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Volunteer Gardeners & Plants Needed for Elmwood Cemetery

Calling all gardeners! The Elmwood Cemetery needs volunteers to help maintain the flower beds over the summer. Volunteers are also needed for edging markers. If you are able to help, please phone Rhonda at 204-667-3843 or email office@elmcem.ca.

If you are unable to volunteer your time, you can also help by donating plants or money towards a new butterfly garden. Some plants suggestions that we are looking for in the butterfly garden are milkweed, cone flowers, verbena, salvia, phlox, black eyed Susan, coreopsis, sedum, liatris, or Shasta daisies. 

Donations may be dropped off at the cemetery office Monday to Friday 9:00-4:30. Or they can be dropped off at 28 Leslie Ave (the home of our GeNA-Elmwood Cemetery liaison volunteer). Plants can be left on the front deck and monetary donations can be dropped into the mail slot on the front door. Please write “butterfly garden” on the envelope.

Thank you for supporting our beautiful cemetery!

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History Talk in Elmwood Cemetery – Sunday June 9th

GeNA is partnering with the North East Winnipeg Historical Society for a “sitting tour” at Elmwood Cemetery.

The event is at 1pm in section 6A (middle of the cemetery) of the historic cemetery which gave its name to the surrounding area.  Opening in 1902, it is the oldest non-denominational cemetery in western Canada.  We will discuss approx. 48 prominent people/families.  Bring your lawn chair, blanket, umbrella, etc.  There will be flag markers on the gravesites, so you can wander to view during or after the tour.  The ground is uneven so proper walking shoes are recommended.

There will be free refreshments courtesy of GeNA!

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The 2017 Christmas Bird Count in the Glenelm Community

by Richard Staniforth

The Winnipeg Christmas Bird Count was held on December 20th. This is an annual event when nature enthusiasts contribute a day of their time to survey and count all of the birds within a 15 mile diameter circle centred on downtown Winnipeg.

Christmas Bird Counts, known as CBCs, are held all over Canada, North America, and in fact, in most countries of the world. They started in the year 1900 as a healthier alternative to the Annual Boxing Day Bird Shoot in which folks used to compete by shooting as many different kinds of birds as they could on that single day!

Now CBCs are held between December 14th and January 5th, with each community deciding on a particular date in a way that dedicated enthusiasts may attend different counts in different places on different days. And we don’t shoot anything, anymore, except perhaps with cameras!

This year Lorne and Joan Heshka and I were responsible for the Glenelm area, and further afield. You may have caught sight of us, bundled up and with binoculars dangling around our necks, peering into neighbourhood backyards for signs of bird activity – no we are not peeping-Toms! My wife, Diana, supplied us with nutritious snacks, lunch and warm drinks during the day which boosted our enthusiasm.

What did we see? Well nothing that we did not expect, no unusual or rare species this year: Hairy woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees, House Sparrows, Eurasian Starlings, Rock Pigeons, American Crows, Common Ravens and Blue Jays.

At the end of the day, about 30 of us Winnipeg participants gathered at the Bronx Community Centre to collate the numbers and kinds of birds seen in our Winnipeg area with Manitoba’s CBC co-ordinator, Rudolf Koes. A fun evening, complete with a pot-luck supper and catch-up with fellow naturalists who we may not have shared experiences and laughter with since December, 2016. Rudolf collates all of the data for Manitoba, checks unusual sightings and submits it to the Audubon Society for analysis of trends in bird populations around the world.

Perhaps you would like to participate in the Christmas Bird Count next year, or even watch a backyard feeder and record its visiting birds? You would add to the 14,000 Canadians who enjoy this event every year. If so, please feel free to contact me at richard_staniforth @yahoo.ca.

(In the photo above, taken by Richard Staniforth: “A Black-capped Chickadee which is Glenelm’s commonest bird, at least, it is for this time of the year.”)

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