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President's Corner

As I begin my term, I am encouraged by the knowledge that the Society has a strong membership base with many active members who donate their valuable time to various projects both big and small. The level of engagement of our members is amazing. It allows the Society to provide a wide range of programs and to raise the awareness in the community of the importance of nature in an urban environment. It is not surprising that a recent Statistics Canada report noted that the volunteer rate across Canada was the highest in Saskatchewan (56 percent), and was significantly higher than the national average of 44 percent. Our community benefits by volunteerism, especially in times when governments have reduced support for some services.

On behalf of the Society I would like to thank Marten Stoffel for his leadership as President these past two years, and his ongoing commitment to the Society. His will be very big shoes to fill. In addition to his duties on the Board, he has been involved with many current topics of interest to the Society and provided input on several conservation issues. I would also like to thank outgoing members of the Board: Joan Feather, Jennipher Karst and Kyron Giroux for their contributions to the Society. Sara Bryson is taking over the role of Secretary as Greg Fenty stepped down from that position, but he remains on the Board as a Director. I would also like to welcome the new members to the Board: Gordon Edwards and Joshua Erikson. I look forward to working with everyone over the next two years.

With spring upon us there are many opportunities for members to contribute to local or national Citizen Science projects. Elsewhere in the newsletter you will find information about the need for volunteers for the provincial Breeding Bird Atlas project, organized by Bird Studies Canada. A workshop for the Saskatoon area participants is scheduled for April 29. Another upcoming activity is the Society's annual spring bird count on May 27. You do not need to be an expert birder to be involved in these projects. It is a great way to learn more about the birds in the Saskatoon area and develop your skills. For those of you who are beginners or want to brush up on your skills there will be a basic bird identification workshop be held again during the Nature City Festival in May. There will also be a native plant identification workshop that same week. Both are free to members.

The first few field trips of April will look for some of the harbingers of our prairie spring: crocuses and bluebirds. It promises to be a busy season.).

Valerie Martzl
SNS President

   
   
Last updated: 18 April, 2017