Read the October Issue of Nature Network News. Conservation updates for Ontario Nature’s 155-plus member groups and their supporters. Together, we are the voice for nature
Donate Now buttonON Nature magazine
Nature Network News banner

October 2022 conservation updates for Ontario Nature’s 155-plus member groups and their supporters. Together, we are the voice for nature. Please share this monthly newsletter with members of your group.

Thickson's Woods


Thickson’s Woods Land Trust, Forty Years Protecting Nature

It’s surprizing how crucial a small remnant of wildlife habitat can be for migrating birds, butterflies, dragonflies and bats, plus humans hungry for the healing peace of nature in the midst of urban and industrial sprawl. Thickson’s Woods Nature Reserve in south Whitby harbours many species – 313 birds, 39 butterflies and more than 1,200 moths among them. White pines preserved for masts of wooden sailing ships for the British Royal Navy still tower above ironwood, yellow birch, black cherry, sugar maple and butternut trees in the 16-acre scrap of old-growth forest.

Across the Waterfront Trail, on eight acres of what was once some early settlers’ pasture and apple orchard, cucumber magnolia, Kentucky coffee and hop trees are now established, ready and waiting as global warming shifts Carolinian forests northward. This summer, 19 eastern flowering dogwood trees were added, planted and watered by student staff and volunteers, funded with help from Ontario Land Trust Alliance, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and many caring people. The battle against invasive garlic mustard and dog-strangling vine is ongoing, and we’ve just dug a pond for amphibians. Rewarding work to enhance a natural treasure.

Story submitted by Margaret Carney, Thickson’s Wood Land Trust Board member and one of the founders of the Thickson’s Woods Heritage Foundation. Photos by Otto Peter (left) and Dan Shire (right).

Surveying for the Third Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, Ontario Nature


Join our upcoming webinars!

Ontario Nature’s New Carbon Guide Ontario Nature's Protected Places team has spent the past year researching carbon assessments and how they can help us advance nature-based climate solutions. We met with carbon researchers, Indigenous community members, and conservation authorities to learn about nature-based carbon projects. As a result, we created “A Beginner's Guide on Measuring Carbon Stocks to Support Conservation,” to share these key insights with others. If you’re interested in learning about the guide, join us for a webinar on October 26th at 2 p.m., where team members will speak about the guide's purpose, share stories about its creation and discuss the future of nature-based climate solutions in Ontario.

This project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Federal Department of Environment and Climate Change, ECO Canada, Metcalf Foundation, the RBC Foundation, Bruce Power, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and an anonymous donor.

Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas Surveys Join Kristen Setala, Ontario Nature’s Community Science Intern, on November 2nd from 2 to 3 p.m. as she shares stories from her spring conducting surveys for the third Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas. As part of Ontario Nature’s Protected Places Campaign, Kristen partnered with several groups across the province to conduct bird surveys in areas of conservation interest. From Wabakimi in northern Ontario to Wolf Lake in Greater Sudbury, you will hear about the significance of these areas, the groups working towards protecting them, and the birds that breed there. 

Rossland Road Pollinator Garden


Durham Region Field Naturalists Pollinator Garden

The vision of a Durham Region Field Naturalists (DRFN) member living nearby, the Rossland Road Butterfly Garden (Oshawa) began in 2004, established on city property as a community partnership when Communities in Bloom was just beginning. Members of DRFN and Canadian Organic Growers happily donated plants for the first garden, plus their time and energy to design and fill the garden. By 2007, there were three gardens, the centre one designed as a butterfly-shaped ‘xeriscape’ garden. Today, it would be called a ‘pollinator garden’, as it’s a food source for many insects. It’s also designated a ‘Monarch Waystation’, and even appears on Google maps!

On a Saturday in May, DRFN members come to the garden(s) for spring cleanup and to plant some bright annuals under the ‘Butterfly Garden’ sign. These days, a huge butterfly milkweed (Asclepius tuberosa) flashes its neon orange flowers to passersby driving, cycling and walking by on the busy street.

Article by Dianne Pazaratz, DRFN, photos by Otto Peter, DRFN

turtles on littered rubber tire in Lake Ontario, Kingston


Help Communicating Your Issue

Do you have a local conservation issue that fits our current priorities that you are trying to get the word out about and effect change? If you could use a little support from Ontario Nature, we may be able to help. We can work with you to provide contacts, resources, information, techniques and other campaign assistance. Our communications team may also be able to assist with social media and other promotions. Please contact Lesley, Nature Network Organizer, at to discuss how we might be able to work together.

Migrating loons

New Nature Network Primer

Are you thinking of joining the Nature Network or new to your role in your Nature Network group? Or are you a long-time member that could use a refresher on the ins and outs of membership? We have created a new Nature Network Primer to answer questions about membership, insurance, contacts, roles, how we can help and much more! Please let us know what you think about this tool and if you have any other ideas for things to include!

Make Nature an Election Issue

Interesting Links and Opportunities

ethical wildlife photography


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

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

Submit and Share!

We want to include more content from the network and will feature a story or two each month and other resources. Please share your stories and links by emailing

Ontario Nature publishes the Ontario Nature Network News every month 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 when appropriate.

Twitter icon   Facebook icon   YouTube icon   LinkedIn icon   Blog icon   Instagram icon

Ontario Nature @ Centre for Social Innovation
720 Bathurst Street Toronto, Ontario M5S 2R4

Privacy Policy |  Unsubscribe |  Contact Us |
Charitable registration# 10737 8952 RR0001 

Photos © Otto Peter, Dan Shire, Kristen Setala, Otto Peter, Scott CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, Janet Hill CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, Hernan Vargas CC BY-SA 2.0