Calendar

Upcoming events 

All Flying Squirrel Adventures take place on the 3rd Saturday of the month starting at 9:45 am.  Look below to see the theme for the month and where to meet. 

December 15th: Slowing Down and Fire Making

At this busy time of year it’s important to tap into nature and ourselves to unwind and connect to the things that matter most. Join Flying Squirrel Adventures for some quality time outside on the third Saturday of December.  We’ll start with some tuning in activities that will help you become a better naturalist (i.e. tricks of the trade for better nature awareness) before we try our hand at making a fire using the ancient method of bow and drill.

We’ll run the program with two streams:  kids and adults, but come together around the fire at the end for stories and hot tea.   Snacks welcome.

The terrain in the Ravine is uneven and steep in places so please wear solid footwear. This event is suitable for all ages and abilities.

Nov 17th: Waterfall Walk and Watershed Activities

Have you been coming to Flying Squirrel Adventures and/or the Ravine for a while now and wondering if we’ll ever make it past the concrete bridge?  Are you curious about what lies beyond the beautiful Hemlock ally?   Would you like explore the topography of the ravine, stretch your legs and see a waterfall?   Well, you’re in luck, we’re doing it.  We’re going for a walk this time – our wonderful walk leaders Jennifer West and John Brazner from the Jijuktu’kwejk Watershed Alliance (JWA) have promised they will get the adults to the waterfall in November and share some cool info about the watershed.

At the same time, in the kids program, Emily LeGrand, Marina Myra and the rest of the facilitation team also plan to cover more ground and explore deeper than they’ve gone before – including possibly the waterfall, but staying a good distant to ensure feet stay dry.  They have some neat watershed activities to offer too.

Consequently, this event will be a little bit faster paced and covers more ground but is still suitable to a range of ages and abilities.  Please assess yourself and, if applicable, your child, and wear solid footwear.

Oct 20th: FSA Launch Party with Nature Challenge & live music

It’s time to party!  We are celebrating our love of nature with a big all-ages Nature Challenge (scavenger hunt style) followed by a live musical performance on the 3rd Saturday in October.  The talented and clever Little Miss Moffat will sing many of her great songs that teach about the plants and animals in our world.  There will be prizes, cool local biodiversity info, activities and more.  Fun for everyone!

Note: we have a rain date for this event:  Sunday October 21st

And as always, pack a lunch and stay for a post-party picnic. This is a free-will-offering event.

Meeting point: by the upper trailhead parking lot behind the Research Station  (see map – http://www.paulillsley.com/Kentville_Ravine_Trail/)

September 15th: Forest Fungi Foray

Its that time of year loved by mushrooms and mushroom lovers. The combination of warm air and moist soil helps the fungi flourish – find out what is popping out of the earth in the Kentville Ravine with our upcoming Flying Squirrel Adventure. Both the kids and adult program will take a closer look at mycelium in September. The kids group will be led by Marina Myra and Emily LeGrand and the adults will be joined by Ken Harrison Jr. of the Blomidon Naturalists Society.

Bring a picnic (roasted portabellos perhaps?) and have your lunch after the event.

August 18th: Bugs, bugs, bugs

Meeting point: by the upper trailhead parking lot behind the Research Station  (see map – http://www.paulillsley.com/Kentville_Ravine_Trail/)

Summer is the season of bugs. Some we love and (many) others not so much. But they are world onto themselves and we can’t live without them. Find out more with etymologist Dr. Todd Smith from Acadia University in the adult stream.  And the kids too will go on a bug hunt with Marina Myra leading.  Sure to be a buzzing morning!

Who is this beautiful creature? Come find out on August 18th.

July 21st:  Cool Stuff for the Summer Heat

Meeting point: by the upper trailhead parking lot behind the Research Station  (see map – http://www.paulillsley.com/Kentville_Ravine_Trail/)

We’ve got a cool line-up for a hot July!  Between the trees and the stream it’s a great place to stay cool in the summer heat while we explore both. Check-out this line-up for all ages:

Adults: Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

What holds the forest together? What constitutes a healthy forest ecosystem? What all is at play from deep underground to the tips of the trees? Come on an engaging walk with ecologist Nick Hill to explore the web of life and healthy forest ecology in the magical Kentville Ravine.

Nick is a highly skilled botanist, plant ecologist and wetland ecologist. His enthusiasm for science and nature is inspirational. Come and be inspired!

