Cowichan Valley Home Learners

Volunteer Co-Leaders: Jenny White and Maritza Matheson
The Cowichan Valley
Homelearners NatureKids club conducts Explorer Days once a month during the school
year. The Explorer Day usually falls on the 4th Tuesday of the month,
though there are some exceptions so please check below, or email us for
our current schedule. This club is
great for home learning families as parents are required to stay with their
children and young/ older siblings are welcome!
The club is supported by the Cowichan Valley Naturalists’ Society (CVNS) and the Cowichan Land Trust. NatureKids and their families are invited to attend
the CVNS Winter Celebration in December and the CVNS picnic in June.

Photos of our October 2013 visit to Eves Provincial Park in
Westholme with the Cowichan Valley Docets. We learned about the local mining
history and explored the trails through this beautiful park.
 

2016 EXPLORER DAYS

Tuesday January 24 
Freshwater Eco Centre 
Wharncliffe rd 
10am-12
Michelle Staples from the Green Community will be there to do a workshop for us on renewable and nonrenewable resources. She is a waltz of information and always has really fun activities for the kids! This will be indoors so we will remove all our outerwear when entering building. If weather always maybe a quick hike along the river afterwards.
Tuesday February 28th 
Bumble Bees with Ted

March 21st
Fossil Dig & Walk
Courtney Museum
Exact time to be determined

Courtney Museum for a fossil dig and tour/ walk for Tuesday March 21. This is a 3 1/2 hour tour with some time in the museum. We go out rain or shine but not in ice or snow. There will be a cost TBA when numbers confirmed. Please let us know Asap if you are coming and how many are in your family.
Past Explorer Days 
Winter Potluck in December
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
5pm
Trout Hatchery on Wharncliffe
So as we turn inward and getting ready for a wonderful holiday season please put Tuesday Dec 20 on your calendars. This is an evening event usually starting around 5 ( I will confirm) so Dad’s and siblings can come too! It is a potluck dinner with crafts, songs, stories and a visit from Mrs Clause. This event is held with the Naturalist Club (older members in our community) so it is a fun event of all ages and a great community building evening. 
My family has been going for probably 10 years!! It has become a tradition in amongst the busyness and excitement of the season it is a great evening to step out of the flurry and appreciate this beautiful land we live on and meet some amazing members of our community some have been here a long time with lots of stories to share. We enjoy the holiday music and the activities sometimes a song writing competition:) 
So PLEASE put it on your calendar and see this as an evening to contribute to your community by connecting generations in appreciation of nature and this amazing land we call home. 
What to bring: 
-It is a zero waste event so please bring your own cutlery, plates, cups etc.
-a potluck dish to share,
-a small gift ( can be gently used) to donate to the Mrs Clause sack ( there are elves there who sort and distribute to appropriate ages if you could wrap or at least label it for appropriate age then perfect!)
Once I get more info I will let you know. Please rsvp so we get an idea of numbers.

This event is at the Trout Hatchery on Wharncliffe inside the theatre building.



Salmon Walk & Talk
Saturday, November 22, 2016
10am – noon
Meet at Freshwater Ecocentre at 1080 Wharncliffe Road in Duncan (Where we did the shoreline cleanup)

We are very lucky to have Nature Interpreter Genevieve Singleton, a Parks Canada 2015 Volunteer of the Year, to help lead this Salmon Explorer Day. She will be taking half the group on a nature walk to special spots to see salmon spawn. Genevieve will talk about what they are doing here and how they got here. Learn about their amazing life cycle.

The other group will watch Department of Fisheries officers talk about the similarities between salmon and humans. Did you know that salmon have many body parts like humans do?? They will dissect a salmon while going over its parts. Kids young and not-so-young are amazed at seeing the dissection.

Tuesday September 27

special kayak adventure
Meet at 9:45am, Maple Bay Beach
Ages 6 and up Preschoolers can explore the beach
This event has a cost: $12 per participant
Please RSVP!
Youth should be comfortable in water over their head. All participants will be wearing an approved lifejacket while on water.
What we teach:
-parts of the kayak
-safety equipment
-enter and exit a kayak safely
-basic strokes
-shoreline tour in the bay area



Tuesday September 20

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup 
Meet at 10:00am, Fresh Water Hatcheries Parking lot, Wharncliffe Rd

Please bring your own gloves to wear to pick up garbage. We will be tallying the garbage we collect on data sheets so if you have an extra clip board that would be great! This is a great start to the year with a wonderful way to explore a new park, help keep our waters clean and parks tidy, great for conversations about litter, what do we find and why, where does it go if we don’t pick it up, why do people litter, and its a great way to be a part of a national program to provide information to our research centers to see how they can help our ocean life. Plus we will meet lots of new friends!!!
We will meet in the parking lot of the Fresh waters hatcheries on Wharncliffe rd at 10am, bring gloves Tuesday Sept 20.



