Walk With The Smolts Festival

Walking with the Smolts Festival
Friday May 25
9:30 am to 2:30 pm
Seton River Lower Spawning Channel, Lillooet
(behind Lightfoot/Chevron Gas Station – see parking info below)
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ACTIVITIES
The site will be set up with 26 activity stations and you are free to wander and join any activities you are interested in.  You will be provided with a booklet and map when you enter the festival that gives more detail.
11:30 am   Raptor Show – the only scheduled show
The Duncan Raptor Centre will be joining us this year for an exciting show!  The students will be introduced to 3-4 different raptors and have the opportunity to watch them fly across the spawning channels while the staff speak about them. This is very exciting and should ignite a passion for the birds in your students.  The show will be approximately 30 – 45 minutes long.
 
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BUSES, VEHICLES, DROP-OFF, PARKING and PICK-UP:
  • Please note that there is NO parking at the site or at Lightfoot Gas Station.  Buses and vehicles can drop people off at the site by following the signs.  Then buses and vehicles can park just down the road at the old Shantyman/Pizzarama site (again there will be signs to direct you).
  • A shuttle bus will then transport any drivers or other community members who are coming back to the event.
  • At the end of the student’s day the buses can come back to the pick-up location to load students.
  • THANKS FOR YOUR HELP, WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ALL!!

Moss Ball Workshop

It’s a beautiful day here at Splitrock Environmental!

Mother’s Day is coming up fast and we have another amazing work shop happening this Saturday May,12th with the talented Marilyn Swain making moss balls, cost is $10.00 and the workshop will start at noon using flowers from the nursery. If you would like more information or to sign up for this work shop please contact Splitrock Environmental at 250-256-0002.

Beautiful day

It’s a beautiful day here at Splitrock Environmental.

Mother’s Day is coming up fast we have many perennial flowers in bloom. Right now would be the best time to come pick up your mother’s Day gifts from the nursery or you can find us at the Farmers Market this Friday.

Mother’s Day Plant Sale

Starting May,8/2018 Ending  May, 13/2018

1gl – 8.50 NOW 7.50

6″-  6.50 NOW 5.50

ON ALL PLANTS!!!!!!

excluding plugs..

.

There is also another amazing work shop happening this Saturday May,12th with the talented Marilyn Swain making moss balls, cost is $10.00 and the workshop will start at noon using flowers from the nursery. If you would like more information or to sign up for this work shop please contact Splitrock Environmental at 250-256-0002.

Spring planting is here

It’s a beautiful day down here at Splitrock Environmental come on down for a visit.

Pick up your natural plants for your yard “its spring” !!!!!now is the time to plant before it gets too hot….

we offer a variety of plants that will be good for xeriscaping your yard or to spruce it up with some color.

You can also enjoy a beautiful walk along the spawning channel.

Ethnobotanical Trails

Some exciting things are happening this week at Splitrock Environmental, the new Ethnobotanical trails are under way. The crews are working very hard at getting them done, so you can enjoy a beautiful walk through the lower spawning channel. With a look out being built as well as some wonderful sitting areas being developed and installed along the trails. You will be able to take a brake and soak in the views that the lower spawning channel has to offer.

 

A Condo at the Lower Spawning Channel

The foundation has been poured and the frame is up for the first condo at the Lower Spawning Channels… A bat condo!

Bats are perhaps one of the most elusive and under-appreciated species found within the Seton Corridor. Being a bat isn’t easy – with their pointy ears, bizarre upside-down sleeping habits, and their iconic role in the movie Dracula, bats inspire fear in many people. However, bats are really quite harmless and fill a critical role in our ecosystem.

Here are some of our favorite “bat facts”:

  1. Bats will live for up to 30 years! 
  2. Bats are the only mammal that can fly. Although they are often confused with birds, bats are in fact more closely related to humans. This means that they deliver live young (called pups) and breast feed. 
  3. A bat will typically have one pup per year. Because bats will sleep hanging from the ceiling, pups have to learn quickly how to hold on to their mother in the roost or they fall.
  4. Bats can eat over 1000 mosquitos per hour (and no – they won’t suck your blood). Promoting good bat habitat near your home is therefore a great way to control mosquitos. 

