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What’s Happening at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre: Seeds for the future

What’s Happening at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre: Seeds for the future Robin Browne, Propagation Specialist The K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre at Acadia University not only houses a collection of dried plant specimens within the Irving Biodiversity Collection’s E. C. Smith Herbarium, it is also home to a seed bank of native plant species from the Acadian Forest Region. The storage of seed is considered an important conservation strategy for preserving biodiversity and protecting our native plants for the future well-being of the planet. Factors like human population increase, habitat loss, disease outbreaks, competition from invasive species, and…
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What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens: Acadian Forest

What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens: Acadian Forest Melanie Priesnitz, Conservation Horticulturist   If you’ve read my column, taken one of my courses, or walked through the woods with me, you will know that I spend a lot of time talking about why the Acadian Forest Region is such a precious place and how important it is that we work together to preserve it. For one night on Monday October 23 I get to sit back and listen to someone else share their passion and knowledge of our amazing, unique, and at-risk forest.   To kick off Acadia’s…
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The Dome Chronicles: Thanks but No Thanksgiving

The Dome Chronicles: Thanks but No Thanksgiving Garry Leeson   In 1972, a boxcar from Toronto containing a menagerie of farm animals and an eager young couple pulled into the station platform in Kingston, Nova Scotia. They were bound for a deserted hundred-acre farm on the South Mountain, determined to preserve the foundations of farmsteads past while constructing a geodesic dome. They were pioneers of the future, armed with respect for tradition and an irrepressible sense of humour. They didn’t call themselves farmers. They were back-to-the-landers. Farming was industry and their calling was sustainability. Over the next forty years, through…
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Valley Family Fun: Lots of Great Local Reads for Kids

Valley Family Fun: Lots of Great Local Reads for Kids By Laura Churchill Duke As the author Beverly Cleary says “children should learn that reading is pleasure, not just something teachers make us do at school”. In the valley we are blessed with so many great local authors writing books specifically for kids. The best places to find these books are by asking a librarian at your local library (valleylibrary.ca), or by stopping by one of our book stores. Box of Delights in Wolfville and Chisholm’s in Kentville always carry a great selection of local reads. Here are some of…
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What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens: Reading Nature

What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens: Reading Nature By Melanie Priesnitz, Conservation Horticulturist Working outside in nature most everyday gives me a wonderful opportunity to really see and feel the changing seasons. It has made me less reliant on internet and radio weather forecasts, and taught me to observe and interpret the signs around me. Prior to the onset of technology, this type of observation of the natural world was common practice. With changing times, more of us are losing track of what’s happening outdoors and some simply don’t seem to care. Each year I note the first…
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The Dome Chronicles: Confession of a Karaoke Addict

The Dome Chronicles: Confession of a Karaoke Addict By Garry Leeson In 1972, a boxcar from Toronto containing a menagerie of farm animals and an eager young couple pulled into the station platform in Kingston, Nova Scotia. They were bound for a deserted hundred-acre farm on the South Mountain, determined to preserve the foundations of farmsteads past while constructing a geodesic dome. They were pioneers of the future, armed with respect for tradition and an irrepressible sense of humour. They didn’t call themselves farmers. They were back-to-the-landers. Farming was industry and their calling was sustainability. Over the next forty years,…
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What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens

What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens By Adrien Green, Head Gardener and Educator In our beautiful forest community, when we stand amid the trees we often feel the sensation of belonging, or that we are a part of something much larger than ourselves. Humans have received many gifts from trees over millennia including food, lumber for building, heating for homes and oftentimes metaphors conveying strength, flexibility and generosity. Trees can make us feel humble and connected all at once. In the spirit of Deep Roots, let’s imagine what lies beneath the trunks of the trees we see in…
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Valley Vixen

Valley Vixen By David Wimsett The Valley Vixen sex-positive bookshop and adult toy store opened its doors on April 29, 2017 at 3 Elm Avenue in Wolfville. Co-owners Tessa and Max Janes were thrilled with the reception. Tessa said that traffic inside the store on the first day was, “A constant flow.” They had advertised widely and offered special sales for the day. Since then, the shop has been open for regular business and offering unique workshops. So far Tessa says, “Business is going great.” Max and Tessa are first-time business owners. They each graduated from Acadia University in May…
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What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens: Serviceberry

What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens: Serviceberry By Melanie Priesnitz, Conservation Horticulturist The fruit of the Acadian Forest is starting to ripen much to the delight of the creatures who call the region home. One of the first wild berries enjoyed by birds and humans alike are that of the serviceberry. There are a variety of shrubs and small trees referred to as serviceberries. They are in the Rose family (Roseaceae) and are in the genus Amelanchier. There are ten or so species native to Nova Scotia. They can be tricky to identify and classify as they hybridize…
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A Talk and Book Signing with Jonathan White

A Talk and Book Signing with Jonathan White, author of TIDES: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean   Friday, July 14, noon-2pm, Auditorium, K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre Expert mariner and marine conservationist Jonathan White spent four consecutive summers visiting the Bay of Fundy region during his research on tides. Now he is returning to promote his new book, TIDES: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean (Trinity University Press 2017). White will be sharing his insights on why the Bay of Fundy is a teaching ground and critical to understanding what global warming means for our coastlines. In…
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