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2009 MVFN Champion for Nature Cliff Bennett

Cliff Bennett is a naturalist, community volunteer, artist, and world traveler. Also a former special education teacher and Councillor. For much of his life Cliff’s passion has been his extensive volunteer work on behalf of nature. Cliff is a founding member of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists, where he went on to develop MVFN’s Environmental Education program for sponsorship of environmental education programs for schools and youth groups. He is also an avid paddler and developed MVFN’s outdoor program of day canoe trips and day hiking trips which extended in 2008 to include an annual weekend canoe camping trip & an international club tour, the recent Mexico Monarchs, with a birding trip to Cuba this coming winter.

cliff with canoe

It seems a bit of an understatement to say that Cliff is also an avid birder. He recently introduced “Early-morning 6 am birding sessions” to MVFN’s Outdoor program. His birding involvement has also included MVFN’s Red-shoulder Hawk monitoring program (1990-96), work on both Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas’s, development of the new Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count and a ‘zillion years’ of involvement in the Carleton Place Christmas bird count. Cliff is much in demand as a birding & nature walk lead and speaker. Mix a canoeing and birding passion together and in 2007 Cliff was the powerhouse behind MVFN’s publication of the highly successful guide Lanark County Canoe & Kayak Journeys and this February’s follow on companion guide Lanark County Bird Watching Journeys.

Cliff has been working hard as Ontario Nature’s (ON) Eastern Region Director where he has championed numerous advocacies causes including keeping Climate Change on the radar of the ON executive.


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