Early September 2022

INSIDE: Ten Days to the Trail Party!; PD Day ECO Camp on October 24; Fresh Food Drive Extravaganza Continues; Volunteers Fight Back Against Invasive Species; Seed and Garlic Workshops with Bob Wildfong; Braiding Sweetgrass Discussion Group Seeks Readers; Salamander Monitoring Continues.


Photo by: Michelle MacMillan

The People are Coming! The People are Coming! To the Most Unique Walk & Run Event in the Region!


Register today, and get friends, family, neighbours to donate to your efforts!

It's just ten days until the celebration and we can't contain our excitement! At 9 a.m. on Sunday, September 25, members of the community will gather at Cambridge's Riverbluffs Park to walk, run or push a stroller along one of three courses to the rare ECO Centre and Slit Barn (note that only the 3.5 km Fun Walk is suitable for all abilities, including strollers/wagons and dogs on a leash). At 11 a.m., the party continues at the Slit Barn, where participants will enjoy a barbecue, ice cream, live music and other family-fun activities.


There is still time to register to participate in this event, ask your friends and colleagues to donate to support your participation or one of your friends'. There are several prizes to be awarded for various participant levels.


The 2022 Trail Party Walk & Run has already raised over $38,250, so we are within reach of rare's $50,000 fundraising goal, and you can help us get there! Every $2 raised protects one square metre of sensitive landscape in Waterloo Region.


Can't make it? No worries - you can still support the event by donating to a participant or a team who is already registered.


We thank the sponsors who have helped make this fundraising event so successful, from our presenting sponsor Macpherson Builders to the funder of the event's free WiFi and charging station, KPMG and the sponsor of the event's Ice Cream Station, Fiix. We would also like to thank our additional sponsors Cachet Homes, MacNeil & Dodd Pharmacy, Marcangelo Foods, Natural Resource Solutions Inc., Telus, WCO Chartered Professional Accountants and Zeifmans.


So, best of luck to all participants as we strive towards the $50,000 finish line. It promises to be a grand day out, so sign up, form a team and encourage your friends to donate. See you all at the rare ECO Centre and Slit Barn on Sunday, September 25.

Register for the Trail Party Walk & Run!

Looking for Something to Do Next PD Day? Treat Your Child to Some Outdoor Fun and Games!

Our Every Child Outdoors program is looking for adventurers! If you have a child between the ages of 6-12, looking for something to do for the 2022-23 School PD Days, consider signing them up for our PD Day ECO Camp. The first camp is set to run on Monday, October 24!


Running from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the rare ECO Centre at 768 Blair Road in Cambridge, our PD Day ECO camps offer your children a chance to explore unique habitats across a natural landscape. They'll hike rare's trails, learn about nature and partake in environmental art and craft activities.


The cost attend a PD Day camp is just $55 per child. Extended care is available an hour before and after camp for an additional charge of $5 for either the morning or afternoon session, or $10 for both. To register, simply visit this website. We look forward to seeing you and exploring nature on Monday, October 24.


Registrations are also open for PD Day ECO Camps on November 18, November 25, January 20, January 27, March 3, March 31, April 21 and June 2. Please be sure to check with your school's calendar to confirm that your preferred date is actually a PD Day at your school.

Fresh Food Drive Extravaganza Continues!


Drop off fresh produce on Wednesdays from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm.


One Seed One Community wrap-up party happens on September 28 at 11:30 a.m.

The Fresh Food Drive Extravaganza continues this month. Every Wednesday, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., everyone is encouraged to bring fresh produce (grown or purchased) down to the parking lot at rare's Lamb's Inn headquarters at 1679 Blair Road where they will be collected and donated to the Cambridge Food Bank. We've been delighted at the community response thus far, and look forward to feeding more people more fresh food in the weeks to come.


On Wednesday, September 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Fresh Food Drive Extravaganza closes with the One Seed One Community Wrap-Up Party. Everyone is invited to drop off their fresh produce at rare's Lamb's Inn headquarters' parking lot and meet with rare staff as well as members of the Cambridge Food Bank, the Idea Exchange and Seeds of Diversity Canada. We look forward to seeing you there!

Volunteers Needed to Fight Invasive Species and Harvest Organic Produce


Shrub removal dates ahead. Volunteer Wednesdays and Sundays continue at Springbank Farm.

An invasive shrub removal is planned for the morning of September 22. At 9:30 a.m., registered volunteers are asked to gather at rare's Lamb's Inn headquarters at 1679 Blair Road where they will be led onto rare lands to pull Autumn Olive, Buckthorn, Barberry, White Mulberry and invasive Honeysuckles. These are woody, invasive trees and shrubs that are encroaching on old-growth forest. They outcompete native trees and shrubs, reduce biodiversity and degrade the quality of wildlife habitat. A similar shrub removal date is planned for the morning of Friday, September 30.


