Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

The Beauties of the Burnt Lands

The Almonte and District Horticultural Society (A&DHS) is hosting a talk by Brian Carson about the alvar! This will take place on Monday night, June 1. The meeting will also feature a mini flower show including photography.

Brian Carson and the horticultural society have generously decided to donate several speaker honorariums to MVFN’s Burnt Lands Alvar Campaign!

Even if you are not a member of the A&DHS, you may attend (your first meeting as a non-member is free) and perhaps also decide to support the society by joining, if you are not already a member, for the very reasonable membership fee of $10. The horticultural society usually hosts its meetings the fourth Monday of the month, but this will be an extra one in June. New members are welcome to join at any meeting.

Contact person for more information is A&DHS President Carol Kenward: 


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MVFN Burnt Lands Alvar Tour

Ken Allison will lead a tour for MVFN members and friends; a spring tour of Burnt Lands Alvar, on Saturday morning, May 30, 2015.

We will spend the morning searching for the special plants that thrive in this habitat, such as Fringed Polygala, Seneca Snakeroot and New Jersey Tea. Hopefully, some of the lady’s-slippers will be in bloom. We will also be looking at any birds and butterflies that are present.

We will be looking at alvar woodland, alvar meadows, alvar wetland, and the regenerating burn site to see a variety of different habitats.

Date: Saturday, May 30, 2015

Time: Meet at location at 7:30 a.m.

Location:  Meet along Golden Line Road beside Burnt Lands Alvar Provincial Park area (marked by signs on the fence) at 7:30 a.m. There is roadside parking.

Bring:  mosquito repellent, binoculars and a camera. Rubber boots are strongly recommended as parts of the alvar can be flooded a few inches deep early in the year and there are patches of poison ivy.

NOTE: You must pre-register for this event. 

To register, please contact Gretta Bradley at  or 613-256-4202.  Please remember to give your name and the event/s you are registering for.

NOTE: If you wish to become an MVFN member or renew, please complete a Membership Form. Memberships dues are very reasonable and include all MVFN events and lectures, as well as supporting MVFN’s many  local conservation and education initiatives.

Photos below are from a May 2009 Burnt Lands Alvar Tour led by Paul Catling (orange shirt). In spite of the nearly constant rain that day, the wonder of the alvar in springtime kept everyone so mesmerized that no one noticed the rain!

May 2009-1 Alvar Walk. photo Pauline Donaldson

May 2009-1 Alvar Walk. photo Pauline Donaldson

May 2009-2 Alvar Walk led by Paul Catling (orange shirt). Photo Pauline Donaldson

May 2009-2 Alvar Walk led by Paul Catling (orange shirt). Photo Pauline Donaldson

May 2009-3 Alvar Walk. Photo Pauline Donaldson

May 2009-3 Alvar Walk. Photo Pauline Donaldson

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Live music by The Jimmy Tri-Tone Band: featured item, Burnt Lands Alvar Silent Auction

This weeks’ featured item in the Burnt Lands Alvar Silent Auction Fundraiser is live music for your event:  by The Jimmy Tri-Tone Band.

The Burnt Lands Alvar Silent Auction will take place at MVFN’s Spring Gathering 2015, May 21, 2015 at the Almonte Civitan Hall. All proceeds will go to the Burnt Lands Alvar Campaign. Get ready to bid on this item if you have your ticket for this event. A recent list of other silent auction items which will be part of the auction is posted here. If you do not already have a ticket, unfortunately tickets are no longer available for this sold out  annual dinner, silent auction and keynote presentation. However, if you would like to make a donation to MVFN’s efforts to preserve the Burnt Lands Alvar from development, visit our donate now page for more information about the alvar.



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Art for Burnt Lands Alvar now on display at Mill Street Books


Details of silent auction fine art work items are below. Reserve bids apply for all. Bidding on these and other silent auction items will continue until close at MVFN’s May 21st Spring Gathering.

Jennifer Noxon

Bits and Pieces I

Acrylic on Canvas


Reserve Bid- $225.00

Mary Pal

Silent Secret, Cast in Stone


Reserve Bid- $100.00

Amelia Ah You

Memories of Summer II

Acrylic/Oil Pastel


Reserve Bid- $125.00

Stephen Brathwaite

Etched and Painted Glass Portrait

Customized piece done from your photography

Reserve Bid- $250.00

NOTE: Ticket deadline to reserve or purchase tickets for the May 21st Spring Gathering is Thursday, May 14, 2015.

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Enhance your summer – with Art and Experiences!

NOTE: check back here for an updated listing of all silent auction items and the featured silent auction item of the week.

Now that spring is FINALLY here, and summer’s just around the corner, you’ll want to make the most of the warm weather and the cool breezes, and all that our community has to offer.  How about doing that – as well as enjoying great food and company – and at the same time contributing to the preservation of a natural treasure, the Burnt Lands Alvar?

All you need to do is participate in the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ 2015 Spring Gathering on Thursday, May 21 at the Almonte Civitan Hall, where you can enjoy a great meal, a fascinating talk by the evening’s keynote speaker, Jean Lauriault, an expert on the mysteries of Monarch butterflies, and – a silent auction.  All funds raised from this silent auction will go towards supporting MVFN’s efforts to preserve the Burnt Lands Alvar. Remember to purchase or reserve your tickets by Thursday, May 14!

Poppies photo Donaldson

What is on offer at this silent auction?  Paintings and art work galore – by Amelia Ah You, Jennifer Noxon, and Mary Pal, as well as a variety of other fine art creations with a nature theme.

What if you’re keen to explore the outdoors and learn about nature?  Well, you can bid on several amazing experiences – crewing on a sailboat, a nature tour, a day of birding in Prince Edward County, or a geological Alvar tour.  For other experiences closer to home, why not bid on a night of musical entertainment, a garden tour and lunch for six people, Spanish lessons, or bilingual home tutoring?

Perhaps there’s a special person in your life in need of some rest and relaxation?  What better treat than a biodynamic massage, a Reiki treatment, a massage treatment certificate, a special package from Soul Scents, or a sailboat excursion followed by a scrumptious lunch?

If you’re looking for ways to spruce up your abode, there will be something for that too in our silent auction!  A home-styling session, a garden consultation, a cubic yard of compost delivered to your home, or a monthly bouquet of fresh flowers are all sure to provide that extra oomph.

Although you can bid on a few pieces of silent auction fine art while they are displayed at Mill Street Books in Almonte (from May 12 to 20), bidding on these will continue on until the close of bidding during the May 21st Spring Gathering event. All other auction items are available for bidding at the MVFN Spring Gathering only. Watch the MVFN website and Burnt Lands Alvar Campaign FB page for an updated listing of all silent auction items, as well as our weekly featured silent auction item. Tickets ($40) for the 2015 Spring Gathering Dinner, Keynote Presentation and Silent Auction are available from Gilligallou Bird Store (Almonte); Reads Book Shop (CP) and The Office, Perth; or contact Brenda Boyd: or 613-256-2706 to reserve.

We hope to see you at our Spring Gathering, and out and about this summer, enjoying the fruits of your hard-earned bidding!


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