Late June 2022

INSIDE: Walk & Run for rare launches; Great Giving Challenge Continues; Help Protect rare's Forests and Grasslands to Ensure Carbon Capture For When You Travel; June 29th Conversation for Conservation; More ECO Summer Teen Camp Spaces Available; Periwinkle and Himalayan Balsam Pull

Photo by: Patti Leather

Walk and Run With Us! (Rain or Shine)

Annual Walk & Run for rare Set for Sunday, September 25.

Register Early to Take Part in Early Bird Draws.

Photo by D. Klein

For the first time since 2019, our annual Walk & Run for rare fundraising event, presented by MacPherson Builders, returns as an in-person event (a self-directed option remains available if participants prefer) on the morning of Sunday, September 25, 2022.

By joining up, and walking or running, you will help protect and conserve land in Waterloo Region and Wellington County. The 2022 Walk & Run for rare, presented by MacPherson Builders, supports rare's Turn the Map Green campaign, where every $2 raised protects one square metre of environmentally sensitive land, now and into the future. It's an excellent way to get outdoors with your family, friends, children, or co-workers while supporting nature.

Further details can be found at the event's official website. There, you can sign up for the run, donate to other participants, or set up a team so that your friends and colleagues can help you with your fundraising efforts. The walk itself features three different routes to choose from:

  • 5km fun run: this route goes past the ECO Centre to a designated turnaround spot, and then back to the ECO Centre for a true 5km run (no chip timing provided).
  • 4.5km adventurous walk: this route includes the rare side trails giving you views of the cliffs, Grand River, and osprey nest (not for people with strollers, mobility challenges or dogs).
  • 3.5km walk: this route is great for those wanting a route that is accessible to people of all abilities, with strollers and leashed dogs.

Those who register guarantee themselves access to a fun and invigorating day out with such features as: 

  • Free BBQ lunch and drinks on the day of the event, including vegetarian option.
  • Free re-usable water bottle valued at $14.95 each.
  • Free Walk & Run for rare T-Shirt (some conditions apply).
  • Access to interpretive educational stations.
  • Ice cream station
  • Kids' Play Zone
  • Live entertainment and family fun activities.
  • Free shuttle bus from end of route back to the beginning.

Finally, those who register before July 22 get to take part in a special Early Bird Prize Draw! So, register today, and join us for this fantastic fundraising event where we all get outdoors, get active, reconnect with friends and family, and help preserve our natural spaces today and into the future.

Register for the Walk & Run for rare

The Great Giving Challenge: $2230 Raised, 8 Days to Go!

Everyone at rare is so thankful to our donors who have stepped forward and given $2,230 so far this month in new donations through the CanadaHelps website. These donations amount to 2,230 entries in CanadaHelps' Great Giving Challenge where participating charties are entered into a draw for $20,000. We also would like to thank Beverley Nykamp for her $500 matching donation.

All of your donations on their own go a long way towards protecting our natural spaces intact in perpetuity, towards our nature school and ECO Camps to spark a sense of wonder in nature in our next generation of conservationists, towards building food security through Springbank Farm's Community and Food Bank Gardens, and towards pushing the boundaries of environmental science through our research initiatives. This month, your donations are going even further.

And there is still time to go even farther than that. The Great Giving Challenge continues until the end of June, and every dollar counts, not just to the prize draw, but for our natural spaces. We thank everyone who has given thus far, and we look forward to a successful conclusion to this challenge.

Click Here to Contribute to the Great Giving Challenge

Stash Your Carbon Away As You Travel

Trees at rare can offset greenhouse gas emissions

As we enter travel season, we should be aware of the impact our travel choices have. That impact can be lessened by helping organizations like rare plant additional trees and grow out and expand our natural spaces, to help create a more sustainable world for all.

Hennie and Mike Stork, long-time supporters of rare, love to travel, but they are very aware of the carbon footprint their travel creates. Studies have calculated that planes, on average, generate as much as a quarter tonne of carbon dioxide and its equivalent for every hour of flight. But trees help. Natural areas help. Just two mature trees can counter the carbon-dioxide production of a typical family of four annually. For this reason, the Storks have made it a habit to donate to rare, every time the couple flies.

"Every time Mike and I fly, we donate to rare," says Hennie. "We are aware of the impact plane travel has on climate change, and we love giving back to the environment locally!"

The Storks are using their donations to ensure the lands at rare are stewarded now and forever.

So, if you wish to compensate for your carbon contribution, make a donation to rare today, and before you fly.

Donate Before You Travel and Lessen Your Carbon Footprint

Join us Wednesday, June 29, for the last Conversation for Conservation this season

Sarah Martin-Mills talks about her Growing Hope Farm and making farming and our food supply environmentally friendly as well as nutritious.


