August 2023 conservation updates for Ontario Nature’s 150 member groups and their members.
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August 2023 conservation updates for Ontario Nature’s 150 member groups and their supporters. Together, we are the voice for nature. Please share this monthly newsletter with members of your group.

Ontario Nature digital communications platforms


Upcoming Webinars for Nature Network Groups

We are pleased to be presenting another webinar to support your organization. We all know that digital communications are essential to the functioning of modern groups, but many of us feel lost in the sea of information and platforms!

In this webinar, we will provide tips and tricks for how to effectively use digital communications to reach the goals of your campaign or organization. Members of Ontario Nature’s communications team will discuss best practices for digital campaigns including websites, eblasts, social media and other tools.

The webinar will be held Wednesday, September 20th from 7 – 8:30 p.m. via Zoom. Pre-registration is required to join and receive the recording afterwards.

Please also save the date for a webinar on Board Governance on October 18th.  Details and a registration link to come!




Temagami area old growth


Implement the Recommendations of the Protected Areas Working Group

A government-appointed Protected Areas Working Group submitted recommendations in 2021 but they were only released in June 2023 through a Freedom of Information request by the Wilderness Committee.

Key recommendations include partnering with Indigenous Nations and engaging the public to immediately implement a strategy to protect 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030. For more detail on the recommendations, check out Ontario Nature’s recent blog.

Groups are invited to sign our action alert and/or endorse a letter urging David Piccini, the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, to implement key recommendations of the working group.

Please consider sharing the action alert with your members and supporters.

If you would like to read and sign the letter on behalf of your organization, please email Sarah Hasenack, Ontario Nature at for the draft letter and the sign-on form. The deadline for sign-on is September 15, 2023.

St. Lawrence River


Help Us Protect More Places

Canada has committed to the global biodiversity target of protecting 30% of its lands and waters by 2030. Ontario Nature has collaborated with our partners to identify candidate protected areas in Ontario on our Story Map. Check out this video to learn more.

As Nature Network Group members, your involvement has and will continue to be critical in identifying candidate areas for protection. We know there are areas of significance to your communities that are yet to be protected.

Now is the chance to make your voice heard by submitting areas. 

Sheriff Creek signage


Collaboration to Create New Signage

The Penokean Hills Field Naturalists (PHFN) have undertaken a commendable effort at the Sheriff Creek Wildlife Sanctuary in Elliot Lake. They are adding new interpretive signage to enhance the nature experience on the trails and have received positive feedback from trail users. Encouraged by the response, they have now secured funding support from BHP Mining to add six more signs that will educate visitors about the local fauna, including turtles, frogs, snakes, owls, weasels and black bears.

This project is led by Jim Johnston, a dedicated PHFN member, whose commitment to conservation and education is evident. Through these informative signs, trail users will gain a better understanding and appreciation of the diverse wildlife in the sanctuary.

The collaboration between PHFN and BHP Mining highlights the value of community involvement in protecting wildlife habitats. It's heartening to see such initiatives that promote the preservation of nature for the benefit of all.

Sydenham River Nature Reserve fall planting


Join Us for a Planting Event at Sydenham River Nature Reserve

We are planting 750 native trees and shrubs and want you to be a part of it! You are invited to join us for a planting event at our Sydenham River Nature Reserve in southwestern Ontario on September 23rd and 24th. Bring your friends and family and join us for the morning, afternoon, or all day. Volunteers will help us plant tulip trees, Kentucky coffee trees, spicebush and more while learning about this habitat restoration project with our staff and local experts.




Ontario Nature Youth Summit


Register for the 2023 Youth Summit for Mother Earth

Happening this September 22–24 at Camp Wahanowin, our annual Youth Summit brings together young people aged 14–20 for a weekend of nature exploration, environmental learning and outdoor fun.

For the 2023 Youth Summit, Ontario Nature, the Indigenous Environmental Institute at Trent University, Plenty Canada, and Walpole Island Land Trust will be partnering with our leaders on the Youth Council and Youth Circle for Mother Earth’s Coordinating Circle to offer a unique, cross-cultural event for youth across Ontario.

Your group can sponsor a youth to attend the 2023 Summit. The deadline to let us know and to save your group a spot is August 15, 2023.

To learn more about the event and register, please visit our webpage.

You can contact Maya Davidson at or 416-444-8419 (toll-free 1-800-440-2366) ext. 280, or fill out our 2023 Summit interest form for inquiries about sponsorship or registration. The deadline for all registrants is September 5, 2023.


Resources and Links

Backcountry camping in northern Ontario


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 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

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 or the photographer when appropriate.
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Photos © Noah Cole, Ontario Nature, Noah Cole, Tarun Titus, Penokean Hills Field Naturalists, Smera Sukumar, Daynan Lepore, Pete Ryan, Justin Kreller