Monday 26 August 2019

SAM Newsletter #23 Summer 2019

Stewardship at summer-camp

Many municipalities across the province have summer camps and provincial parks for kids of all ages. For SAM, camps are an excellent opportunity to talk about environmental stewardship with the next generation of NL conservationists. SAM staff were very excited to visit and deliver some stewardship programming to several summer camps this July.  
Summer-camp fun started in St. John's with a visit to the Geocenter Summer Camp. Campers went out on a foggy day and looked for birds and also played stewardship games.
The campers at the Geocenter Summer Camp got outside on a foggy July day to bird watch and play "Name that Duck" with SAM Conservation Biologist Laura King.
Enjoying nature at camp can and should be simple! SAM Staff visited Marine Park in Pouch Cove and led a nature hike around the trails. Using some of the SAM ID guides (available for FREE download on the SAM website) the participants went on a lichen adventure and made a mini collection of some of the common wildflowers found in the park.
Yogi Bear at Marine park got to hang with some of our duck ID decoys while campers explored the trails and collected some common plants using our SAM ID guidesavailable on our website
SAM staff also got to visit the Corduroy Brook Nature Camp in Grand Falls - Windsor. Staff led a nature hike with the campers, and in the evening they joined the local birding group and talked about 'ear-birding'. Corduroy Brook Nature Center is doing a great job of keeping Stewardship at the forefront of the community and recently the Green-Team at Corduroy Brook were featured on the NTV News Hour talking about their own nature and wetland based camp activities. 
SAM Staff finally made their way down to Burgeo this past July just before the start of the Sand and Sea Festival. Staff were able to partner with Sandbanks Provincial Park and lead a nature hike for residents and campers.

The provincial park is known for beautiful beaches, which is ideal habitat for one of the provinces endangered species, the Piping Plover
Enjoying the outdoors comes as second nature to the residents of Burgeo. SAM Conservation Biologist, Elisabeth Belanzaran was  able to lead a walk with some of the campers at Sandbanks Provincial Park this past July.
Adding environmental stewardship to summer camp can be as easy as leading a nature hike with SAM Id cards, doing a clean up or just having some fun playing stewardship games.

If your community has a summer camp and would like to add some stewardship to the summer, send us an email at and visit our website and check out our educational resources

SAM Network News & Updates

  • SAM Fall Meeting - Online Registration is Open Municipal members check your town's email for the official invite to the Fall 2019 SAM Meeting, being hosted by the Town of Gander. The meeting is by invite only, and is open to a representative from each SAM member. For more info check out our website.
  • Send us your snaps!   SAM Staff are always looking for pictures of our conservation areas for our newsletters and social media. If you are in your local conservation area, take a good snap and would like to share it, please send it along  with the location and date to 

The power of the partnership: SAM participates in partnered outreach

The Eastern Habitat Joint Venture (EHJV) partnerships are alive and well in Newfoundland and Labrador! This summer SAM Conservation Biologist Elisabeth (Liz) Belanzaran was able to work with the Nature Conservation of CanadaDucks Unlimited Canada and the Provincial Government on several educational and conservation projects.
The mission of the EHJV is to provide a forum where interested parties work collaboratively to coordinate and deliver effective migratory bird-habitat conservation in eastern Canada. In Newfoundland and Labrador, SAM communities play an important  role in the partnership, helping to conserve physical habitat within municipal boundaries AND supporting the social and economic benefits to society conservation creates. 
The Logos of the EHJV in NL from the SAM meeting presentation. Each SAM Meeting the partners of the EHJV deliver reports on their work in the province. 
This past June SAM Conservation Biologist Elisabeth (Liz) Belanzaran was able to partner with DUC and deliver Wetland Field Trips in SAM's newest community Corner Brook. Seven classes of grade 4 students from around the city participated in the field trips at the beautiful Corner Brook Marsh.

