Monday 4 December 2023

SAM Newsletter #40 - Winter 2023


Fergus Island, Bay Roberts

2023 Fall Business Meeting

Thank you to the Town of Bay Roberts municipal staff, Mayor and Town Councillors for being such amazing hosts for our 2023 Fall Business Meeting! We are grateful for all your efforts in organizing and delivering a wonderful meeting - your support and participation was really appreciated. We thoroughly enjoyed the tours of the Bay Roberts Gardens and Marketplace followed by the Meet and Greet at the Bay Roberts Visitor Information Center, the tour of the Shearstown Community Garden, and the Toutons and Tunes along Shoreline Heritage Walking Trail on Sunday morning. Also, thank you to Ducks Unlimited Canada and Natural Assets Initiative for supporting the information session on Friday afternoon, "An Introduction to Municipal Natural Asset Management". We would also like to thank each of the municipal representatives for coming and participating in the weekend events - your engagement always strengthens our organization. 
Attendees of the 2023 SAM Fall Business Meeting in the Town of Bay Roberts
We would like to specifically recognize the efforts below who helped contribute:
2023 SAM Fall Business Meeting in the Town of Bay Roberts
The SAM 2024 Spring AGM will be hosted by in Central Newfoundland. Is your municipality interested in hosting? Please reach out to We look forward to seeing you all there.

SAM Environmental Steward Award Winner!

Madeleine Florent, a resident of Torbay, was recently awarded the SAM Environmental Steward Community Champion Award at the Fall Business Meeting in Bay Roberts, NL. This award recognizes an individual’s significant initiative or achievement in environmental stewardship in NL. This individual’s actions will have had a positive environmental impact, proving to be a key force in conserving the environment, and bringing us one step closer to a greener future.
Community Champion Award Winner, Madeleine Florent with SAM Board of Directors Chair, Pat Woodford
Thank you Madelaine for your commitment to conservation, as demonstrated through:
  • Fighting environmental issues and for the protection of sensitive and valuable areas (including walking trails and wetlands) within her municipality and beyond for many years;
  • Involved with the schools in Torbay: she was part of building the outdoor classroom gazebo in The Gully, and was instrumental in organizing the high school environmental group “Friends of The Gully”, who are responsible for many environmental projects at the school;
  • Part of the Torbay Environment and Trails Committee (TETC), working hand-in-hand with the Torbay Town Council on a number of projects, including Student Summer Works Projects on the Father Troy Trail (part of the East Coast Trail (ECT)), and maintaining the parts of the ECT that run through Torbay;
  • Routinely organizes maintenance outings and recreational hikes, hoping to introduce people to the joys of hiking along the beautiful Torbay coastline;
  • Served on the Torbay Beach Committee, advising the Town Council on ways of restoring the historic and oldest part of Torbay, and on ways of protecting it for future generations;
  • Devoted many hours to attending meetings with the government and community groups addressing issues such as blocked walking trails, quarry legislation, etc.;
  • Active and effective within the East Toast Trail Association, assisting communities in the to incorporate protection of the East Coast Trail in their Municipal Plans;
  • An impressive fund-raiser for the annual East Coast Trail Association Trailraiser event;
  • Participated in improving areas around Torbay: tree planting The Gully on land that was purchased by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and assisting Friends of The Gully Environment Club in installing nesting boxes in a Stewardship Zone.
Representatives from the Town of Torbay at the 2023 SAM Fall Business Meeting
(Left to Right: Roberta Hicks, Julia Schwarz, Helen Spencer, Madeleine Florent and Shirley Thorne)
Do you know of an individual, group, organization or business who has gone above and beyond in their community? 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.

CLIMAtlantic Coastal Adaptation Toolkit

Free resource for municipalities.
CLIMAtlantic’s Coastal Adaptation Toolkit (CAT) is a free resource that was developed to help Atlantic rural coastal communities and property owners plan for the effects of climate change in their coastal environment. The intent of the toolkit is to help communities and decision-makers, as well as coastal property owners, be aware of their coastal environment, the different adaptation options available to them, and the applicability of the options under different scenarios. It is appropriate for use by those experiencing coastal issues related to erosion and/or short- and long-term flooding impacts. After answering a series of questions, users will receive adaptation advice specifically tailored to their needs! Find the Toolkit here.

