The 1st Youth Expedition to Survey Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora 

In August 2021, with the support of the National Geographic Society, Becky and the Nature Guardians YNC chapter completed our first-ever overnight trip, a 4-day expedition to Kespukwitk or South West Nova Scotia, where we learned about rare Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora and practiced citizen science skills by trying our hands at standard monitoring techniques for plant populations.

In a giant raised bog near Port La Tour, we greeted some Endangered Thread-leaved Sundew plants and did a transect survey to better understand how these unique carnivorous plants arrange themselves in the landscape.

Then, at a gravelly shoreline in Kejimkujik National Park and Historic Site, we learned about quadrat surveys and investigated community assemblages in a gradient from the waterline to the dry beach.

Finally, in a marsh in Greenfield, we counted threatened Goldencrest and Redroot plants and recorded observations of visiting pollinators.

Throughout the trip, we recorded our observations in our new nature journals, enhancing our observations by focusing on the minute details of flower form, community composition, and making notes about the sights, sounds, and smells of every field site we visited. We often hear about how the Nature Guardians act as secondary educators when they go back home and tell their families about the things they saw and conservation action projects they worked on at our gatherings, and so sharing our findings with the public was an important goal of our special trip to the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Back home, we got to work turning those journal submissions into our first publication, which we decided to call The Kids Guide to Weird Plants of the Atlantic Coastal Plain!

Download your copy today or join a YNC chapter event to get a physical copy.

Thank you to our sponsors, our knowledgeable field guides Alex, Emma, and Heather, and friends of the Young Naturalists Club who helped us plan our trip and get the final Guide ready, Alain Belliveau of the Acadia Herbarium, Brad Toms of Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, Ingrid and Burkhard Plache of the Halifax Field Naturalists, and Karen McKendry our YNC President.

For more about Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora, see

August 16, 2021