Meet your volunteer club leaders: Boleyn recently moved back to the West Coast from Calgary. No matter where she is, she loves to be surrounded by nature. It is a familiar place that gives her serenity. Boleyn looks forward to getting to know all the NatureKids members. These days, her favourite spot is a private stretch of beach on Shawnigan Lake where she loves to watch her three children immerse themselves in the water and in the nearby grove.
NatureKids is a nature discovery and environmental action club-based program for kids 4-12 years and their families. We normally meet on the 4th weekend of each month on a Saturday or Sunday for two hours somewhere in the Cowichan Valley, except July/August. Our Explorer Days are facilitated by a Naturalist or biologist/scientist.
The Cowichan Valley NatureKids are proudly supported by Cowichan Valley Naturalists' Society (CVNS) and the Cowichan Land Trust. NatureKids members and their families are invited to attend the CVNS Winter Solstice Extravaganza every December and the CVNS Summer Solstice Picnic each June.
Please note: There is also a Cowichan Valley NatureKids Club for Home Learners that meets once per month on a Tuesday, for more information please click here. Home learners are also welcome to join the weekend group if that is a better fit for the family.
Sunday, September 25 - Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, Cowichan Bay, 1-3pm
We will be joining one of our sponsors, Cowichan Land Trust, to be part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup on Sunday. Dress in layers, boots. Snacks, gloves, plastic bags will be provided. Rain or shine, we will be there.
Every year, we find interesting things by the beach and wonder why people would dump/throw stuff like that out. It is a great conversation piece with the kids on how we are all part of this ecosystem. How can we help Mother Earth be healthy?
The kids get really excited finding unusual garbage finds. Last year, we found a stray dog who we helped out. The year prior, it was a couch and sleeping bag/tent. What will we find this year?
Sunday, October 16 - Bird watching kids competition as part of the Wildwings Festival, 10-11:30am, Potluck after (crafts, prizes)
Sunday, October 23 - Bat Talk at Chase Woods, Duncan, 1-3pm
November - Evening frog surveys for 8+ year olds
November - Salmon Talk & Walk
December - Winter Solstice Party with adult Naturalists (our sponsors)
2017 Explorer Days – TBC:
January – Water Conservation Workshop
February – All about Bumble Bees Workshop with Ted L.
March – Nature Outing, Frog surveys for 8+ year olds
April – Food Forest Nature Walk
May – Low Tide Day, Cowichan Bay
June – Stewardship Project
Past Explorer Days
Tuesday June 21st
Annual Picnic with NatureKids and Cowichan Valley Naturalist Society (our sponsors)
5 pm with Potluck at 5.30 pm followed by activities for all
Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre
Your RSVPs are appreciated!
The kids always have a fun time at the beach after the meal. This will be a no waste event. Bring your own plates, cutlery, cups, etc. and lawn chairs as the Centre’s chairs will be in storage.
Sunday, June 12th
Meet at Hecate Park behind the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre. Everyone is welcome to share an hour on the shore as citizen scientists.
Low Tide Day
Saturday, May 7
Starts at 10:30 am
Kil-pah-las Beach NO RSVP needed. Just come and enjoy the day.
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Next Explorer Day is a day in the garden...planting, potting, learning about bees. Come and help plant lettuces, carrots and other greens. Then there will be bee stories and bee observation with Ted. The garden is located at the north end Centennial Park in Duncan on 1st Street. This is a great opportunity for you to learn about composting, see how bees help the garden, get ideas on what to plant in your garden. After a snack, we'll have you pot up some seeds to take home to your own garden. RSVPs appreciated. Friends are welcome.
Sat March 26
10 am - noon
Many Hands Permaculture Farm Tour
We will be doing a farm tour and looking at the systems. There is almost 3 acres of hugelkutur beds, swales, food forests and more. If the weather is sunny, we'll have a peek at the bees. We will play a few games and plant some seeds for you to take home. Please wear clean boots.
March 16 AND 19
7 - 8pm
Age suggestion: 8+
Spring Frog Surveys
Last year, our club received a grant to make a training video that has been now distributed to 30 NatureKids Clubs in BC. Each fall and spring, we do frog surveys and data is collected and a UBC PhD biologist complies the data and is passed on to the government. We are inviting all 8+ year old NatureKids members to come and participate in two frog surveys during spring break.
Mason Bee Harvesting
10 am - noon
with Nature Mentor Bee Enthusiast, Eugene Fleck
Freshwater Ecocentre conference room (indoor session)
Bee Enthusiast, Eugene Fleck will be going over the mason bee life cyle then will show us how to harvest our mason bees. Each child can help disassemble his/her own mason bee house, scrape off the cocoons on the terry cloth and count them. Then Eugene the Bee Guy will gather the group's cocoons then will wash them then will give each child the # of cocoons he counted earlier.
