Friday 4 October 2019

SAM Newsletter #24 Fall 2019

Congratulations to the Town of Elliston on signing their Municipal Habitat Stewardship Agreement on September 26th, 2019. Pictured (L-R) MHA Craig Pardy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources Elvis Loveless, and Elliston Deputy Mayor Geraldine Baker

The Town of Elliston, SAMs 43rd Member

Elliston signed a Municipal Habitat Stewardship Agreement on September 26th, 2019, conserving over 1100 acres of wildlife habitat within their municipal boundaries. 
The signing event was hosted at town hall, and had many members of the public present. The agreement was signed by Geraldine Baker, Ellison's Deputy Mayor, and Elvis Loveless, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Land resources. Also in attendance were Elliston Councillors Alfred Chaulk and Harriet Tilley.

The Mayor of Elliston, Derek Martin, made this statement "We are pleased to partner with the Provincial Government in this special initiative that highlights our town's focus on environmental stewardship and the importance we place on increasing environmental sustainability in municipal planning."
The conservation areas protected by the Town of Elliston range from coastal nesting areas for seabirds, to puffin breeding colonies, to important wetlands. 
The stewardship agreement has designated 3 conservation areas, Island Pond, Elliston Point, and Maberly to Little Catalina trail.The areas cover a wide diversity of habitats including coastal, wetland and a puffin breeding colony. There are three eBird hotspots and over 100 bird species that nest, stage and migrate through Elliston, making it important for wildlife habitat. Some of the bird species in Elliston include waterfowl, shorebirds, seabirds, and songbirds. 
SAM stewardship table at the Elliston signing event. Lots of great ideas for stewardship action for the town!
Want to learn more about the other 42 members of SAM? Check out our website for our community profiles, which highlight each member and their conservation areas.

Want to learn more about becoming a member of SAM? Visit 

SAM Network News & Updates

  • SAM Conservation Fund Scholarship Application is ONLINE  the 2020 scholarship deadline is May 1st, 2020. The $1000 scholarship recognizes a student from Newfoundland and Labrador that has a passion for environmental conservation and stewardship work in their community. For more info on how to apply visit our website
  • Apply for Funding!  Looking to get your next environmental stewardship project off the ground in your community? Visit our "Apply for Funding" page and you will find over 50 potential funding grants! Need help? Email for more info.
  • Send us your snaps   SAM Staff are always looking for pictures of our conservation areas for our newsletters, social media, website and educational materials. 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 
Stewardship Spotlight
Come-By-Chance, Silver Anniversary of Stewardship
Come-By-Chance signed its Municipal Habitat Stewardship Agreement in 1995 protecting 470 acres. Although the town only has one conservation area, it is very important habitat for many species of wildlife. The conservation area is an estuary, known as the Come-By-Chance Gut. It includes the riparian zone that surrounds the estuary, the islands, as well as a coastal pond west of the Gut, known as Gilbert's Pond. This pond has been identified as a significant breeding and brood raising area for Green-wing Teal and American Black Ducks. 

Within the conservation area, the habitat is diverse and can support many different types of bird species, including shorebirds, songbirds and raptors. More than 70 species of birds have been spotted and the area is an eBird hotspot. It is especially important area for shorebirds, who flock to the area to take advantage of the rich feeding habitat provided by the estuary during inter-tidal periods.

Over the years the Town Council and Staff of Come by Chance have continued to ensure the area remains protected from development while enhancing the Come By Chance Trail to allowing residents to enjoy the area.  
Congratulations Come-By-Chance on 25 years of
Wildlife Habitat Stewardship!
Over 30 people were in attendance for the SAM Fall Meeting 2019, representing 19 municipalities, and 4 partners of the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture

Gander hosts the 2019 Fall Meeting

We would like to thank the Town of Gander for hosting the 2019 Fall SAM meeting on September 20 - 21, 2019. Over 30 municipal and partner representatives attended the weekends activities.
Beautiful buffers on Cobb's Pond. Keeping pond edges intact is very important for nesting and breeding birds and waterfowl. They are also high in plant diversity, and can include aquatic, peatland, and upland plant species. 
The weekend started with the Friday night meet and greet on Cobb's Pond. Cobb's Pond is a conservation area set aside by the Town of Gander in 1993. Since then, Gander has grown and new neighborhoods have been developed, but because of the stewardship agreement the pond has remained intact and has become a hub of recreational, cultural and environmental activities for the community.

