Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

What Did You Do During the The Pandemic?

Many of us have discovered new hobbies and other ways to entertain ourselves while everything was shut down.

Cliff Bennett, a lifelong resident of the Almonte and Carleton Place area and a founding member of the Mississippi Valley Fields Naturalists, has written a collection of his memories called That’s Me In Here. Over the past 89 years, he has been active in countless local and provincial committees and groups such as Scouts Canada, the Carleton Place canoe club, Ontario Heritage, Almonte curling and lawn bowling clubs, politics, as well as MVFN to name a few. Accountings of these involvements, as well as memories of growing up in Carleton Place and world travels, are found in his book.

Cliff is taking his accomplishment one step further by deciding to sell the book for $25, and donate all the profits to The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Fund that is awarded to local high school graduates who are going on to careers in nature-related programmes in university or college.

The first printing of the book, which yielded $642 for the Fund is sold out but Cliff is taking orders for a second printing now.

MVFN members and friends interested in purchasing That’s Me In Here can do so by registering their order with Cliff Bennett via email.


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Closing Date to Apply for the Youth Summit is June 18th

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) will sponsor two students to attend the upcoming Ontario Nature Youth Summit, September 25-26, 2021. The sponsorship includes  the registration fee ($195/ student). For details see MVFN website.

What is it?
The Youth Summit, organized by Ontario Nature, brings together about 100 students in grades 9-12 (Sept. 2021) from across Ontario. It is a wonderful opportunity  to learn about the variety of life in our province and explore positive solutions to conservation and environmental issues. For 2021, Ontario Nature will offer a unique cross-cultural virtual event planned and run by Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth leaders from across Ontario. For more details on the youth summit go to the Ontario Nature web page .

Who is eligible to apply?

High school students (grade 9-12 as of September 2021) in Lanark County and region interested in the natural world.

Application Process

Complete the application online. Candidates may be called for a short interview with MVFN members.


Application Deadline June 18, 2021.

For further information please contact, MVFN board member T. Kuiper

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The spring birds have finally started arriving in force!  Perhaps you’ve had an urge to provide a unique home for our local resident birds, but haven’t acted on that urge yet.

You have another week to create a useful, decorative birdhouse, or a strictly decorative birdhouse and then donated\ it to the Birdhouse Blowout. Funds raised by the online auction of donated birdhouses will provide one or more $1,000 bursaries from the MVFN Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary fund.

Register your donations, before the deadline on April 9. It’s a great COVID project to keep your mind on the important things in life, such as the wildlife around us.

For more information on the Birdhouse Blowout contact Glenda Jones at (613) 256-6479 or to take a peek at what people have already donated check out the auction site.

MVFN Board of Directors hope you will support this worthy cause in any way you can, or support the Bursary directly by making an on-line or mailed-in donation to the:  MVFN Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Fund.

Get Creating!

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Arm Chair Travellers:  Viewing Nature Vicariously

To help pass the long winter, MVFN presents “Arm Chair Travellers: Viewing Nature Vicariously”

When: Friday, January 11, 2019 from 1:30 – 3 PM 

Where: Almonte Branch, Mississippi Mills Public Library, 155 High Street, Almonte, ON

Enjoy two short presentations by people who have travelled to the southern hemisphere recently.

MVFN members Sherryl and Bob Smith will show a selection of photographs from their recent trip to South Africa. They will focus on features of the landscape and environment at different elevations. And yes, there will be pictures of flora and fauna.

Our second presenter is Lauren Bazley, a recent graduate of Trent University who spent two field seasons at the Tambopata Research Center, Peru, working on the Tambopata Macaw Project. This is a long-term multidisciplinary study of natural history, conservation and management of large macaws and parrots. For more information see

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MVFN Birding Tour of the Okanagan Valley

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.

Pond on grounds at Okanagan Falls accommodation

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

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