Fall Engagement

Below are some highlights from SAM staff Karleena, Ashley, Sam, and Zach on recent engagements with Muncipalities. Want to book an engagement in your community? Email
On September 20, SAM headed to the beautiful Town of George's Brook-Milton to celebrate the signing of their Stewardship Agreement! The event took place on a wonderful sunny day, with a guided bird walk, inspirational talks and a delicious BBQ lunch. It was a pleasure to meet some local high school students, MHA Craig Pardy, and many residents of George's Brook-Milton. A special thank you to Paul Richards, Courtney Follett, Mayor Morgan Ellis and Deputy Mayor Bruce Phillips for organizing and hosting such a lovely event. We at SAM are excited to see what our future partnership holds for conservation in the Town of George's Brook-Milton!
Celebrating George's Brook-Milton
On September 21, SAM headed to the historic Town of Harbour Grace! SAM had the privilege to be hosted at Kearney Tourist Chalet and celebrate the agreement surrounded by historical Harbour Grace artifacts. A day complete with geocaching, a guided bird walk, conversation and cake, SAM had an outstanding time with residents and the Earhart's 50+ Club. Thank you to Economic Development Officer Matthew McCarthy and Town Councillor Gordon Stone for your dedication throughout the Agreement Process and hosting such an inspiring get-together. SAM is excited to work closely with the Town of Harbour Grace to accomplish their conservation goals moving forward!
Celebrating Harbour Grace
On October 14th, the scenic Town of Pasadena celebrated their new Stewardship Agreement. The celebration was held at Pasadena Ski and Nature Park and began with a quick presentation about the municipal habitat stewardship program and what the new agreement meant for the town. We then had some time to mingle and do some fun stewardship activities including a Duck ID game, followed by a BBQ and cake. Local MHA Scott Reid, Mayor Darren Gardner, Malcolm Turner - VP of Pasadena Ski and Nature Park, and Darren Sheppard - SAM Director and Executive Director of Indian Bay Ecosystems Corporation (IBEC), were all present to celebrate and recognize the achievement of the town. We ended the event with unveiling two new signs for the town to advertise their agreement and to outline the important habitat and species found in their conservation areas. We extend a huge thank you to the Pasadena Ski and Nature Park for all their help in organizing the event and to the Town of Pasadena for their efforts made to become a member of SAM.
Celebrating Pasadena
On November 4, the beautiful Town of Irishtown-Summerside celebrated their new Stewardship Agreement. We were happy to see so much support from the community and started the event with a song performed by the Northshore Aboriginal Group, followed by a presentation by Jonathan Sharpe of the Provincial Wildlife Division who outlined the importance of the new agreement and the municipal habitat stewardship program in general. Following this we enjoyed a BBQ thanks to volunteers from the town, cake, and then a speech from Mayor Peter Parson. We ended the event with Mayor Parson and MHA Eddie Joyce, unveiling the town's new interpretive and road signs. We are excited to continue working with the Town of Irishtown-Summerside to support their conservation and their stewardship efforts. 
Celebrating Irishtown-Summerside
At the end of October, SAM employees Karleena Squires and Sam Zabudsky attended the first-ever Municipalities of Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL) Conference Poster Session and, the returning, World CafĂ©. The theme of this year's event was "Toward a Sustainable Future", and it was inspiring to see the work that organizations and individuals are completing toward the goal of sustainability. It was an excellent chance to connect with existing and potential municipalities, and SAM had a great time chatting with the attendees. We look forward to joining this event again in the future!
Municipalities of Newfoundland and Labrador Conference Poster Session
Our summer outreach season may be over, but the outreach events never stop for SAM!
SAM's Conservation Biologist Sam presented to a group of eager Beavers in Conception Bay South. Outreach Coordinator Karleena visited several groups including some Grade 2 classes at MacDonald Drive Elementary in St. John's, some Grade 7 classes at Brookside Intermediate in Portugal Cove-St. Philips, a Beavers Group in St. John's, and a Girl Guide Group in Paradise!
Town of Bauline Climate Action Awareness Day Event
In September, Outreach Coordinator Karleena also assisted the Town of Bauline with organizing their Climate Action Awareness Day Event!
Christmas Bird Counts
Started in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is North America’s longest-running Citizen Science project. People in more than 2000 locations throughout the Western Hemisphere participate in the CBC each year. The information collected by thousands of CBC volunteer participants forms one of the world’s largest sets of wildlife survey data. The results are used by conservation biologists, environmental planners, and naturalists to assess the population trends and distribution of birds.
Upcoming CBCs - contact NatureNL for details:
  • St. John's: December 26th, 2023
Inspired by the well-loved, traditional Christmas Bird Count, the CBC4Kids engages new generations of young birders across North America. CBC4Kids events and outings are coordinated locally by naturalist or community groups, or at schools, throughout December and January. Findings are submitted through an online checklist and reported to Nature Counts and eBird Canada, where they can be used in scientific research. Note: these are designed for kids and adults of any age, no birding experience required!
Upcoming CBC4Kids:
More details will be shared on our social media pages leading up to these events.
Species Spotlight
Species of importance found within SAM’s Conservation Areas
The Boreal Chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus) is a small songbird that can be spotted throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. The Boreal Chickadee can be easily confused with its cousin from the same genus, the Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) which can be also be found within Newfoundland, but whose range doesn’t extend into Labrador. Overall, the range of the Boreal Chickadee is more northern than that of the Black-capped Chickadee. Importantly, the Boreal Chickadee is a priority non-waterfowl landbird species for the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture (EHJV). Targeting conservation of their important coniferous forest habitats through land securement will support this species population across the eastern half of the continent.
Left: Boreal Chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus) / Right: Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
The two species can be easily differentiated by their coloring with the Boreal Chickadee having brown coloring (or “cap”) at the top of its head, while the Black-capped Chickadee has a black “cap” like its name suggests. The songs of both birds have a similar melody, but Boreal Chickadees have a much raspier tone compared to their Black-capped relative.
Boreal Chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus)
Photo Courtesy of: Blair Dudeck (eBird)
The Boreal Chickadee lives in primarily coniferous forests where they eat seeds and insects. Boreal Chickadees are found in many of SAM’s Conservation Areas including but not limited to those in the Towns of WhitbourneSpringdalePortugal Cove-St. PhillipsNew-Wes-Valley, and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Social Media
Did you know? You can follow SAM on a variety of Social Media Platforms!
Check us out on FacebookInstagram and Twitter @SAM_Stewardship

2022 Stewardship Anniversaries

We would like to recognize some significant
Municipal Habitat Stewardship Agreement signing anniversaries.
Congratulations and we look forward to many more years of
conservation and stewardship!

30 years since signed (1993)

25 years since signed (1998)
Grand Falls-Windsor

20 years since signed (2003)
Channel-Port aux Basques

15 years since signed (2008)
St. Anthony
Hawke's Bay

10 years since signed (2013)
Frenchman's Cove
St. Lawrence

5 years since signed (2018)
Corner Brook
Do you have a conservation story you would like to see featured in a future newsletter? Send an email with the details to!
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Contact us:
Stewardship Association of Municipalities
36 Patrick's Path - Torbay, NL - A1K 1J2