Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

NOTE (AUGUST 22, 2018): Registration for the Fall 2018 sessions has now ended; all spaces have been booked.

After another “wildly” successful year, the MVFN Young Naturalists are gearing up to begin their four fall sessions! Each month we explore a new nature themed topic through outdoor investigation, discussion, activities and fun crafts.

YN sessions are for children between the ages of 6-11 with a keen sense of curiosity of the natural world around them. In these Fall sessions we will explore the diversity of the Mill of Kintail conservation area, learn about nature photography, investigate bones and owl pellets, and take a look at wilderness safety.

Ready to get your hands dirty?  Here are the Saturday dates.

September 15

October 13

November 3

December 1

SESSION TIMES:  there are two time slots to choose from: 9 AM – 10:45 AM OR 11 AM – 12:45 PM

COST:  $60 per child includes all four sessions.

Space is limited and is filled on a first come, first served basis. If you are interested please email the Patty McLaughlin asap at to reserve a space.

Patty will then send you registration forms and answer questions etc.

Further information about the Young Naturalists program can be found at http://mvfn.ca/youngnaturalists/  

 

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Registration for the 2018 Winter/Spring MVFN Young Naturalists (for children age 6-11) sessions is now open! These sessions run for 5 Saturdays, and Young Naturalists choose which time slots to attend.

Each month we explore a new nature-themed topic through outdoor exploration, discussions, games and fun art activities. All sessions are held at the beautiful Mill of Kintail Conservation area. The cost for all five sessions is $75 and the topics planned are:

February 3

Animal tracks – on snowshoes (there will be enough snowshoes for everyone)

March 3

Weather and clouds

April 7

This session will feature a new presentation and activities from the Wild Bird Care Centre education program that I am currently developing.

May 5

The dirt on dirt

June 2

Reptiles and Amphibians

Session times: 9 AM – 10:45 AM OR  11 AM – 12:45 PM

Cost: $75 covers all five sessions

If you are interested in registering for the 2018 Winter/Spring Young Naturalist sessions, or for more information, please contact me (Patty McLaughlin); send an email asap with the child’s name and your preferred session time to reserve a space. Send emails to:   Registration forms and payment are collected at the first session on February 3, 2018.

NOTE: Program coordinator Patty McLaughlin (B.Sc. Zoology and M.Sc. Carleton University) first volunteered at the Wild Bird Care Centre in Nepean as a high school student and presently works full-time at the Wild Bird Care Centre, caring for sick and injured birds. There she also created and implemented an educational outreach program to offer to local schools which was extremely well-received. Patty also developed the popular activities and program for our Young Naturalist sessions and has been conducting the MVFN Young Naturalist sessions since the program began in 2011.

 

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MVFN’s Young Naturalists program (YN) is a nature-oriented program for nature loving young naturalists aged 6-11 years. YN meets one Saturday a month at beautiful Mill of Kintail Conservation Area to explore a different nature-themed topic each month. The young naturalists are provided with a nature journal, which we add pages to each month.

Each session includes an outdoor component and a take home craft/activity.

The dates and topics for the fall 2017 Saturday sessions are as follows:

September 16: Nature Exploration Day. A day to discover more about each other and the awesome habitats around the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area.

October 14: Fall and Leaves

November 4: Owls and, our favorite activity, Owl Pellet Dissection

December 2: Hibernation and Migration ​​

For each session there are two time slots to choose from. Participants attend one or the other time slot:

Early: 9 am – 10:45 am OR

Later: 11 am – 12:45 pm

REGISTRATION: Each session is limited to 15 participants. Cost is $60 per child and includes all four sessions.

If you are interested please email the Patty McLaughlin asap at to reserve your space.

Patty will then send you registration forms and answer questions etc.

Further information about the Young Naturalists program can be found at this link.

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MMLT

Festival of the Wild Child

High Lonesome Nature Reserve

July 29th and 30th

Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 29 & 30, the “Wild Child” festival is offered by the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) to give children and their families an opportunity to use all their senses to explore and experience nature.

MMLT is seeking volunteers passionate about nature to interact with the visitors at one of the “stations”: exploring life in the pond, finding and identifying rocks and fossils, wandering through the enchanting Stone Wall Arboretum, investigating the secrets of the soil under your feet, creating at the creativity station, or learning bush craft.  The volunteers need not be experts, only eager to help the lead of the station open windows into the many wonders of Nature, with interesting relevant information and tidbits provided as background for each station.

The Soundscaping station provides a special opportunity for anyone interested in the technology for audio interpretation of the natural world.  In addition to assisting and explaining the technology, Chad Clifford would train volunteers to operate the soundscaping equipment.

There are 4 volunteer time slots for each station:

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Saturday, July 29

1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Saturday, July 29

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Sunday, July 30

1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Sunday, July 30

If you wish to sign up for both time periods one day, please bring a lunch. We are seeking more than one volunteer at each site to support the lead.

To volunteer, please contact Mary Vandenhoff at or 1-613-278-2939. For further details, or to discuss station activities, the contact information for the lead person at each station is provided below.

Activity Stations at the MMLT “Festival of the Wild Child” July 29th and 30th

Welcome Centre:  Registration, explanation of festival program (morning time slot for this station starts at 9:30 AM)  ()

Beaver Pond, adjacent meadow:  Creativity Station, activities such as leaf and bark rubbings, etc.  Help Jacquie Christiani () with these or suggest other fun nature activities for little hands.

Tranquility Pond:  pond life; learn about beaver (they have just moved in to this pond).  Help Chris Baburek () catch and examine frogs, salamanders, leeches; some info on pond life and on the beaver (look at stumps where trees were recently chewed down by beavers).  At least two volunteers needed for each time slot.

Rockery at Spooky Marsh:  Assist Moses Goldenberg () and Deb Shea, looking for and identifying rocks; explanation of geology of area (granite/marble).  Scope for also discussing trees.

Stone Wall Arboretum:  Assist Anne Cameron ( ) with the identification of trees & shrubs; interesting tidbits about each.  Some explanation of the stone wall and why the settlers made it.

Joel’s Pond:  Soundscaping and tree identification; opportunity to be trained to work with soundscaping expert Chad Clifford ( )

Read about the event and directions to High Lonesome in the Pakenham Hills on the MMLT website at https://mmlt.ca/event/festival-of-the-wild-child-june-29-30/

 

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Happy New Year Young Naturalists and Families of Young Naturalists!!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying all the snow we are getting this year! It is looking promising for our snowshoeing session in February.

Registration for the Winter/Spring 2017 Young Naturalist program for Young Naturalists age 6-11  is now open! 

The dates and topics for the sessions are:

Feb 4th: Snowshoeing while we learn about how insects survive winter. (snowshoes will be provided)

March 4th: Solar and Wind Power

April 1st: Water

May 6th: Flowers

June 3rd: We will conduct our own mini Bio Blitz!

The cost for all five sessions is $75.

Please let me know your interest through email to and which session you prefer, i.e. 9 am -10:45am or 11am- 12:45 pm and I will send you a registration form and waiver.

​​​​Payment and registration forms will be collected at the first session on Feb 4th. If you cannot attend the first session, please send payment and forms in advance to secure your spot.

The Young Naturalist program continues to be very popular, so if you know a Young Naturalist who would like to participate, please contact me as soon as possible to reserve a space. For further information about the program, send me an email or visit MVFN Young Naturalist Program.

We are looking forward to seeing many familiar and new faces in a few weeks!

Patty McLaughlin

 

 

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