Thursday, June 15, 2017

Royal Botanical Gardens and Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System Canada 150 BioBlitz

Friday, July 21, 2017 to Saturday, July 22, 2017

Base Camp at RBG’s Arboretum

On Friday, July 21, scientists and ecologists will focus on inventorying newly protected properties and populations of rare species, while on Friday evening, and through the day Saturday July 22, the BioBlitz will cover a broader range of the area, and include special introductory identification workshops and a community Biodiversity Festival at the Basecamp, located in the RBG Arboretum.
We are currently seeking taxon experts to volunteer their time and help us inventory and identify a broad range of species on Friday, July 21, as well as lead guided blitzes for the public on Saturday, July 22. If you are interested in participating, please register now using button above. Lunch will be provided on both days.
Visit to Register!!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

2017 rare Community BioBlitz!

rare Community BioBlitz

July 15-16, 2017
10:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Registration is open for both the intensive and guided blitz opportunities.
Experienced naturalists and scientists who want to survey independently or with a skilled group should register through the taxonomic registration here.
Those who want to participate under guidance of an experienced scientist should register through the guided blitz registration here.
If you have questions, please contact jenna.quinn at
To download the Guided Blitz Schedule for the rare Community BioBlitz, please click here.
Drop-in public programs will occur on Saturday, July 15th beginning at noon. This will include live birds of prey and reptile shows, environmental workshops, and a free barbeque on Saturday evening. Full schedule to be announced soon.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

2017 Bruce Peninsula National Park BioBlitz

The 2017 Bruce Peninsula National Park BioBlitz will take place during the week of September 19th to the 24th.  Not all the activities, hikes and events have been settled yet but we will update this group as more information becomes available.  We will also be putting up posters around the community which will include a more detailed list of events.   This theme this year will be fungi and as part of the BioBlitz we have invited mycologist  Richard Aaron to lead a workshop and conduct an in depth survey and inventory of fungi in the park.  Space is limited, however there is an opportunity to register for this 4 day workshop.  If you're interested, please contact Richard directly for registration details.  His contact information is listed on the poster. Rest assured if you aren't able to secure a seat in the workshop, there will be other guest lecturers, guided hikes, presentations and activities throughout the week for all to enjoy and participate in. We are also looking for volunteers throughout the week who have a background in fungi identification to help support or lead hikes and activities. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016


February 13, 2016 


9:30-10:15 - Meet at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics for a tour of the new facility, including the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario Herbarium. 
10:15-10:30 - Walk over to the new science complex (room 3315)and get microscopes stations set-up. 

10:30-11:30 – Lecture - An introduction to lichen and lichen identification. Bring a book or paper to make notes. 

11:30-12:00 - Training with microscopes and chemical preparation, bring a lighter if you have one. 

12:00-13:00 – Guided identifications. A key to the common lichens of southern Ontario will be provided along with specimens. We will all walk through the identification of the same species as a group to get you familiar with the keys and important lichen features. 

13:00-14:00 - Lunch, bring your own, or there is food on campus. Attached is list of the campus options available on Saturdays. You will also have time to drive to nearby restaurants if you prefer. The campus bookstore will be open at this time as well. It has a good collection of botanical literature. 

14:00-14:20 – A short lecture on lichen identification. 

14:20-16:30 - Independent identifications. Work through different specimens on your own. I will assist everyone individually. Specimens will be available to work on, but I encourage you to bring your own. Specimens from your own projects, special places, or your backyard will resonate with you more than mine and it will help you to become more familiar with them in the field when you know where they came from. 

16:30-16:45 – Optional. A walk around campus to look at lichen on the trees.

Here are some pre-workshop readings:

This is a list of all the lichen species known from the Arboretum at the University of Guelph:
These are the species we will be looking at predominantly. The Arboretum study was published - the pdf is attached. 

