The Brant Rod and Gun Club is calling on environmentalists of all ages to attend its first-ever Eco Conference on March 2.
Attendees at the free full-day conference will hear from seven speakers on environmental themes such as fish habitats, wildlife and land use, waterway connections and Brantford’s forest in the city.
“We are open to university students, high school students and members of the general public who want to know what’s going on around then,” said Rod and Gun Club chair Bruce Hill.
The club has hosted many speakers in the past and the conference was a logical next step, Hill said. He gave credit to second vice president Doris Myke for her efforts at organization.
“It’s her dream,” he said.
Hill is excited about the conference’s lineup of “top rate” speakers.
Art Timmerman, a marine biologist from the Ministry of Natural Resources, will present the results of a 2010 biomass study of Whiteman’s Creek, the first such study of the creek in more than 10 years. MNR specialist Larry Halyk will offer tips about maintaining a good fish habitat.
Pauline Johnson Collegiate environmental science teacher Tom Sitak will talk about his students’ community projects, such as the rehabilitation of D’Aubigny Creek.
Hill hopes young people with an interest in the environment will jump at the chance to hear from experts such as Earth Week chair Chuck Beach and Six Nations wildlife officer Paul Genera, who will discuss the history of sturgeon in the Grand River.
“It’s the youth’s world of the future that we’re trying to plan in a way that makes sense,” Hill said. “We’re all going to be gone in 20 or 30 years, so we want new people in the club and awareness of what’s going on in the environment.”
There was such interest from prospective speakers that the club had to turn some away, Hill said. About 40 attendees have signed up so far, with capacity for about 180.
The Rod and Gun Club is about more than hunting and fishing, Hill said. Since its formation in 1937, club members have contributed to many local conservation projects, such as rehabilitating streams, planting trees and pushing for the construction of a water purification plant in the County of Brant during the 1950s.
“Hunters and fishermen are the best conservationists,” Hill said. “They’re the people out there all the time.”
To pre-register for the conference – which includes a free lunch – call 519-449-2658, email email@example.com or visit the club at 54 Henderson Rd. in Brantford.