The Stewardship Youth Rangers began our sixth week with a session on diversity by Walter Fordham from Georgia.
Walter’s workshop was really engaging and helped us see that although there are many differences between us, people still have a lot in common.
Later in the week, the two crews split up and switched off to take part in two different projects.
One team went to Mine Centre to meet with Brian Love, president of the Rainy River District Trappers Council, and the other went to the Northern Sport Fishing Centre, located on the shores of the Lake of the Woods in Sioux Narrows.
In Mine Centre, Brian taught us a few things about the pine marten–a small furry creature that likes to nest in the forest. Pine martens have to be two-three km away from each other.
First, Brian taught us how to build pine marten nesting boxes. The boxes give them a place to hide from predators and a safe place to nest.
Each crew completed 20 boxes in record time (Brian said we were the fastest teams ever!)
After that, we went out with our GPS units to locate some of the nesting boxes that already have been put up in the bush.
This is part of an ongoing monitoring and mapping program with the MNRF Stewardship Youth Rangers from Fort Frances and Atikokan and the Rainy River District Trappers Council.
At the fishing centre in Sioux Narrows, meanwhile, we learned from interactive displays and exhibits featuring antique fishing equipment, mounted fish, and vintage boats and motors.
We also watched a video that told us about the history of local sport-fishing and places to go sight-seeing on beautiful Lake of the Woods.
Things were buzzing on the Friday when we drove out to Chapple to visit with Rick Neilson at Seven Bends Honey Farm. We learned first-hand about different types of bees, and had a close-up look at hives and honeycombs to see how honey is produced.
Afterwards, we applied our safety training and knowledge of hand tools in clearing brush and debris from the hiking and ski trails at the back of the property.
Along the way, Rick showed us how to identify naturally-growing edible fungi, such as Chanterelle mushrooms.
Stay tuned next week when the rangers will share more stories from the Rainy Lake area of our watershed.
The eight-week summer employment program allows us to work on unique natural resource management projects in and around Fort Frances that benefit the environment.
Our program promotes our environmental education and, in turn, our projects have a positive impact on their environment!
The Fort Frances Stewardship Youth Ranger-Ogimaa Binesiiyog Partnership Program is supported through a partnership of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong Employment and Training, and the United Native Friendship Centre.