DUC Wetland Field Trips were also delivered in the SAM communities of SpringdaleLewisporteGrand Falls-WindsorIndian Bay, and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Bird watching, critter dipping and wetland games OH MY! SAM staff had a great time partnering with DUC staff on the wetland field trips in Corner Brook.
Liz also worked with the Nature Conservancy of Canada on several volunteer events this summer. The first event was the annual Sandy Point cleanup. Sandy Point, located in St. George's Bay,  was once a thriving community on the southwest coast of NL. Many years ago the residents of Sandy Point were resettled, but the community of St. George's still has strong ties to the area. Since 2013, NCC has been leading an annual beach cleanup and have removed almost 3000 pounds of garbage from the island. 
NCC Volunteers ready for the annual Sandy Point clean-up. Thank you Aiden Mahoney for the great images of the NCC Volunteers.
Liz also participated in a reforestation event on NCC property and a birding event in the Codroy Valley. The NCC are committed to managing the conservation needs of their properties in the province. Whenever we can SAM staff like to support this important work and contribute to the success of the program. Many NCC properties are located close to SAM communities, and the conservation of those properties help to support the bio-diversity and health of SAM Conservation Areas. 
Learning to use the tree planter or Dibble during the NCC reforestation event.
Birding workshop with NCC Volunteers in the Codroy Valley this past June.
Much of the NL conservation work being done in wetlands and for migratory birds can be attributed to the partnership of the EHJV. SAM is an important piece to the puzzle that brings together community members, conservation non-profits and government for the common goal of conservation and stewardship! Way to go SAM and here's to powerful partnerships!

Would you like to learn more about the work the EHJV does in the province? Email 

Wildlife Watching: How can SAM communities help 

There is power in numbers when it comes to watching wildlife in our communities. Bird watching or "birding" has been a popular activity since in the late 18th century and the study of birds was first popularized by the British in the Victorian Era. Today people still watch birds, but we can now contribute to global databases used to further research into the movement of animal and bird populations and climate change.
SAM Meeting particpitants bird watching during the 2018 Spring AGM in Stephenville Crossing. This area is great for spring bird watching, just check out the eBird Hotspot
The term citizen science refers to the the public participation in scientific research. It is also known as community science, crowd science, volunteer monitoring, and civil science.

Besides being great for the environment, wildlife watching is fun and can be a great community activity! Check out some of our favorite citizen science apps and activities for our province and get involved!
  • Bird Observations
  • App Available 
  • International database
  • Open year round
eBird is the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project, with more than 100 million bird sightings contributed each year by eBirders around the world. A collaborative enterprise with hundreds of partner organizations, thousands of regional experts, and hundreds of thousands of users, eBird is managed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Not sure where to begin? Check out the eBird hotspots listed on each of the
SAM community profiles.
  • Wildlife observations
  • App Available 
  • International database
  • Open year round
Every observation can contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common backyard weed. iNaturalist shares your findings with scientific data repositories like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility to help scientists find and use your data. All you have to do is observe.

For the young and the young at heart check out the Seek app powered by iNaturalist
Provincial Government Programs
  • Wildlife Observations
  • Data sheets
  • Year round
The Department of Fisheries and Land resources has several monitoring programs specifically for Newfoundland and Labrador. Click on the list below for more information.
                       1) Dragon and Damselfly monitoring 
3) Incidental sightings
        i) NL Marten
                  ii) Short-eared Owl
        iii) Wolverine
Local facebook groups
  • Wildlife observations
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Year round
There are several local facebook groups that post images and sightings of wildlife in Newfoundland and Labrador. They are a great place to get started in learning about what types of wildlife are present here in the province. Post your images and get help identifying the wildlife in your backyard!

        1) NL Birdwatching Group
           2) Insects of Newfoundland
       4) Newfoundland Wildlife
Bird Studies Canada
  • Bird observations
  • Species specific
  • Canada/North America
  • Spring and summer
By gathering information as a volunteer Citizen Scientist, you can help Bird Studies Canada understand how changes in our landscape are affecting wild bird habitats and populations, and inform decisions about conservation priorities. These programs offer engaging hands-on learning opportunities, create meaningful connections with the natural world, and foster heightened levels of environmental responsibility in new generations of scientists, leaders, and mentors.
                           1) Maritimes Marsh Monitoring Program
   2) Nocturnal Owl Survey
 3) Swifts and Swallows
               4) Canadian Lakes Loon Survey
There are many other wildlife watching or citizen science programs to get involved in provincially, nationally, and internationally.

To find out more check out our newly updated web page "Monitor Wildlife" in our recourses section, or send an email to
Copyright © 2019, Stewardship Association of Municipalities Inc., All rights reserved.

Email us at:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.