This is one of the more labour-intensive days and requires the use of shovels as well as weed wrenches. It is recommended that volunteers wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, suitable footwear, a sunhat and bring work or gardening gloves, a refillable water bottle, sunscreen, insect repellant and snacks. To register, click on the dates above.


Volunteer days continue at Springbank Farm as we prepare to bring a bountiful harvest to the Cambridge Food Bank. On Wednesday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon and Sunday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., volunteers are welcome to come out to the farm at 681 Blair Road. No registration is required and tools will be provided. Volunteers will need their own transportation to and from the farm and they should make sure to wear closed-toe shoes. Sunscreen, insect repellant and drinking water are also recommended.


Thanks to all our volunteers for doing such great work enhancing biodiversity and building food security in Waterloo Region.

Click here for more events

Save Seeds and Plant Garlic with Bob Wildfong and Other Events Coming Up.


Springbank Farm workshops coming on September 20 and October 18; visit the rare table at the Inaugural Cambridge Bee City Festival on October 1

On Tuesday, September 20 at 5 p.m., come out to Springbank Farm at 681 Blair Road where Seeds of Diversity's Bob Wildfong will lead attendees in a workshop to explore the wonder of seeds and pollination. This workshop is free for all ages, beginner to advanced, so register to attend, and bring your curiosity and questions!


On Saturday, October 1, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., everyone is invited to come to the Ancient Mariners Canoe Club Boathouse in Cambridge's Riverbluffs Park to attend the inaugural Cambridge Bee City Festival. See what the community has been doing to protect its pollinators. View displays from the various organizations that are leading the way in Cambridge, then walk through the Cambridge Pollinator Preserve and Education Centre (Cambridge's oldest pollinator habitat) just behind the boathouse. Be sure to visit the rare table while you're there!


On Tuesday, October 18, at 5 p.m., Springbank Farm again hosts Seeds of Diversity's Bob Wildfong for a workshop about garlic and garlic planting. Bob mixes science and storytelling to reveal the secret lives of seeds, plants and pollinators. A past president of the Culinary Historians of Canada, he will delight in explaining how we can learn about future food sustainability by remembering past lessons. This workshop is free, but attendees are asked to register.

Exploring the Wisdom of Braiding Sweetgrass


Charlotte Coates leads a three-part workshop exploring the themes of the bestselling book by Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer.

The rare Charitable Research Reserve is honoured to welcome Charlotte Coates, a member of the Xws7ámesh (Samish) Indian Nation, a Coast Salish tribe, and signatory of the Treaty of Point Elliot in 1855, to share with attendees the work of Braiding Sweetgrass, a bestselling book by Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer that explores scientific knowledge, Indigenous wisdom and the teachings of plants. Participants will independently read or re-read Dr. Kimmerer's book of nature essays over the fall, winter and spring and meet seasonally to discuss the themes and stories within.


This is a three-part in-person workshop taking place on October 15, February 4 and April 29 (times are still to be determined). The cost to attend is $25 per person for the three dates. Spots are limited. Please reach out if the cost is a barrier to your participation.


Charlotte Coates works as an environmental research scientist at the University of Guelph with Professor Emeritus, Dr. Peter Kevan; studying micrometeorology of plants, pollination biology and agricultural pest management and sustainability. Charlotte has had the opportunity to teach Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer in the course “Philosophy of the Environment” at the University of Guelph. In her own life, she practices braiding together Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants and seeks to transform this into collective knowledge, open to all people and widely applied. She lives in Guelph, in the Dish with One Spoon territory and spends her time gardening, skiing, hiking, sharing food with friends and family and learning from as many different plants as she can, as much as she can!


She is looking forward to the opportunity to share with you the work of Braiding Sweetgrass at the beautiful rare Blair site. The workshops will be structured to follow the seasonal changes in plants native to this area and will involve hiking, discussion, video/PowerPoint presentation and storytelling.

Register for this Three-Part Workshop

Salamander Monitoring Continues

The work of rare researchers continues, exploring rare lands and cataloguing the salamanders found there. This is the season for the little critters and researchers have been pleased to discover more Eastern Red-backed Salamanders - in both red-back and lead-back morphs - and a very large yellow-spotted salamander weighing in at 14 grams! Thanks to the hard work of rare researchers, we are learning more about the diversity of rare's ecosystems. As a species, the salamander is sensitive to environmental degradation, so the more salamanders found, the healthier the surrounding habitat.


Enclosed are more photos of the discovered salamanders:

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