Welcome spring! With birds returning to our area, frogs calling and our landscaping coming into full bloom again, what a perfect time to get outdoors to reinvigorate your spirits. With many (many!) upcoming events and activities, there is lots to choose from.

Within this e-newsletter, you will find information about:
  • Passport to Nature - your guide to adventure in our region
  • How you can help us update our Natural Heritage Strategy
  • Learn from Dr. Troy McMullin - two upcoming presentations
  • Carden Challenge - a 24 hour birding and biodiversity marathon in Carden
  • Walk Wylie - an opportunity to explore a key conservation area
  • Pelee Island Winery Wine Club - order due May 11

And as usual, we have included a featured Notes from the Field, a collection of sightings, activities and photos of volunteer and staff visits to Nature Reserves that supporters and volunteers help protect!

With thanks from The Couchiching Conservancy!
Protecting nature for future generations
The Passport to Nature has returned for a fourth year, and in celebration of the 25th anniversary of The Couchiching Conservancy, we are offering up 25 events!

May events:
11th - Seeking Spring Warblers at the Fawcett & Agnew Nature Reserves
12th - Garlic Mustard Pesto at Church Woods
27th - Spring Wildflower Photography at the Agnew Nature Reserve

Registration for events is required.
A special thank you to our Program Sponsors! Almost all events are free to attend thanks to their support and Event Sponsors.
Lynda Hepinstall
The Search for Species-at-Risk in the Couchiching Region Continues...
You can help the Conservancy set a course for property acquisition for the next 20 years:

Call or email us with your observations of Species-at-Risk such as the Blanding's Turtle, Eastern Whip-poor-will, and Massasauga Rattlesnake.

Habitats that support Species-at-Risk are often the sweet spots on the landscape. We are mapping out your observations and using them to update our Natural Heritage Strategy.

If you have any information that would be useful, please contact Citizen Science Project Manager, Dorthea Hangaard, at the office (705) 326-1620 or
Blanding's Turtle
photo: Cameron Curran
Eastern Whip-poor-will
photo: Creative Commons
Massasauga Rattlesnake
photo: David J. Hawke
Two presentations with Dr. Troy McMullin, Canadian Museum of Nature
Lichens, with the Carden Field Naturalists:
May 9 at 7:00pm at the Carden Recreation Centre (258 Lake Dalrymple Rd, Sebright)

Dr. McMullin studies the biogeography, conservation, ecology, systematics and taxonomy of Canadian lichens.

Registration is not required.

An Introduction to Molecular Phylogenetics, with the Orillia Naturalists Club:
May 10 at 10:00am at The Couchiching Conservancy office (1485 Division Rd West, Orillia)

Molecular phylogenetics are increasingly used as a tool to help understand species concepts and the relationships among species. Dr. McMullin will introduce foundational principals and show how to interpret cladograms and phylogenetic trees.

Registration required.
Attention Wine Lovers!
Spring has spring which means it is time for our 2018 Wine Club order. As a nod to the season we have added a fresh rosé and a white for your enjoyment.

If you have any questions, or would like to join the Wine Club please contact Courtney Baker, Administrative Assistant,, or 705-326-1620.

Orders are due May 11th , cheers!
Notes From the Field - Spring!

Frog monitoring, a vernal pool workshop, plein air painting, and an unexpected swim are all part of this spring's Notes From the Field.

Read on to see a Four-toed salamander.

Pictured : Darlene, Jordyn & Jane monitor frog calls at the Roehl Wetland Reserve.
Walk Wylie
This isn't your typical walkathon! This is Walk Wylie - your chance to explore a globally rare landscape while enjoying a walk up Carden`s `Birding Highway.`

You pick the start time, length of the walk, and go from there. See how many bird species you can count - we'll have resources available to you. No birding expertise needed.

Donate to participate, or ask your friends and family to sponsor you to help the Conservancy do more to protect the alvar.

So, grab some friends and get walking!

Pictured: Upland Sandpiper by David A. Homer and Carden Flowers by Cameron Curran .
2018 Carden Challenge
Pick up your binoculars, brush up on your birding skills, learn about local dragonflies & butterflies...all in support of conservation efforts of the globally rare Carden alvar!

The Carden Challenge marks its 14th year, with 11 teams taking part so far, they will be raising funds and having fun as they go searching for as species as possible in 24 hours.

Pictured : Team Pedalling for Nature
Carden Challenge: Celebrity Birder, Jeremy Bensette
We are pleas ed to have Jeremy join us this year! Jeremy is an avid birder from Leamington, Essex County, Ontario. He completed a record-breaking 2017 birding Big Year in Ontario. It was a combination of approximately 100,000 km driven, a couple flights, tram rides, bicycles, ferries, kayak, skis, snowshoes, a swim, and a wade through icy water that took him to some pretty crazy places and crazy birds across Ontario. Jeremy’s official final total was 346 bird species.
"My number one goal for my career as a naturalist is to expose and promote as many members of the general public as possible to delve into the 'finer things' like conservation, wildlife, and natural history, in hopes that they too will want to get involved."
Website:  | Phone: 705-326-1620
Mail: Box 704, Orillia, ON L3V 6K7
Office: 1485 Division Rd W, Orillia, ON L3V 6H2
Did you know...we are sharing photos and info each #ThrowbackThursday to celebrate all of the work that has been done since 1993?
Use the links below to follow along!