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Boreal Bio-Logue 2021

September 6, 2021
Stew Coles
Dr Omani points to a tree as people listen eagerly

By Caitlyn Anhorn

When opportunity knocked on the door, CPAWS-SK and PA Model Forest jumped on it. In the middle of May 2021, the Cloverdale fire burned near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. There were also many more forest fires in the northern half of the province this summer. We figured that this would be a good time to get people outside to learn about the importance of fire for the forest and how fire patterns might be changing due to climate change. We also wanted to compare the difference in species composition between old and new, recently burned, forests.

An old boreal forest site – Little Red River Park, Prince Albert
(Photo by Kelsey Olson)
People walk around new forest site
A new boreal forest site after the Cloverdale fire
(Photo by Caitlyn Anhorn)

Details of the Event

To this end, we planned an event called the Boreal Bio-logue. Our main goal became outreach as Covid restrictions eased in the city of Prince Albert. We also took note (‘catalogue’) of the species that were growing in both the old and new forests.

I enjoyed learning from Dr. Omani and each other, and meeting people made the event even more enjoyable. 

Bio-Logue participant

Overall, this inaugural event was a success! Nearly a dozen people came out to each of the two events. It was a great opportunity for individuals to get together and learn about nature in a hands-on way. As one participant noted, “[it was great] exposure for younger people to learn about their ‘neighbourhood’ and the wonders of nature that goes along with that.”

Participants had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Leo Omani about Little Red River Park and some history of the location from his perspective as an Elder of Wahpeton Dakota Nation. “The Elder gave some good insight on the area.”

Dr. Leo Omani talks about the tree as people listen eagerly (Photo by Caitlyn Anhorn)

Together, we travelled to a recent burn site on Crown land and threw on hard hats for safety. Many participants were super excited to see this location, to see the aftereffects of the area that was in smoke a mere two months prior. “Seeing the burnt areas up close was cool! I liked looking for the plants!”

Future of the Event

We are already excited for next year! We hope to get the same people and more out and expand the event a bit more. Thank you again to everyone who came out! We were so inspired by you and are excited to grow this and see what happens. Stay tuned for the Boreal Bio-logue in 2022!