Eastern Fraser Valley NatureKids Club

Volunteer Leaders: Laurie de Jong, Alena McInroy & Mairi Lippa
Club Email: efv@naturekidsbc.ca

The Eastern Fraser Valley NatureKids Club is co sponsored by the Chilliwack Field Naturalists and the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve Society.

Laurie de Jong
Alena McInroy
Mairi Lippa


Please pre register for each event by emailing efv@naturekidsbc.ca and indicate how many children are attending and theirages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Guests must pre-register and are welcome to try one outing for free and then must take out a membership to participate. All members and guests must sign the club consent form at each event.
Explorer Day Reminders!

2016 Explorer Days & Stewardship Projects

Edible and Medicinal Uses of Native Plants
March 26, from 10-noon
Discovery Annex Room of the Great Blue Heron Reserve

Please join us at the Annex Discovery Classroom at the Great Blue Heron Reserve where Metis elder, Joe Smith will share his vast knowledge of edible and medicinal plants. Joe will make a tea for us from plants in his garden, and Alena McInroy has harvested cottonwood buds for us to make a salve. Afterwards you are invited to join us for a picnic and explore the reserve, famous for its nesting colony of Great Blue Herons. Please bring a jar no larger than 500 ml, and a mug for tea.

Coastal Painted Turtle Nest Site Stewardship Project
Saturday, April 22, from 1-2:30pm
Meet at Malcolm Road in Deroche

The time of birth and renewal is here, and our April Explorer Day is a call to come out and breathe the fresh spring air while lending a helping hand to Painted Turtle mothers and babies.

Our club has an important history of stewardship, and with precious few of our native turtles left, we hope you will join us in clearing invasive plants so little turtles have an easier time making their way out of their overwintering nest.

Biologist and award winning conservationist, Andrea Gielens, will teach us about the Painted Turtle and head our stewardship project on Saturday, April 22, from 1-2:30 p.m. in Derouche.

• Please dress for the weather and bring a drink and snack.
• Please bring hand pruners and thick gloves if you have them (blackberry is the biggest problem).
• Although it is not a busy road, there is some local traffic, so please watch your children closely.
Be careful along the banks to avoid disturbing the soil and eggs( if they are still in the nest).

Pond Crawl
Planned for May

Vitamin N(ature): Child Focused Exploration and Inquiry
Planned for June

Past Explorer Days

Building Nest Boxes with Dan Coulter
February 26th from 10-12:30
Annex Discovery Room at the Great Blue Heron Reserve

Always a highlight of the year, we will be building nest boxes again! This time we are adding Purple Martin nest boxes – condominium style! This Explorer Day would not be possible except for the generosity of Dan Coulter. Dan is providing the wood and precutting the panels for us to assemble again this year. Last year we built 25 boxes with 100% occupancy!

Human Requirements for Life
February 18, 2017
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Thin Red Line Aerospace

Aerospace engineer Maxim de Jong will get us thinking about our carbon footprint on Earth by looking at human requirements for life in space. Working on NASA projects involving space exploration gives him a unique viewpoint on how we have evolved to live on Earth and how very little we need to survive. Afterwards some indoor climbing wall fun, hot cocoa and snacks at Thin Red Line Aerospace. If you like to geek out on science, you can check out the projects he is working on.

Snowshoeing and Winter Ecology at Manning Park
January 14th, 2017
9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Have a great time learning to snowshoe on easy terrain in the pristine environment of Manning Park. We will travel around 3 km and discover how plants and animals are adapted to survive in winter with our nature mentor, Kelly Pearce, of the Hope Mountain Centre.

Christmas Bird Count 4 Kids!
Saturday, December 3
10 a.m-12:30 p.m
Discovery Annex Room at the Great Blue Heron Reserve

It is time for one of our favourite traditions - the Christmas Bird Count 4 Kids! This annual event is organized by the Audubon Society and has been held for more than a century. It is one of the longest running citizen science projects in the world and is a very special tradition for our group. Janne Perrin has generously volunteered to be our birding mentor again this year.

