The BRWC/FOB is holding its first ever spring speaker series titled: Natural History on the Blackstone. There will be three different talks by three experts in their field. All talks are free and open to the public. All talks will be held rain or shine. Just the activity afterward will be cancelled if it is raining. To register, or for more information call Judy at: 401-724-5292.
The first will be:
Wild Flowers of the Blackstone Valley
Saturday, May 21, 2016 • 1:00 – 3:00 P.M.
Power point presentation followed by walk to view the wild
flowers growing around Sycamore landing.
Presenter: Kathy Barton
The second one is:
Bees and Beekeeping
Sunday, June 5, 2016 • 2:00 – 3:00 P.M.
Learn about the importance of honeybees in a natural
setting and how they pollinate flowers.
Presenters: Chris and Bonnie Combs.
The third is:
Astronomy and Summer Stargazing
Thursday, June 16, 2016 • 8:00 P.M.
Come learn about the Summer Solstice and constellations.
Telescopes will be available for viewing.
Presenter: Francine Jackson
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Check out the new report detailing the partnership between the BRWC / FOB and the local public school science departments.
The River Rat Program is an ongoing and flexible program to engage students and teachers from local public schools with river preservation and environmental education programs. BRWC members and science teachers get students involved with active programs such as the Fish Ladders, River Stewardship, Volunteer clean-up opportunities, Water Quality, and real time visits to and in the rive! Students get a hands-on experience on the river and then continue in the classroom for a real-world application of what they learn, in the form of positive changes in how we use and view the river. Schools that we have partnered with in the past include: Cumberland High School, Central Falls High School, Woonsocket High School, Mount Saint Charles Academy, McCourt Middle School, Dr. Earl F. Calcutt Middle School.
The program will be held Saturday September 19th from 12 to 3 PM at our environmental education center. Located at 100 New River Road, Manville, RI 02838.
Cost is $3/person and is suitable for ages 6 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. To register, or for more information, call 401-724-5292.
Join us on July 31st, August 29th and September 27th for the Full Moon Paddle.
Cost: $25 per boat- (limit per boat- 2 adults and 1 child seated in the middle of the boat). Includes- Boats, life-jackets and paddles.
If you have your own boat- You may bring your own boat but a $10 donation is requested to join the event.
Free 1-year membership- included with each boat rental.
To sign-up please contact:
John Marsland (401-644-3215) or Bob Charpentier (401-688-4416).
If unavailable, please leave a message with your Name, Contact Info and number of participants in your party.
Now that Spring is here, wildlife is out and about, and on the move. We all enjoy watching the birds and wildlife in our yards and in the wild. Here is an article that explains what to do should you encounter an injured or abandoned animal or bird.
What to do when you find birds or wildlife in distress
Does nature need rescuing?
This article is re-posted with permission. Originally published in the Valley Breeze on June 18th, 2015 in the Living Edition.
SMITHFIELD “There are some things we can set the yearly clock by,” said Audubon refuge manager and naturalist Kim Calcagno. Each winter, she fields scores of phone calls about weak and emaciated water birds like Canada geese, loons, grebes, and ducks. This past winter, the calls came through in the hundreds, she said.
Now, throughout spring and summer when people spot baby birds outside of their nests, Calcagno’s phone will light up again. Baby birds are often at the mercy of particularly persistent myths, said Calcagno. Some people believe, for instance, that a baby bird cannot be reunited with its parents if it¹s fallen out of a nest. But nothing could be further from the truth, she said.
“Parent birds invest a lot of time and energy in their babies, and won¹t give up on them easily,” said Calcagno. “Even if a storm destroys a nest, the parents fly around for days looking for their young. It’s easier than most people think to reunite baby birds with their parents.” Warns, Calcagno, “Most people don¹t know that raising baby birds is highly specialized and demanding. Baby birds need to be fed every 15 minutes from dawn until dusk.” The Audubon Society of Rhode Island urges people to call an expert before trying to help a bird or animal that appears to be injured or orphaned. A lot of supposed “rescue missions” carried out by non-experts may be well intentioned, but ultimately harmful to wildlife. An expert should always be consulted before intervening with wildlife.
