Lambton Wildlife Incorporated (LWI) has been protecting nature for over 50 years by bringing those with a love of nature together to work towards common goals in conservation, preservation, and protection of the natural environment in Lambton County. Through a range of programs and events we aim to foster an environment that encourages appreciating, learning, and teaching about the natural environment. In order to continue the voice and values of LWI, we must reach out to our younger generation to provide them with positive experiences in nature.
Nature deficit disorder may be a coined phrase but the symptoms are real. Today children are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago with much of this time now devoted to viewing digital media. Time spent playing outside is correlated with increased physical activity, mental creativity, decreased aggression and better concentration in children. Recent research has also shown that children who play outside are more likely to protect nature as adults. The most direct route to caring for the environment as an adult is participating in “wild nature activities” before the age of 11. This is where we come in.
About LWI’s Young Naturalist Club
We believe positive outdoor experiences create an appreciation and understanding of the natural world among today’s youth. By using nature as our guide, this club promotes youth interest in scientific inquiry, community involvement, and artistic creativity. This will be achieved through interpretive nature programming and hands-on community based activities. This type of involvement will build a positive relationship with nature and allow students to see the results and enjoy the benefits of their efforts.
Groups will meet at least 1x per month for an indoor meeting or outdoor event to explore a diversity of nature-related topics. Indoor meetings will be held at the Return the Landscape Shop located at 100 Christina St. North, unless otherwise posted. Outdoor events will be held at various local parks, conservation areas, and other special spots. To find out which group is right for you, see below.
- Ages 7 – 11 years old.
- The focus is on enjoying our local wild spaces while building a scientific understanding of the world around us.
- This group is fun, enjoyable and provides an introduction to environmental education.
- Groups will be lead by one or more instructors.
- Children MUST be accompanied with a parent or guardian.
- Meetings will last 2 – 3hrs.
- Ages 12 – 16 years old.
- The focus is to provide an introduction to environmental field studies for young adults interested in conservation as a hobby or a career!
- This group performs positive conservation ACTIONS – helping to protect, preserve, or rehabilitate natural spaces and their inhabitants.
- Groups will be lead by at least 2 instructors.
- Meetings will last 4 – 8 hrs – we put in a full days work!
When do events start?
LWI Young Naturalist Club events start THIS WEEKEND! Saturday, April 22nd Young Naturalists & Junior Naturalists (ages 6-16) are invited to a Raptor Release at a TBD location that will be revealed to those registered to the event. The Bluewater Centre for Raptor Rehabilitation (BCRR) has been helping and healing injured and orphaned local birds of prey for 25 years. We have been invited to witness the release of a rehabilitated red-tailed hawk that without the specially designed facility and dedicated work from BCRR volunteers would not be possible. Come out and learn about the BCRR, how you can help our birds of prey, and see a spectacular event.
Registration Required. Limited numbers permitted. Open to Lambton Wildlife Inc Young Naturalist Club members only. To become a member and see a the schedule of exciting events visit: www.lambtonwildlife.com/
For any questions or concerns, please contact Mike Kent by phone at 519-490-8978 or by email.
What other events are there?
This year we have bird banding programs, rehabilitated bird of prey releases, wildflower hikes with crafts, reptile monitoring, insect identification and more. For the full 2017 schedule click the following link: 2017 LWI Young Nats Schedule. Extra event info will be added to the “Calendar of Events” page. Look for the Young Naturalist and Junior Conservation events. Please note that the schedule may change and/or be updated throughout the year. The best way to stay informed is by becoming a member!
About the Instructors
The LWI Young Naturalist Club has had many inspiring coordinators and volunteers over the years that have provided positive outdoor experiences and instilled an appreciation and understanding of the natural world in many of Lambton County’s youth.
Mike Kent, the new club coordinator, hopes to continue the legacy of LWI’s Young Naturalist Club by bringing awareness, understanding, and excitement to the spectacular natural areas Lambton County has to offer. Mike is a former park naturalist at Killbear and Algonquin Provincial Park with a degree in biology and geography. At a younger age Mike could be found catching frogs, snakes and insects. While at university he became particularly interested in invertebrate biology and natural history subjects. Since then Mike has traveled extensively for work and for pleasure, with a focus on nature and conservation. Some of his favourite adventures he’s been on include studying insects in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, backpacking Australia, following grey whale migrations in Baja California, working with butterflies in the cloud forest of Costa Rica, camping safaris in Namibia, and searching for wild orangutans in Borneo. His tendency is to speak up for our underappreciated insect, arachnid, reptilian, amphibian, and fungal friends. He has a hard time picking out his favourite animal but enjoys attempting to narrow things down. Mike also enjoys cooking, photography, basketball, and attending music festivals.
Anne Goulden, the new assistant coordinator, is a registered nurse and member of the Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO). Anne learned to love nature from her father. Walking, gardening and birding have been a part of Anne’s life since she was a child. When she’s not working, Anne likes to explore Lambton County with her camera and binoculars. Her fondness for feathered creatures has even infiltrated her vacations, with recent birding trips to Cuba. Always one to consider herself a student of nature, Anne is constantly amazed about what Lambton County has to offer and is excited to be able to share her experience and enthusiasm with others.