World Wetlands Day in Canada

02/02/2007

Nova Scotia


Groundhog Day and World Wetlands Day to be Celebrated
Department of Natural Resources
January 31, 2007 13:27

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Friday, Feb. 2, is Groundhog Day -- a day when groundhogs across the continent are called upon to predict the weather for winter-weary North Americans.

In Nova Scotia, Shubenacadie Sam will be the animal of the hour, emerging from his burrow at the provincial wildlife park in Shubenacadie to the sounds of a bagpiper and a town crier at 8 a.m.

According to tradition, winter will end soon if a groundhog does not see his shadow. If the groundhog does see it and scuttles back into his burrow, the region can expect six more weeks of winter weather.

Sam, a hibernator, spends most of his winter days resting and munching on vegetables in warmth at the provincial wildlife park.
The park, operated by the Department of Natural Resources, is home to native and exotic wildlife species. Open to the public on weekends during the winter and daily during spring and summer months, it provides an opportunity for visitors to learn and appreciate the interdependence of wildlife and nature.

The links in nature will also be celebrated in another way on Feb. 2. In addition to being Groundhog Day, the date marks World Wetlands Day, the day that the Convention on Wetlands was adopted in 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar.

Each year since 1997, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and groups of citizens in more than 90 countries have used the occasion to raise public awareness of the values and benefits of wetlands. The focus of this year's celebration will be on establishing and maintaining sustainable fisheries in world wetlands.

The Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park will be open from 7 a.m. to noon to celebrate Groundhog Day and World Wetlands Day on Friday, Feb. 2. Admission and activities are free. The day's events begin at 7:30 a.m. with a First Nations welcoming ceremony to the sunrise. There will be face painting, crafts and hot drinks in the Greenwing Legacy Building where displays will also demonstrate the importance of wetlands.

For more information on the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park see the website at wildlifepark.gov.ns.ca/ .


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FOR BROADCAST USE:

Shubenacadie Sam will tell Nova Scotians on Friday (February

2nd) whether or not to expect more wintery weather.

Sam will emerge from his burrow at the provincial wildlife

park in Shubenacadie to the sounds of a bagpiper and a town crier

at 8 A-M on Groundhog Day.

According to tradition, winter will end soon if a groundhog

does not see his shadow. If the groundhog does see it and

scuttles back into his burrow, the region can expect six more

weeks of winter weather.

Admission to the Shubenacadie wildlife park is free

on Groundhog Day. The park will be open from 7 a.m. to noon and

will also host displays honouring World Wetlands Day.

-30-

Media Contact: Sue Penney
Natural Resources
902-758-5316
E-mail: penneysl@gov.ns.ca

Diane LeBlanc
Natural Resources
902-424-2354
E-mail: leblandj@gov.ns.ca

Tim Dunne
Natural Resources
902 424-5239
E-mail: dunnetij@gov.ns.ca


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