A limited number of these books will be available for purchase:

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions:


JUNE 6-11    AND     SEPTEMBER 6-11
Experience four days in Lake Superior's Isle Royale National Park either in the spring or fall and learn to identify the diverse plants that live on this incredible island! 
These special botany workshops, sponsored by the Isle Royale; Keweenaw Parks Association (IRKPA), and taught by botanist Janet Marr, are open to anyone with beginning/intermediate knowledge of plant identification who is interested in learning to identify the native flora of this species-rich Lake Superior island. 
 Workshop participants will spend four days on Isle Royale either in the spring (June 6-11) or fall (September 6 -11) learning native plant species, using such tools as a dichotomous key and hand lens to identify plants. Other topics will include discussion of island plant communities, rare species, ecology, and invasive species.  
 Most workshop activities will take place outdoors.  Optional evening sessions will also be offered to review plants learned earlier. 
 REQUIREMENTS for both workshops:
Workshop participants should be able to walk up to 8 or so miles in one day with a daypack on rocky, sometimes steep, trails and bedrock, sometimes slippery, shoreline. 
 INSTRUCTOR for both workshops:
Botanist Janet Marr, the workshop instructor, has had many years of experience studying plants across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Isle Royale.  Janet taught the 2007-2015 Isle Royale botany workshops as well as many botany, aquatic, and wetland plant workshops in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula.  She is co-author of the Isle Royale Natural History Association's Island Life, an Isle Royale Nature Guide. 
 ENROLLMENT IS LIMITED TO 12 PARTICIPANTS.  Past botany workshops have filled up very quickly so sign up soon! Contact Kristine Bradof at 906-482-7860 or   for more information about workshop registration or to register.  Contact Janet Marr at 906-337-5529 or for details about the workshops themselves.
 INFORMATION SPECIFIC to each of the two workshops is below (June 6-11 workshop info is first followed by September 6-11 workshop info).  NOTE:   The fee for each botany workshop covers instruction, camping, user fees, meals on the island, notebook, Slavick/Janke’s Flora of Isle Royale, and transportation to and from either Houghton, Michigan, on the Ranger III (June workshop) or Grand Portage, Minnesota, on the Voyageur II (September workshop). 
 JUNE 6-11 workshop (Rock Harbor area):
Field trips in the June 6-11 workshop near the northeast end of Isle Royale will include Tobin Harbor, Scoville Point, and Raspberry Island, places that are all located in the vicinity of Rock Harbor.  Workshop attendees will meet in Houghton, Michigan, on Monday (6 June) afternoon and travel from Houghton to Rock Harbor (on Isle Royale) on the Ranger III boat on Tuesday (7 June).  Participants will return to Houghton on the Ranger III on Saturday (11 June).
WORKSHOP FEE for JUNE  6-11 workshop (Rock Harbor area):  $699 per person if registered by March 7 ($25 discount for IRKPA members; see for information on becoming a IRKPA member).  $725 per person if registered after March 7 ($25 discount for IRKPA members.
SEPTEMBER 6-11 workshop (Windigo area):
Field trips in the September 6-11 workshop near the southwest end of the Island will include the Windigo nature trail and trails to Huginnin Cove and along Washington Harbor to the Grace Creek overlook. Workshop attendees will meet in Grand Portage, Minnesota, on Tuesday (September 6) evening and travel from Grand Portage to Windigo (on Isle Royale) on the Voyageur II on Wednesday (September 7). Participants will return to Grand Portage on the Voyageur II on Sunday (September 11). 
WORKSHOP FEE for SEPTEMBER  6-11 workshop (Windigo area):  $699 per person if registered by March 7 ($25 discount for IRKPA members; see for information on becoming a IRKPA member).  $725 per person if registered after March 7 ($25 discount for IRKPA members.
 For information about Isle Royale National Park, see their home page at  or call  906-482-0984.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Goldie Award Winner 2015 - Joan Crowe

The 2015 edition of the John Goldie Award was presented to Joan Crowe at the FBO AGM held in Peterborough on September 12, 2015. This was the ninth time the Goldie Award has been given to recognize an individual’s contribution to field botany in Ontario. Like those before her, Joan is a highly deserving recipient.

