Attention Ryder Lake residents: we are looking for your help as Bullfrogs have recently been detected in Ryder Lake and the nearby Hornby Lake!

We are seeking input from the community so we can create an effective management plan:

  • Have you seen or heard Bullfrogs in this neighbourhood?
  • Do you have a pond on your property where amphibians breed?
Contact Aleesha@FraserValleyConservancy.ca to report a Bullfrog detection, or with any amphibian questions you have!

It is really important to know the differences between our native Western Toads and the invasive Bullfrogs.

If you missed our presentation at the hall, you can learn more by reading the Bullfrogs at Ryder Lake presentation

Also check out our useful guides:
Amphibian Identification
Egg Mass Identification
Bullfrog Control Guide
Listen to the audio clips below to learn the differences between our native Western Toad and Chorus Frog and the invasive Bullfrog and Green Frog:

 

This important project is made possible by financial support from:

 

 

Help us prep for Toadlet migration 2019!

It’s time for the Toadlet fencing work party – Monday June 24th, 2019

It takes a small army to help us install temporary fencing to direct the toadlets to their tunnel! 

The tadpoles are getting closer to metamorphosing into tiny toadlets, and soon will be making their annual mass migration to the surrounding forest.

We need your help to make sure they get there safely!

You can help us install silt fencing in a hay field by hammering stakes into the ground and laying down hosing, to ensure the little toadlets can’t sneak their way underneath.

The most challenging part of this work is navigating over the uneven ground, climbing over fences, and working in a hay field with no shade. Volunteers must be prepared to work in hot conditions (please bring a water bottle) and will need work gloves and good footwear (hiking boots recommended).

Location: Meeting in east Chilliwack to carpool to the site, details will be confirmed via email when you sign-up
Start Time: 10:00 am
End Time: 2:00 pm

As always, PIZZA LUNCH will be provided for everyone who helps out!

Please note: The FVC requires volunteers to sign up for this event in advance. We need to ensure we have enough supplies, and that you have accurate directions as there is no cell service at this location.

Please e-mail or call 604-625-0066 if you have any questions

Take the Online Survey!

Calling all residents and friends of the Bradner – Mt. Lehman neighbourhood in Abbotsford (what is this?)

It’s time to share your thoughts and opinions on the environment in this neighbourhood. Please complete this online survey (approximately 10 minutes).
** You could win one of two $50 Gift Certificates to a local business of your choosing! Don’t forget to enter your email address at the end of the survey for your chance to win. **

Take the Survey

Interested in learning more? Would you like to participate in an interview? Want to help build the future of this project? Contact aleesha@fraservalleyno.wpengine.com

Introducing the Bradner – Mt. Lehman Research Project

What is the project?

The Bradner – Mt. Lehman Neighbourhood (BMLN) Research Project is a new initiative started in the summer of 2019. The Fraser Valley Conservancy has been funded by the Vancouver Foundation “Systems Change” grant to investigate the systems impacting environmental protection in the BMLN. These include political, economic, sociological, and ecological systems. In order to understand how the BMLN community views the environment, and what they would like to see in the future, we are starting with collecting information using surveys and interviews from the public.

What makes a Vancouver Foundation Systems Change grant different from one of our typical outreach projects is the underlying goal of community-based and community-driven goals, working with the people based on their interests and goals in order to achieve environmental protection in this unique and sensitive area.

This project is supported by the City of Abbotsford.

Where is the Bradner – Mt. Lehman neighbourhood?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can I participate?

Stay tuned!

Collaborate!

  • Are you part of a local community group? A non-profit? A concerned citizen? An environmentally-conscious local business?
  • Your input is needed to help direct the future of this project! Email aleesha@fraservalleyno.wpengine.com

Speak up!

  • Get involved in community meetings and groups
  • Sign up for Let’s Talk Abbotsford to share your opinions on projects and planning in Abbotsford

Native Plant Gardening Series Summary

.

.

Native Plant Gardening Series Summary

Native plants are naturally adapted to our local growing conditions. They require less water than many non-native plants and grow well without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. These beautiful native plants will give your garden year-round appeal for people and for wildlife –including birds, bees, and butterflies!

.

In case you missed our weekly posts on facebook, here’s a summary of our top picks for beautiful native plants that create habitat for local wildlife.

.

Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquilifolium) is an excellent choice for the low-maintenance gardener looking for a plant that offers four-season rewards. This deer-resistant shrub adapts well to most conditions from sun to shade, and will be tolerant to a hot summer drought. Its shiny, evergreen foliage adds some winter appeal to a mostly dormant garden.

 

Often by April or May, intense bursts of yellow flowers emerge, adding to the aesthetic appeal of your native plant garden, and providing an early food source for hummingbirds and insect pollinators. The purple berries that follow are food for birds and other small animals. It will grow up to 2.5 meters tall and about 1.5 meters wide, but can be expected to slowly spread via suckers, which can be easily controlled with a good pair of pruners.
.

 

Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) is a common shrub found in the forests of the Fraser Valley, and is the perfect fit for a naturalized home garden. Out in the forest, you’ll find it growing in moist areas beside streams or wetlands with dappled shade, up to a height of 4 meters tall. Its spreading roots allow this shrub to grow quite densely, creating a woody thicket loved by small animals looking for habitat that gives them a place to hide from larger predators.

 

Showy pink flowers open in April, and are enjoyed by pollinators and hummingbirds looking for an early food source. Its delicious fruits are some of the earliest to ripen, feeding wildlife from as early as May, and into late July. The berries are a favourite of many birds including, jays, grouse, robins, thrushes, waxwings. Small mammals also enjoy the red berries, and some will even eat the bark and leaves.

.

 

Red flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) promises to give your garden its first splash of colour after a dull winter. Its fragrant pink-to-red flowers provide an early spring food source for hummingbirds, bees and other pollinators. The dark berries are a favourite of our native small mammals and birds. As a low maintenance shrub, it doesn’t mind moist soils, but is also known for its tolerance to drought during the drier months.

 

When choosing a garden location to plant your Red flowering currant, keep in mind that it will do the best in an area with plenty of sun, but that will also be shaded at some points throughout the day. You can expect this shrub to grow 1-3 meters tall and 2.1 meters wide, making it a good choice as a backdrop at the far side of your garden, or as a natural privacy shrub in the summer.

.

 

The Pacific Crabapple is fairly compact compared to other tree species native to Coastal BC. Growing slowly up to a mature height of 12m tall and about 8m wide, this tree provides good cover for the ground below, giving both people and wildlife a place to get out of the sun or rain. This tree appreciates a wetter garden site with a fair amount of sun exposure. Gardeners will be pleased to find that this tree adds beauty to any landscape three seasons of the year.

 

Fragrant white flowers fill the tree from April to May, providing a stunning visual appeal, and food for pollinators in the spring. Late summer weather ripens the tree’s small fruits. Certain bird species such as the beautiful varied thrush, look forward to this abundant summer food source. As autumn sets in, the leaves change to yellow or red, adding to the colour and feel of the season. 

.

 

Western Honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa) is the native, trailing vine you’ve been looking for to replace the invasive English Ivy (planted years ago by someone with very good intentions) which, by now, is probably taking over your entire garden and perhaps the old forest behind your house. Slow to establish, but prolific once it does, Western honeysuckle will spread out up to 20 feet, and can be trained to climb a trellis with ease.

 

It blooms in clusters of sweet-smelling orange flowers from May to June, which are loved by both butterflies and hummingbirds. The red berries begin to ripen in September and are eaten by a variety of birds, including robins and finches. Although it is known to be drought tolerant once established, Western Honeysuckle prefers to be planted in a moist location with lots of shade.

.

 

Anyone who grows roses knows that they can be very particular, requiring specific care and master pruning skills. One of BC’s native roses, the Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana), is an easy-to-grow, ecologically supportive alternative to a non-native cultivar. Its fragrant pink-to-red flowers, a favorite food source of bees and hummingbirds, bloom in June and July.

 

Nootka Rose is a fast growing plant, reaching 0.5-3m in height if given the proper growing conditions. Over time it will spread underground to fill the space in which it’s planted, creating a thicket that will support small mammals and birds. It prefers a sunny location but will tolerate shade, and likes moist, well drained soil. However, living up to its reputation as an easy-to-grow species, will also grow in drier conditions.

.

 

Salal (Gaultheria shallon) is the native relative of the commonly used landscape plant Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens). As an evergreen shrub known for its versatility and hardiness, Salal thrives in the full range of sun exposures, preferring soil that stays somewhat moist, but will easily tolerate periods of drought.

