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Group blitzes Ridgewood South for signs of life
A Charleswood-based naturalist group is looking for area residents to help document plant and wildlife in the Ridgewood South area.
Citizens for Charleswood Habitat Preservation is undertaking a "bioblitz" on private land in the area.
The bioblitz is being done in conjunction with Qualico, which is undertaking a private study on its lands in the area.
"It’s important that Qualico and the city understand that preserving natural areas in Charleswood is very important and the biodiversity here is very large," said CCHP president Victoria MacDonald.
"If we want to preserve natural areas within Charleswood that support these creatures, we need to identify them."
The studies are being led by volunteer biologists and botanists Sue Cosens and Kyle Fontaine, who are involved with the CCHP, MacDonald said.
Though the bird study has been completed, the group is looking in particular for individuals with expertise in plant identification.
The group hopes information gleaned in the blitz will supplement gaps members believe exist in the city’s natural areas assessment of the region, completed last fall.
The group believes future development in the area can’t be properly planned, as the city’s study didn’t account for plant and wildlife that come to life in the region in the spring and summer.
There’s a growing trend to build new neighbourhoods with well-preserved natural areas, MacDonald said.
"It’ an important step for Winnipeg to become a more progressive city in incorporating natural areas in developments like other cities are doing," she said.
"If you don’t know what’s there, you can’t preserve what’s there."
Qualico owns more than 60% of some 600 acres of land expected to see residential development in Ridgewood South.
The company has hired Native Plant Solutions to survey the lands, which has completed similar surveys for Qualico’s previous developments in Sage Creek, Harbourview and Assiniboine Landing.
"There’s a number of wild things that happen in Charleswood that make it an interesting place to work with," said Eric Vogan, land development manager with Qualico Communities.
"When we build neighbourhoods, if we can incorporate natural elements that put people more in touch with more than a road and front yard, it’s a better neighbourhood."
The study will help mitigate displacement when Qualico does develop its lands, Vogan said.
"I think finding out what kind of animals are appreciated in a variety of habitats that are there now allows us to ask how should we shape the lakes and relate them to the bush? Where can we augment the habitat through constructive wetlands?" he said.
"The more you learn, the more careful you are."
For more, visit www.cchpcharleswood.org or email email@example.com.
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