Our Community Science and Volunteering Programs
Residents and visitors of the Land Between region have intimate knowledge of its history, haunts, wildlife, and spaces. To incorporate this wealth of information into conservation and research, we have created multiple programs that allow us all to work together to monitor ecosystems, note unique habitats, report species, and document any changes we notice. United, we can learn from, and empower each other to positively impact the environment!
Thank you for your interest and support for our wonderful wildlife. Volunteering to help wildlife is a meaningful and fun way to contribute to conservation in your community.
Community Science volunteering begins in the spring and extends through the fall. We offer training individually in the field or online through a conferencing solution.
To learn more about the value of Community Science read our blog post about it.
All volunteer activities can be completed in a way that abides by current social distancing protocols and best practices. Many of our activities can be done in the safety of your own home, backyard, as part of your daily routines, independently, or in contained and manageable spaces. We are committed to putting public health and safety first.
Once you register as a volunteer, please check our events calendars for online training opportunities.
Join one of our Eco Hero Programs
Phragmites australis is an invasive species of reed that arrived in Canada from Europe in the early 1920s with its first appearance in the St.Lawrence River Valley. Since then, it has traveled into the Land Between and is now distributed all over the United States. This reed is a vigorous grower which often out-competes native wetland species, like cattails, and reduces the habitat for all our native wetland species. In addition, they greatly alter the aesthetics of a landscape and reduce visibility by growing over 5 meters tall! You may have noticed this new billowy grass along ditches and in wetland edges in The Land Between. Although it is "pretty" it is highly disruptive and degrades our natural ecosystems.
Learn how to identify this species and prevent it from invading your lake by becoming a Phrag Fighter!
Many of us are instinctively afraid of snakes, but more often than not, we do not have to be! Our slithering friends often get a bad rap, but they help us out immensely! Snakes are expert mouse hunters and help to reduce rodent populations on our properties.
Most snakes are disappearing as their habitat is lost, they get killed on roads, and with some species, populations are dwindling because people mistaken them as threatening, and then kill them.
With your help we can identify where these slithery sentinels are hanging out and how to help them thrive to keep rodents or other raiders in check.
We offer online tools to teach you what to do and what not to do, how to report your findings to us, and we offer ongoing support with our team.
Nightjars, like the Common Nighthawks, Common Poorwills, and Eastern Whip-poor-wills, are experiencing severe decline populations, yet remain understudied species of birds due to their nocturnal nature.
As a Nightjar Surveyor you will become a researcher of these cryptic species and help us gather information about their distribution, abundance, habitat associations, and population trends. This information is critical to and will be used to aid/inform conservation and management efforts.
Surveys require a team of two and a vehicle. They take place within one week of the full moon in June on designated routes and in the evening. Workshops and training tools will be provided and we will always be available should you have any questions or concerns.
The Back Yard Whip-poor-will Challenge
Eastern Whip-poor-will populations have declined more than 75% in the last 20 years. These birds are a heritage species, loved and remembered by Elders, homesteaders, and dreamers. They have an unmistakable and heart-warming call.
Whip-poor-wills are part of the Nightjar family and are aerial insectivores who consume large amounts of flying insects, including thousands of mosquitoes! They are also one of the only birds that has whiskers!
These nocturnal birds are able to camouflage well as they roost on branches within forests during the day. On clear moonlit nights during the summer (they are most active at dusk from June to July) they can often be heard repeating their own name over and over. If you can hear the “Whip-poor-will” call from your property, we want to know about it!
Join one of our Turtle Guardians programs
Nesting season is a very vulnerable time for adult female turtles and their eggs!
It is a dangerous time for females because many of Ontario's turtles (blanding's, painted and snapping) tend to lay their eggs in sandy/gravely soils. Where is a common place to find these conditions? Unpaved road shoulders! Thus, female turtles can be found frequently crossing the road from May to July.
As a Nest Sitter, when you spot a nest turtle you will safety pull over onto the road shoulder (after receiving training, while following safety protocol and wearing high visibility attire), notify us and watch the momma lay her eggs from a safe distance (far enough away that you do not disturb her). When she has completed laying her eggs and starts to make her way back the wetland, you will help her cross the road (again using safety protocol) safety. It takes 60 years for a turtle to replace itself, so this is very important work!
Love spending time in nature and want to help with conservation? Do both as a volunteer Wetland Watcher!
As a Wetland Watcher you will enjoy walks in nature while also reporting species sighting that will be used to help conserve The Land Between region. As a volunteer you will receive training on how to identify turtles and other wetland species, how to report wildlife sightings in your area, where to look for turtles and more! You can complete one of our self guided training sessions today to learn more about how you can positively impact wetland species - especially turtles.
On your Wetland Watchers journey, we will always be here to help and we are very happy to answer any questions you may have or support your research all year round- just call or email!
Ever driving and see turtles or other wildlife around roads? Do you want to help make roads more safe for everyone? Become a Road Researcher!
Road Researchers are first on the scene! They help us understand where turtles are crossing, nesting and need help. Information obtained by Road Researchers helps us plan for mitigation of turtle road mortality; let's us know where to install signs and where there may be opportunities to install turtle tunnels/specialized fencing to direct turtles under roads. But Road Researchers also advance awareness and save turtles from harm directly.