Dear AWARE Supporters,
We have a fantastic schedule for you in the coming weeks, check out the following poster for details:
Help us to reach $5000 in donations to Whistler charities
The SHARE Whistler campaign is approaching the end of our second week of the 5 week campaign. The campaign encourages donations to Whistler charities this holiday season through the Community Foundation of Whistler.
Pique Newsmagazine and Prior are offering an amazing incentive to donate!
Donate at least $50 to one of our SHARE Whistler local charities and you receive a chance to win a Prior snowboard or pair of skis.
Draws are taking place each Wednesday during the campaign. There are 4 more draws to go!
Your donation will work doubly hard to benefit the community:
Each donation is matched by Pique Newsmagazine with a donation to the foundation’s Community Fund.
Campaign dates: November 29, 2012-January 1, 2013
For all the details and to donate visit http://www.whistlerfoundation.com/itoolkit.asp?pg=SHARE_WHISTLER
Bringing Science and Passion Together
October 2012 saw AWARE hosting it’s Old Forest Symposium. The symposium sought to give those who are passionate about old forests and old trees access to the most up to date scientific thinking and research regarding these unique ecosystems.
At the symposium attendees learned how our current forest classification system groups all trees over 250 years into an old growth category, even though there are vast differences between a forest that is 251 years old and a forest stand that has been untouched for thousands of years. Not only are the trees themselves vastly different but the habitat they provide differs, with some species preferring the more open old forests over more closely packed younger forests. Curtis Bjork, a renowned botanist and lichenologist, gave a presentation on lichens that exist in forests and shared research demonstrating how specific species prefer old trees and so could be used to identify the age of forests. Even dead trees have value as they fall to the forest floor (and create course woody debris) of remain standing, creating habitats for nesting birds such as woodpeckers, fungi and other wildlife.
Presentations by Ken Lertzman, of the Simon Fraser University School of Resource and Environmental Management, on the Sunday and Monday sessions gave attendees a regional context to BC’s forestry history and the background to other communities Eco-based Management approaches as well as providing the detail on the variety of events that impact many of our forests such as fire, disease or more recently logging. Andy MacKinnon, of the BC Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resources , re-wrote his original presentation after the Q&A session that closed out the Sunday evening part of the symposium, to focus on a new title discussing ‘Old Growth – How much is enough?’. As a registered professional forester and a research ecologist Andy directly addressed some of the questions that Whistler community members had raised and went further to make recommendations for the future.
Co-organiser for the event, Bob Brett of Snowline Research, presented preliminary findings of a study into tree ages in the Callaghan Valley and tied this in to previous studies he had done in and around Whistler. These results highlighted the importance of the differentiation between 250 year old trees and the ancient trees that still exist in some areas around Whistler.
We hope to provide video snippets from the event shortly as well as the slideshows from each presentations.
The Old Forest Symposium would not have been possible without funding granted by the Community Foundation of Whistler and guest scientists Ken Lertzman, Andy MacKinnon and Curtis Bjork to take a break from busy schedules and committing to be involved. The involvement of local businesses allowed the expansion of the event to include a site visit to the Ancient Cedars. This would not have been possible without the support of Whistler Eco Tours, Nicklaus North Golf Course and Creekside Market, who donated staff, vehicles, space and lunches to the event.
Andy Mackinnon addresses the question of ‘How much Old Growth is enough?’
Local Biologist Bob Brett and Andy MacKinnon take attendees on an ecological exploration during the Ancient Cedars site visit.
Event organisers Bob Brett (Snowline Research) and Claire Ruddy (AWARE President) kneel front and centre of the site visit attendees and an ancient cedar.
This years AWARE Annual General Meeting will take place on Sunday October 14th, at 6:30pm at the Maurice Young Millennium Place. The AGM will be followed by the opening session of the Old Forest Symposium being hosted by AWARE (7:30pm start).
AWARE members and the public are able to freely attend the AGM, though only paid members have a voting right. AWARE requests that all current, active and past members looking to renew please attend the AGM in order to re-elect those board members who have expressed an interest in continuing to serve on the AWARE Board. There will be a vote to change terms of directorship to a two year period (currently one year) and a vote to elect new Board members to maintain a vibrant, healthy and diverse board who represent the interests of the community and have the range of skills required to steer AWARE into the future. Membership dues ($10) can be paid at the door (cash only) and donations for funding AWARE projects and initiatives are always welcome.
