Last Saturday, eight members and allies of the Chroma’s 2SLBTQIA+ community explored Boars Head Nature Preserve, one of the last natural areas with water access in the Millidgeville area of Saint John. Kirsten Johnsen, biologist and conservationist, led the group through the preserve’s trail, teaching them to identify trees, plants, mushrooms and birds.
The walkers admired the plant life and enjoyed hearing bird songs. With passion and much detail, Johnsen identified species around the preserve and revealed the area’s secrets by responding to questions. Some of the plants and trees observed included different types of spruce, hair-cap moss, birch, and maple. At one stop the crew counted rings inside a tree to try and guess its age!
“What motivated me to participate (as a Chroma facilitator) was that I really like teaching and I think learning about the natural world around us is important”, Johnsen said. “When Chroma asked me if I’d be interested, I thought it sounded like fun!”.
In the past Kirsten had attended some of Chroma’s Hiking with Dan events, an outdoor series making connections between 2SLGBTQIA+ nature lovers. She noticed people seemed keen to learn more about plants. “I thought I would help!”.
Besides this, the walkers ran into a fair amount of wild mushroom species and had the chance to hear and spot a hairy woodpecker trying to find food (worms) in a tree top.
“Boars Head Nature Preserve consists of 27 hectares of land along the shore of the Kennebecasis Bay near its confluence with the Wolastoq (Saint John) River, in the Milledgeville area of the city of Saint John. This preserve showcases over 150 meters of pristine shoreline along the Wolastoq River Basin. The preserve contains red spruce groves and cedar and alder wetlands and is home to the very rare Anticosti Aster and the extremely rare maidenhair spleenwort,” according to the Nature Trust of New Brunswick.
—Chroma: Pride, Inclusion, Equality Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides support for 2SLGBTQIA+ people in the Saint John Region. Chroma commits to advocating for and collaborating with our community, as well as providing 2SLGBTQIA+ education to all. We promote positive initiatives for the community and conduct research to highlight gaps in services and policy to encourage positive change.