Presentation Title

The Natural History of Coldstream Vineyard

Format of Presentation

15-minute lecture to be presented the Saturday of the conference

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to explore the natural history of a small vineyard that is relatively new, just outside of Vernon, B.C. By documenting the history, geography, geology, botany and wildlife presence on the property, I was able to advocate for the practicality and importance of observing the natural world. After all, observation is the first step in conservation. No government is able to afford to pay biologists, naturalists, or environmentalists to monitor all that needs to be monitored. Engaging the general public could contribute much to the protection and the proper stewardship of the land around us. Whether in a wild, rural, or an urban environment, a watchful eye can contribute baseline observations against which future change can be measured. By outlining and recording natural observations, species sightings, geographic and geological factors on this rural agricultural property within the Okanagan, I was able to complete a detailed ecological account of a 16-ha property over a two-month period. The vineyard is on a South facing, gradual slope, North of Kalamalka Lake, B.C. and was originally granted in 1864 and would be owned by both Lord Aberdeen and the Vernon brothers, as part of the Coldstream Ranch. The property is about 85 percent agricultural land, mostly planted with grapes, but also 1-ha of garlic, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, and other vegetables. The remaining portion of the property is a small pond and bulrush wetland, placed in the hollow of the property before raised train tracks. Over the period of two months, I observed 44 species of birds, 57 plant species and several large mammals including a family of coyotes who, having a den nearby, were regular visitors. The work of this project emphasizes the importance of the role that we can all play in preserving the world around us. Certainly, the completion of this project reminded me of the complexities of interactions between species and the importance of diversity and proactive community stewardship of the land.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Lyn Baldwin

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The Natural History of Coldstream Vineyard

The purpose of this project was to explore the natural history of a small vineyard that is relatively new, just outside of Vernon, B.C. By documenting the history, geography, geology, botany and wildlife presence on the property, I was able to advocate for the practicality and importance of observing the natural world. After all, observation is the first step in conservation. No government is able to afford to pay biologists, naturalists, or environmentalists to monitor all that needs to be monitored. Engaging the general public could contribute much to the protection and the proper stewardship of the land around us. Whether in a wild, rural, or an urban environment, a watchful eye can contribute baseline observations against which future change can be measured. By outlining and recording natural observations, species sightings, geographic and geological factors on this rural agricultural property within the Okanagan, I was able to complete a detailed ecological account of a 16-ha property over a two-month period. The vineyard is on a South facing, gradual slope, North of Kalamalka Lake, B.C. and was originally granted in 1864 and would be owned by both Lord Aberdeen and the Vernon brothers, as part of the Coldstream Ranch. The property is about 85 percent agricultural land, mostly planted with grapes, but also 1-ha of garlic, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, and other vegetables. The remaining portion of the property is a small pond and bulrush wetland, placed in the hollow of the property before raised train tracks. Over the period of two months, I observed 44 species of birds, 57 plant species and several large mammals including a family of coyotes who, having a den nearby, were regular visitors. The work of this project emphasizes the importance of the role that we can all play in preserving the world around us. Certainly, the completion of this project reminded me of the complexities of interactions between species and the importance of diversity and proactive community stewardship of the land.