Want Healthier Kids? Let them Play Outdoors!

Science shows that children learn best through play. The need for unstructured play and hands-on experiences in nature are essential components of wholesome child development. Teachers involved in nature-based learning report more student motivation and note significant gains in social studies, science, language arts, math and environmental literacy. Free play in natural areas has been shown to reduce the effects of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder when these children have regular access to the outdoors; sometimes known as Green Therapy or Eco-therapy.

Most importantly, 90% of children in a 2007 study on outdoor activity, report that adventurous play makes them feel happy!

There are lots of ways that parents and professionals can right the balance of children and nature in their daily lives: Let the children play. If safety is a concern, go on nature play dates. Take the time; all of these benefits are good for adults too! Get informed about the physical, emotional and cognitive benefits of nature for children. Introduce a Green Hour to a child’s day to give them a regular “dose” of unstructured, outdoor play for an hour a day.

If you can’t participate yourself, motivate your child’s school to take the students on an adventure trip at an environmental facility such as the Ganaraska Forest Outdoor Education Centre. There, children are given multiple opportunities for hands-on learning experiences, a chance to understand the interdependence of human beings and the environment, and the opportunity to be immersed in a whole other world for a day trip or a residential stay.

Consider enrolling your child in the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority’s Nature Nuts Summer Camp. Children ages 6 – 14 participate in weekly, environmentally themed camps, to learn more about the natural world around them. New this year, is a four-day overnight trip at the amazing Great Outdoors Adventure Camp.

To find out more about how to give children the gift of nature call 905-885-8173 or visit our website at: www.ganaraskaforestcentre.ca


Clarington & GRCA Partner to Hold Greening Your Grounds Workshop


The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) and the Municipality of Clarington will be holding another two-part Greening Your Grounds workshop in Newcastle on May 25th and June 8th. Workshops will teach landowners how to enhance their property using the newest trends in residential landscaping. Part one of the educational workshops teaches the basics of environmental landscaping and how it can benefit you and the environment. During part two of the workshop, hear from the experts on natural design and how to effectively and affordably green your grounds. Throughout the evening, expert advice will be shared by landscape designers, engineers, municipal planners and GRCA staff.

For more information on the Greening Your Grounds workshops, please contact Cole Fischer, Stewardship Intern, at stewardship@grca.on.ca or 905.885.8173 ext 247. To register for the free two-part workshops, simply visit: https://eventbrite.ca/event/16902834834/


A Week in the Great Outdoors?! Yes Please. GRCA Nature Nuts Summer Camp Aims at Getting Your Children Outside.

What would you do if you were lost in the forest?  Do you know what a leopard frog sounds like? Have you ever heard of an egg bomb? Did you know that the spine-tailed swift is the fastest flying bird? Learn about this and much, much more at the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority’s (GRCA) Nature Nuts Summer Camp!

Spend an entire week learning, exploring and most importantly, having fun! Nature Nuts Camp offers seven weeks of outdoor adventures with different themed camps from ‘Enraptured by Raptors’ to ‘Surviving the Elements’ – or have all weeks wrapped up into one at our new Great Outdoors Adventure Camp!

This new camp week is for the older campers, aged 9 – 14, who love being outside. The week starts off with a day of orientation involving ice-breaker activities and team-building games, allowing the campers to get to know each other. Then, set off for a four-day overnight adventure at the Ganaraska Forest Centre where campers will sleep, eat and play, while under the supervision of the Forest Centre’s certified teaching staff. Amongst other things, campers will mountain bike, learn outdoor survival skills, and go Treetop Trekking throughout the days, while their nights are spent involved in entertaining programming and fun-themed campfires. This is the ultimate outdoor lovers’ overnight camp! The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority would like to thank the Rotary Club of Cobourg for generously providing the seed money for the camping supplies for this new program.

Want to know more? Just ask! The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority is open Monday through Friday 8:30 – 4:30, or call one of the Ganaraska Forest Centre Outdoor Education Instructors directly at 905.797.2721. Register for The Great Outdoors Adventure Camp by May 15th and be eligible for the early-bird rate! Camp descriptions, registration forms and all other important information can be found at 
here and at www.ganaraskaforestcentre.ca – just look for the Nature Nuts squirrel.

Put Some Spring In Your Step!

With spring in the air, what better way to welcome the long awaited season than with a nature walk in the Ganaraska Forest? The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) is hosting its annual Put Some Spring In Your Step! event at the Ganaraska Forest Centre on Sunday May 3rd.

