On Saturday July 24th, 2021 Plenty Canada, along with the Youth Circle for Mother Earth (YCME), hosted a “Two-Eyed Seeing BioBlitz” event at our land-based learning CampUs in Lanark, Ontario. This event was part of the YCME’s youth led BioBlitz across Ontario (view link below for more details). The event was a continuation of a webinar presented on July 19th by Gary Pritchard where he discussed the meaning of a “Two-Eyed BioBlitz” and conservation through an Indigenous perspective.
The goal was to get outside, reconnect with the land, and identify as many species as possible. The data collected is being used to create the foundation for an inventory of the aquatic and forest-based ecosystems encompassed by the Algonquin nature preserve that surrounds the Plenty Canada CampUs. Five eager youth participants joined the Plenty Canada team and Gary Pritchard for the day, where we were able to successfully identify over 120 species. The majority of species identified were plants, followed by insects, trees, and birds. Some of the coolest sightings of the day include a red fox, female American pelecinid wasp, Eastern tiger swallowtail, Northern leopard frog, and meadowhawks.
Participants also benefited from learning about the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous peoples of Canada, reconciliation, and our innate responsibility to the land and Mother Earth from elder Larry McDermott, Plenty Canada’s executive director. In addition, the group heard about the everyday adventures of an Indigenous conservation ecologist from Gary Pritchard. We would like to extend our gratitude to all participants and staff who made this event possible. We also acknowledge the financial support of TD Ready Commitment, Government of Canada, and the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada. Miigwetch, thank you!
For more information regarding the YCME youth led BioBlitz across Ontario, please visit Plenty Canada’s website: Youth Circle For Mother Earth Ontario BioBlitz 2021
— Emily Morris, Invasive Species Summer Technician and Martina Albert, Reconciliation, Tree Planting, and Carbon Offsetting Intern