 

Its white- to-pink spring flowers attract hummingbirds, while the red summer berries provide food for many varieties of wildlife. This plant tends to grow quite slowly, eventually reaching up to 1.5 meters tall, and continues to spread as it grows, if given the space. The thicket created by this spreading habit is the favoured habitat of small mammals and birds looking to find respite from their larger and often hungry predators.

.

 

Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), also known as bearberry, is a great choice for a gardener looking for a native groundcover. Growing in well-drained soils with sun to part shade, this plant will stay under half a meter tall but spread widely, filling a space with its evergreen foliage. In the fall, the berries turn wine-red and stay on the plant into the winter, creating a visually festive feel, and providing wildlife with food during scarcer months. The leaves are also enjoyed by some small birds and mammals looking for a quick snack as they forage for more substantial sustenance.

 

Kinnikinnick can be used as an ally in areas prone to erosion. As it spreads across the site, its roots take hold of the soil, preventing it from washing away during heavy rain events. The mat of foliage it creates also provides a year-round habitat for other small critters. .

 


.
To learn more about native plant gardening, take a look at our Native Plant Gardening Guide:
Gardening with Native Plants in the lower Mainland and Fraser Valley!

.

Want to get wildife-friendly gardening tips right to your inbox? Sign up for our e-newsletter The Valley Steward!

.

.

.

.

.

.

Fraser Valley Conservancy AGM 2019

.

.

Join us for the Fraser Valley Conservancy’s 2019 AGM!
.

.
Event Details:

Date:

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Location: The Reach Gallery & Museum – South Entrance  |   32388 Veterans Way, Abbotsford (See map below)
Time:  Meet & Greet at 6:30pm  |   Presentations from 7:00pm – 9:00pm

.

What to Expect:

Enjoy a special presentation from guest speaker Patricia Ross, Abbotsford City Councillor, on the topic of conservation in the Fraser Valley. How can sustainability address environmental threats? What can we can do both as an organization and as individuals to create positive change?

You will have a chance to win prizes from Day 1 Urban FarmBureaux Modern MercantileAbby Bike Shop, The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford , and a rain barrel! Plus, the Precious Frog team will be on site with original amphibian artwork available for you to buy!

Meet our staff and board members. Renew your annual membership to the Fraser Valley Conservancy, or become a member for the first time!

We hope to see you there!

.

.

.

Fraser Valley Conservancy AGM 2019 – Event Location Map

Plan for Wildlife-friendly Garden Maintenance!

.

.

Wildlife-friendly  Garden Maintenance

.

It’s sunny, it’s warm, it’s spring! Have you been inspired to get out in the garden? Here are some simple ways you can ensure your yard maintenance is wildlife-friendly.
.
Pruning Trees & Shrubs.
Before pruning a tree or shrub, it’s important to carefully check for nests to reduce the chances of destroying the homes of birds or small mammals, especially in March and April. Watch for nest-building or feeding activity, and listen for alarm calls from adults or begging calls from the young as you approach the site.

 

Remember to look high and low! Not all nests are in the branches of your trees. Ground nesting birds will build their nests among the thickets of your garden shrubs or blackberry bushes. If you find a nest, keep your distance, and wait until the babies have fully fledged before pruning back this area.

The best time to prune trees and shrubs in the winter. This way, you can be sure that you are not disturbing any nests, and your plants will thank you for the waiting until they their dormant season.

.
Lawn Care.
Spring wildflowers – including dandelions and clover – are an important food source for our pollinators, like bees! Cutting your lawn in the early spring creates a pollinator dessert… Show your support for the bees by letting this important food source flower brightly in your yard all spring!

 

Mowing and weed eating areas that have become overgrown can expose or harm baby animals – like bunnies and birds – to predators. Before mowing, make sure to walk your lawn to check for signs of nesting or hiding wildlife. When cutting your lawn, start in the middle and gradually move outwards in a circle so that animals can escape to safety.

If you have the space, consider creating temporary grass islands or prairie strips in your lawn as a part of your seasonal landscaping practice. You will enjoy the many grasses and other plants that you wouldn’t normally see flowering, while also providing a refuge and feeding source for insects, birds, and small mammals. Creating larger meadows encourages owls and other raptors to hunt.

