Renfrew County Nature Notebook is a companion website to the Renfrew County Biotabase and the Renfrew County Nature Notebook Facebook Page. Here you will find lots of information about where to go in Renfrew County to experience nature. There are also tools and resources to help you to observe and identify species and suggestions for sharing your observations.
This website was inspired by the work of Chris Michener, a long time resident of the Ottawa Valley, skilled naturalist and visionary citizen scientist. Chris dearly loved all of his fellow creatures, right down to the tiniest snow flea.
In 2009, Chris spearheaded a collaborative project between the Ottawa River Institute, the Pembroke Area Field Naturalists and Bird Studies Canada to create a "Citizen Science" flora and fauna database for Renfrew County, the "Renfrew County Biotabase".
The intent behind the initiative was not just to track the species of plants and animals that are found in Renfrew County and where they are found, but also to involve more ordinary citizens in the tracking of these species. Chris believed that the more attention paid and the more people paying attention to the myriad species around us, the greater would be the chances that we would care for and protect them, thus preserving the wealth of intact ecosystems and rich biodiversity for future generations in the Ottawa Valley.
Unfortunately Chris passed away in June 2011, one year after beginning the project and before its completion. But his passion for life in Renfrew County lives on in many ways, not least of which is this website, the purpose of which is to enable folks of all ages to get out in nature in Renfrew County, enjoy observing plants and animals of all kinds, and to make and share observations as Citizen Scientists.
Photo: Chris Michener, 2008
Photos: Snow Fleas, Chris Michener