Sunday, April 26, 2009

Earth Day Spotlight - Coyotes

This past Saturday was the 9th Annual Earth Day Event at Everett Crowley Park. Here is the event description, borrowed from the Earth Day Canada website:

"Everett Crowley Park was once used as Vancouver’s landfill. VanEast Parks Department in cooperation with Everett Crowley Committee Members and Community Volunteers have turned this abused site into the “jewel of East Vancouver.” Planting of native species and removal of invasive alien plant species is undertaken annually by the Community at each annual Earth Day Event and created a beautiful park for all to enjoy. The site has Viewpoints which offer stunning views across the Fraser River overlooking lush green market gardens and to the East a magnificent view of Mount Baker. Eagles, hawks and owls fly overhead, nature walks and birding tours are offered by the Committee. People of all ages now walk and play in open areas surrounded by towering evergreens. In 2008, 5,000 people came to enjoy a day of free live entertainment, learned new things, got down and planted and had a wonderful day in the Park. Educational booths offer information on how each of us can make small changes in our daily lives to help protect our environment for today and for future generations. We expect a large turnout this year to enjoy what has become an eagerly anticipated event."

All three of my children and I walked over around noon to see what was going on. This was the first year that we attended. It was wonderful! So much to see and do, and there were so many friends and neighbours there to wave to or stop and chat with.

The Stanley Park Ecology Society had an information booth set up which focused on "Co-existing with Coyotes". I found it to be very interesting - I've seen many coyotes in the city - from a distance as well as a few 'too close for comfort' encounters. The SPEC steward who was manning the booth had a homemade 'coyote shaker' that he was demonstrating and passing about. I had never heard of one before, but now that I've seen one, I've decided that it is going to be this week's craft project with the kids! Here is some infomation from SPEC's website:

The Coyote Shaker

Materials:
•Pop or juice can
•About 40 pennies
•Aluminum foil
•Duct tape


Instructions:
1.Place the pennies in the can
2.Cover the opening with tape
3.Cut a piece of foil and tape it around the can


Using the Shaker
Shake the tin at the coyote while slowly moving towards an area of increased activity. The shaker scares the approaching coyote in three ways, through:

1.Aggressive hand motion
2.Loud noise
3.Reflective light

The shaker easily fits in a pocket or bag.

Also from the SPEC website, "It may surprise some readers that the Co-existing with Coyotes program encourages people to harass coyotes. Coyotes are opportunists and always learning, it's a major factor in their success. By harassing a coyote that shows no fear of people, or follows your dog, you send it a message that they have been recognized and that they need to keep their distance. Without a reasonable fear of people, coyotes and other urban wildlife will often become habituated, thereby increasing the potential for conflicts with humans. The most common conflicts involve coyotes attacking pets."

Certainly a good perspective to keep in mind! Happily, I know two little boys with big imaginations and lots of energy for adventure who will be raring to head back to the park to make some noise with their newly constructed, SPEC sanctioned gadgets! I'll arm myself with my ecologically sound, reusable coffee canteen and my camera of choice and I'll be just as eager to head out, in pursuit of little boys' laughter, sunshine, and good photo ops! Fun for all ages!

1 comment:

imaginethatiiwii said...

Love your collage! Picasa? LOL!
That coyote shaker is cool! I wonder if it works with foxes too? We have a couple foxes that run through our complex... beautiful.. but a little scary!
Jen

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