May 2023 conservation updates for Ontario Nature’s 150 member groups and their members.
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May 2023 conservation updates for Ontario Nature’s 150 member groups and their supporters. Together, we are the voice for nature. Please share this monthly newsletter with members of your group.

yellowlegs shorebird and midland painted turtle


Welcome New Groups!

Ontario Nature is pleased to welcome two new groups to our Nature Network this spring.

Heart Lake Turtle Troopers: Formed in 2021, HLTT’s mission is to support the protection and monitoring of the local turtle population through a citizen science volunteer program, by working in partnership with community stakeholders to raise community awareness, recruit and engage citizen volunteers and organize and deliver public engagement activities. HLTT are based in Brampton and will join the Carolinian East Region.

Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory: Formed in 1995, PEPtBO is a registered charity with a mandate to monitor, report on and promote analysis of bird migration and to act as official caretaker of the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). PEPtBO will join the Ontario East Region.



Sign Action Alert on proposed Provincial Policy Statement

In keeping with many recent law and policy changes that facilitate sprawl development, the provincial government is now proposing to replace the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020 (PPS) and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (Growth Plan) with a new Provincial Planning Statement (ERO #019-6813).

This proposal is deeply concerning, given that the PPS and the Growth Plan are critical provincial policies that provide comprehensive, integrated, balanced direction on land use planning. The proposed new Provincial Planning Statement will jeopardize decades of progress on land use policy.

For more information and to sign the Action alert, please click below.


ccipr invasive plant removal recommendations


New Coalition Seeks Regulation on Sale of Invasive Plants

The Great Lakes West Regional Meeting hosted an informative talk by Cathy Kavassalis of Canadian Coalition for Invasive Plant Regulation (CCIPR) that has an important initiative we wanted to share with the entire network and beyond:

Founded in 2022, CCIPR wants invasive plants in the horticultural and the pet/aquarium trade regulated and is calling on the Government of Canada to act. If the status quo remains, Canada will fail to safeguard our country’s biodiversity and will fall short of its international obligations by 2030.

A coalition of volunteers, representing organizations and individuals from across Canada have developed six recommendations to improve policies, tools, and regulations for invasive plant management. Invasive plants are harming our economy, environment and public health.

Visit for more information and to download the latest whitepaper. It details the current risks, and offers insight into what we can do to change Canada’s current path including developing a risk assessment database, banning high-risk plants, and labelling risky plants at the point of sale.

Article and diagram submitted by CCIPR

karst ecology


LASC Brings Karst and Alvar Ecology to the Public Eye

The Lennox and Addington Stewardship Council (LASC) has created some practical resources on unique karst and alvar habitat, including this educational video (credit to Eleanor Crowder) and informative backgrounder. Karst and alvar are home to many rare and at-risk species, including the loggerhead shrike.

The Wildlife Preservation Canada 2022 data reveals 68% of the breeding pairs of loggerhead shrike are found in the Napanee Plain. There are 90 alvars in the Napanee Plain Natural Area which represent an area of 729.75 hectares. In Ontario, alvar/karst landscapes can be found from Prince Edward County and north to Marmora. Alvars that have survived climate changes and invasive species are now threatened by quarrying, development, new infrastructure, suburbanization, and recreational vehicles.

LASC would like to acknowledge members Adele Crowder and Amanda Gray, two retired Queen's University professors, for the creation of these resources which have been shared with municipalities and other organizations.

Article and resources submitted by the Lennox & Addington Stewardship Council

outdoor clothesline, reduce environmental impact


Reduce Your Environmental Footprint

Our planet’s natural environment is under unprecedented stress. We need systemic change to address the most pressing environmental issues we face today, but there are still many ways that we as individuals can contribute to restoring a healthy planet by reducing our environmental footprint. Here are suggestions to get you started.


Eastern meadowlark, Carden Alvar


Enabled Birding Mapping Project on Carden Alvar – Birding is for EveryBody

Accessible? Or not? The lack of information about accessible birding locations is a barrier for many. Birds Canada, Ontario Field Ornithologists and Toronto Ornithological Club are working on a project to allow users to select a trail and receive a map with detailed information such as parking, obstacles, trail surface and slope.

Armed with enthusiasm and phone apps, members of the Carden Field Naturalists have volunteered to assess trails in Carden. The resulting maps of Carden and 11 other areas in Ontario will help people of all abilities find the information they need to plan and enjoy a visit to birding hot spots.

Article submitted by Ann Gray, Carden Field Naturalists

Sauble Dunes Nature Reserve fen

Interesting Links and Opportunities

  • Learn about the proposed changes to the Provincial Policy Statement and the impacts on nature and farmland at Ontario Farmland Trust’s lunch and learn webinar on May 17.
  • The first week of June is International Nature Journaling Week – a free opportunity to learn more about how you can use observation, writing, and sketching to deepen your connection to nature.
  • Join Ontario Nature and the Owen Sound Field Naturalists for a Bioblitz of Sauble Dunes Nature Reserve on Saturday, May 27.
milkweed in meadow


See our events calendar for a complete listing of events organized by Ontario Nature and Nature Network groups. 

To submit your public events for the online calendar, send them to and allow up to a week for posting. Please send only events that are open to the public and no more than three per month.

Submit and Share!

We want to include more content from the network and will feature a story or two each month from network groups, as well as other resources. We encourage you to share your stories and links by emailing them to

Ontario Nature publishes the Nature Network News monthly with contributions from our member groups and staff. We grant permission for use of the information above in member group newsletters. Please credit either Ontario Nature or the member group or the photographer when appropriate.
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Photos © Sharon O'Connor, CCIPR, Smera Sukumar, Karolina Grabowska, Noah Cole, Jenna Kip, Teagan Netten