SLA to Lead a Wetland Ecology Walk Through Belknap Woods
Join the Squam Lakes Association (SLA) on June 17th, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. for a morning of fun and adventure in Belknap Woods. Ages 12 & up are welcome. As part of the SLA Adventure Ecology program series, conservation intern Stevie Raymond will guide a group of participants in a fun exploration of wetlands and the animals that call these fascinating ecosystems home. Participants will identify amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds species as they are encountered throughout the walk.
“Belknap Woods offers a great diversity in wetlands,” says Raymond. “From the shoreland habitat along Squam Lake’s Dog Cove, the Beaver Ponds further into the woods and the stream that connects the two, there are plenty of wetlands to explore during this program.”
Wetlands are some of the most productive ecosystems on the planet that produce a wide variety of flora and fauna. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes these systems as “biological supermarkets” that produce large amounts of food and nutrients that attracts many animal species. However, wetlands are often viewed with disgust due to their grim, wet, and disease-ridden appearance which is unfortunate for animals in these systems. “More than one-third of the United States' threatened and endangered species live only in wetlands, and nearly half use wetlands at some point in their lives,” according the EPA.
In addition to serving various animals and plants, wetlands also provide multiple ecological services to humans. Examples of these services include improving water quality, water filtration, floodwater storage, and storm protection. Wetlands are also a very important part in the world’s economy, especially that of the United States.
By the end of the walk, participants will be knowledgeable enough to identify multiple species and their habitats as well as the ecological services wetlands provide. Furthermore, participants will learn how they can contribute to future scientific studies by means of online public data entries such as iNaturalist and eBird.
For more information, or to sign up for this Adventure Ecology Program, visit the SLA website (squamlakes.org) or contact the SLA directly (603-968-7336). The SLA also offers other Adventure Ecology trips throughout the summer. Every Friday from June 17 through August 19, these free programs are open to the public and cover a variety of nature and conservation related topics. The Adventure Ecology programs are presented by the Squam Conservation Interns who spend their summers on Squam performing important conservation work in support of the Association's mission.