Growing up in the North End of Sydney can limit your exposure to nature. While we ares urrounded by old trees, there is not much around us in the way of forests or nature walks; plenty of walking trails groomed through planned planted environments, but not much in the way of trees and wilderness. The closest patch of nature can be found in the Pier, behind the mall on the Baille Ard trails or a bit further out in Sydney River. All of these destinations can be a hike for young kids. But fear not! A new group has formed to help teach your little ones to learn about and love nature. That’s right, Cape Breton now has their very own chapter of the Young Naturalists Club!

Young Naturalists One

CBU’s Chantelle Cormier and environmental educator Nadine Lefort recognized that Cape Breton did not have a Young Naturalist’s club and so decided to start one. Their goal is to familiarize kids with their natural environment through hikes, other outdoor activities and lectures. Along these lines, they have organized a series of workshops for kids that will get them outside to learn about Cape Breton’s species, forests, beaches and the great outdoors in general

The group has met for the last five months and will continue to do so. To date, they have had guest speakers in to talk about bats, teach about Mi’kmaq constellation legends, and demonstrate how to identify trees. The Cape Breton Young Naturalists have learned about gold and minerals, gone snowshoeing and learned how to identify animal tracks. Future events will include a session about birds with CBC’s Dave McCorkindale and one about rocks and fossils with geology professor, Deanne von Rooyen.

The group meets once a month, usually the first Saturday of every the month at 2PM. The location is different each month, depending on the topic. You can find the Cape Breton Young Naturalists on Facebook or visit http://nature1st.net/ync/events/chapters/cb/ for more information.

The Young Naturalists Club is for kids ages 7-12. The club is completely free, but for some activities, instructors ask that you remain with your kids to ensure they are not overwhelmed and have the best possible experience. There’s no formal registration and you don’t have to commit to attending every event. If you are available little northenders, join us!

The next Young Naturalists event will focus on invertebrates and will be held on June 14th at 2:00 in the stream behind CBU facilitates by Jen Cooper. The Club hopes to host a birding and beachcombing event this summer as well.

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