If you live near a wetland, watch for juvenile amphibians migrating through your yard in the summer. Often they go unseen, but if you are lucky you might witness a mass migration of Western toadlets. Their migration period usually lasts about 2 weeks, and waiting to mow can save thousands of tiny lives.

.
Brush Piles & Leaves.
Leave the leaves! Fallen leaves attract ground-feeding birds hunting for insects. Leaf litter that has persisted since fall may be home to overwintering butterfly pupae. Give them time to wake up and burst out as butterflies in the spring! Plus, decaying leaves are a natural (and free) fertilizer that add nutrients to your soil as they decompose.

 

Think twice about chipping or burning the brush piles you have created in your yard. Some wildlife seek out this type of dense and secure shelter that’s close to the ground. You might be surprised at the amount of wildlife a simple pile of sticks and leaves can attract. Salamanders, frogs & toads, rabbits and other small mammals, dragonflies and butterflies, and an abundance of bird species use this modest yet complex habitat feature.

(Northwestern salamander photo by Mike Pearson)

 


.
To learn more about native plant gardening to create habitat for wildlife, take a look at our Native Plant Gardening Guide:
Gardening with Native Plants in the lower Mainland and Fraser Valley!

.

Want to get wildife-friendly gardening tips right to your inbox? Sign up for our e-newsletter The Valley Steward!

.

.

.

.

.

.

Read the Valley Steward – Spring 2019

Check out our Spring eNewsletter!

Read the Valley Steward Newsletter to get the latest scoop on the FVC and find out what we’re up to!
The theme of this edition is Native Plant Gardening! Read our staff picks for beautiful, low-maintenance native plants, and learn the story behind our guide: Gardening with Native Plants in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley! Learn what our staff are up to as spring (slowly) begins, and find out what new and exciting Fraser Valley Experiences we have for you to bid on in our Online Auction Fundraiser. Just click on the image below to read all about it!

.

 

.

Do you want to get our e-newsletter to your inbox?
Sign up now by clicking HERE!

Applications Open – Join Our Conservation Team For Summer 2019!

.

The Fraser Valley Conservancy is looking for TWO exceptional Conservation Technicians to join our team for the Summer!

.

.

How to Apply:

To apply for this position, please email a resume along with a cover letter that clearly explains how you meet the above requirements, to admin@fraservalleyno.wpengine.com

Resumes will be accepted until midnight on Sunday, March 31st. Applicants who meet the criteria for an interview will be contacted for interviews the following week.

 

Sign Up to Be an Amphibian Road Survey Volunteer!

.

Sign Up to Help Monitor the Toads at Ryder Lake! 

As soon as the weather warms up, many of our frogs, toads, and salamanders will emerge from their winter brumination (the amphibian version of ‘hibernation’) and start their trek to their breeding pond. If you enjoy cold walks on rainy nights and you would like to learn how to identify the different amphibians crossing the road, we could use your help!
Every year, we create a contact list of volunteers interested in helping with these amphibian surveys. Would you like to be added to the 2019 list?

 

Photo by: Sean McCann

 

We’re looking for volunteers to help with evening amphibian surveys as a component of our Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project.

.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Volunteers will assist with counting live and dead amphibians along a stretch of Ryder Lake and Elk View roads in Chilliwack, BC. Data collected through these surveys is used to determine the effectiveness of our toad tunnel and associated fencing at reducing road mortality.
Volunteers must be prepared to walk 6 km in cold, dark and wet conditions while searching for amphibians along the road. Surveys will start after dark, and generally take 2-3 hours to complete depending on how many amphibians are out. Weather appropriate gear (rain jacket, rain pants, boots or waterproof shoes, gloves) is required.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Surveys cannot be scheduled in advance as they are dependent on having the ‘right’ weather conditions – we can only do these surveys in the rain when the amphibians are migrating. To handle this tricky scheduling, we keep a list of interested volunteers that we contact when it looks like the conditions will be good for a survey (i.e. wet). Sofi will email everyone on her registered volunteer list, requesting help for a specific date and time. The first volunteers who respond will be her helpers for that survey. Usually this e-mail is sent the day before or sometimes even the day of a survey night.

.
To sign up for this interesting and challenging experience, please e-mail Sofi@fraservalleyno.wpengine.com to be added to the 2019 volunteer contact list.
.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to send Sofi an email at: Sofi@fraservalleyno.wpengine.com, or call the office at 604-625-0066.

.

.

.