      Joan comes to us from England where she was already a qualified teacher. In 1966, Joan and her husband Walter moved to Thunder Bay where Walter had taken a faculty position at Lakehead University. Joan later obtained an Honors B.Sc. from Lakehead University in 1970 followed by a Masters degree from the University of Manitoba in 1975 with a specialization in bryophytes. In the meantime, she started on a course towards career in botany accompanied by a long list of botanical publications. The first of these was A Checklist of the Hepatics in the Area Adjacent to the Canadian Lakehead with co-author Paul Barclay-Estrup in 1971.

Joan began to volunteer at the Claude Garton Herbarium at Lakehead University. The Herbarium was built on the collections made by Claude Garton starting with his collections that began as early as 1933. In time, Joan assumed the role of Acting Curator in 1990 and held that position until 1993. During that period, she began the process of digitizing the collection and maintained high standards for the collection. She also taught some courses on "Bryophytes and Lichens", "Pteridophytes" and “Vascular Plant Identification” at the University where her students held her in high regard.

While she was living in Thunder Bay, she continued to produce publications dealing with bryophytes:

1975 - An Hepatic Flora of Southwest Thunder Bay District Ontario
1992 - The Liverworts of the Southwest Thunder Bay District: A Concise Hepatic Flora
1994 - The lichens of Thunder Bay District Ontario, Canada. Evansia 11: 62-75
1995 - Ahti, T. & J. Crowe. Additions to the lichens of Thunder Bay District, Ontario. Evansia 12: 21-23

Those were followed by the 1993 release of Checklist Vascular Plants of Thunder Bay District along Claude Garton. The first version of that list was originally prepared in 1968 by Walter Hartley and updated by Garton in1984, then revised to 1993. The most recent revision was completed in 2003.

In 1993, Walter and Joan moved to Owen Sound. Joan soon became active with the Owen Sound Field Naturalists. In particular, she became the Chair of the Plants Committee. That group has been very productive, and under her guidance, published several books on botany and relevant topics:

1995 - Checklist of the Vascular Plants for Bruce and Grey Counties (4th edition in 2010)
1999 - The Asters, Goldenrods and Fleabanes of Grey and Bruce Counties
2002 - The Orchids of Bruce and Grey
2001 - The Rare and Endangered Species of Grey and Bruce Counties
2004 - The Geology and Landforms of Grey & Bruce
2007 - Exploring an Urban Forest

Not content to limit her literary output to these books with the Owen Sound Club, she produced two other books on her own. One of these was An Enthusiast’s Guide to the Liverworts and Hornworts of Ontario along with Linda Ley in 1999. In 2004, she self-published the First Book of Ontario Wildflowers.

Joan has always been a strong advocate for the environment. As an example, Joan and Walter with OSFN donated their property at Long Swamp located west of Owen Sound to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. This donation helps to preserve a large portion of this important wetland to ensure that it would remain natural and undeveloped

Joan and Walter have been long-time members of the FBO. They have attended many FBO field and AGM events over the years. Joan has led at least 9 field trips and workshops for FBO. As well, she has performed a similar role for the Owen Sound Field Naturalists. For all her fine contributions, Joan was presented with a Lifetime Membership Award from the Owen Sound Field Naturalists at the December 2006 meeting. It is now the turn for the Field Botanists to recognize all of the contributions that Joan has made in the field of botany in Ontario. Congratulations, Joan!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Field Botanists of Ontario’s 31th Annual General Meeting Saturday – Sunday, September 12 and 13, 2015 Peterborough

The AGM will be held in Peterborough at the Lion’s Club on Saturday September 12, beginning at 5:00 p.m.  Please join us for an evening of good food, socializing, and entertainment.  Enjoy a catered meal, cash bar, and a presentation by Jeff Saarela from the Canadian Museum of Nature.

As part of our AGM weekend event, we have organized a variety of field trips lead by renowned botanists and naturalists in the Peterborough area.  The trips showcase some of the area’s premier conservation lands and botanical hot-spots.  Trip descriptions are included below.  Note that field trips are open to non-FBO members after priority has been given to members.  For non-members, there is a surcharge of $5 per person per trip.

