Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Four Area Students Selected to Receive Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Awards

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) are pleased to announce that four district graduating High School students were recently awarded the 2019 MVFN Cliff Bennett Nature Bursaries.  The deserving recipients of the $1000 bursaries are:  Hazel Cobus, who graduated from St. John Catholic High School in Perth and will be pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science at the University of Ottawa; Natalika Culhane, a graduating student at Carleton Place High School who will be working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Geography at Carleton University;  Kea McKay who graduated from Notre Dame High School in Carleton Place and will be studying for a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, with the intention of specializing in the field of Marine Biology at the University of Victoria; and Jasper Nault from Perth and District Collegiate Institute who will be attending Algonquin College in Pembroke in a program to become an Outdoor Adventure Naturalist.


Photo: H. Robinson

The MVFN Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary was established in 2007 by MVFN members, friends and family of retired educator Cliff Bennett and co-founder of MVFN, on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Since 2007, more than $16,700 has been awarded to twenty-one  students from Almonte and District High School; Carleton Place High School; Notre Dame Catholic High School; Perth and District Collegiate Institute; St. John Catholic High School in Perth and West Carleton Secondary School.

Application information for the bursary awards on MVFN’s website, under Bursary and Awards, at school Guidance Departments in late fall, or through Trish Larkin, Chair of the MVFN Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Committee.


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2019 Ontario Nature Youth Summit

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists will sponsor two students to attend this action packed weekend from September 20-22, 2019.

What is it?

The Youth Summit brings together about 100 students in grades 9-12 from across Ontario to learn about the variety of natural life in our province and positive solutions to conservation and environmental issues in a complex and changing world. Hosted by the Ontario Nature Youth Council, all workshops and activities reflect topics that are the most important to today’s youth.

Some highlights to look forward to at the 2019 Summit:

• Compelling, interactive workshops and activities
• A keynote presentation by a high‐profile environmental speaker
• A wonderful venue to explore on Lake Couchiching, complete with hiking trails, early‐morning canoeing and nightly campfires
• Meeting diverse young leaders with similar interests from across Ontario!

What is included in the registration?

All meals, accommodation and transportation from Toronto to Orillia and back.


The sponsorship includes the $375 registration fee paid directly by MVFN and up to $150 for travel expenses to Toronto and back.

Who is eligible to apply?

High school students (grade 9-12 as of September 2019) in Lanark County and region interested in the natural world.

Application Process

Complete the application online. Selected candidates may have a short interview with MVFN members.
Application Deadline May 1, 2019.
Winners will be announced May 16, 2019 at MVFN Annual General Meeting.

Past Attendees
Sophie Anderson
Kea McKay

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