Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

MVFN Presqu’ile Day Trip



Wood Duck, Common Merganser, Canada Goose
Photo by Simon Lunn



Once again MVFN will join the Friends of Presqu’ile Provincial Park to celebrate the return of thousands of ducks, geese and swans to Presqu’ile Bay – one of the greatest natural areas for birders on the north shore of Lake Ontario. This is a great opportunity to brush up on water fowl identification with many species swimming close to shore.

Join us on Saturday March 21, 2020 to experience the thrilling sight of thousands of waterfowl which stop on their migration north and west to their summer breeding grounds.

There are also many species of land birds in the Park. Our expedition coincides with the 44th Annual Presqu’ile Waterfowl Weekend, put on by the Park staff and Friends of Presqu’ile Provincial Park volunteers.

DATE: Saturday, March 21, or in case of adverse weather, Sunday, March 22.


Civitan Hall Parking Lot, 7:15 a.m.
Union Hall (Wolf Grove & Tatlock Road), 7:30 a.m.
Glen Tay Public School (just past Perth just north of Hwy #7), 8:00 a.m.
3-hour total travel time each way (with one pit stop)
Arrive back home ~ 6:00 p.m.

There is a $11.20 per vehicle park entrance fee ($9.00 Senior rate). Provincial Park passes are honoured.

BRING: Lunch, hot beverage, binoculars, and spotting scope if you have one. Have extra warm clothes ready for cool, windy weather.

The “Friends” volunteers have an outside BBQ lunch, hot drinks and snacks available for purchase outside the Nature Centre, which has indoor, warm washrooms and a Gift Shop.

YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT. To register, complete the form at this link. For more information, contact Cliff Bennett at , or 798-6295.

Cliff will email before 7:00 a.m. if the trip is postponed until Sunday because of the weather.

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MVFN Geology Field Trip

Cantley Quarry: Monument of the Ice Age  Sunday, May 5th, 2019

Join MVFN the afternoon of Sunday, May 5th for a visit to the unique glacially-carved geological features exposed at a quarry in Cantley, Quebec. This field trip will be led by glacial and hydrogeology expert, Dr. David Sharpe of the Geological Survey of Canada, who made a very successful presentation on “The Significance of Glaciation in Canada and the Ottawa Valley” to MVFN in October, 2018.

A video of some of the fascinating rock forms we will see at the site can be viewed here

Trip duration: Approximately 4-5 hours total, including an hour drive from Almonte through Ottawa-Gatineau to Cantley, near Wakefield, Quebec, a planned 2 hour site visit and then an hour return trip.


Car pooling: We have 2 meeting points for car pooling.
• 12:30 at the Almonte Civitan Community Hall (GPS: 500 Almonte St, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0). Please park at the far end near the soccer pitches.
• 1 pm at the Eagleson Park-and-Ride (GPS: Eagleson Rd &, ON-417, Ottawa, ON K2L 4C6). Please meet in the southwest sector (drive in the entrance, go past the bus shelters and immediately turn right to the southwest area of the lot).

What to bring: The site visit is a short walk from the cars, and the terrain at the quarry is uneven. Ensure you wear sturdy boots and dress appropriately for weather conditions. The outing will go ahead rain or shine.

Registration: You must pre-register for this event by completing the form found here. Registration is limited to 25 people.

MVFN membership must be up-to-date (check your membership card if you are not sure).

If you need more information, please contact Georgina Wigley at (613) 461-4464.

There is no fee for this trip. Up to 25 people from the McNamara Field Naturalists are also invited by Dr. Sharpe to join in on this field visit.

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Winter Ramble in Wolf Grove

PLEASE NOTE THE NEW DATE: Wednesday, March 7, 2018 (originally scheduled for Feb 21; postponed due to icy paths)

Our winter walk will be a slow-paced ramble, led by Ken Allison, through the typical forested Canadian Shield habitat of the Wolf Grove area near Almonte.