We have confirmed that there are at least 12 species of bats in Lillooet, many of which are listed as threatened or critically endangered in Canada. To help improve bat habitat in the Seton Corridor, Splitrock Environmental, in partnership with the Lillooet Naturalist Society, has started construction on our first bat condo. 

The bat condo will be installed near the Lower Spawning Channel. This is a great spot since many species of bats have been observed to actively use the spawning channels. Once finished, the bat condo will house hundreds of bats. Pictured below is the metal frame on which the condo will sit. The condo will be installed on top of the post soon – check back on our website or visit the spawning channels to see the finished product within the next few months. 

If you are interested in learning more about bats or learning how you can install a bat house near your home, take a look at the following links:

http://www.bcbats.ca/

http://www.lillooetnaturalistsociety.org/bats

The framework for a new bat condo. Photo credit: Vivian Birch-Jones, Lillooet Naturalist Society.

What are we up to….

Well, 2018 has officially started, and with it, brought a time for reflecting, planning, and reporting at Splitrock Environmental.

This last year was an adventure to say the least. Although field work has finished, our team now has thousands of data points, photos, and maps to parse through.

Alicia conducting a statistical analysis of vegetation data

Over the next few months, our Biologists, Environmental Technicians, and GIS team will be hard at work analyzing data, writing reports, and making recommendations based off of the 2017 work.

Take a look at some of our past projects here, and check back soon to see some of our 2017 work!

In addition to finishing 2017 projects, a significant amount of time each winter is invested into strategic planning and preparing for the upcoming year. Each January we set aside time to reflect on the previous years’ work and identify opportunities to improve on our skills and experiences. Kim and Jessica have invested a considerable effort into updating our safety protocols, selecting training courses for our Environmental Technicians and Biologists, and ensuring the resources are in place for an exciting and successful year. Also, our Biologists have already started developing field sampling procedures and ordering equipment for upcoming projects in 2018.

Although the bulk of our field work won’t start for several more months, watch for these upcoming projects:

  • Starting over the next few weeks, some of our staff will be bracing the cold to conduct fuel management work in the hills around Lillooet
  • As the salmon fry start to leave the spawning channels on their journey for the Ocean, Splitrock will be conducting smolt outmigration surveys to estimate the number of smolts successfully leaving the Lower and Upper Spawning Channel. This work will start in mid-February and will continue until May.

Odin elbow deep in field notes and vegetation data

Kim and Jessica reviewing a project proposal for upcoming work.

Daryn and John elbow deep in old land use reports for the Seton Corridor.

 

 

The Tales of the Tracks

While it may seem that winter is a quiet time in the Seton Corridor as may species hunker down and hibernate during the cold winter months, to the careful observer, the landscape is full of activity. The carpet of snow covering our landscape provides a unique opportunity to peer into the daily trials, tribulations, and adventures of wildlife in the winter.

Species such as deer and birds continue to meander in and around our spawning channels as they look for food and water during the winter months. As wildlife interacts with their landscape, they leave behind signs that they were there. Signs can include snags of hair on a fence or tree branch, animal feces or scat, scratch or chew marks on tree trunks, or feathers.
However, in the snow (or mud) we can see perhaps the most noticeable signs of wildlife – their tracks.

To the creative observer, tracks and other signs that wildlife leave behind can be read almost like a story. In many cases, this story is short and sweet, merely telling us that a species has passed by. For example, these bird tracks found outside Splitrock are perhaps a crow looking for a snack, or maybe a raven on its way home.

But sometimes, if you are lucky, the signs left behind by wildlife can provide a momentary peak into something more exciting.

Here there was a struggle – you can see the light impressions of wings beating against the snow as well as a flurry of feathers that have been left behind. Perhaps this is the signs of a Chukar that was taken by a larger bird of prey, or maybe a mouse that was found hibernating under the snow.

By following animal tracks, we can learn a great deal about the wildlife that live in this area.  Before the snow all melts, find a chance to take a walk outside and do some detective work on what story the tracks near your home are telling you.