Registration is now open

After months of preparation and's ready! The Carden Nature Festival has many new and exciting changes and registration is now open.

There are a number of new events, such as Wild Medicines, Bumblebees and Geocaching for Beginners, as well as popular returning events such as Birding by Ear, Paddle the Head River and Insects on the Alvar. Read more about the events on the List of Activities page. 

There are two different Weekend Passes to choose from that will give you access to any of the events running on Saturday and Sunday. There is also a pass to just join us for dinner on Saturday and hear our Guest Speaker, David Phillips of Environment Canada speak. Registration is available online and it's quick and easy to do.

Also new this year is the Family Fun Fest, running 10:00am - 4:00pm on Saturday, June 7. There will be wagon rides, face painting, live music, interactive exhibits and much more. There is no charge to take part in Fun Fest. Read more here.

We need a Champion

Raising funds to support our work is an important part of the Carden Nature Festival. We are looking for someone to lead the Silent Auction, taking place during the Saturday evening dinner. That person will seek out donations for the auction. If you are interested, please contact Tanya Clark at the Conservancy office ( or 705-326-1620).

Grassland Habitat Improvement Project 

Ron Reid helps with Habitat Improvement  

We are enhancing grassland habitat by removing some trees and brush on Bluebird Ranch. Parts of the 200-acre property are already home to bobolinks, meadowlarks, upland sandpipers, common snipe and several species of sparrows.

As a few of these birds are now listed as a Species at Risk (SAR) there is a real concern to provide the best possible nesting habitat for them. As an example, bobolinks need a minimum 200 metres of open space before they will nest (about 100 meters on either side of them); any visual obstructions that reduce this open area may cause the birds to avoid nesting. Read more about this project.

Interested in volunteering to help with grassland habitat improvement? Click here.

Water Quality Monitoring Project   

Cruising the Talbot River during the Carden Nature Festival - Harry, Pam and Tom

On a warm spring day, a quiet stream meanders through the Carden Plain on its way to Canal Lake. Grazing cattle lazily walk down to the water for a drink.  Tails lift, cow pies drop.


One cow produces about 120 pounds of manure per day, and where cattle have access to a stream, this manure can introduce pathogens harmful to both humans and aquatic life. 


This spring the Conservancy is starting a new project to test the water quality of creeks flowing through the Carden Plain and into Canal Lake. The project arises out of a question:  Has our work to fence cattle out of streams and restore vegetation along the stream banks resulted in improved water quality?  If so, can we convince even more ranchers to do the same? Read more.  


Interested in volunteering for this project? Click here. 


Reminder: Special Membership Meeting  

Monday, April 7th at 7:00pm at Swanmore Hall in Orillia: Join us for a Special Membership Meeting regarding the Articles of Continuance and By-laws. Please remember to renew your membership prior to the meeting.

For more information on this event and others, please visit our Calendar of Events.

Ready, Set...Bird! Carden Challenge: May 30-31

Winners of the Teeter-Ass Trophy in 2013
Team Pedalling for Nature

The goal is of the Carden Challenge is simple: raise funds to support the stewardship of Carden's alvar and bird habitats by counting as many bird species as possible during a 24-hour period.

If you haven't already formed your team for the Carden is the time. Contact Ron Reid to register your team.

Read about the 2013 Challenge and view pictures here.
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