Tiny Marsh BioBlitz 2018

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Tiny Marsh Provincial Wildlife Area

500 Tiny Flos Townline

44°35'35.61"N 79°55'53.08”W

Elmvale, ON L0L 1P0


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Event description


The 2018 Tiny Marsh BioBlitz is back – and this year it will be better than ever!

First, it’s free!

Second, we are celebrating National Aboriginal Day!

Join expert naturalists and indigenous teachers and discover the amazing diversity of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, fish and plants that live within this expanse of marsh, forest and field north- west of Elmvale.

A BioBlitz is an intense search for as many species as possible in a given space over a given time period. The search is for variety, not quantity – so each species gets counted only once, no matter how many individuals are seen.

For Tiny Marsh BioBlitzers, the space is the provincial wildlife area’s approximately 900 hectares. Tiny Marsh is recognized as an Important Bird Area, a globally significant habitat for the conservation of bird populations.

The day starts at 6:00 am, when the bird groups head out to find waterfowl, songbirds and raptors at the time of day during which they are most active.

If that’s too early for you, a variety of guided walks leaves the Nature Centre at 10 am, and again at 1 pm. Bring your own packed lunch for the noon -1 pm break. The day concludes at 4:00 pm, after a listening circle. Scroll down for complete schedule of guided walks and the day's events.

This is a fun day for specialists, amateurs and newcomers to the world of nature. We have found that a 7-year-old is as likely as a seasoned naturalist to spot a rarity. And children delight in the process of discovery and play a role as part of the team.

Arrive prepared with weather appropriate clothing including long pants and closed footwear, PLUS sun protection, sufficient water and insect repellent. Bring snacks (especially those participating in the early morning bird walk). This is a rain or shine event!

Please note there is no potable water available at Tiny Marsh so bring enough water for your day especially if warm temperatures are forecast.

REGISTER NOW free of charge for an exciting and informative day! As organizers, we would prefer for you to pre-register so we have an idea of numbers and ages of people attending, allowing us to better plan the event. Thank you from Lisa Levez-Bordeleau, Kate Harries, Ken MacDonald and Anne McArthur


Where do I park?

In front of the Nature Centre which is BioBlitz Headquarters.

Are there washrooms at Tiny Marsh?

Yes there are washrooms in the Nature Centre.

Tiny Marsh Map - Parking Areas and Visitors Centre

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please email or call 705-322-2545.

Thank you to our generous sponsors. This year the Tiny Marsh Bioblitz is free and accessible to all because of your support!

If your business or organization wishes to be part of our 2018 event as a sponsor, contact We promote all our sponsors in advertising and other materials.


Event Partner logo
Ontario BioBlitz Logo


Early morning 6am to 9:30am

(For WHO’S WHO, scroll to end)

Waterfowl Viewing

Walk the dykes and, with the help of Dave’s powerful lens, get up close and personal with the myriad species of ducks, geese and other waterfowl that at this time of year are raising their young at the marsh.

Dave McLachlin

Bird Challenge

Being an “early bird” pays off as many birds are most active during the first hours of daylight. Wear waterproof boots – even if it’s not raining the dew is heavy.

Ken MacDonald and Dan Whittam

Phyllis Tremblay and Lisa Levez

9:30am Registration

Acknowledgment of traditional territory


Morning 10 am to Noon

What's Growin' On?

Tiny Marsh is awash in colour at this time of year. Find out what’s out there and learn about the role native plants play in the ecosystem.

Lynn Short

Clare Holden


You'll be amazed at how many interesting and beautiful insects go through their life cycle at the marsh – butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, spiders, flies, beetles and more.

Yvonne Metcalfe

Damsels and Dragons

Shimmering, colourful, acrobatic - damselflies and dragonflies are a wonderful indicator of a healthy wetland.

Ken MacDonald and Dan Whittam

On the Wing and Underfoot

This morning walk will take you through a variety of habitats - forest, field and marsh and provide an introduction to the abundance and variety of life that can be found in this important wildlife area – from birds to crayfish.

Jim Charlebois and Jennifer Howard

For kids and would-be kids 10:30-noon

Dip into nature

Dip a net into the water and see what you come up with. Catch a butterfly. Kids 12 and under get a Discovery Passport, net and critter viewing box.

Gary Pritchard and Lisa Levez

12 noon – 12:45 pm LUNCH

Bring your own lunch. There are tables and shelter at the Nature Centre. Note: we will not be providing bbq lunch as in previous years.