Please print and fill out the registration form below, indicating your choice of field trips and whether you will be attending the banquet/social on Saturday evening. 

Please make your cheques payable to: “Field Botanists of Ontario” and send your cheque and registration form to: 
Dan Westerhof
244 Hunter St W.
Hamilton, ON L8P1S1

Your cheque will be cashed following the AGM. Refunds will be issued, provided cancellations are received 7 days prior to the AGM, at the latest. No-shows will not be refunded.

For those intending to stay overnight, there are a variety of accommodations available in the Peterborough area.

For the field trips, please arrive adequately supplied with food and drinks, and in proper footwear and clothing.  As per our policies, personal collecting of plant material (whole specimens or parts, seeds, etc.) is not permitted on trips unless stated otherwise. The trip leader may take voucher specimens for deposition in recognized herbaria.

Field Trips:  Saturday September 12, 2015

Petroglyphs Provincial Park
Leader: Bill Crins (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)
10:15 am – 3:15 pm

Located northeast of Peterborough, Petroglyphs Provincial Park is well-known for its First Nations rock carvings; however, the approximately 1600 ha park also supports a diversity of plant communities and flora characteristic of the Great Lake-St. Lawrence Lowland Region. Habitats include rocky ridges and outcrops with thin cover of herbs and grasses and scattered trees; conifer stands dominated by red and white pine; mixed conifer-hardwood forests, and bottomland meadows and swamps.   Because the park is located on southern edge of the Precambrian Shield, many of the plants are acidophiles, but there are marble exposures which will support a few calciphiles.  

We will be hiking one of the trails in the park, which are 5-7 km in length.  The distance covered will depend on timing.  If there is time left in the afternoon, we may stop at McGinnis Lake (also inside the park), which is a meromictic, marl-bottomed lake.

Mosquitoes are likely to be present, and poison-ivy is present in some parts of the park, particularly where there are marble outcrops.   Long sleeves and pants are recommended.  The trails are relatively long, with irregular terrain.  Pack a lunch, plenty of water, and sunscreen.

Meet at the parking lot at the Learning Centre of the park (end of the road, 2-3 km in from the park entrance) at 10:15 (park gates open at 10:00).  The park entrance is at 2249 Northey’s Bay Rd. Woodview, ON.  Please note that there is day use fee of a $14.50/vehicle (unless you have a seasonal park pass).  Carpooling is encouraged.

Oak Heights Prairie
Leader: Todd Farrell (The Nature Conservancy of Canada)
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Explore the eastern end of the Oak Ridges Moraine in the footsteps of the famous Canadian botanist John Macoun, who lived and worked in the Castleton area and explored the Oak Heights Prairie, which is part of the NCC Barr property.  This tour will explore that property, a restoration hot spot, and we will see the tallgrass prairie and oak savanna plants, many of which will be easily recognizable at this time of year, that make this one of the key NCC properties within the Rice Lake Plains Natural Area. 

Participants may encounter poison ivy, mosquitos, and ticks, so please dress accordingly and bring insect repellant.    Comfortable hiking shoes, long pants and shirt are recommended.

Pack a lunch, plenty of water, and sunscreen.

Directions:  From 401 at County Road 25 (exit 497), travel north approximately 7.5 through Castleton. County Rd. 25 veers west and becomes County Rd. 22. Follow this and turn north on Jakobi Road, which ends in about 3 km at Dunbar Road. Travel west on Dunbar Rd for 2.3 km to Russ Creek Road, park along the road side. Access to the land is gained by walking north on Russ Creek Road to the property sign on the east side of the road.

Field Trips:  Sunday September 13, 2015

Warsaw Caves Conservation Area
Leader: Mike Oldham (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Located northeast of Peterborough, the Warsaw Caves Conservation Area and provincially significant ANSI offers a diversity of karst landscape features, including limestone plains, solution holes, underground channels, and limestone cliffs. Limestone plains along the Indian River support upland coniferous and mixed successional forests, which are representative of limestone plain upland forests in the Central Region. An area of mature Sugar Maple forest (75-140 years old) dominates the deeper soil deposits in the central portion of the area.  Trip participants can expect to see a variety of alvar and forest species, with a good diversity of ferns including locally rare species such as Walking Fern and Maidenhair Spleenwort.