Audubon offers expert advice on what to do:
Before intervening in any way with an animal that appears to be injured or orphaned, monitor it from a distance and make some careful observations: What type of animal is it? If you’re unsure of the species, note the size, shape, and markings on the animal. Is it an adult or a baby? Where is it located? Did you see it moving? If it’s not moving, how long has it been in the same spot? Has anyone touched the animal? What obvious injuries do you see? If known, what is the reason for the injury? Call Audubon at 401-949-5454 or the Rhode Island Wildlife Clinic at 401-294-6363 for guidance before intervening. If no one is available to answer your call, visit www.riwildliferehab.org for helpful information or www.asri.org and click on the “Ask Audubon” page.
During normal hours of operation, injured animals may be brought to the Wildlife Clinic at 240 Shermantown Road in Saunderstown. Do not leave animals if the clinic is not open. Audubon is not licensed to accept injured wildlife.
Here are some answers to common questions:
A baby bird out of its nest, with no visible injuries:
If the bird doesn’t have feathers and you can reach the nest, put it back. Your touch will not cause the mother to abandon the baby. If you can¹t reach the nest, Calcagno advises tacking a small basket like a pint-sized strawberry basket to the tree, or as close to the nest as possible, and placing the baby bird gently in the basket. If the bird has feathers, leave it alone and monitor it. Juvenile birds that appear to be alone and incapable of flight are not necessarily injured or abandoned. A fledgling will hop around on the ground for a while before it learns to fly, and you may notice its parents coming around every 45 minutes or so to feed it. In the meantime, the best thing is to leave the bird alone and not attract the attention of predators to it.
An injured or orphaned raccoon, skunk, bat, fox, or woodchuck:
Never touch these animals. Secure all pets indoors. Keep children away. These are rabies vector species. Call the Department of Environmental Management at 401-222-3070 or your animal control officer. If a person has skin-to-fur contact with these animals, the person must be vaccinated and the animal must be euthanized.
A fawn alone in the bushes, or at the edge of the woods, calling out:
Don’t attempt to move the fawn, and monitor it from at least 40 feet away. Note how long has the fawn been calling for its mother. A mother deer will leave her fawns to go off and forage. Since her babies are born without a scent, they may remain undetected and the mother expects to find them in the same place when she returns. If the fawn is up on its feet and running around, is visibly distressed or injured, or has been calling for a half-hour or more, call the Wildlife Clinic.
A rabbit nest that seems abandoned:
It’s best to observe this nest from a distance and not draw attention to it. Chances are, that’s exactly what the mother of the young rabbits has in mind. She’ll only return to the nest briefly at dawn and at dusk. If she sat on the nest for any length of time, her presence would be a red flag to predators.
An orphaned baby squirrel, bird, or rabbit:
Do not feed the animal or bring it into your home. Call the Wildlife Clinic or Audubon immediately. Mere hours can mean the difference between a relatively healthy baby animal and one that has suffered so much that it cannot be saved.
The Blackstone River Watershed Council will be holding a used clothing & fundraiser drive. From Sunday June 14th through Saturday June 20th. You can bring your gently used clothing along with, shoes, belts, hats, gloves, scarves, purses, all bedding, linens, towels, comforters, rugs, and stuffed animals to three different Savers stores. Just drive up to the door and be sure to tell them that you are donating for the Blackstone River Watershed Council. For every pound of these items donated Savers will pay us .20 cents a pound!
You may bring other items with you that day and donate them, but we will not get direct credit for any other items other than the ones listed above. The three Savers locations that are participating in our fundraising drive are the Providence Savers, 201 Branch Ave., the Woonsocket Savers, 1500 Diamond Hill Rd. and the North Attleboro, MA Savers at 1385 South Washington Street.
Check the Savers Fundraiser Flyer for more details. Any questions, E-mail Judy Hadley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 401-724-5292. Thanks, and Happy Donating!