the areas they sampled. Then, she will use statistical models to predict the amount of carbon stored across the two national parks. By estimating carbon throughout the province’s national parks they can better understand how the way we manage our forests impacts the capacity of these forests to store carbon and help combat climate change. For example, can we change how we manage defoliating insects like spruce budworm or large animals like moose to improve forest carbon storage? Hopefully, this research can inform how we interact with the boreal forest of Newfoundland’s National Parks in the future, to store more carbon. Good luck on your studies Emmerson!
SAM Environmental Steward Award Nominations are Open!
The SAM Environmental Stewardship Award is used to recognize an individual, group, organization or business who has gone above and beyond in their community to support wildlife habitat stewardship, whose responsible management of wildlife habitat and the environment within Newfoundland and Labrador exceeds expectations.
Nominations for the Innovative Organizations - Business of Non-Profit/Community Group Award and Community Champion Award will be considered prior to each of SAM's bi-annual meetings (Spring AGM and Fall Business Meeting) - in order to be considered, please have nominations in prior to the next meeting.
SAM, along with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, have partnered to recognize municipal leadership in conservation. SAM member communities have shown they are leaders in habitat conservation and are stewards to some of the province’s most diverse and unique habitats. The aim is to recognize these areas nationally, where they can contribute to Canada’s goal of conserving 30% of Canada’s land and water by 2030.
SAM’s Conservation Biologist, Sam Zabudsky, and NCC’s NL Conservation Coordinator, Heather Baehre, have been busy assessing areas based on their existing municipal plan and development regulations. Areas are evaluated to determine if they can be classified as a Protected Area (PA) or Other-Effective Conservation Measures (OECM) area. Advice is then given to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, which will determine if the regions can be formally recognized. If approved, the areas would be uploaded to the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database (CPCAD), where a wide range of organizations can view them. This recognition has no impact on the existing Stewardship Agreement. We have already had several positive conversations with municipalities across Newfoundland and Labrador, and we look forward to acknowledging your conservation leadership on a National Level!
If you are interested in hearing more about this project, or having your Stewardship Areas assessed, please feel free to reach out to us:
This summer, we were very happy to be back supporting municipalities across the island in their conservation projects. Below are some highlights from SAM staff Karleena, Ashley and Sam. Want to book an engagement in your community? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Town of Whitbourne's Regatta day on July 29 was a day filled with great community conversations and enthusiastic energy. Sam delivered some updated interpretative signs to Sir Robert Bond Park, describing the unique lichen forests in the area, met with residents and presented some conservation programming. Thank you, Whitbourne, for the chance to celebrate with your community!
In July, Ashley visited the Codroy Valley Wetland Interpretation Centre to provide support/orientation to staff and assist in installing a new Codroy Valley RAMSAR Site road sign. The estuary is particularly important for waterfowl rearing and migratory habitat - specifically geese and ducks. We hope this new sign highlight's the beauty of the Codroy Valley and its spectacular habitat and wildlife.
At the end of July, Sam travelled to the Bonavista peninsula to visit the Bonavista Conservation Areas, meet with the Elliston Town Council, and provide training to the Tourism Elliston Puffin Interpreters. She completed wetland assessments in Elliston’s Conservation Areas where many shorebirds were spotted, and it was the perfect time for bakeapple picking along the trail! Thank you to everyone for the excellent conversations.
During the first week of August, Sam travelled to the SAM communities of Indian Bay, Centreville-Wareham-Trinity, New-Wes-Valley and Carmanville. In Indian Bay, Sam supported our friends at the Indian Bay Ecosystem Corporation (IBEC) in wetland assessments in the Indian Bay Brook watershed, restored some valuable Atlantic salmon habitat through tree planting and even got to spend a morning in Cape Freels (New-Wes-Valley), assisting with shorebird work. Later, she drove to Carmanville to meet with the Wetland Interpretation Centre staff and assist in delivering a youth outreach event, planted trees along the interpretation path and decorated tree planters. Thank you to all who attended this event! Before returning home, Sam attended Centreville-Wareham-Trinity’s Black’s Brook Park Day. It was fantastic to have so many great conversations with residents. We appreciate the invitation and look forward to attending this event again in the future!
Ashley returned to the Codroy Valley in August for a volunteer appreciation day at the Wetland Interpretation Centre. Working with Wetland centre staff, there was an interpretive walk and a volunteer thank you event to celebrate the successful re-opening of the center. Over 400 people from across North America had checked-in at the center this summer - the strong efforts put forth by volunteers in the community were the force that made the Wetland Interpretation Centre Grand Re-opening so successful.
Later in August, Ashley visited the towns of Lewisporte and Springdale and their Conservation Areas, and she completed some outreach at their youth summer camps on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). It was wonderful to reach so many youths on this trip, speak about Atlantic salmon and hear their personal stories.