SPES Saturday: Stanley Park BioBlitz and Nature Events

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StanleyParkEcologyThis post has been contributed by the Stanley Park Ecology Society (“SPES”). I have been following SPES since I moved into the West End almost eight years ago and I recently became a member. I wanted to offer the team an opportunity to share their news, events, and work so I have created “SPES Saturday” where they will be contributing stories with my audience once a month.

Stanley Park BioBlitz and Nature Events

By now, you have probably noticed that there will likely be a little more activity happening in Stanley Park on August 24th and 25th than usual. Stanley Park is turning 125 years this year and the City of Vancouver is putting on a grand celebration for Canada’s most popular urban park.

Celebrate! Stanley Park is a weekend of free events spread over five festival zones in the park. For music lovers there’ll be oodles of entertainment at Second Beach; those interested in the fascinating, and surprising, history of the park should check out the historical tours and displays in the Rose Garden; for sport fans, head over to Brockton Oval; those bringing their families will find lots to do at Lumberman’s Arch; and nature lovers should visit the Lost Lagoon festival zone.

We’re joining in on the celebrations too. This year we’re celebrating 25 years of bringing Vancouverites closer to nature and making a difference to wildlife in Stanley Park, and our main contribution to Celebrate! Stanley Park is the Stanley Park BioBlitz, which takes place on the same weekend. You can find us throughout the weekend in the BioBlitz tent at Lumberman’s Arch and at the Nature House on Lost Lagoon.

2011.Aug.11-Don Enright-School Program-06 Annas_hummingbird_Robyn_Worcester
SPES Photos by Don Enright and Robyn Worcester

We invite you and the rest of our community to help us learn about all the wonderful creatures that fly, hop, crawl and flutter in Stanley Park. There’ll be lots of opportunities to get involved with biodiversity at the Stanley Park BioBlitz, through surveying local wildlife, taking part in hands-on stewardship activities and learning about everything from forest ecology to local birds, and bats to beavers at educational walks and talks.

Look at our schedule to see what takes your fancy. With more than 30 different events and activities, there should be something for everyone. Participation is free and there is no need to pre-register, just show up.

Never heard of a BioBlitz before? The basic idea is simple. Within a 24-hour period, scientists, volunteers and members of the public will collaborate on finding, identifying and recording as many species of plants, animals, fungi, and other organisms as possible to increase our knowledge of the Park’s native biodiversity. Building a more comprehensive ecological inventory of Stanley Park will help us to better guide future stewardship activities and provide improved management advice to the Vancouver Park Board, who we work closely with.

We did our first and only BioBlitz in 2011 in partnership with South Coast Conservation Program and thanks to the more than 1,000 community participants who joined in, we learned a tremendous deal about the different creatures that live in Stanley Park. The BioBlitz identified no less than 395 different species of flora and fauna, including 152 new species, and the results have greatly furthered our conservation efforts in Stanley Park.

With so much going on in Stanley Park on the weekend already, we’re hopeful that even more people will join us this year in our quest to identify species and provide some amazing opportunities for learning about the natural ecology of Stanley Park.

The 2013 Stanley Park BioBlitz is generously sponsored by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and the Job Creation Partnership Program of the Ministry of Social Development. All our BioBlitz events are listed on our website. Find out more about what’s happening at Celebrate! Stanley Park.

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