Article written by Tiffani Harrison
This summer I had the privilege of working in western Canada, in the beautiful province of Alberta. I was working in pollinator conservation at Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, and was I ever excited! This was my first experience working at a provincial park and given my first tour of the park I was absolutely smitten! Beautiful landscape, the mountains right off in the distance, and a very warm and welcoming Glenbow family. Coming from the inner city of Ontario, it was quite the transition.
Working under Wildlife Preservation Canada’s Native Pollinator Initiative, I was conducting bumble bee surveys in different habitats of the park, looking hard for some of Alberta’s species at risk. Additionally, I ran other pollinator research projects, as well as helping manage our citizen science Bumble Bee Watch monitoring program over the summer. This program provides Albertans with a unique opportunity to get directly involved with pollinator conservation through monitoring surveys at Glenbow (stay tuned for training workshops next year!). Albertans also have the opportunity to get involved with Bumble Bee Watch right from their own home by uploading photos of bumble bees and their nests to http://bumblebeewatch.org, which will be verified by local experts! Glenbow Ranch is a unique area to study our native bumble bees as the ranges of multiple species at risk (yellow-banded bumble bee, western bumble bee, and gypsy-cuckoo bumble bee) overlap in this area.
I was lucky enough to experience this gorgeous park through a variety of seasons; summer, fall and unexpectedly even winter briefly too! I shared the park not only with many local community members, often coming through the park to walk, hike and bike, but also with a variety of wildlife. My time in Calgary and working out of Glenbow Ranch is truly a summer I’ll never forget; and I’ll admit it’s the best office I’ve ever worked out of!
Special thanks to the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation for their support managing volunteers, promoting training and volunteer opportunities and for providing me a golf cart for my work!
Source: Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park