The Kortright Centre for Conservation is pleased to offer a series of Naturalist Skills workshops designed to give participants a firm foundation in species identification, ecological significance, and biology, as well as memory aids and information about threats/challenges to health and survival. These workshops are also offered as an ‘Ontario Naturalist' certificate course. Visit the Adult Course websiite for more information.
Saturday May 6, 9am-12pm $25 April showers bring May flowers. Spring is a fantastic time for a walk in an Ontario park, especially before leaf-out. Hands on learning with an expert will teach you to identify many Ontario spring wildflowers like trout lily, trilliums, bloodroot, mayapple, hepatica and dutchman's breeches.
Saturday, June 3rd, 9:00am-3:30pm $80 Bird watching and backyard bird feeding are two of the most popular hobbies in North America. With a wide variety of birds living in our backyards, nearby parks and outdoor spaces, such popularity is easy to understand. This workshop is a fun and educational introduction to birding and covers topics including: bird ID, feeding backyard birds, field guides, where and when to look for birds, recording field sightings and birding ethics. Join Kristen Martyn, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited Barrie and expert birder, to learn the basics of birding.
Dragonflies and Damselflies
Saturday June 10, 1-3pm $25 Learn about the fascinating biology and migration of some of the world's most ancient flying animals - the dragonflies and damselflies! Join Odonata expert David d'Entremont for a whirlwind tour of these strikingly beautiful insects and venture outdoors to learn some in-the-field identification while observing dragonflies and damselflies in their natural habitats.
Saturday, June 24, 9am - 12pm $30 Join Natalie Swaak, an experienced urban forester for an interactive, hands-on training session to increase your Tree ID skills. This course will cover common tree species found in Ontario, natural history knowledge, keys and tips and tricks for identifying tree species.
Bat ID Walk & Interactive Survey
Tuesday, July 4, 7:30-10pm $25 Learn about the only mammals that can fly and how their incredible echo-location system works! The evening will begin with a presentation covering a wide variety of bat related topics, including the species native to Ontario and threats such as White-nose Syndrome. The participants will then go out onto the Kortright Centre property to view live bats as they forage for insects overhead and identify them using sophisticated audio detection tools!
Buzz on Bees
Saturday, August 26, 9am -12pm $30 This workshop will give you an up-close look into the lives of these incredible insects. Learn all about bee biology and identification, their role in our environment, and the threats to their health. We will also tour the active hives and bee education centre at the Kortright Centre. Build a native bee habitat to take home.
Saturday, Sept. 9, 9am-3:30pm $80 This module is for those who have participated in the "Birding for Beginners" workshop or moved beyond bird watching basics. Our expert birder, Kristen Martyn will delve deeper into the more advanced birding topics including: difficult bird ID, bird calls, birding locations and habitats, optical equipment (binoculars and scopes), other birding equipment, nesting behaviours, Ontario migrations and birding etiquette.
Reptiles of Ontario
Thursday, Sept 21, 7-9pm $40 A hands-on workshop featuring live reptiles from around the province! Learn how to identify and conserve Ontario's snakes, turtles, and lizard from Jeff Hathaway of Scales Nature Park. Learn threats and conservation issues key identification features, distribution, handling techniques, and much more! Participants will have the opportunity to handle various live species.
Birds of Prey
Friday, Nov. 17, 7-9:30pm $40 Join Wild Ontario's naturalists for an evening all about birds of prey! In the first part of this program we'll cover the basics of biology, natural history and identification. Then meet some of Wild Ontario's special (feathered) guests, up close and personal. Finally, head out for a walk on the trails as we try to hear, or maybe even see, some of Kortright's elusive nocturnal inhabitants.
Methods in Environmental Education
Saturday, Dec. 2, 9am-3pm $70 An important part of being a naturalist is sharing your knowledge with others. This half day session will cover the current methods and practices in environmental education. You will gain hands-on experience in delivering environmental education programming and work with an experienced outdoor educator to learn the principles of environmental education.
Beginner Micro and Macro
Saturday, May 27, 8:30am-12:30pm $60 Learn the basics of Nature photography with professional photographer Max Swakrna. This in depth photography workshop will consist of two hours of instruction and practice on micro photography and two hours of in the field landscape photography. Cameras are not provided, please bring your own.
Saturday, October 14, 8:30am-12:30pm $60 Photograph the spectacular fall colours with professional photographer Max Swakrna. This workshop consists of two hours of instruction and practice on micro photography and two hours of in the field landscape photography. Cameras are not provided, please bring your own.
Wednesday July 19 (rain date of July 26), 8:30pm to midnight $40 Receive a detailed introduction to the basics of Astronomy through an indoor presentation. Learn your way around the night sky in an amazing portable planetarium. We'll venture out into the darkness for naked-eye viewing of constellations, more detailed observations with binoculars (provided) and viewing planets and deep-sky objects through telescopes of amateur astronomers.