Join the GRCA’s Terrestrial Ecologist, Ken Towle, on a guided and informative walk through the forest beginning at 8:00 a.m. Everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy the fresh air in the hardwood forest, which is full of the sweet smells of spring and the sounds of returning songbirds after the long, cold winter.
Pre-registration and payment are required for this guided walk by contacting the GRCA administrative office at 905-885-8173. The event will be held rain or shine. Don’t forget your binoculars and birding and flower guides; many different species can be found in the Ganaraska Forest! The cost for this event is $12.00 per adult and $6.00 per child.

The Ganaraska Forest Centre is located about 20 minutes from Port Hope and Orono. Coming from the west, exit Hwy. 115 and travel east about 10 km on County Road 9. Turn left at the Cold Springs Camp Road sign and proceed 4 km to the Forest Centre. From the east, travel west off County Road 28 onto County Road 9 and proceed about 2 km west of Elizabethville. Turn right onto Cold Springs Camp Road and follow until you see the signs for the Ganaraska Forest Centre.


A Year in Review at the GRCA

The GRCA was formed in October 1946 under the Conservation Authorities Act and is one of the oldest conservation authorities in Ontario. February marked the celebration of the 68th year in operation, and what a year it was - eventful, inspiring, successful and rewarding.

Everything from tree planting to water sampling; guided forest hikes to electrofishing; Authority staff were on the go throughout 2014.

Three large initiatives were completed last year. The GRCA Climate Change Strategy, which provides direct, meaningful and strategic actions addressing climate change; providing information required to integrate climate change considerations into programs and operations of the Conservation Authority. Board and staff also completed the GRCA Strategic Plan - Vision 2020 - which is a roadmap for the future; it will lead the Conservation Authority from today to where it would like to be tomorrow and beyond. The Drinking Water Source Protection Plan was also approved; implementation of this plan is starting this year.

Many projects and services were added to the Conservation Authority’s list of accomplishments as well. To name a few - 36 stewardship projects approved; over 46,000 tree seedlings planted across the region; 700 trees supplied to Clarington residents and 400 to Municipality of Port Hope landowners. Several fisheries habitat projects completed; installation of metal panels in the bottom openings of the Ganaraska River railings to protect users of the walkways from the dangers of falling into the channelization. An inventory of all flood plain mapping in Ontario began; the Authority successfully completed the Showcasing Water Innovations (SWI) project which saw multi-year match funding awarded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to explore new and innovative ways of developing digital elevation data for floodplain mapping. The 36 year-old Ganaraska Forest Centre Outdoor Education program continued to grow; the Centre has welcomed over 50,000 visitors - from school children to community groups; corporate guests to wedding parties since 2009. Partnerships were formed here, there and everywhere – which the GRCA is continuously thankful for.

The GRCA is moving into its 69th year as a leading environmental organization with a mission to enhance and conserve across the Ganaraska Region Watershed by serving, educating, informing and engaging.

It is important to continue the connection between a healthy watershed and healthy, strong sustainable communities. The GRCA wishes to thank the communities they serve for their continued support. As they move into 2015, they do so setting a course for ambitious, innovative and bold watershed management.

Please review the 2014 Annual Report


Spring E-News from the GRCA 

GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement 

Spring Water Safety 

Guaranteed Sweet Family Fun at the Ganaraska Forest Centre 

Trees for Rural Roads Applications Due Soon 

Spring Flows: Stay Clear of Creeks, Ponds and Lakes 

Clean Water and Healthy Land in a Changing Climate 

26th Annual OFAH/Ganaraska Forest Centre Conservation Dinner 

Fishes of the Ganaraska Region 

Enbridge and Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority Partner to Offer Free Workshops to Landowners to Help Enhance Green Landscaping throughout the Community 

Kawartha Farm Stewardship Workshop a Success, Despite Snow

Less Than Two Weeks Left to Order Tree Seedlings 

3rd Annual Kawartha Farm Stewardship Workshop 

GRCA Offers Several Funding Options for Spring Tree Planting 

Holiday Planning with the GRCA 

Rocky Ramp Improves Local Fish Passage 

Union Gas and GRCA Partner to Protect Ganaraska River 

Birds of Prey in the Ganaraska Forest 

Ganaraska and Trent Source Protection Plan Approved

Planning on Building on the Oak Ridges Moraine? What You Need to Know.

Sampling fish from the watercourses within the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority are: A Shocking Story


Township of Alnwick Haldimand Township of Cavan Monaghan Clarington Town of Cobourg Region of Durham Hamilton Township Port Hope City of Kawartha Lakes Conservation Ontario
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