Early January 2023 Issue

INSIDE: Thank you for a successful Year End! New spaces are available for Braiding Sweetgrass workshop. Join us for a Family Winter Walk! PD Day ECO camp spaces available. Springbank Gardens call for applicants. ArtsEverywhere Festival runs end of January!

Photo by: Mike Weissmann

Thanks to our Supporters for a Successful Year End!

Welcome to 2023! We hope that everybody had a healthy and happy holiday season and we send best wishes for this coming year.

Thank you everyone for your patience during the last week of December as you were inundated with donation appeals ahead of the 2022 tax deadline. With so many organizations to choose from, we appreciate that you chose rare. Your donations more than quadrupled the Uebele Family matching challenge.

These gifts will go directly toward protecting 1,200+ acres of natural spaces, maintaining 14 kilometres of trails free and open to the public as well as research and education programs to expand our understanding and appreciation of the environment and to train the next generation of responsible conservationists. The accomplishments of the past twenty-one years at rare are your accomplishments, and we are so grateful.

If you haven't received a tax receipt for your donation yet, rest assured that we are working on getting these to you in the next couple of weeks. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Photo by G. Kammingo

New Spaces Opened at the Braiding Sweetgrass Workshop

The second part of Charlotte Coates' workshop on Braiding Sweetgrass, a bestselling book by Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer exploring scientific knowledge, Indigenous wisdom, and the teachings of plants, takes place on Saturday, February 4. Those who attended the first part are invited to attend part two by coming to the rare's North House at 681 Blair Road at 1:30 p.m. for this 2-hour open-air discussion. Please be sure to dress for the weather.

New spaces have been opened for this event, so if you wish to attend, you can sign up for $25 here. This fee covers the cost of this event, as well as part 3, taking place on April 29.

For more information about this event, and to register for one of the new spaces, click here.

Join the Braiding Sweetgrass Workshop

Join us on February 11 for a Family Winter Walk

Families are invited to join us on Saturday, February 11, at 2 p.m. at the rare ECO Centre and Slit Barn at 768 Blair Road for a Family Winter Walk to explore our trails and learn about the plants and animals that live here during the winter. Weather permitting, we will provide snowshoes for this hike. Please note that we do not have snowshoes available for children under the age of 6. Participants are welcome to bring their own snowshoes, if they wish.

This is an outdoor event. Dress warmly and be prepared to spend approximately 2 hours outside. The event is free, but registration is required.

Photo by Michelle MacMillan.

Click here to register for this FREE event

Registrations Open for PD Day Camps, March Break Camp, Summer Camps.

Looking for activities to engage your children and spark a sense of wonder in nature? Give them an outdoor adventure at one of rare's ECO Camps. Registrations have opened for camps happening over the March Break, through the Summer, and during upcoming PD Days.

From March 13-17, kids aged 6-12 are invited out to the rare ECO Centre at 781 Blair Road from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to take part in environmental art and nature-based crafts and activities. Campers will trek rare's trails, learn from special guests, visit Springbank Gardens, and create a journal of their time at rare. The general registration cost is $300 for the week, with extended care available from 8:00 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 pm. for an additional weekly fee of $25 for either the morning or afternoon session, or $50 for both.

Summer's ECO Camps run throughout July and August, with Teen ECO Camp (for ages 12-16) taking place from Tuesday, August 8 to Friday, August 11. Full weeks cost $250, while short weeks (the week after Canada Day and the week of the August Civic Holiday) cost $200. Again, extended care is available for an additional weekly fee of $25 for either the morning or afternoon session, or $50 for both.

And spaces are still available for our upcoming PD Day ECO Camps on January 20, January 27, March 3, March 31, April 21 and June 2, for just $55 per day with camps running from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Extended care is available for $5 for the hour before or the hour after, or $10 for both hours.

Give your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew an adventure they'll never forget and spark a sense of wonder in nature in our next generation of conservationists. Register today!

Register for our ECO Camps

Springbank Gardens Calls for Applicants for the 2023 Growing Season.

The Springbank Community Gardens at rare are preparing for the 2023 growing season and have opened the application process

The cost to rent a garden plot at Springbank Community Gardens ranges from $30 to $60 per plot, per season.

If you are considering applying for a garden plot at the Springbank Community Gardens, please fill out the questionnaire here. Completion of this questionnaire does not confirm that a garden plot will become available. Applicants will be notified after March 1, 2023, about garden plot availability.

The gardens are a special space for those interested in growing their own fresh organic produce. Located within an ecological reserve, the gardens are a unique place where activities are done respectfully and with minimal impact on the environment and the creatures that reside there. We are a multicultural, multi-generational garden site, where the members share knowledge and build relationships in the name of education, responsible land stewardship and inclusion. We support diverse, inclusive, and equitable participation as we work toward meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples (self-identified and status First Nations, Metis, and Inuit) of Turtle Island.


The benefits of community gardening are many and varied, including everything from better health to strong community building. Growing your own food gives you access to a variety of fresh produce that supports nutritional health and exercise that helps promote healthy living. The food isn’t the only thing that grows at the gardens – gardeners get to know one another and often friendships flourish. There are also benefits to the environment as rainwater is filtered through gardens, and growing food locally means long transportation routes aren’t necessary.


Please note the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers is prohibited as rare is committed to organic agriculture methods. The Springbank Community Gardens are open from April 15 to November 15, from dawn until dusk and are comprised of 110 rentable plots. Compost, water, mulch, hand tools and garden hoses are supplied while you provide the time and the energy to grow your own produce.

We look forward to seeing everybody out at our gardens this coming growing season!

Photo by Taryn Jarvis.

Fill Out the Springbank Community Gardens 2023 Participation Questionnaire

Check out the Arts Everywhere Festival and See Us at the Guelph Lecture!

Everyone is invited out to the four-day in-person ArtsEverywhere Festival happening in Guelph from Thursday, January 26 to Sunday, January 29. This year features an immersive lineup of curated films, performances, conversations, poetry and music. This is also the celebration of the 20th anniversary of The Guelph Lecture -- On Being, featuring musical guest Sarah Harmer, literary guest Liz Howard, and keynote speaker Dr. Will Valley. Also check out the new Rock, Paper, Scissors Book & Print Fair.

With the exception of The Guelph Lecture -- On Being, all these events are FREE. Masking will be encouraged at all events, and Sunday's panel on ekphrasis will be a fragrance-reduced space. Tickets for The Guelph Lecture -- On Being are now on sale at riverrun.ca!

Visit the festival.artseverywhere.ca website for the full schedule and, if you are attending The Guelph Lecture -- On Being, be sure to visit us in the lobby at the rare table!

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