Landscapes - Spring 2016 - (Page 36)

PR AIRIE CHORUS DON HESTER THE BALLAD OF FROG PLAIN 1 >FR_LP+ LA CHANSON DE LA GRENOUILLÈRE EN_ TWO HUNDRED YEARS ago, an expansive stretch of wet meadows covered some 120 hectares of what is now Winnipeg's West Kildonan Community. These wetlands, which would typically have held water most of the year, were densely populated - with a vast choir of Boreal Chorus Frogs. The meadows lay in the heart of the Scottish Red River Settlement. Not surprisingly, the settlers named the area Frog Plain. The Boreal Chorus Frog is Manitoba's smallest frog. Because the frogs are less than three centimetres long and hide under leaves or in tall grass during the day, they often go unseen, but their dusk and dawn chorus is a sign of spring. Come winter, the tiny amphibians hibernate under leaves or logs above the frost line, since they can tolerate being frozen solid. In spring, they emerge quickly, and soon tiny tadpoles dart about the waters of the spring melt before hotter temperatures dry out the temporary breeding ponds. FROG PLAIN IN HISTORY: CHANSON DE LA GRENOUILLÈRE In 1814, Frog Plain was the site of a deadly confrontation between the Red River Settlers, who had arrived two years earlier, and the Manitoba Métis. The first winters were harsh; the settlers required all available provisions to survive. Therefore, the Governor placed an embargo on the pemmican trade. The trade, however, was an essential part of the Métis' livelihood. Disregarding the proclamation, a small band of Métis was discovered passing through Frog Plain on their way to trade on Lake Winnipeg; 24 settlers then confronted them. The battle is immortalized in the "Ballad of Frog Plain" or "Chanson de la Grenouillère" by Pierre Falcon, a Métis poet and troubadour who worked for the North West Company. Gunfire was exchanged: in the words of the songwriter, "the Governor is full of ire and forthwith tells his men to fire." In the end, two Métis and 20 settlers were killed. WHAT ABOUT THE FROGS? In 2004, Novamet Development Company asked AECOM to update and renew City of Winnipeg development and zoning approvals for the Riverbend South Subdivision. AECOM proposed a basic public consultation program, since Winnipeg's Community Committees are typically concerned that "the neighbours" be consulted about any new development, particularly infill. An initial site visit in the fall did not find any significant tree cover or standing water. 2 RED RIVER SETTLEMENT 1816 IMAGES 1 SOCIÉTÉ HISTORIQUE DE SAINT-BONIFACE ARCHIVES, COLLECTION GÉNÉRALE DE LA SHSB, 0001/9/304/36 2 HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY ARCHIVES, ARCHIVES OF MANITOBA, N6962 00% 4 36 LANDSCAPES PAYSAGES 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2016

Returning the Tide
A Question of Balance
A role for the Applied Ecologist
WET Design
The Ballad of Frog Plain
Landscape Laboratories|Laboratoires Paysagers
1000 Acres in Essex
3 Wetlands: 3 Discoverles...
Fen and White Cedar
Ecological Landscaping
The Last Word | Le Mot De La Fin

Landscapes - Spring 2016