He would love to hear what you observed this summer regarding the mason bees and if they helped pollinate your fruit trees and veggies. You could write 1-2 sentences on a piece of paper OR you could draw him a picture. Don't forget to write your name and age. He loves getting input from all his mason bee keeper helpers.
Please bring the following items: a snack for your child
*a small flat screwdriver
*small terry cloth
*small container to hold your cocoons
*your labeled mason bee house, of course!
Tuesday, December 15th. 5 - 7.30 pm
Potluck Winter Solstice Party with the adult Naturalists Group (CVNS), one of our sponsors.Location: The Freshwater Ecocentre - Trout Hatchery 1080 Wharncliffe Rd, Duncan, BC.
It is always a fun night out with crafts, a ukelele trio serenade over dinner and a special visit by Mrs. Claus. Each family is asked to bring a gift that will be handed out to a NatureKid.
Crafts 5-5:30pm. Dinner from 5:30pm. Stories, gifts, songs from 6:30pm.
Saturday, November 28th
10am - noon
Nature Walk, Eves Provincial Park Crofton
Please meet at the main entrance of Eves Park (by the caretaker's house) once you park your car.
Nature Mentors: Cowichan Valley Docents
Nature Walk with a focus on changing of seasons, how do animals store food for the winter, plants changing with Eves Park of the Cowichan Valley Docents in Crofton. We will be divided up into smaller groups. This is one of the Cowichan Valley’s best kept secrets. It is a 45 acre, Class C Provincial Park (meaning it was donated to the province but is managed by a volunteer board and receives no government funding), gifted to BC in 1961 by Janet Goodall. If you haven't been there before, it is a quaint park that has a rain forest, railroad tracks AND even a cave!
Sunday October 25
Garry Oaks Preserve, meet at the end of Aitkin Rd off Maple Bay Rd
RSVP and please arrive 10 minutes before the nature walk starts
The Bring Back the Bluebirds Project is an effort to re-establish a population of Western Bluebirds to our home in the Cowichan Valley. Join us and learn about Western Bluebirds and other cavity nesting birds, like chickadees and swallows, as we share how we went from zero bluebirds four years ago to over 80 today!
Come out for a nature walk with Nature Mentor Reanna S, part of the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team Society (GOERT) and learn about the Garry Oaks and the bluebirds.
Rain or shine. Please dress in layers and bring a snack.
Tuesdays Oct 6 & 13th
Amphibian Road Surveys
For 8+ year olds
NEW TIME 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Duncan (see below)
Please RSVPs for the Frog Survey so we can be on the lookout for you.
Rain or no rain, rain is better since the frogs will be hopping!
We are inviting all 8+ year old NatureKids members to come and participate in two frog surveys in October with NatureKids Co-Leader, Krista. We have put the age minimum as a guideline since kids will be out in the dark and will be using some scientific apparatus.
Sunday, September 27th
1-3 pm (pre celebration at noon)
Cowichan Bay with Cowichan Land Trust (see below)
We will joining one of our club sponsors, Cowichan Valley Land Trust, to participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up at the Cowichan Bay Estuary. There will be a little celebration noon - 1pm to celebrate the 35th anniversary of BC Rivers Day. Light snacks and refreshments will be available.
Then our cleanup as part of the Great Canadian Shoreline cleanup will begin at 1pm.
Meet at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre. What interesting 'treasures' will we find this year? Dress in layers, bring gloves and wear boots. Rain or shine.
Saturday, June 27
1241 Maple Bay Rd, Duncan.
Planting Garry Oaks with Nature Conservancy Canada
Join the Nature Conservancy of Canada for a day gathering native seeds in the Garry oak woodlands of the Cowichan Valley.
Garry oak meadows and woodlands are home to numerous endangered flora and fauna. Come and assist in the preservation of these species by collecting seeds which will be propagated in the Native Plant Nursery at the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve.
Saturday, May 16
Low Tide Day at Cowichan Bay
Low Tide Day at Cowichan Bay is open to the public and will be lots of fun. Try to come out to any part of the festivities starting 9:30am. Dress in layers since it is normally windy by the beach. Boots are a must! Plus extra shoes for the kids on the ride home. Bring snacks and a picnic lunch.
The science activities will again be at Kil-Pah-Las beach (by OceanFront Suites Hotel) beginning at 9:30. This is a great opportunity for families to learn all about the critters who live near and under the shore. A group of biologists from the Department of Fisheries (DFO) normally conducts these events.
The community beach cleanup for adults and older youth begins at 9:30 at Hecate Park near the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre. This is an opportunity to help with environmental stewardship.
At noon both groups will meet up at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre for lunch, fun, and a birthday party for the Cowichan Land Trust.
Saturday, March 28th
Friday, March 6th - 6:30 -7:30 pm