The last Conversation for Conservation of the early 2022 series takes place in-person at the Slit Barn at 768 Blair Road at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29. Sarah Martin-Mills will lead the discussion, talking about how we can and must make farming and our food supply environmentally friendly as well as nutritious.

Sarah began Growing Hope Farm in 2016 with the goal to help the local as well as the global community. She has had a passion for farming since she was very young and, over the past seven years, has learned through mentors, formal education, and trial and error how to farm in a sustainable and humane way that regenerates the environment. She is passionate about the land, soil and community, and she brings this passion to a live audience at the Slit Barn at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29.

This is an event not to be missed, but registration is required. We look forward to seeing you all! To register to attend this FREE seminar, please click the link below

(Please note that, when you register to attend, you can download the confirmation of your registration, and a copy will be e-mailed to you. If you don't receive a copy within ten minutes, please check your spam filter. If you still can't find your registration, e-mail James Bow and he will confirm your registration.

Register for our June 29 Conversation for Conservation

Additional Spaces Open for rare's Teen ECO Camp, August 2-5!

2018_ECO Camp_Week 6_Emily Leslie _39_.jpg

Due to popular demand, the number of spaces available for rare's first ever ECO Teen Camp has been increased. Parents of kids aged 12-16 still have an opportunity to sign their teenager up for a great environmental camp experience.

The ECO Teen Summer Camp takes place daily from Tuesday, August 2 to Friday, August 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For only $160 for the week, teens can explore unique habitats across a natural landscape, learn from special guests, visit our carbon-neutral North House as well as Springbank Farm. They'll partake in environmental art and nature-based activities. Extended care is also available an hour before and after each camp session for an additional $25 for the week for either the morning or afternoon session, or $50 for both.

Further details and registration can be found here. Don't delay! Take advantage of this unique opportunity to spark a sense of wonder in nature and broaden the environmental consciousness of our next generation of conservationists.

Register for the Teen ECO Camp!

From Growing Organic Food to Removing Invasive Species, our Volunteers are Vital to rare

Seven volunteer events coming up over the next two weeks.

More volunteer days are ahead as rare restores its ecosystems and fights back against invasive species. Individual volunteers are invited to come and help us identify and pull plants such as Periwinkle and Himalayan Balsam which, if left unchecked, could push native species out of their habitats. People interested in volunteering should register to attend and come to rare's Lamb's Inn headquarters at 1679 Blair Road. Volunteers should wear long pants, a long sleeved shirt, suitable footwear, a hat and work or gardening gloves and they should bring a refillable water bottle, sunscreen, insect repellent and snacks. If you are interested to learn more about invasive species and help restore natural habitats while having a healthy morning or afternoon outdoors, follow the links for the following dates:

On the morning of Thursday, June 30, starting at 9:30 a.m.rare staff will lead volunteers on a "Periwinkle Pull" to remove invasive ground covers like Periwinkle, Goutweed, English Ivy and Lilly-of-the-Valley. Volunteers will help remove pockets of these invasive species that have appeared along the border of rare's property, due to the dumping of lawn clippings, and which now threaten the core habitat. To register for this event, click here.

On the morning and afternoon of Thursday, July 7 (morning session starts at 9:30 a.m. and the afternoon session starts at 1:30 p.m.), volunteers can help with a "Himalayan Balsam Pull". This aggressive herb was introduced to North America as a garden ornamental due to its large, showy pink flower, but each plant can have up to 800 seeds which explode out of pods when touched, landing up to 5 metres away. This allows for a rapid spread where it outcompete native vegetation along river banks and wetlands, causing soil erosion. These plants also draw pollinators away from surrounding native plants. Volunteers that help remove these Himalayan Balsams will be protecting our sensitive floodplains and increasing biodiversity on the site and downriver along the banks of the Grand. To register for this event, click here for the morning session, and click here for the afternoon session

And, as always, our Wednesday morning and Sunday afternoon guided volunteer events for individuals continue at Springbank Farm. Interested participants need only to show up at 681 Blair Road at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays or 1 p.m. on Sundays, wearing long pants, closed-toe shoes or boots, long-sleeved shirts, and a willingness to work. Staff will be happy to see you, and will provide tools and guidance on how to use them. All hands are welcome to help Springbank Farm's Food Bank Garden grow.

To enquire about corporate team volunteer opportunities, please contact Christine Thompson.

Click here for more events

Today's Poll Question:

How will you be participating in the Walk & Run for rare?
In Person!
Self-Guided Walk
Donating and Cheering from the Sidelines!
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