President's Report to NOCI AGM Feb 2009

by Doris Ames

It's wonderful to see so many of you out here tonight.  I would especially like to welcome new members and guests.  We have a busy evening planned as you can see by the agenda but there should be time for fun and socializing too and those are the best parts of a meeting. 

I have a few announcements to make:

Don't forget to sign up for the photo clinic on Wednesday, March 15th to be presented by NOCI member and photographer Bill Bremner.  Bill is here this evening and can answer any questions you might have about the clinic during the break. 

Debwendon Inc now has Charity Status.  Thanks to all of you who donated to the boardwalk project already and we look forward to getting many more of you on board.  I mean this quite literally because there is a plan to have the names of those who make significant contributions put onto a section of the boardwalk. 

Don't forget to attend the Manitoba Orchid Society Orchid Show March 27, 28 and 29th at the Assiniboine Park Conservatory.  The theme is Tropical Treasures. 

Last year was our 10th anniversary and it was packed with interesting events, projects, surveys, wildflower festivals, seed collection and lots of fieldtrips. 

We also got to work with some university students.  Kevin Stevenson from the University of Manitoba and Nathan Vadeboncouer from UBC, both did projects involving the Brokenhead Wetlands.  Nathan who is in Resource Management and Environmental Studies developed a tentative conservation plan for the Brokenhead Wetlands.  It can be viewed on the Debwendon website at www.Debwendon.Org

Kevin has just completed his Masters thesis in Sociology and has done extensive research in the area of ecological sociology.  He attempts to answer the question "Why do some people partake in ecological behaviours and make sustained lifestyle changes that are ecologically friendly?"  He conducted interviews with people from four ecologically oriented organizations in the province including Debwendon, who were heavily involved in conservation projects, to see what experiences they might have had in childhood or in school that inspired them not only to agree that ecological integrity is important but to actually try to do something to preserve it in a sustained way.  There were indeed some commonalities in these people, such as having been brought up to care for all of nature not just humans and/ or having had visceral experiences in a natural setting that made them more ecologically sensitive.  That is good to know because it means we might be able to overcome our cultural bias in North America that always puts humans first and learn to educate and influence children when they are young including exposing them to natural settings, so that they grow up naturally to identify with the non-human others under the umbrella term of nature.  Then they will be likely to care about ecological integrity right from the beginning and not have to wait until they have grey hair before they start to work to sustain it.  You can read the full text of Kevin's interesting thesis up on our website at

I will now do a quick review of some of NOCI's activities in 2008 so that you can see we tried to keep our stick on the ice to a certain extent:

January, 2008 - EKO video on the Brokenhead Wetland was completed by Debwendon. 

February 15, 2008 - Annual general meeting and 10th Anniversary party.  EKO video shown for first time. 

March 19,2008 - Display Whiteshell Cottagers Assoc - Club Regent Hotel. 

March 28-30, 2008 - Display Manitoba Orchids at MOS Orchid Show. 

April 18, 2008 - Peg and Doris attended the Darwin Exhibition at the ROM in Toronto. 

April 26, 2008 - Display and EKO dvd presentation Brokenhead Wetlands at Friends of Assiniboine Conservatory Seedy Saturday. 

May 3, 2008 - Fieldtrip Hadashville area - early spring flowers eg: Bloodroot. 

May 15,2008 - Fund raiser for Debwendon with Wanda Luna Art Gallery at the Orbit Room.  Raised $500+ for the boardwalk project

May 17, 2008 - Fieldtrip Steeprock, Manitoba. 

May 21, 2008 - WAM survey trip - Mike James property. 

May 31, 2008 - EKO video presentation, display and NOCI interpreted fieldtrip - WAM Field Day at Mike James property

June 1, 2008 - Rat River Survey with Nat Conservancy for C.candidum. 

June 7, 2008 - Fieldtrip Belair Forest and BON nature trails. 

June 21, 2008 - Carrick Wildflower Festival. 

June 23--July 17, 2008 - Peg, Eugene and Doris trip Winnipeg to Inuvik RT. 

June 28, 2008 - Fieldtrip Brokenhead Wetlands. 

July 29 - Trip to Buffalo Point to collect seeds Purple Fringed Orchid. 

Aug.  22, 2008 - Fall flower festival - Senkiw. 

Sept 6, 2008 - Survey Rat River Swamp with Nat Conservancy for S.magnicamporum. 

October 1, 2008 - Doris, Eugene and NOCI member and SJR alumna Jocelyne Garnett made a presentation on the Brokenhead Wetlands to highschool students at St.John's Ravenscourt and raised $500.00 for the boardwalk project. 

October 24, 2008 - NOCI Members Night. 

December 8, 2008 - Display MNS Members Night

We can use some help with all these kinds of activities so don't hesitate to run for the NOCI board or volunteer.  Please take a look at our new wildflower pins, the NOCI activities album, and the various sale tables during the break and help us raise funds for NOCI's conservation work.