Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Young Naturalists Fall 2018 registration opens

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  


Young Naturalists


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“Owl hold your spot” bookmarks from fall materials.



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Winter/Spring 2018 MVFN Young Naturalists registration now open

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.

Young Naturalists out on snowshoes at Mill of Kintail. photo P. McLaughlin

Grouse tracks in the snow. photo Howard Robinson Feb 2002

“Owl hold your spot” bookmarks from fall materials at a YN session.


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Young Naturalists Registration Open

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.

Tree study

Young Naturalists


Young Naturalists a


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MVFN Young Naturalist Registration NOW OPEN for 2017 Winter/Spring Sessions

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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MVFN Young Naturalist Program for Ages 6-11

We are excited to announce that our Young Naturalist (YN) Program Fall sessions begin again September 17th. If you know of a keen youngster who is interested in this program you are encouraged to register as soon as possible by contacting Patty McLaughlin. Spaces will fill up quickly and they may all be allocated before our public information booths at Mississippi Mills At-a-Glance and Seniors Expo in early September.

The MVFN Young Naturalist program is for children age 6 -11 with a keen sense of curiosity for the natural world around them.  For the Fall 2016 sessions YN will meet one Saturday each month from September to December to explore nature themed topics and enjoy the outdoors.

Meeting place: Mill of Kintail Conservation Area, 2854 Ramsay Concession 8, Mississippi Mills.

DatesSeptember 17th, October 1st, November 5th, and December 3rd 2016

Times: 9:00 -10:45 am OR 11:00 am – 12:45 pm

Cost: $60 per child for all four sessions ($15 per session)

Registration: As mentioned, the YN program always fills up quickly and registration is on a first come, first served basis. Please contact Program Leader Patty McLaughlin as soon as possible if you would like to register a child in the upcoming sessions. Patty will answer questions and forward application forms and any additional information needed for participants. Contact Patty McLaughlin at  

Here are some other details sent out by Patty:

Hello everyone!  

This year we hope to focus a little more on citizen science. There are many great programs that all of us can use to submit our sightings and nature counts to scientists. Whenever possible we intend to show the kids the proper ways to count different creatures and where / how to submit our findings.  

We hope to modify the sessions to ensure we are maximizing our outdoor time. We know we jam pack the session and we sometimes feel a bit rushed to finish everything, so we have decided to extend each of the session times by 15 mins. The early session will now run from 9-10:45 am and the later session will run from 11 am -12:45 pm.  

If you are interested in joining, please send me an email with the participant’s name and your preferred session time.  Payment must be made at the first session, or if you are unable to come to the first session please send your forms and payment to me by mail. We cannot guarantee your spot if payment is not received by or at the first session.  

Please let me know by email if you are interested in signing up this fall. The registration and waiver forms will be forwarded to you.  

Thank you for your participation in the Young Naturalist program! I look forward to seeing familiar​ and new excited faces next month! 

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