January 2023 conservation updates for Ontario Nature’s 155 member groups and their members.
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January 2023 conservation updates for Ontario Nature’s 155 member groups and their supporters. Together, we are the voice for nature. Please share this monthly newsletter with members of your group.

Thank you Ontario Nature Members


Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2023. We hope that you have a fantastic year full of the wonders of nature! Thank you for everything you did in 2022 to help protect wild species and wild spaces! It was a difficult end of the year with the provincial government unwinding critical environmental protections and 2023 promises to be full of challenges – but we know we can all rise to them together!

Please see some of our highlights from 2022 and read our 2022 Gratitude report.
Youth Webinar January 17 2023


Youth Webinar

Recruiting and engaging young people means empowering future environmental leaders. How can your organization successfully connect with youth and boost volunteer participation in your programming? Nature Network groups identified youth recruitment as a priority area for training, and we listened!

Join host Christine Ambre, Ontario Nature Education Manager, and panelists Alyssa Li, a returning Ontario Nature Youth Council member, members of our Nature Network – Marg Paré, Waterloo Nature Teens Coordinator, and Miranda Virtanen, Executive Director of the Junction Creek Stewardship Committee – as they share their first-hand experience with effective youth engagement.

The free webinar will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on February 1, 2023. If you can’t make it for the live presentation, register anyway and we will email you a recording soon after. We look forward to seeing you there!

Ontario healthy natural and rural area


“Big Tent” Initiative – Alliance for a Livable Ontario

In light of the many harmful changes in policy the Ontario government has introduced recently – including broad detrimental impacts our environment, health and democracy – organizations from across sectors in Ontario are coming together to fight back. Ontario Nature is a proud partner in The Alliance for a Liveable Ontario and we invite other organizations to learn more and consider joining the alliance.

The Alliance also hosts an online form to help keep track of how Bill 23 is harming Ontario and invites groups and citizens to send them any intelligence on local government efforts related to Bill 23 (e.g., Municipal Council meeting resolutions, discussions of property tax increases, discussions of new infrastructure costs).


Christmas Bird Count for Ukrainian Children

On January 4, 2023, Nature Barrie participated in Christmas in the Country, Ukrainian youth displaced by the Russia-Ukraine war. Volunteers from Nature Barrie guided the children on a Christmas Bird Count hike. This is the first year we have hosted a private Christmas Bird Count for kids at the Tiffin Centre for Conservation. It was a great way for children to spark their interest about nature, because they can find birds everywhere. In the past, we’ve found many children use their new bird identifying skills everywhere they go.

They started off the day by singing the national anthem followed by some favourite folk songs. Other activities included going on a wildlife detective hike, playing disc golf, and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over an open fire.

Article submitted by Nature Barrie

dancing loon in the wilderness

Research Grant

The Peterborough Field Naturalist (PFN) Research Grant initiative was created to support Trent University Undergraduate Students in a research project which will add to our knowledge of the natural environment in Peterborough and the Kawarthas. These grants are possible thanks to the generous bequests and donations from our members to the PFN Legacy Fund, an endowment fund managed by the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough.

This year, four deserving students have each been awarded $400. Olivia Bettencourt is studying Pentatomidae (stinkbug) species richness and distribution. Emma Byers is studying details of predation of dead birds under windows. Jenna Knight is studying the spatial scale of habitat selection in white-tailed deer. Maela Kaminski is examining the sex ratio of tree swallow nestlings in response to environmental conditions.

Thank you to the committee and congratulations, students!

Article submitted by Peterborough Field Naturalists
Photo by Sue Paradisis
Binbrook Conservation Area

Interesting Links and Opportunities

harvester butterfly


See our events calendar for a complete listing of events organized by Ontario Nature and Nature Network groups. 

To submit your public events for the online calendar, send them to noahc@ontarionature.org and allow up to a week for posting. Please send only events that are open to the public and no more than three per month.

Submit and Share!

We want to include more content from the network and will feature a story or two each month from network groups, as well as other resources. We encourage you to share your stories and links by emailing them to naturenetwork@ontarionature.org.

Ontario Nature publishes the Nature Network News monthly with contributions from our member groups and staff. We grant permission for use of the information above in member group newsletters. Please credit either Ontario Nature or the member group when appropriate.
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Photos © Noah Cole, Addy Cameron-Huff, Nature Barrie, Sue Paradisis, Peter Macdonald CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, aecole2010 CC BY 2.0