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Educational Experiences for Families and Community Groups

Ausable Bayfield Conservation offers a wide variety of programs for all age levels.

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Birthday Parties

Call 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 to book

Availability: Birthday parties are available the first and third Saturday of each month at either 10:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. at either Morrison Dam Conservation Area or Clinton Conservation Area.

Cost: $150.

$50 deposit required at time of booking.

Includes 1.5 hours of programming with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority  (ABCA) conservation education staff plus use of pavilion. Program does not include food or party favours. Ask us for tips on hosting a no or low waste or a plastic-free party!

Choose from the following themes:

 

Age

Group Size (max)

Adult: Child Ratio

Availability

MDCA

CCA

Art and Nature

5-12

10

1:6

May-October

X

X

Bug Detectives

5-12

12

1:6

May-October

X

X

Fins, Claws & Creepy Crawlies

5-12

12

1:6

May-October

X

X

Imagination Forest

5-8

10

1:5

Year Round

X

X

High-Tech Scavenger Hunt

10-adult

12

1:6

Year Round

X

X

Log Lovers

8-12

12

1:6

May-October

X

 

Wilderness Skills

9-14

12

1:6

Year Round

X

 

Winter Fun

5-12

12

1:6

November-March

X

 

Wily Coyotes

6-12

12

1:6

Year round

X

 

Art & Nature: Make art in nature! Use natural materials to create ephemeral art and create something to take home.

Bug Detectives: Head to the field with bug jars and sweep nets to see what you can catch. Find out some weird and wonderful facts about bugs and all things buggy.

Fins, Claws and Creepy Crawlies: Using dip nets, children learn about the creatures that call the local stream, pond or river home. It's a really wet and wild experience. Participants should wear old shoes or rubber boots and be prepared to get wet and muddy.

Imagination Forest: Let their imaginations run wild! Ausable Bayfield Conservation will provide a number of loose parts for kids to build, create, and explore!

High-Tech Scavenger Hunt: Take technology outdoors! Have a crash course in wilderness technology and use GPS units to navigate in the fields and forests around the conservation area to find special birthday prizes!

Log Lovers: Head out to the forest to see what lives beneath the logs and under the leaves. Find out some cool facts about amphibians like salamanders and newts! Kids should be prepared for a 1.5 km walk (interspersed with games) to reach the best salamander finding spot.

Wilderness Skills: Find out what you need to survive a night in the Canadian wilderness. Learn how to build a shelter that you can sleep in. Test your wilderness survival skills. A ratio of one parent for every six children is required.

Winter Fun: Snow games, tracking animals and winter birdwatching! Optionally snowshoeing adventure if conditions are right. If there is no snow, we will still hike through the fields and woods to check out the chickadees and have other seasonal adventures. This program does not include tobogganing, but feel free to stay and use the hill at MDCA!

Wily Coyotes: Become a coyote and learn to survive in the forest. Build a den, find food and use coyote language to communicate. Come prepared to run, hunt and evade threats! Accompanying adults will take on active roles in this game.

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Oaks and Acorns (ages 2-4 years old with caregiver)

This play and inquiry based program takes place in the beautiful woods around Morrison Dam Conservation Area! Learn how to assess risk and help your child explore and deepen their relationship with nature. We meet no matter the weather. Dress for the weather and bring a snack! 

This program is for parents/caregivers and children ages 2-4. Infants are welcome with older children. We recommend infants be carried/worn. Maximum two children per adult. 

This program is $70 for the six-week session

Space is limited to 10 families. We require a minimum of four families to run the program. 

When:  Fridays 
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 
Where: Morrison Dam Conservation Area; 71108 Morrison Line
Who: 2-4 years olds and an adult caregiver
Cost: $70 per family (1 adult: 2 children)

SPRING 1 SESSION: This six-week session runs Friday, March 12 to April 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  Please Note that we will not meet Friday, March 19 or Friday, April 2 (Good Friday)

Registration closes March 5 at 4:00 p.m.

SPRING 2 SESSION: This six-week session runs Friday, May 7 to June 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Registration closes Friday April 26 at 4:00 p.m.    

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Family Outdoor Experiences

Immerse yourself in nature! Guided by an Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) staff member. Learn about trees, birds and the many animals that live in and around Morrison Dam Conservation Area. 

Winter Family Outdoor Experiences (maximum 10 people)

Choose from one of the following COVID-friendly ABCA-conservation-educator-led programs for you and your ‘bubble.’ All programs are 1.5 hours in length. Location and options to book vary for each program.

Option 1: Moonlight Owl Prowl – Explore Morrison Dam or MacNaughton Park at night with ABCA staff as they lead your group in a hike in search of owls. Learn about what makes these amazing creatures so successful at night

Available dates: January 29 or 30; February 26 or 27.

Option 2: Family F.U.N Hike – F-Families U-Understanding N- Nature. Explore the natural world as a family through seasonally relevant topics and activities to do along the trail (request a specific focus!) 

Program is available Morrison Dam Conservation Area or MacNaughton Park.

Available Dates: Saturdays in January and February (excluding January 2)

Option 3: Winter in the Forest – Learn about our local plants and wildlife and how they survive the winter. Observe and feed birds. Conclude your program with a fire and winter story.

Available Dates: Saturdays in January and February (excluding January 2)

Cost: per family group $70 (up to five people), two families per time slot (maximum 10 people)

If the conditions are good, rent some snowshoes for the program! An extra cost of $5.25/pair.

ABCA requires advanced booking of all programs. When booking your program, we will require the following information:

  1. Preferred date and time
  2. Program Option
  3. Program location
  4. Names of people in your group

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Scout and Guide Badge Requirements

All of our programs have components that will meet one or more of your badge requirements. Speak to us about how we can adjust the program to meet your specific needs. 

Choose from one of our many school conservation programs at this link:

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Yellow Fish Road™ 

Looking for something with an environmental action component?

Choose Yellow Fish Road™

Your group will learn about local water systems and contribute to community action by painting storm drains and distributing resources to homeowners about their connection to local rivers.

Locations: 

Come to us or we can come to you! Choose from the following locations:

  • Bannockburn Conservation Area (north of Varna; between Bayfield and Brucefield)
  • Clinton Conservation Area (Clinton)
  • Morrison Dam Conservation Area (east of Exeter)
  • Rock Glen Conservation Area (Arkona)
  • Your location
  • Conservation areas 

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Contact us:

Click this link for our staff contacts page:

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