Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Thursday, April 19, Almonte Civitan Hall

IMPORTANT NOTE: Tickets ($40) must be purchased or reserved in advance, by Thursday April 12

MVFN proudly announces Spring Gathering 2018, featuring a presentation by Dr. Martyn Obbard: Bears in Hibernation: How do polar bears and black bears survive the winter?”

After many years of research, noted bear scientist Dr. Martyn Obbard will share his knowledge and experience gained after many exciting years studying bears in Ontario. Join us for an entertaining evening as we learn about the nutritional requirements and other details of black bears and polar bears as they survive the harsh Canadian winters.

Dr. Martyn Obbard is an Emeritus Research Scientist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and adjunct professor at Trent University. He retired in 2016 after a 32-yr career with the ministry and is past Chair and long-time member of the Canadian Federal/Provincial/Territorial Polar Bear Technical Committee.



Spring Gathering 2018 will include a buffet dinner.

Dinner choices include Maple Glazed Chicken, Roast Beef or Vegetarian.

Dessert, coffee and tea are also included.

Doors open 5:00 PM ~ Cocktail hour 5:30 PM ~ Buffet Dinner 6:30 PM

50/50 Draw and Special Prizes Raffle

 “Best Dressed Teddy Bear Contest” . . . bring your favourite bear to win!



NOTE: Tickets for Spring Gathering 2018 are $40 and must be purchased or reserved in advance, by Thursday April 12th.

Contact Sylvia Miller – or 613 256-7825 to reserve a ticket.

Tickets are also available at the Gilligallou Bird Store., Almonte (Almonte Heritage Court, 14 Mill St.); The Blossom Shop, Carleton Place (167 Bridge St.); and at The Office, Perth (11 Wilson St. E.).

We hope to see you at this popular annual gathering! 


Continue reading...

We have a great spring trip planned!

May 18-25, 2018

Join MVFN on a Birding Tour of the Okanagan Valley, BC. Enjoy finding many Western birds including species more common to the Western plains, mountains and dessert such as the California quail, Prairie falcon and Bullock’s oriole. In addition, enjoy incredible scenery, excellent wine tasting and Western cuisine.

The tour will cover from Penticton to Osoyoos and surrounding areas.

This is an eight-day trip. It is designated easy activity.
Maximum number of participants for this tour is fourteen (14).
NOTE: Deadline for registering is February 28, 2018
Trip Leader:  MVFN Past President Cliff Bennett. Western leadership includes local guides and authorities.

Highlights of the tour will feature events of the annual Okanagan Valley Meadowlark Festival, a bike ride along the Kettle Valley Railway Trail, a kayak tour of Vaseux Lake plus many more surprises.


Cost: $3530 per person, includes:

-accommodations in 2 or 3-bedroom condominium apartments

-air fare from Ottawa to Penticton (WestJet)

-all ground transportation, driver and guide

-most meals as offered

-services of BC tour planner and local guides

Not included in this price:

-bar expenses and optional activities


-items of a personal nature

-Additional transportation due to any emergency (your insurance should cover that)


If you are interested in joining MVFN on another very successful MVFN group outing, please send me an email indicating your interest and I will send you a full itinerary, an application form, waiver, plus other details. The deadline for registering is February 28, 2018. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required by March 16, 2018, balance by April 20.

Note: Price is subject to change if we have fewer than 14 participants. Also, air fare could change by time of booking group rate. Any adjustments will be made at the end of the tour.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Cliff Bennett

Continue reading...

NOTE: information below is from an article in the December 2017 newsletter of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT)

“Byrne Big Creek Preserve Making Great Progress”

The MMLT launched a campaign on Giving Tuesday, Nov 28th, to raise funds needed to acquire and manage a wonderful 100-acre parcel of land near McDonald’s Corners. The property was left to the MMLT by Joel Byrne, naturalist, poet and long-time supporter of the MMLT, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists and the Macnamara Field Naturalists’ Club.

The next night, MMLT hosted an evening at the Barley Mow to remember Joel Byrne and to celebrate his wonderful gift of what will become the Byrne Big Creek Nature Preserve. The Campaign received a ’jump-start’ when Irene’s Pub in Ottawa pledged to match donations up to $5000.  The crowd was delighted when the campaign passed the $5,000 target. In fact, this achievement inspired another offer to match the next $5,000 in personal donations. Then the President of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists, Brenda Boyd, took the floor to make a very substantial gift to the campaign.



The Big Creek Campaign hopes to raise $48,500 to cover acquisition and future stewardship costs. The response to date has been truly remarkable. As of mid December, approximately 80% of the goal had been donated.

MMLT is so grateful to all who have come forward with financial support and is appealing to those who might still wish to contribute to this campaign to help us reach the campaign goal.  Plans are also underway for fundraising events in the New Year to close any final gap.  For those wishing to contribute to making this dream a reality, please visit our website at and click on Byrne Big Creek Preserve Campaign.

Congratulations to MMLT for this amazing accomplishment of coming so close to the fundraising goal for Joel’s property, in such a short period of time!


Continue reading...


Visit the MMLT website to donate to this campaign: Byrne Big Creek Nature Preserve.

Give now and together we can create Byrne Big Creek Nature Preserve. With your support, Joel’s property will be a haven for wildlife and nature lovers for generations to come. Details at Naturalist Joel Byrne bequeaths his 100-acre property to MMLT

Give by November 30th and Irene’s Pub in Ottawa will match donations, up to $5000.


Continue reading...

Joel Byrne has bequeathed his beautiful 100-acre “Big Creek” property, near McDonald’s Corners, to the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust!

In this act, Joel fulfilled his dream of protecting “forever”, this special wild place he knew would continue to touch the deepest needs of future generations.

Joel was a long-time member of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists and the Macnamara Field Naturalists as well as a strong supporter of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT). Joel passed away suddenly in 2016.

Help the MMLT preserve Joel Byrne’s “Big Creek” property forever

It is a significant responsibility to take on the legal and financial obligations that protecting Joel’s Big Creek property “forever” entails.  MMLT cannot do this alone.  It will take $48,500 to complete the acquisition and to pay for long term stewardship.  They need your help.

The MMLT is launching a campaign to raise the required funds starting on Nov 28, “Giving Tuesday”.  The MMLT hopes that all those who care about the preservation of wilderness in eastern Ontario will consider helping to achieve the fundraising goal by participating in a series of campaign fundraising events, including the celebratory Kick Off Pub Night Event for the “Byrne Big Creek Nature Preserve” Campaign at the Barley Mow, Almonte on Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017.

You can also help by visiting the MMLT Big Creek Campaign on the MMLT website and donating generously.

Through the generosity of MMLT supporter, Irene’s Pub in Ottawa, every donation made to the fund by November 30 will be matched up to $5,000.  Yes, your donation will be doubled!

Kick Off Pub Night Event for the “Byrne Big Creek Nature Preserve” Campaign :

Come and celebrate Joel Byrne and his generous gift of his “Big Creek” property with haiku, games and fun with friends during an evening at the Barley Mow.  A cover charge of $10 will go towards the campaign to create the “Byrne Big Creek Nature Preserve”.

With your support Joel’s 100-acre property “Big Creek” will become a haven for wildlife and nature lovers for generations to come. This is the first of a series of campaign fundraising events taking place until the fundraising goal is reached.

Details:  Wednesday, November 29, 2017 / 7 PM to 10 PM / Barley Mow (79 Little Bridge Street) in Almonte, ON 


Continue reading...