After the count, it's back to our cozy room where we will make bird feeders and enjoy cookies and hot cocoa while Janne tallies our data. Special thanks to volunteer co-leader Alenna McInroy for envisioning a wonderful bird feeder project.

Great Reasons to Join Us:
-Learning about birds
-Developing keen observation skills
-Getting fresh air with friends
-Starting the holiday season with a focus on nature
-Making a beautiful tea cup/mug suet feeder for the birds
-Hot cocoa and cookies
-Citizen science - we are contributing much need data on bird numbers in our area

Night Sky at MacDonald Park [Cancelled due to bad weather]
November 26 [Rescheduled from Nov 19]
MacDonald Park, Abbotsford

November is here and we couldn't be more excited to invite you to take in the night sky with us on November 19 from 7:00-8:30 p.m at the dark sky preserve, 
McDonald Park, in Abbotsford. Paul Greenhalgh, the president of the Fraser Valley Astronomers Club, along with members of the club, will share a view from their telescopes and introduce us to the wonders of the night sky. We have an additional treat for you - Paige McInroy will be begin our Explorer Day with a mini-presentation on one of her great passions, astronomy. Paige earned her NatureKids' Bronze Level Award this summer and we're proud she is furthering her leadership skills.

Geology & Natural History Walk
November 5

Drew Brayshaw is a wealth of knowledge in the fields of geology, soil science, hydrology and natural history. Drew can divine the story of almost any rock you pick up and he has a deep understanding of hydrology. This natural history walk will inform and amaze. Come loaded with questions because Drew is a guy who can answer them. One of my favourite speakers and a talented ice climber, too.

Bird Banding At Iona Beach
Sunday, October 22 [Rescheduled from Oct 16]

October is such a beautiful month, and there is so much going on as life prepares for winter, that we couldn't resist offering a second Explorer Day this month. Join us as we say good-bye to our summer birds who are now on their way to warmer climates. Ornithologist (bird scientist) Christine Rock has invited us to participate in Wild Research’s fall migratory bird banding project. We will observe birds being removed from mist nets, assess migratory readiness by looking at breast fat tissue, weighing and measuring birds, and each member may hand release a bird (if there are enough birds to go around). We think that Bird Banding at Iona Beach with ornithologist (bird scientist) Christine Rock just may be your favourite Explorer Day this year.

Fungi in the Forest
October 2
10am - noon

Research shows that simply spending time in nature can relieve stress and improve your memory performance and attention span, and we think that there are few better ways to spend a wet October weekend than poking about in a forest looking for mushrooms and hidden signs of fungi with a professional mycologist (fungi expert).

Please join us on October 2nd from 10-noon meeting at the Watt Creek parking lot near Maple Bay at Cultus Lake for an interpretive forest walk with mycologist Sharmin Gamiet.

Even though Sharmin has just returned from an intense mushroom collecting trip in the Northwest Territories, she has created time in her busy schedule to take our wonderful NatureKids on a fungi forest walk - and we feel very lucky! 

Thursday September 1, 2016
Annual AGM Pot Luck
Woodside Riding School at 48753 Chilliwack Lake Rd

In August we end our year of activities and invite you to join us at our annual AGM pot luck dinner for a celebration of all the things we have done this year and a preview of next year's schedule - we think you're going to like it! Reconnect with old friends and meet new families at Woodside Riding School at 48753 Chilliwack Lake Rd from 5-7:30 pm on September 1. 

Please bring any food item you would like, along with a cup and utensils. We'll provide drinks and plates. Dress for the weather and be ready to explore and learn with our mentors, Nemo and Tanner.

Tuesday July 19, 2016
1.30 - 2.30pm
Tour of the Coastal Painted Turtle and Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Programs
Greater Vancouver Zoo at 5048 264 St, Aldergrove

Biologist and amphibian husbandry expert, Andrea Gilieans, will show us how her team is working to restore the population of these two endangered species through an innovative head start program to rear and release juveniles who then have an increased chance of survival when introduced back into the wild. 130 juvenile turtles are slated for release in 2016, but we get to see them first!

