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President's Corner

For those who did not attend the annual general meeting in March here is a brief summary of the Society's activities in 2017. You will find the annual report for the Young Naturalists, led by Greg Fenty, and for the Golden Eagles, coordinated by Hilda Noton, in this edition of the newsletter. Both groups are very active so I thought you would like to know what the young and the young at heart did this past year.

An objective of the Society is to promote the appreciation of nature and encourage a deeper knowledge of it through observation and education. In 2017, we participated in the Native Plant Society's Master Naturalist Citizen Science module, presented nine events during the 2017 Nature City Festival and helped the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre's Garden Patch conduct a Bioblitz at their garden. In addition to providing beginner bird watching and wildflower identification courses, one of our members gave a presentation about backyard birding to the Mayfair Hub Club and gave a three week introductory bird watching class to Saskatoon Council on Aging registrants. Kids in Nature Grants in 2017 were awarded to Meewasin's Dark Sky Night event, the Nature City Festival School Program and a Wildlife Federation program. The field trip committee, chaired by Stan Shadick, organized an impressive fifty three bird, botany and insect field trips and six bird counts.

The third edition of "The Guide to Nature Viewing Sites in and around Saskatoon" was reprinted. By the way, if you buy your copy from us more of the proceeds of the sale are returned to the Society.

We supported nature conservation by sending letters to the former Meewasin CEO and former Board Chair regarding our concerns about loss of habitat, and sent a letter to Mayor and Council thanking the City for additional financial support for Meewasin. Several of our members continue to be involved with the Swale Watchers, and members have provided input to the Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth (P4G) Regional Plan that will guide future growth in the region. We have provided input at stakeholder meetings about protecting the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation area.

As of year end we have 336 paid memberships, including 133 family memberships ranging from two to five family members. Newsletters are mailed to seven societies and emailed to the Mayor and all Councilors. More than half of the newsletters are being sent via E-mail. Thank you to those members who have switched from paper to electronic newsletters, helping us save paper, postage and volunteer time. We rely increasingly on social media for communicating with the community. Sara Bryson is coordinating Facebook posts for field trips. Thanks to Dale Jefferson who created and managed our Facebook page for several years.

Thank you to all of the Society volunteers who contribute to the success of the Society. We say good bye and thank you to outgoing Board and field trip committee member, Joshua Erikson who has moved to Nunavut to work with Parks Canada. Thank you to Joan Feather who handled publications for several years. Welcome to new Board members Alice Hiller, Kathy Meeres and Joe Stookey.

Valerie Martz
SNS President

Last updated: 18 April, 2018