Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

MVFN summer paddle, Smiths Falls Marshlands to Poonamalie Lockstation

Sunday, July 28, 2019

See nature from the waters’ edge on this easy (weather permitting), roughly 2 hour-long river paddle  from Smiths Falls Detached Lockstation, under the old CPR Bascule Bridge, and in and around the Swale wetland bay, before rejoining the main channel and paddling roughly 3 km upstream to Poonamalie Lock.

Along the way you will be immersed in a unique and important natural area on the doorstep of a rural town. Simon will introduce you to some of the more interesting flora, fauna and local canal history along the way. It should be fun!

Leader:  Simon Lunn, Biologist (retired), Naturalist & Landscape/Wildlife Photographer

Car Pooling: meet at the Almonte Arena for departure at 8:30 a.m. or Upper Reach Park, Abbott Street, Smiths Falls by the canal for 9:15 a.m. (see photo below)

Bring: lots of water, lunch, bathing suit, insect repellent, binoculars, sunscreen, etc.

Ensure you are equipped with life jacket, bailing bucket, whistle, heaving line, extra paddle, etc.

Your MVFN membership must be up-to-date (check your membership card).  You can update and pay for your membership on the MVFN website. You may bring a friend or two, subject to the approval of the trip leader.

You must pre-register for this event by completing the form found here. If you need to partner with someone, please contact the trip leader who may be able to accommodate you.

In case of possible severe weather on the day of the paddle, please check your email before 8:00 a.m. for a confirmation.  Please inform the leader if you have signed up, but are unable to attend.

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Tay River Paddle

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Time: Participants should meet at 9:30 AM at Last Duel Park, Perth, ON

Starting Point: Meet near the dock at Last Duel Park.  The park is located at 22 Craig Street in Perth, on the south shore of the Tay River. From Smiths Falls take Hwy #43 into Perth (Hwy becomes Craig Street in Perth) and turn left into the park immediately after crossing the Craig Street bridge over the Tay River. From Almonte or Carleton Place travelling east through the town of Perth from Hwy 7 and onto Drummond St. through town, turn left on Craig and right before reaching the bridge. Park opposite the dock area.

Difficulty: This should be a fairly relaxed paddle down the Tay River, passing through woodlands and extensive open wetlands. A few powered vessels may pass us, but boat traffic is usually not busy on the Tay.

Trip Leader: Simon Lunn, naturalist, photographer, experienced paddler, and former biologist/ecologist with Parks Canada, including the Rideau Canal.

Bring:  lunch, water, insect repellant, binoculars, sun screen. You must also be equipped with proper floatation gear, bailing bucket, whistle, heaving line, etc.

Pre-registration: For registration and information, please contact trip leader Simon Lunn at  or 613-283-6663. Your MVFN membership must be up-to-date.  You may bring a friend or two, subject to approval of trip leader.

NOTE: if you think you might only be able to paddle one-way on this trip (i.e., not paddle back to Perth), contact Simon to discuss alternate arrangements. We might be able to arrange a car or two to be left at Beveridges Lock Station to get you back to Perth.

If in doubt about the weather on Sunday morning, please call Simon before 8:00 a.m. to confirm the trip. 

Tay River, photo Simon Lunn

Tay River, photo Simon Lunn

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AGM and Wildlife Journals: Member’s Night

Members and friends of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) are invited to attend the organization’s 2016 Annual General Meeting. The meeting will take place beginning at 7:30 pm on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin Street, in Almonte. The meeting will be followed by discussion and refreshments, and two, sure to be engaging, “Wild Life Journals: Member’s Night” presentations! Full details at http://mvfn.ca/wild-life-journals/

For the presentation “Encounters with Intriguing Owls,” Simon Lunn, biologist and nature photographer, will introduce us to several very different owls that he has encountered in recent years, both in his wooded backyard and special places within an hours drive of his home just south of Smiths Falls. Each of the owls has a unique story to tell.

Members night 2016 great grey owl flying close up Simon Lunn


Photo: Great Gray Owl photo by Simon Lunn

The second presentation will be “Loons and Human Interaction” by MVFN President and well-known bird expert and local naturalist, Cliff Bennett.

Loon by Gloria Opzoomer

Photo of loon by Gloria Opzoomer.

The past year was a busy one for MVFN (a local member of the Ontario Nature Network serving Lanark County, West Carleton and areas), with significant growth in membership and interest. Highlights included a very successful Program schedule (led by committee Chair Gretta Bradley) – a speaker series and many nature related outings, including an ever popular canoeing program led by Linda McLaren and new birding events held by the Birding Committee, chaired by Tim Pullen. Other highlights were the vigorous fund raising and education effort supporting a campaign to protect Burntlands Alvar, led by Environmental Issues Committee (EIC) Chair, Theresa Peluso; and formation of a new committee, Conservation and Habitat Restoration, chaired by David Garcia. In an effort led by EIC member Tineke Kuiper, MVFN continues to work with the Municipality of Mississippi Mills (MM) on the recognition of Natural Heritage Areas and “wildlife corridors” in MM. The popular Young Naturalists program at Mill of Kintail, continued to thrive under the guidance of instructor Patty McLaughlin (of the Wild Bird Care Centre) and coordination by Ron Williamson of MVFN’s Environmental Education Committee chaired by Bob Smith. Also in 2015, the Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary committee (chaired by Mike Macpherson) awarded a $1000 nature bursary to Almonte and District High School graduate Ruth Tamas. The meeting will feature reports on all of these activities plus a complete financial report and voting for election of directors for the coming year.

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