UPDATED WETLAND PLANTS and DELINEATION for 2017:  at Uniacke House and Brooklyn

JULY 10th through JULY 14th, 2017

Class is in session (group is being finalized)

INSTRUCTORS: Plants = Nick Hill (Fern Hill Institute) and Melanie MacDonald (McCallum Environmental)
Soils = Kevin Keys (Solum Environmental)
Delineation = Kevin and Nick

DAY ONE and TWO: Plants

read over Plant List. plantlist2017

You can find many of these plants in the Peatland Guide (see below) and all at GoBotany website of New England wildflower society.

DAY THREE through FIVE: Delineation, soils and hydrology ..and plants

This is the Regional Supplement for the Northeast of USA put out by the Army Corps of Engineers..this is the authoritative source for wetland delineation in the USA and for Canada.


DAYS START: 8:30 on site

DAYS END: 5:00 on site

LOCATION ONE (DAYS 1, 2 and 3): Carriage House on the Uniacke House grounds ( ). Lunch at Uniacke House provided.

DAY 1 and 2 = Wetland Plants. We will become familiar with Wetland Types (marsh, swamps..flat and slope,  fen and bog) and their plants.

Read through the Peatland Guide (PeatlandGuideDRAFT) to learn about the different types of wetlands and plants.

DAY 3: Introduction to Hydric Soils on site.

DAY 4: Krista Hilchie (NSE Wetland Coordinator) starts off morning. Practice delineation all day.

DAY 5: In swamp delineation field test in groups.



Nick Hill Conservation Biologist

Nick Hill
Conservation Biologist

Melanie MacDonald Ecological Consultant

Melanie MacDonald
Ecological Consultant

Kevin Keys with tool of trade Soil Scientist

Kevin Keys with tool of trade
Soil Scientist

How to prepare:

1. Equipment to bring includes rubber boots and rain gear and a notebook. You should have, or you may buy from the KCIC coffee shop, a 10X handlens.
SOIL gear includes an auger and a munsell color chart. Augers ($189) can be bought at BAP in Fredericton OR you may bring a small shovel with you. Gearing up for wetland delineation is expensive; once you have taken your soil core or dug a hole, the soil must be coloured with a Munsell Soil Chart ($315). We will have some charts on hand but if you or the company has one, please bring it.

2. We do not expect you to have had botany training. Start by reading the Peatland Guide (link above). 

The Peatland Guide is particularly useful for woody plants, the trees and the shrubs. It also introduces the ferns, forbs and graminoids that are treated in more detail below.

3. We provide the structure for you to tackle various groupings of plants (ferns, forbs and graminoids; LINKS below). The ferns are the primitive group and they are not diverse but are very important in wetland delineation. The forb (broadleaved, herbaceous plants) presentation brings you into the world of flowering plants. The graminoids are daunting. Start with the big differences (sedges have edges, rushes are round, grasses are hollow) then begin to learn the hardware that will let you tell which of these big three groups you have.




Preserving Nova Scotia’s Wetlands:
The history of civilization is tied to how we treat soils and watersheds (David Mongomery’s “Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations”, 2007). Conserving and protecting wetlands is not altruism or tree-hugging: wetlands protect society, and the economy and ecology. We read about flooding of towns, washed out roads, fish kills, beaches closed for clam digging, 100 year old YWCA camp closed, rare plants choked out by effluents in rivers, residents fearful of impacts of development on Dartmouth lakes, and an 11 year old’s science fair project on coliforms in the LaHave. This is all happening province-wide and world-wide, yet at another level, we still feel that wetland protection is a luxury. It gets in the way of development of towns, of farming and new industry.

We have a Wetland Policy and an Environment Act.

Nova Scotia stands with the progressive world in understanding that it is only by protecting wetlands that we can develop.

It is not an either or..development or is both.

We are proud of Nova Scotia and are excited to be able to pass on our love of plants, soils and wetlands to you in a constructive way.

cooking clams on the beach near Kingsport

cooking clams on the beach near Kingsport

Salmon fishing the West River, Pictou

Salmon fishing the West River, Pictou

These courses provide the background needed to recognize the diversity of wetlands that occur in Nova Scotia and to determine–delineate–where the wetland begins and ends. The courses will also foster an appreciation of wetland natural history and an ability to read the landscape.

Riparian red maple swamp with chain ferns and shrubs

Andy Walter delineating on Isle Madame

Andy Walter delineating on Isle Madame

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