Children: Stream Adventure II

In the children’s stream, we will be in the stream, again! Also known as Elderkin Brook. There’s no better place to be in the summer heat. We will be experimenting with how water flows and behaves in the stream. Luckily for us, this involves classic summer fun activities such as measuring how fast water flows in different parts of the stream by making mini rafts and racing them, pretending we are beavers, and learning how to skip rocks. We will also learn how to read the water as if we were canoeing or kayaking, with a water-reading scavenger hunt and playful experiments.

Needless to say, please wear water appropriate footwear such as sandals, watershoes or boots, and bring a towel and change of clothes! Children should expect to wade, not swim, in the water. Looking forward to a big splash of fun!

June 16th:  Exploring Elderkin Brook

Meeting point: by the upper trailhead parking lot behind the Research Station  (see map – http://www.paulillsley.com/Kentville_Ravine_Trail/)

At our upcoming Flying Squirrel Adventures, both the adult and kids stream will be exploring the beautiful Elderkin Brook from different angles.

 Adults:  Water quality and signs of a healthy watershed

 In June we are lucky to have Beth Schaffenburg, Stream Technician and Community Trainer with Adopt-a-Stream Program leading us on an exploration of Elderkin Brook.  We’ll be learning about aquatic life and what makes for a healthy waterway for fish and other creatures.   Bring your rubber boots and dipnets!

Children: A plant hike to Elderkin Brook Waterfall

On the children’s adventure, we will be taking advantage of warm June weather, our group’s enthusiastic, roaming energy and the Ravine’s fun and beautiful waterfall! We’ll head deeper into the forest than we have been so far to have time to play in the shallow, gently sloping waterfall nestled in the back of the Ravine. On the way there and back, we will stop to learn about a few key plants of our region. And we’ll play a running nature game, and have some quiet observation time before joining the adults again at the closing circle.  We recommend you back a change of clothes for the kids – getting wet is going to be inevitable!

May 19th: Migrating Birds and Ravine Magic

Meeting point: by the upper trailhead parking lot behind the Research Station  (see map – http://www.paulillsley.com/Kentville_Ravine_Trail/)

As will be our regular practice, we’ll begin and end our session with all ages together for a few activities and each will also have their own adventure, sometimes on the same theme, but also different themes.  Here’s the May line-up:

Adult Program Theme: Bird Migration and Birding Basics

May is bird migration month and we’ll learn about who is passing through and landing in our region at this time of year.   Long time bird observer, James Churchill* will lead the adult outing with facilitation support from Judy Lipp.  We have a fun morning planned including tips, tricks and practices to help you become a better birder.    

*James Churchill has been paying attention to birds since childhood and fell in love with them while migration monitoring in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia. The Kentville Ravine being one of the remaining old forest gems of the Annapolis Valley, James has spent much time birding there.He is currently Data Manager and Avian Biologist at the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre in Kentville where he focuses on documenting the distribution and status of rare and protected bird species in the Maritimes. 

Children’s Program: There Be Dragon’s Here

It will be an extra special morning for the kids as Marina Myra and Emily LeGrand unveil a special Trail Adventure developed especially for the Kentville Ravine.  They will go in search of  dragons, visit the ancient ones, explore caves and learn about the magic of the Ravine.

This months Flying Squirrel Adventures event for children is the official Launch of a set of Nature Trail Adventures for Kings County and will feature a magical dragon adventure, where we get to know these secretive guardians of the forest and their wild friends, while we play and learn about the natural history of the Kentville Ravine.

This Nature Trail Adventure is designed to connect people to nature in a fun and imaginative way and is one of a set of 5 Nature Adventures, developed for specific public trails in Kings County. The whole set can be found at the Municipality of Kings County Recreation site – http://www.countyofkings.ca/common/pars/

These Nature Adventures where a partnership effort and where made possible by the following contributors and sponsors:

  • Blomidon Naturalists Society
  • Nova Scotia Government Department of Culture, Communities and Heritage
  • Wild Roots Nature Education Centre
  • Dr. Alan Warner, Acadia University Department of Community Development
  • Municipality of the County of Kings Recreation Services
  • Town of Kentville Parks and Recreation

April 21st: Flying Squirrel Adventures launches.  

Meeting point: by the upper trailhead parking lot behind the Research Station  (see map – http://www.paulillsley.com/Kentville_Ravine_Trail/)

Theme: Getting to know the Ravine

We’ll be exploring the Ravine and getting to know the plants and animals that make it their home.  Retired biology professor Soren Bondrup-Nielsen will be leading the adult programming stream on a walk along the Ravine trails and sharing some of its hidden and not so hidden gems. 

The children’s programming stream will also be on a ‘getting- to-know-the-Ravine adventure’ but at a different pace with program facilitators, Emily LeGrand and Marina Myra. 

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