Ken is past president of both MVFN and the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club. A graduate of University of Guelph with a B. Sc. in Wildlife Biology, Ken been interested in the natural world since as far back as he can remember. He is interested in almost everything, so as he likes to say, he is a lousy specialist. He has been a serious birder for over 50 years. In 2012, Ken and his wife built their dream home in the woods on the granite rock of Lanark County where they share their property with the local fauna and flora.

Description of the walk: The walk will be a slow-paced ramble through typical forested Canadian Shield habitat. There are forests, beaver ponds and bird feeders, so there is usually a good mix of birds. The focus will be on birds, but we will stop and enjoy any natural history object we come across. Children who can walk a couple of kilometres are welcome to participate. When we’re all cold enough, we can go back to the house for a hot drink. Feel free to bring a bag lunch if you’d like to eat while you warm up and watch the bird feeders.

Time: 9:00 AM to 12 noon

Location and directions: The walk will be at the Allison property at 561 Wolf Grove Road, about 2 km southwest of Almonte. This is on the south side of Wolf Grove Road, about a km beyond the intersection with Concession 8 (i.e. at Auld Kirk).

Difficulty: This outing should be quite easy for anyone without mobility issues. There are some hills, and in February the trails will be well-trodden snow.

Cost: no cost

Parking: There is parking near the house and a good spot to turn around.

Bring: Warm clothing (in layers), good snow boots, binoculars if you have them and a bag lunch if you choose.

Pre-Registration: This outing will be limited to 12 people. Pre-registration is required. To pre-register, or for more information, please contact Gretta Bradley at .  Gretta will email registrants in the case of inclement weather.



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Reading the Rocks: A Visit to Almonte’s Metcalfe Geoheritage Park

Wednesday October 25, 2017

250 Almonte St., Almonte, Ontario

The display specimens at Canada’s first municipal geoheritage park, in Almonte, Ontario, collectively illustrate many of the features that allow geologists to unravel Earth’s remarkable geological history.  “Reading the rocks” with Neil Carleton, on our visit to Almonte’s Metcalfe Geoheritage Park, will take us on a journey far back in time to colliding continents, towering mountains, tropical ocean depths, and a landscape locked in ice.

Reading the rocks

Neil, a geologist, naturalist and well-known retired educator, is one of the founding members of MVFN.

Take home a sample of genuine Canadian Shield schist.  If your camera phone has an app for scanning QR codes, be sure to bring it along.

Time: 10 AM to noon

Location and directions: the entrance to Metcalfe Geoheritage Park, at 250 Almonte Street, is at the bottom of “Bay Hill” below the lower falls in Almonte. From Hwy 29: turn left onto Almonte St. at the lights (if approaching from Pakenham) or right (if approaching from Carleton Place direction) and proceed down the hill (the geoheritage park is on the left on the river side); if coming from downtown Almonte via Mill Street, turn left from Mill Street onto Almonte Street and follow along a short distance downhill to the Almonte Geoheritage Park on the right.

Difficulty: Easy, even ground, cement walkway; less than 0.5 km of walking; bench available on site and picnic tables nearby, but there will be significant standing; wheel chair accessible.

Cost: no cost

Parking: there is free parking on-site and across the road.

Facilities: there is a washroom on-site at the opposite end of the park closer to the hydro station and another reached via a short walk downtown to the Heritage Mall. There are also picnic tables.

Bring: protection from the sun and inclement weather, drinking water, and a camera.

Pre-Registration: pre-registration is required. To pre-register, or for more information, please contact Gretta Bradley at

Neil Carleton will lead the outing

Neil Carleton will lead the outing


at Metcalfe Geoheritage Park. photo P. Donaldson

A few of the rock samples at Metcalfe Geoheritage Park. photo P. Donaldson


Almonte's Metcalfe Geoheritage Park photo P. Donaldson (1280x591)

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Calling all naturalists to share a sense of wonder: Festival of the Wild Child


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


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