12:20 Dave Moore of Canadian Wildlife Services will update us on his Black Tern research

Afternoon 12:45-1:15 pm

Introduction to the Indigenous Perspective

Jeff Monague, Gary Pritchard, Jake Charles, Elizabeth Brass Elson, Saige Sandy


Afternoon 1:30pm – 3:30pm

Listening, learning, respecting

The indigenous way of being on the land – it’s all about paying attention. Watch out for life in all its forms and learn how we can use plants and creatures but how we must also take care.

Jeff Monague and Saige Sandy

Indigenous Use of Wetlands

The importance of wetlands with regard to medicines and food and the threats they face. Tools for harvesting – past and present. What wetlands mean in existing and modern treaties.

Gary Pritchard

First Nations Garden

How traditional knowledge helps us understand nature. The wilderness is our resource – for food, medicines, art, ideas and many other uses.

Jake Charles and Elizabeth Brass Elson

For kids and would-be kids 1:15 – 3:15

Dip into nature

Dip a net into the water and see what you come up with. Catch a butterfly. Kids 12 and under get a Discovery Passport, net and critter viewing box.

David Eales

Winding Down 3:30-4:30 pm

Circle of Life


With Georgina Island drummer Jake Charles

Sharing the experience of the day

Bring your own lawn chair and cool drink if required.

If you wish to put your name down for a specific walk or walks, email your preference to and we will do our best to accommodate you with the leader/topic of your choice. Thanks.

Chi Miigwetch for joining us!


Jim Charlebois, a member of the 2013-14 Tiny Marsh biological inventory volunteer group, is an accomplished wildlife photographer, with a particular affection for butterflies and Trumpeter Swans.

Elizabeth Brass Elson is an aboriginal resource technician, Union of Ontario Indians Women's Water Commissioner for southeast region, and crafter and artist.

Jake Charles, a drum and pipe carrier from the First Nation of Georgina Island, shares his traditional knowledge through First Nations Cultural Tours.

David Eales is a member of Nature Barrie and a director of MTM Conservation Association, which manages Marl Lake, Tiny Marsh and Matchedash Bay.

Clare Holden is a member of Nature Barrie and Ontario Nature, a graduate of two Master Naturalist courses, and a member of the 2013-14 Tiny Marsh biological inventory volunteer group.

Lisa Levez Bordeleau, 12 years an environmental consultant and field ecologist, and now celebrating 4 years as the owner of The Earth is Hiring, facilitating indoor and outdoor seasonal ecology-based learning.

Jennifer Howard, an award-winning and published naturalist, photographer and educator, loves the wilderness and everything big and small that lives within it. Member of the 2013-14 Tiny Marsh biological inventory volunteer group.

Ken MacDonald is a long-time member of the Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists. Novice birdwatcher for over 40 years. Lifelist 250 species. Not bad for a guy who doesn't go anywhere.

David McLachlin, a specialist in Wildlife Biology and Wetland Restoration with Ducks Unlimited Canada, has undertaken the enhancement, inspection and management of hundreds of wetland restoration projects throughout Ontario.

Yvonne Metcalfe has been fascinated with insects and spiders all her life. Through her keen interest in macro photography, she works to show people the beauty of insects, the important role they play in the world and how they deserve our respect.

Jeff Monague, former chief of Beausoleil Island First Nation, manager of Springwater Provincial Park, is a teacher, author and musician.

Dave Moore, a biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service, focuses on water and marsh bird species in Ontario and is in the second year of a 2-year research project into Tiny Marsh’s Black Tern population

Gary Pritchard, a member of Curve Lake First Nation, is senior aquatic ecologist and Indigenous communications liaison with Skelton Brumwell Associates. He leads teams in aquatic assessments such as species at risk/biodiversity studies and habitat suitability monitoring. He advises on Duty to Consult and leads engagement initiatives with Indigenous communities whose Treaty Rights are at risk from site alteration.

Saige Sandy, a member of Beausoleil First Nation, has a bachelor's degree in Environmental Sustainability from Lakehead University and is the Park Guide at Springwater Provincial Park.

Lynn Short, a long-time Tiny Township cottager, teaches horticulture at Humber College and heads a Phragmites control research project. She received the 2016 Bob Whittam Environmental Award from the Severn Sound Environmental Association.

Phyllis Tremblay, graduate of Master Naturalist program, 40 year member of Nature Barrie, long time member of Ontario Nature and the Regional Coordinator of Ontario SwiftWatch. Participated in several biological inventories including Tiny Marsh and Minesing Wetlands.

Dan Whittam is a member of the Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists Club.

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Tiny Marsh Provincial Wildlife Area

500 Tiny Flos Townline

44°35'35.61"N 79°55'53.08”W

Elmvale, ON L0L 1P0


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