Tuesday May 24 at 10am 

Garry Oak Preserve 
Meet at Chase Woods. We will be installing bat boxes that the children built and we will have a naturalist/ biologist come teach us about bats, their habitats and how important they are! Plus there are lots of wildflowers in bloom at this beautiful park. Not to be missed.
Directions: Chase Woods Nature Reserve is located at 1505 Khenipsen Road. From highway 1 turn East onto Trunk Road and continue onto Tzouhalem Road, at the roundabout continue straight to stay on Tzouhalem Road and turn left onto Khenipsen Road. There will be a large stone cairn marked Chase Woods Nature Reserve on your left, at the head of the driveway onto the property.



Low Tide Day 

Saturday, May 7 
Starts at 10:30 am 
Kil-pah-las Beach. NO RSVP needed. Just come and enjoy the day. 
Beach clean-up and marine science, critter count. Lunch is free and we have a great children’s performer, Ken Atkins, doing the music. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
10am – 12
Nature House in Cowichan Bay

This month we are heading to the Nature House in Cowichan Bay. We will get to explore the nature house, do a carb hunt, bird watching and explore the touch table. If you would like to bring a picnic lunch there is a low tide in the afternoon that would be fun to explore!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

10am
Many Hands Farm
Many Hands Farm is a permaculture farm located in Westholme in the Cowichan Valley. It is also a permaculture education farm where children and families learn hands-on permaculture skills! On our 5 acres we have almost 3 acres of hugelkultur beds, swales, food forests and more. We will be doing a farm tour and looking at the systems as well as peaking at the bees if the weather is sunny an they are out! We will play a few games and plants some seeds for you to take home too!



Tuesday, February 23, 2016

10am
Climate Change
Happy Late Winter! Hope you are getting out in-between rain storms!! We will meet at the Eco Centre again at the Trout Hatchery at the end of Wharncliffe Rd in Duncan. Michelle Staples from the Cowichan Green Community will come and do a workshop with the children on climate change.
There’s a lot of information floating around about climate change. Most people know it has something to do with industrial pollution, changing weather and car exhaust. But what about how some of these changes will look in our community and how do our daily choices make any difference? Come out and hear guest speaker talk about climate/weather change and what we can do about it.



Tuesday, January 26, 2016
10-12am
Mason Bees!

This month we are meeting with local expert Eugene Fleck to learn about mason bees and examine our houses from last year. We will be meeting at the Freshwater Ecocentre from 10-12. If you have a house from last year, please bring it along. We will learn how to remove and clean the cocoons from last year and get them ready for another season. Bring a small flat screw driver, an old tooth brush, a terry cloth and a small container to bring cocoons home in.



Tuesday, December 15th
5 – 7.30 pm
Potluck Winter Solstice Party
 with the adult Naturalists Group (CVNS), one of our sponsors.
The Freshwater Ecocentre – Trout Hatchery 1080 Wharncliffe Rd, Duncan, BC.


Featuring: The Musical Middy Buddies singing and strumming winter songs, Nature Crafts, Stories and Songs, A Potluck supper, a nature scavenger hunt, and ssshhhhh better watch out for you know who.


Tuesday October 27th
10 am – noon
Bluebird Talk
Garry Oaks Preserve
, meet at the end of Aitkin Rd off Maple Bay Rd
Please RSVP and  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 wear gumboots. This is not the best terrain for a stroller.



Tuesdays Oct 6 & 13th
Amphibian Road Surveys
For 8+ year olds
6 – 7pm, after dusk

Duncan 
(see below)

We are inviting all 8+ year old NatureKids members to come and participate in two frog surveys in October with NatureKids Co-Leader, Krista, from the Cowichan Valley club. We have put the age minimum as a guideline since kids will be out in the dark and will be using some scientific apparatus.

Meeting location: Belvedere Crescent (Directions – turn south off Cowichan Lake Road off Jordan’s Lane, right on Appaloosa Way, Left on Pinto Rd, Left on Belvedere Crescent = Dead end road – park here.

Please watch the three training videos before the survey starring our our own NatureKids members! A big thank you to Amphibian Biologist Elke for putting together these videos with the Cowichan Valley Weekend club members who did the spring pilot!

Remember to dress warmly and in reflective clothing. Bring gloves, touque, headlamp/flashlight (if you have one).


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