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Calling nature lovers: Learn about native species at Niagara College’s Bioblitz on April 13

Tree huggers, unite!

Niagara College's Sustainability Office and students are calling all nature lovers to join the 9th Annual Spring BioBlitz at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Saturday, April 13.

Bioblitz is a free, family-friendly event where citizen scientists explore NC's campus grounds - a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve - to identify and catalogue bugs, birds, amphibians, mammals and plants. Volunteers will come together with the common goal of identifying as many species as possible to create a baseline for researchers and the local community to monitor biodiversity over time.

"Bioblitz is a chance for the community to explore our campus biosphere alongside expert scientists, community members, and passionate Niagara College students," said Taryn Wilkinson, Manager of Sustainability the College. "We look forward to welcoming amateur enthusiasts to help us identify and catalogue native species, which is especially important as climate change and pollution impact local habitats."

A warmer winter and lack of snow cover might mean the presence of special critters this year.

"We know salamanders are already coming out to start breeding, and frogs are also out calling due to the warmer temperatures from climate change," said Katie Bristow, NC's Sustainability Program & Outreach Coordinator. "It will be interesting to see if there is a different species make-up compared to years past."

The day runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes various bird and insect hikes - including a family-friendly option - exploration of lagoon organisms, and a cultural exchange with NC's Indigenous Education.

NC Ecosystem Restoration alumnus Valerie Andrew (2023) will host an interactive display of skulls, antlers, skeletons, furs and other animal anatomy of native wildlife. Indigenous beadwork vendor Emma Gizzarelli of Jacob & Co Designs will hold a beading workshop where participants can make friendship or pony bead bracelets. Canadian Wildlife Federation, the NPCA, and local nature clubs will also have a presence.

Participants are welcome to drop-in to whichever sessions are of interest, and lunch will be provided for those who registered.


8 to 9:30 a.m. Birding Hike with Marcie Jackling
9 to 10 a.m. Benthos with Kerry Royer
10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Biodiversity hike with Owen Bjorgan (family friendly)
11 a.m. to 1 pm. Free lunch for registrants
1 to 2 p.m. A cultural exchange with Aria D'alimonte and Karl Dockstader of NC's Indigenous Education Department
2 to 3 p.m. Birding hike with Jean Hampson and Bob Highcock
3 to 4 p.m. Insect hike with Margaret Pickles
Other hikes may occur throughout the day on an as-needed basis.

For the full agenda, to learn more about Bioblitz, and register, please visit

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 11,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada's top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at

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Media inquiries, please contact:

Jessica Torok
Communications Consultant
Niagara College
[email protected]