Citizen scientists join mushroom experts and Nature Conservancy Canada staff in mushroom field studies at Midgeley Conservation Area (Pat Morrow photo)

Creston Valley citizen scientists are invited to join mushroom field study

Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) will host two mushroom-foraging events on its West Kootenay conservation lands to search for furtive fungi.

Citizen scientists are invited to join mushroom experts and NCC staff in the mushroom field studies. Volunteers will learn how to identify, collect and properly catalogue mushrooms.

“Fungi play a very important role in recycling nutrients in our forests, and we are even learning how these organisms can help with everything from restoring degrading environments to increasing our understanding of climate change,” said communications manager for Nature Conservancy of Canada Lesley Neilson.

The first field study takes place Oct.5 in Midgeley Conservation Area. The second field study, on Oct. 26, will take volunteers into Darkwoods Conservation Area. Both events will begin by meeting up at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area and then driving into the conservation sites.

The field study will help expand the inventory of mushroom species documented on NCC conservation lands.

“The Nature Conservancy of Canada is keen to contribute to the growing body of science around fungus biology in B.C., and one way we can do that is by inventorying the mushroom species found on our conservation lands,” said Neilson. “At our mushrooming event last fall, volunteers found and identified over 100 different species of fungus in just a few hours. Their efforts doubled our inventory of known mushroom species on the property. Samples of these mushrooms are also sent to the fungal herbarium at the University of Victoria, which serves to support mushroom research more broadly.”

To date, the NCC has catalogued 200 different species on the properties, many of which are new records for the area. The catalogue represents one of the most extensive single regional studies focussed on macrofungi diversity in the province.

Event Details:

Mushrooming at Midgeley

Date: Saturday, October 5

Time: 10:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Midgeley Conservation Area

Darkwoods Fungus Foray

Date: Saturday, October 26

Time: 10:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: Darkwoods Conservation Area

For more information and to sign up go to www.naturereconservancy.ca.

Also read: Expanded social worker program enhances primary care in Creston


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