Sat. June 18th
10 am-noon
Hike & Field Sketches
Cultus Lake
Meet at the Watt Creek parking lot (see email for directions)
Please RSVP

Join us for a hike/nature ramble at beautiful Watt Creek on the south end of Cultus Lake.

There is a short hike in to an area where we will let the children explore, but also inquire. We will give the children time to find samples (in an environmentally aware way), note and sketch them, and use field guides to identify them if we can. We would like this to be child led with adult guidance and adults participating in their own exploring, sketching, etc. Some 
may wish to climb on fallen trees and others may need shirin yoku.

Sunday, May 15 
Bird Banding Demonstration 
Iona Beach, Richmond 
8:30-10:00 am special time 

Nature mentor biologists at WildResearch's Iona Island Bird Observatory in Richmond are conducting their spring migration bird banding, and we are delighted that they have invited us to observe them conducting their field research and teaching us the importance of monitoring bird populations. We are meeting early in the morning as the number of birds caught in the mist net sharply decreases by mid-morning. Please dress for the weather. 

Saturday, May 14
Yale Historic Village Tour
10 am - noon 

We will take a tour of a BC Heritage Site, Historic Yale Village, where we will see a living history of life in the Fraser Canyon around 1848. The area also has some scenic hiking and biking trails.  Dress for the weather and bring a drink and snack. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016  
5:00-6:30 p.m.
Woodside Riding School at 48753 Chilliwack Lake Road

The owners of Woodside Riding School and our NatureKids youth leadership group are engaged in a shared stewardship project wherein members will conduct a species inventory, report findings of endangered species, improve habitat in the wetland area through invasive species removal and planting in the riparian zone. These youth will act as co-leaders to our younger members and are enthusiastic to show amphibian eggs, talk about native plants, and assist younger members in digging holes and planting. We’ll show you the study plot they constructed on Sunday to assess how western toads may utilize hay and manure piles on farms when it becomes very hot, or cold. Be sure to ask them how they know whether the toads will be in the manure pile. Woodside is a great place for children to explore and play and we know they will have a wonderful time.

March 13, 2016
Diggers' Off-the-Grid Organic Farm Tour 
53675 O'Byrne Road 
Dan and Erin Coulter have invited us to tour their picturesque, organic, off-the-grid farm, tucked way back and nestled between the mountains and Chilliwack River. They are eager to share what it is like to live off-the-grid and will candidly answer any questions you have about the technology they use, as well as the issues they have had making their dream a reality. They are currently busy preparing for the growing season and have some lovely chickens and goats that we will get to meet. We will also be putting up some of the swallow nest boxes we built in February. Dress for the weather which is forecast to be rainy, although we can always hope for those lovely moments of respite from the rain. 

March 19th, 2016
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Erecting Swallow Nest Boxes
Before the swallows arrive, we will put up the nest boxes created from a prior event. See February 21st, 2016

March 5th, 2016
9:50am - Noon
O.W.L. Raptor Rehabilitation Centre 3800 72nd St., Delta
We will meet 9:50 on March 5 for a guided tour of this amazing facility that specializes in the rehabilitation and release of injured or orphaned raptors (birds of prey such as eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons). It will be an unforgettable privilege to be so close to these wild, and gorgeous birds and learn from those that dedicate their life to caring for them. Sue will be our guide and she will answer any questions that you may have, so bring them with you! 

February 21st, 2016
1:00pm - 3:30pm
Building Swallow Nest Boxes
@ Great Blue Heron Reserve
Dan Coulter has beautiful boards of cedar which he is cutting into pieces so our group can build swallow nest boxes.  He thinks our group is pretty wonderful and he is downright enthusiastic to provide us with material for swallow nest boxes ready for assembly by NatureKids members.