We may encounter poison ivy, ticks, and chiggers.  Hiking boots, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, hat, sun screen, and insect repellent are recommended.  Pack a lunch and plenty of water.

The park entrance is located at 289 Caves Road, Warsaw, ON.  Please note that a separate park entrance fee may apply: $12.00/car or $4.50/walk-in.  Car-pooling is encouraged.

Alderville Black Oak Savanna (ABOS)
Leaders: Rick Beaver and Janine McLeod (ABOS)
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Located southeast of Peterborough, the Alderville Black Oak Savanna (ABOS) is a 150 acre natural area managed by the Alderville First Nation.  The area supports provincially rare tallgrass prairie and savanna habitats as well as oak/pine woodland.  A number of Species at Risk inhabit the site, including Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Wood Thrush, and Mottled Duskywing and Monarch Butterflies.  Visitors in September will see Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Indian Grass, and many aster species at their peak.  A diversity of other prairie and savanna plants may be seen, including:  Prairie Buttercup, Prairie Lily, Slender Wheatgrass, Bicknell’s Frostweed, Canada Rock Rose, Pointed-leaf Tick Trefoil, Black Snakeroot, Tall Green Milkweed, Prairie Willow, Senega Snakeroot, Downy Arrow-wood Viburnum, Prairie Cinquefoil, Hoary Vervain, Thin-leaved Sunflower, and Gray Goldenrod.

The tour will include areas of the site that are in different stages of restoration.  Trip participants will learn about the history of the site and how the area is being restored and managed to maintain high quality prairie and savanna habitat. 

Poison ivy may be encountered by those who venture off the trails. The trails are mowed and have a moderate slope in places.  Long pants, closed shoes, a hat, and sunscreen are recommended.   Pack a lunch and water bottle.  Coffee, tea, and cold drinks as well as refills for your water bottles will be available on-site.

Meet at the ABOS Ecology Centre located at 8467 County Road 18, Alderville, ON.  Visit for more information.

Field Botanists of Ontario
Annual General Meeting and Dinner

Saturday September 12, 2015
Peterborough Lion’s Community Centre
5:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Following Saturday’s field trips, we will meet at the Peterborough Lion’s Community Centre for our evening AGM program.  The Community Centre is located at 347 Burnham Street in Peterborough.

AGM Program

5:00 – 6:00      Social hour: an opportunity to meet and chat with fellow FBO members and enjoy some refreshments.  A cash bar will be available.

6:00 – 7:00      Buffet Dinner

7:00 – 8:00      Feature Speaker:  Jeff M. Saarela (Research Scientist, Canadian Museum of Nature)
“From Spruce to Shore: Arctic Botany of the Coppermine River, Nunavut”
In July 2014, Jeff and his colleagues explored the rich flora of the Coppermine River valley, including spectacular Bloody Falls/Kugluk Territorial Park and Kugluktuk in western Nunavut. In this botanically underexplored area, the treeline reaches its northern limit in Nunavut, just 40 km south of the Arctic coast. Among more than 1000 collections of vascular plants are many first records for Nunavut and numerous major and minor range extensions for boreal and Arctic species. Detailed floristic knowledge of this area provides solid baseline knowledge of plant biodiversity that may be useful for tracking future change in the area due to climate change.  

8:00 – 9:30      Annual General Meeting


Ø  Call to Order
Ø  Introduction of FBO Executive and address of the President
Ø  Presentation of Goldie Award
Ø  Approval of Agenda
Ø  Approval of the 2014 AGM Minutes
Ø  Treasurer’s Report
Ø  Auditor’s Report
Ø  Membership Chairman’s Report
Ø  Nominating Committee Report and election of officers
Ø  Suggestions for future trips and location of 2016 AGM
Ø  General discussion and other business
Ø  Adjournment