Gander also has three other conservation areas, Whitmans Pond, Peytons Pond and Northwest Bog. These untouched areas help to support nesting, breeding, and migrating waterfowl and birds. 
Pictured above: Great weather and great company walking the boardwalk around Cobb's Pond. Pictured below (L) - Pat Woodford welcomes SAM Representatives to the Meeting; (R) Returning to the Cobbs Pond Rotary Park building to a beautiful sunset and evening entertainment.
Our evening began with a welcoming address by Gander Councillor Pat Woodford. After the address, SAM representatives strapped on their walking shoes and followed SAM Staff on the Cobb's Pond Boardwalk. The 4 km loop got the conversation started and representatives returned to the Cobb's Pond Rotary Park building for some refreshments and entertainment.

Saturday morning started early with the meeting held in the Gander fire hall. Over 30 people participated in the meeting and everyone was given a chance to update the group on stewardship work being done across the province. We heard about town and beach clean ups, community vegetable gardens in full bloom, and new infrastructure installed to encourage healthy lifestyles and environments.

We also listened to the challenges member municipalities face surrounding managing development, wastewater and sewer infrastructure and garbage management. We are continually encouraged to hear how our members seek to implement environmentally sound decision making in relation to these significant provincial issues.  
Great to see so many communities represented around the table at the SAM Fall Meeting. The meeting was held in the Gander Fire Hall.
Meeting participants also got to hear from the EHJV partners, SAM Staff, and two guest speakers. The first guest speaker was Stephen Chase from the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation (ASCF). Applications for 2020 ASCF projects are now available. To learn more about this funding opportunity visit the ASCF website or get in touch with Stephen at .

Participants also heard from Bird Studies Canada (BSC) staff member, Catherine Dale. BSC is a prominent player in other joint ventures across North America, so it was great to hear they are working towards producing a Breeding Bird Atlas for Newfoundland and Labrador. If you want to learn more about Breeding Bird Atlases and how you can get involved in NL you can contact Catherine at 
Ed Blackmore from the Thomas Howe Demonstration Forest pointing out features of the Boreal Forest to SAM Meeting Representatives.
After the meeting the representatives met up for the group outting at the Thomas Howe Demonstration Forest. Our tour was led by long time Thomas Howe steward Edward Blackmore. 
After the outing, representatives returned to the Gander Fire Hall for the Saturday evening Networking Dinner, a BBQ prepared by the Gander firefighters.

The Town of Gander was well represented at the dinner with several Councillors in attendance and the Mayor, Percy Farwell. The town also invited a key note speaker, Kate Brown, a grade 11 student who is part of the Gander Youth Environmental Organization. Kate spoke passionately on climate change and urged the municipal leaders in the room to take action. 

We are proud to say that SAM's member communities share her vision and have taken steps to mitigate climate change impacts. One central example is that many towns habitat stewardship agreements protect valuable coastal wetlands, buffers from coastal sea level rise and increased erosion from storm damage. Further, keeping wetlands intact serves to prevent the significant release of carbon emissions when wetlands are developed or damaged.
Mayor Percy Farwell accepting a thank you gift on behalf of the Town of Gander from SAM for hosting the 2019 SAM Fall Meeting. A big thank you to the staff of the Town of Gander for their assistance during the weekends events.
Thank you to the Town of Gander for hosting a great meeting. We encourage all SAM Representatives to report back to their town councils the outcomes of the weekends meetings and continue to be excellent stewards of wildlife habitat in the province.

For more information about the SAM Meetings visit our website at
Copyright © 2019, Stewardship Association of Municipalities Inc., All rights reserved.

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