Summer Field Work 2022

WEEK 4: June 13-17

Crossing assessments, tree checks, baby whales, and more!!

This weeks crossing assessments consisted of bush whacking and owl watching! Two barred owls were heard calling to each other so we followed the “whos” and spotted a barred owl perched on an old birch tree. Soon after, we returned to the streams and enjoyed beautiful walks through the forest and discovered old roads and stream structures.

Ella standing on a bridge on an old back road.

Tree checks and planting began this week! We returned to old sites where we pruned and watered trees planted from previous seasons. Planting native tree and shrub species is an important role that the watershed has in a community. Having healthy streams and waterways include a wide variety of native species to create a diverse ecosystem.

At the end of the week we WHALE-comed the crew from Project SculptShore to PEI. With a life sized sculpture of a North Atlantic right whale calf, Liz and her friends are touring Atlantic Canada to assist in shoreline cleanups and spreading awareness about the entanglement of whales in fishing gear.

TREC, HCWG and WRIG travelled to Charlottetown to see the travelling whale sculpture.

WEEK 3: June 6-10

Busy, busy, busy!

This week was jammed packed. It began with the weekly maintenance at Rackham’s pond, ended with Environmental Fun Day and was filled with crossing assessments and workshops in-between!

Marika measuring a culvert for the crossing assessments

Marika and Ella tackled the crossing assessments. Crossing assessments entail measuring and surveying any stream crossing to ensure they will not negatively impact fish passage. While they did this, the field supervisor Robyn attended the Rapid Geomorphic Assessment workshop to better discover and understand the river corridor through data collection and interpretation. Mid week, we had kids from Immanuel Christian School visit Rackham’s Pond to help place signs around the park to discourage littering and to keep the river clean!

Robyn and Ashlyn at Watt’s Creek learning about Rapid Geomorphic Assessments

The week wrapped up at Campbell’s Pond for our 12th annual Environmental Fun Day! We had nearly 100 kids from 3 local schools join us and the Hunter-Clyde Watershed Group for an active learning day. The kids had an chance to learn about nature, in nature, as they visited different presenters around the pond.

Bedeque Bay Environmental Management Association presenting “Yellow Fish Road”!

WEEK 2: May 30-June 3

And just like that it’s June!

After that, it was time to check the tree swallow nest boxes for inhabitants and eggs! Tree swallows are easy to find near fields or areas adjacent to water. To find out if a nest box is being used by a tree swallow is typically an easy check since you can often see them flying around the box or perching on top of them.

A tree swallow at Rackham’s Pond

Midweek we did the routine water quality monitoring. We use a YSI machine that allows us to check the waters in the local streams and creeks for the temperature, dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, conductivity, total dissolved solids. salinity, pH, and nitrate levels. Later in the week, temperature loggers were set up and placed in waterways in Wheatley River.

Ella & Marika testing the water quality on Millboro Road

The week was wrapped up with a canoe trip through the estuaries for more water quality monitoring as well as sorting out tree and shrub species that arrived for the planting days ahead!

WEEK 1: May 23-27

The summer season has officially begun!

This week we welcomed back last years team members as well as new team members. The first day out in the field was a beautiful one. We began the week by moving the EXTREMELY heavy floating dock back into the water at Rackham’s Pond. As challenging as it was, the team worked together and successfully placed the dock back into the pond. To celebrate their success, they powered up the weedwacker and lawn mower to tidy up the park area. The smell of fresh cut grass was a reward in itself for a job well done.

Next, the team ventured off to find the headwater locations of each stream within the Wheatley River Watershed. With GPS in hand, a journey was made to survey the areas of each headwater. Waypoints were taken to indicate each separate location as well as a visual survey that specified the condition that the headwaters were in.

To wrap up the week and prepare for the season ahead, the team constructed new nest boxes for tree swallows. The team proved themselves to be quite the handywomen as well as watershed technicians. We cannot wait for the new tenants of the nest boxes to enjoy their brand new homes here in the Wheatley River Watershed.