January 17, 2016 
9:00am - 2:00pm  
Snowshoeing and Winter Ecology 
Manning Provincial Park 
How are plants and animals adapted to survive winter in the mountains?  This amazing session on winter ecology will cover such things as: bird identification, animal track ways and signs, tree identification, climactic zones and other teachable moments while learning to snowshoe in the pristine environment within Manning Provincial Park.  Our outing will be on easy terrain, covering around 1.3 km.  Pack a lunch and we will eat along the trail. This Explorer Day is a whole day of outdoor learning, fun, exercise, and fellowship with other nature enthusiasts under the wonderful leadership of Nature Mentor Kelly Pearce from the Hope Mountain Outdoor Centre. There are many details for this program that require your careful attention within the Monthly Minder and Monthly Minder Attachment. 
Please let us know if you require snowshoes one week before the event so that snowshoes can be organized.

December 5th (10:00 to 12:30)
Christmas Bird Count 4 Kids

Discovery Annex Classroom of the Great Blue Heron Reserve.

This is an annual event organized by the Audubon Society and has been held for more than a century. It is one of the longest running citizen science projects in the world and is a very special tradition for our group. 

Absolutely no experience or knowledge is required! Just bring an enthusiasm for getting out in nature and a curiosity about birds. Kids are naturally keen observers and their quick eyes alert us all to the movement of the birds. The count goes by very quickly and its back to our cozy room where we will make pinecone bird feeders and enjoy gingerbread cookies. 

Janne Perrin has generously volunteered to be our birding mentor again this year, and we are thrilled to announce that Jamie Gadsden will lend his precocious knowledge of birds to our activity. Jamie has already counted 218 species of birds in his 13 years, and he just may inspire you to begin your own bird species Life List. 

Please bring binoculars if you have them, your bird ID card, and dress warmly as we will be outdoors for an hour.

November 28th 
10 am to noon
Caring for Mason Bee Cocoons

248350 Camp River Road 
Nature Mentor Hugh Laughlin

Hugh Laughlin has been passionate about mason bees for over twenty years.  A true naturalist, Hugh’s curiosity and admiration for this wonderful bee, led him to become a local expert on this highly efficient spring pollinator that is so important to our agricultural crops. Last year, Hugh gave our NatureKids families the gift of a hand-made mason bee nest box, and many mason bee cocoons. Hugh will instruct us in caring for our hibernating mason bees.  We will be opening the boxes, removing the bees, and cleaning the cocoons. 

November 12th, 2015 
6 to 8 pm
Sierra Club BC: Writing a Powerful Letter-Swallow Conservation 
Thin Red Line Aerospace, Unit 208 – 6333 Unsworth Road (corner of Simpson)

EFV NatureKids continues our commitment to swallow conservation in the Fraser Valley in cooperation with biologist Greg Ferguson, founder of the British Columbia Swallow Conservation Project.  To protect these highly vulnerable birds, we called on Sierra Club BC’s long history of successful environmental action. Lisa Dumoulin will coach us in writing a powerful and effective letter to our government officials highlighting our concerns about the importance of protecting these beautiful birds from the effects of habitat loss, climate change, and pesticide use.Afterward, members can try out the climbing wall and enjoy hot cocoa and pumpkin cookies.

Bring your favourite paper, art materials and writing instrument.

October 24th 
10 am to noon
Soils in the Field: Dig in to this precious resource 
Thompson Park Chilliwack River Valley 
Nature Mentors: Drew Brayshaw and Eryne Croquet 

Right under our feet, but often overlooked, soil is one of our most precious and fragile resources. With Drew Brayshaw, geoscientist and hydrologist, and Eryne Croquet, a soil agrologist, we will dig in to an exploratory discovery of the living, changing, and fragile mystery that is soil. This is going to be fun, but serious science!

