Hello fellow plant enthusiast!
We are very excited to host Botany AB this year at Fort Assiniboine Sandhills Wildland Provincial Park and Clyde Fen Candidate Natural Area. We are excited for a weekend of botanizing, herbaria forays, camping, and seeing old and new friends! Below you will find a list of events we would like to be notified of if you are interested in participating in. At the end there are additional thoughts about points of interest in the area from our Northern Director, Marsha Hayward.
We are looking for volunteer(s) who are familiar with Fort Assiniboine Sandhills Wildland Provincial Park and its trails and would be willing to guide the group on Saturday. And lastly, volunteers to keep a species list would help us keep track of what we saw. If you have any questions you can contact me through email at firstname.lastname@example.org . A more detailed email with key points will be sent to anyone who RSVP’s closer to the day.
Be sure to book your accommodation. We have reserved spots at Freeman River RV Park. You can make your reservation by emailing email@example.com or calling 780-584-2364. Please inform them you are part of the Botany Albert group (with Anna and Joelyn). Alternative accommodation includes:
• Linda’s Motor Inn is located on Highway 33 very close to the center of Fort Assiniboine (780-584-3883)
• Additional camping and cabins are available at Woodlands RV park situated on the Athabasca River 780-584-2222, at the Horse Creek Ranch Campground (780-584-2535) and at the Holmes Crossing Campground managed by County of Barrhead (780) 674-3331
Please ensure you bring the following personal items:
• Hand lens
• Plant field guides
• Bear spray
• Bug spray and sun screen
• Snacks, lunch and water
• First aid kit
NOTIFY ME IF: If you haven’t already, please notify me if you wish to participate in any of the following. This is not a permanent decision, but we would like to have an idea of numbers to help us in planning.
- Joining the Friday afternoon, Saturday, and/or Sunday excursions
SCHEDULE: Here is a list of planned excursions and events. This schedule is subject to change and may be canceled with little notice due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Friday, August 6th
3 pm – 5 pm. Excursion in Holmes Crossing Ecological Reserve. Meet at the Day Use staging area of Holmes Crossing Ecological Area to go on an excursion with Rod Olstad. Hike will involve walking along the transverse sand dunes and exploring the adjacent low areas.
Map of Day Use area (see the picnic table symbol, that is the day use area): https://www.albertaparks.ca/parks/central/holmes-crossing-sandhills-er/
Saturday August 7th
8:15 am. Excursion in Fort Assiniboine Sandhills Wildland Provincial Park.
Hike to the first and second viewpoints (1.7 km). Soft, easy trail with treed sandhills and open vegetated slopes. Boreal and boreal grassland ecology. View of Athabasca River below at viewpoints. Depending on time available, total 2.2 km loop through Pinus banksiana forest will be completed. No ACIMS hits, however from Marsha’s experience she believes there is the possibility to find in the park Hudsonia tomentosa (S3) and Selaginella wallacei (S1) and/or Selaginella densa (S5) that would be of interest for the area.
Brochure and trail map for Fort Assiniboine Sandhills Wildland Provincial Park: https://albertaparks.ca/media/3265279/fort-assiniboine-brochure.pdf
Sunday August 8th
10 am. Excursion in Clyde Fen Candidate Natural Area. Derek Johnson and Joelyn Kozar (co-stewards of Clyde Fen) will guide the excursion and run the safety tailgate meeting. We will be updating the plant species list by searching for late flowering species and we will be weeding a small infestation of cicer milk-vetch. Potential ACIMS tracked plants: Liparis loeselii (S2), Malaxis paludosa (S2S3), Eleocharis compressa (S1), and Sphinctrina turbinata (S1). See attached species list for additional potential plants.
ADDITIONAL: Here are some additional points of interest in the area from our Northern Director of ANPC, Marha Hayward.
The ferry ride is very cool, especially if you have never ridden one. The ferry runs from 6:30 am to 11:30 am, 12 pm to 6 pm, and 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm. You just show and the ferry will come to take you to the other side. There are only seven ferry’s in operation in the province: http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/1965.htm
At a graminoid fen approximately 700 m east of the turn out from the Central Staging Area of Fort Assiniboine Sandhills Wildland Provincial Park on the way to the Klondyke Ferry. Carex lacustris (S4) is said to occur here. The graminoid fen occurs on both sides of the highway (UTM NAD 83: 11U 657595E 6035259N).
Pemmican Island is part of Fort Assiniboine Sandhills Wildland Provincial Park and is the largest of the many islands in the Athabasca River. It was enroute of the Klondyke Trail and also believed to have hosted the North West Company Pemmican Post. It contains significant old-growth spruce stands and several ACIMS tracked non-vascular plants on the west side of the island: Entodon schleicheri (S2S3), Peltigera horizontalis (S2S4); Peltigera collina(S2S3); Campylium radicale (S3). Boat access would be required.
See you soon!