AWARE is looking to appoint six new directors and particularly would like to have someone with the background to take on Treasurer and also an experienced Fundraiser. The deadline for director applications is 10th Oct 2012. Completed applications need to be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear AWARE members & supporters,
We’re only 1 week away from this year’s Bioblitz – 2 Days of immersion in Whistler’s incredible environment acompanied by a plethora of local and out of town scientists and experts.
NOTICE: Kids Club this Sunday will be joining Bioblitz and the “Swamp Monster” activities. Meet at Alpha Lake Park or at the usual meeting spot – Whistler Library 10am to catch the bus down the Alpha Lake Park. See you all there!
BioBlitz is a 24-hour race against the clock to count as many species as possible––mammals, birds, plants, frogs, fish, bugs––you name it. A BioBlitz introduces people to real (and fun) science and the amazing diversity surrounding us.The concept of BioBlitz was created by Harvard biodiversity icon E.O. Wilson to raise awareness of the huge diversity of animals and plants, even in developed areas. Since its creation, annual BioBlitzes have spread throughout North America. The Whistler Naturalists are proud to have presented the first BioBlitz here in 2007.
The BioBlitz targets alpine and valley ecosystems across Whistler. Results from the BioBlitz will contribute to the Whistler Biodiversity Project, a multi-year, multi-group effort to catalogue and protect our native biodiversity. The genius of BioBlitz is it takes a fun and competitive approach to science. The 24-hour, round-the-clock format leads to a frenzy of activity as the number of organisma grows ever higher. There will be something to entice people of all ages at numerous survey sites.
More Information & Schedule: http://www.whistlerbioblitz.ca/
The AWARE Kids Nature Club meets the last Sunday of every month from 10am-11:30am at the Whistler Public Library. This months topic is BIKES. The RCMP have partnered with us to provide a Bike Rodeo – where kids will learn bike safety tips. Children will also learn why biking is good for the environment, how to take care of their bike, and how to fix a flat tire.
The days events are geared towards children ages 5-11, but the bike rodeo portion is open to all ages. Children will learn how to ride safely, how to make hand signals, and will have their helmets fitted correctly.
All the events will take place rain or shine, in the underground parking of the Library.
***** Participants must bring a bike and helmet to take part
Dear AWARE friends & supporters, we’ve got a great April 7 May planned and hope you can join us:
Tuesday April 24th
Creekbread Fundraiser for the AWARE Kids Nature Club. Join us to combine two fabulous activities – raising funds and eating pizza! A portion of funds from all pizzas sold between 5pm and 9pm will be donated to AWARE and there are raffle prizes up for grabs.
Sunday April 29th
AWARE Kids Nature Club at Whistler Library, 10am – 11:30am. These fun and activity based monthly sessions get kids learning about all things environmental. This month’s focus is loosely based around the celebration of last weekend’s Earth Day. The sessions are intended for ages 5-12 and all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Wednesday May 2nd
AWARE Public Meeting featuring the Whistler Centre for Sustainability, 6pm – 8pm. This meeting sees the return of AWARE’s public meeting thanks to an offer from the Whistler Museum to provide a long-term venue. As well as an update from AWARE the Centre will be presenting on the importance of sustainability planning in Whistler and other communities. The meeting will be informal and there will be lots of opportunity for open discussion and asking questions.
Green Drinks at Blacks Pub, 8pm – 10pm. This monthly informal get together allows for discussion of all things green over free Granville Island Beer and appies. Discussions can continue from the public meeting and spill into other topics such as the proposed WhistlerU development on the Zen upland areas and wider ranging issues such as Enbridge pipelines, national policy changes and worldwide events!
Saturday May 5th
Is ‘Pitch In Day’. This is the day when you see the luminous vest lining the streets as volunteers from various community groups get stuck in to cleaning up the streets of Whistler now the snow has melted. AWARE focuses on areas around Nesters and White Gold and the more the merrier. If you would like to get involved we will be meeting outside Nesters Market at 8:30am. Bags and vests will be provided, we will have gloves also but if you have some work gloves that fit and you are comfortable using we would recommend bringing those along. Funds from recycling and collection are donated to AWARE, so this is a fun way to be outdoors and raise funds.