October 17th 
6 to 8 pm
Ryder Lake Amphibian Survey 
Location: Shoulder on South side of Teskey Way/Bailey Road intersection
With Nature Mentor: Kendra Morgan, Biologist, Fraser Valley Conservancy

Last year our youth had the opportunity to conduct an amphibian survey with Kendra Morgan, and this year we are especially pleased to offer this incredible opportunity to all of our members. I am especially excited to let you know that over the summer a permanent amphibian crossing structure was installed at our Ryder Lake survey site and the data we collect will be used to assess the effectiveness of the crossing structure and broaden our understanding of the behavior and challenges faced by the yellow-listed Western toad. 

This year is especially exciting because countless night time surveys have led to the discovery of a toad crossing hot spot and the installation of an underground crossing tunnel this summer. Come see the tunnel and be part of an important survey count which will help the scientists determine if the crossing structure is helping with road mortality, as well as determining how the amphibians in our area are doing.

September 27th (9:30am to Noon) 
B.C. Rivers Clean Up & B.B.Q @ Lickman Road
Chilliwack Fish & Game Club with Alena

Please wear appropriate clothing for the weather and running shoes or rain boots. We may have to walk on river rocks! Gloves and garbage bags will be supplied. The BBQ after is FREE and is put on by the Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society. I attend every year and have a lot of fun. My children have won fishing rods and other prizes during the raffle and everyone who attends is included. Salads, pop, coffee and hamburgers are served for lunch. I believe there is cake too:) Every year a band plays music in the hall. I encourage families to come and celebrate. You won’t be disappointed. 

We have a of couple stewardship programs a year and this river cleanup will be one of them. This is to help encourage young people to develop a feeling of respect and responsibility towards nature and the flora and fauna around us.

Monday, August 31, 2015
5:00-8:00 p.m
Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve (Annex Building-“Discovery Room”)
“Potluck Supper”, Organizational Meeting and Scavenger Hunt
Meet our new leaders: Laurie De Jong, Alena McInroy and Mairi Lippa
For the potluck dinner please bring along: a favorite dish to share with others, a drink, your own dishes, cutlery and mugs. We will not have facilities on site for dish washing so you will also need to bring along a plastic bag to take home your things to wash. 

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
6-8 PM
Meeting at the De Jon's Home on Chilliwack Lake Road
Backyard Show and Tell 
Youth Leaders: Nemo and Sigourney de Jong
Nemo and Sigourney are inviting club members to come and explore their unique and beautiful backyard filled with critters of all kinds in their special habitats. See the hibernacula that they built, the pond with favorite invertebrates and leeches, an anaerobic pond, around 30 insects in various stages of their life cycle in the house and so much more. Try using a compound microscope to examine pond scum or a digital macro scope and just see what wonders unfold. This Explorer day finishes off with some delicious home-made pie, and some fun on the children's slack line, climbing wall, and mountain bike ramps. 

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
6-8 PM
Sardis Park
Search for Hidden Clues 
Youth Leaders: Brooke Higginbottom and Natalia Porro
Brooke and Natalia are creating a challenging and oh so fun Scavenger hunt for our club around a familiar town park. This adventure will stimulate your thinking, tune you in to the wildlife that frequent this lovely spot and improve your fitness level. 

Sardis Park is known for its abundant and "friendly" wildlife so don't be surprised if you get to see a beaver right up close or to stand only inches from a variety of ducks and other birds. Rain or shine this is a lovely place to go and be with nature.

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
6-9 PM
Bike the Trails by the GBHNR
Youth Leaders: Connor and Megan Hall
Conner and Megan are planning a wonderful bicycling adventure along the Canada trail and dyke systems near the GBHNR. This is one of the best cycling trails in BC and is part of a much larger looping system. Be prepared to keep a watchful eye for interesting things that appear along the trail, from Osprey nests to raccoons and bobcats. There will be a special rest stop at the Vedder river with an opportunity to play in the cool, clear water and explore the riparian zone of this fascinating river. Once you are refreshed a delicious homemade snack will be provided. Yum, Yum!