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Festival of Nature 2021

Festival of Nature 2021 2021-05-14T18:21:23+00:00

Coming to a Community Near You!

Photo: Festival of Nature 2017

Discover nature in your zone!

Join nature lovers from across the province for a weekend of field trips, workshops, and more.

Festival Schedule

Registration for the general public opens FRIDAY, APRIL 30TH AT 12 NOON.

* = Event cancelled in the event of rain

Friday, June 4

Photo Scavenger Hunt
Time: All weekend!
Difficulty: Easy
Language: English
Maximum Participants: No limit
The photo Scavenger Hunt will get people out and actively searching for waypoints on a trail or a number of trails. Find points of natural interest and use a hashtag to submit and show off what you’ve found!
Kids welcome!

Self-Guided Tours of Nature Preserves
Link to self-guided tours: TBA
Time: All weekend!
Difficulty: Easy
Language: Bilingual
Maximum Participants: No limit
The Nature Trust of New Brunswick conserves land throughout the province in the form of nature preserves, many of which are accessible and open to the public. For this Festival of Nature event, we would like to encourage participants to step outdoors and discover these natural spaces by creating and distributing self-guided tours for ten nature preserves. Each self-guided tour will include information on the history of the nature preserve, a map of the hiking trails, rare and interesting species and landmarks, and more! Our hope is that participants will find this event an opportunity to safely reconnect with the outdoors and learn more about the natural spaces in their own community.
Kids welcome!

FULL – Friday Night Rock Show*
Meeting Location: 1370 Rothesay Road (note: not Rothesay Avenue)
Time: 6:00pm
Difficulty: Easy
Language: English
Maximum Participants: 20
Guaranteed sightings! Starting on the outskirts of Saint John, travelling along the scenic Kennebecasis Valley and, via ferry, to the Kingston Peninsula, the complex geological history of southern New Brunswick comes to life.  The main rock types we learned about in elementary school (can you remember them? Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic…) are all represented. Visiting about five sites, we will see and even stand on an ancient carbon capture project, a fast-flowing river system at the base of an ancient mountain range and a solidified pile of volcanic ash. As well, we will see evidence of the “recent” Ice Age. Learn how the age of rocks is determined and maybe get to hold a tiny piece of the oldest rock yet found on our planet.
Kids welcome!
Click here to register

Nighthawks and Other Evening Creatures*
Meeting Location: Atholville Wetlands Trail, Mill Road, Atholville
Time: 7:00pm
Difficulty: Easy
Language: Bilingual
Maximum Participants: 25
Join us at the Atholville Marsh to watch Nighthawks hunt their insect prey over the marsh and Lagoon. Discover the variety of flora and fauna in this prime locale. Bring your binoculars if you have them.
Kids welcome!
Click here to register

Saturday, June 5

Birding at French Fort Cove, Miramichi
Meeting Location (Google Maps): French Fort Cove, Miramichi
Time: 7:30am
Difficulty: Moderate
Language: English
Maximum Participants: 30
A two to three kilometer trail walk around the cove which features mixed woods and wetlands. The trail is hilly but good underfoot. This is an excellent birding area for many species of woodland birds but also some ducks and other bird species. This walk is open to all and will include experienced birders to act as guides. Binoculars are recommended but not required. May be cancelled due to heavy rain.
Kids welcome!
Click here to register

Birding the Kennebecasis Park Lagoons and the Bishop’s Lands Trails
Meeting Location: TBA
Time: 7:30am
Difficulty: Easy
Language: English
Maximum Participants: 15
The Kennebecasis Park Lagoons typically hold a good variety of ducks along with flycatchers, swallows, warblers and sparrows. The Bishop’s Lands Trails host numerous warbler species, finches, sparrows, flycatchers, thrushes and more. Time and energy permitting, we may move on to the Bicentennial (Carpenter Pond) Trail – a short but very productive birding trail. The event may be cancelled if there is steady rain.  Light showers will not be a problem.  A decision will be taken as the group assembles on the morning of the outing.
Kids welcome!
Click here to register

 

Exploration of NCC’s Property Baie Verte NB
Meeting Location: TBA
Time: 8:30am
Difficulty: Moderate
Language: Bilingual
Maximum Participants: 15
As a group, we will add to the natural history knowledge of NCC’s reserve.
Kids welcome!
Click here to register

FULL – Hyla Park Nature Walk*
Meeting Location (Google Maps): Hyla Park Nature Preserve
Time: 9:00am
Difficulty: Easy
Language: English
Maximum Participants: 20
Hyla Park is Canada’s first amphibian park and a Nature Trust of NB site. Although the emphasis on the walk will be birds, we are likely to see frogs, flowering plants and butterflies. Please bring your binoculars and field guides. Parking can be found behind the Greenwood Drive Baptist Church at 150 Greenwood Drive. Participants should meet in the parking lot across the Gibson Trail. Waterproof footwear and insect repellant are suggested.
Kids welcome!
PLEASE NOTE: Rain date is Sunday, June 6th at 9:00am.
Click here to register

 

FULL – Spring Flowers and Other Nature Observations
Meeting Location: Entrance to the Champlain Street trail at the corner of Ohio Road, Shediac. Small parking lot and parking on Champlain Street.
Time: 9:00am
Difficulty: Easy
Language: French
Maximum Participants: 12
This portion of the Shediac municipal trail crosses different environments and offers a beautiful botanical diversity. On this date, it is possible to see in bloom several shrubs such as: caliculated cassandra, Canada honeysuckle, malodorous gadellier, long-billed hazelnut, alder-leaved viburnum and herbaceous plants of the undergrowth such as: red cohosh, boreal clintone, northern lady’s-slipper, boreal trientale, etc. Other plants that can be identified include the Christmas fern, the witch hazel shrub. The role of the rain gardens along the trail can also be discussed. 2km walk. After the walk, interested individuals can drive 2 km to see a nesting raft of Common Terns in Shediac Bay and observe nesting behaviour from the walking trail.
Kids welcome!
Click here to register

 

Antinouri Lake
Meeting Location: TBA
Time: 9:30am
Difficulty: Moderate
Language: English
Maximum Participants: 20
Exploring the birds, flora and fauna at Antinouri Lake and at a few sites along the way to the lake. Also a short walk to the former granite quarry on the northeastern shore of the lake – source of the beautiful pink granite that was used to build such buildings as the parish hall and St Polycarpe Church in Petit Rocher.
PLEASE NOTE: The road to Antinouri Lake can be rough and is not suitable for small cars.
Click here to register

 

A Visit to the Dolan Woodlands Nature Preserve*
Meeting Location (Google Maps): Dolan Woodlands Nature Preserve
Time: 10:00am
Difficulty: Easy
Language: English
Maximum Participants: 30
This will be an exploration of the flora and fauna of the recently established Nature Trust NB preserve in Nelson, Miramichi. The trails that will be followed are approximately 2 km in length and flat but can be wet and muddy in places. The area is largely mixed forest but does feature a black spruce bog and a fresh water brook/marsh. Late spring should offer interesting sightings of birds and butterflies as well as wildflowers. Rubber boots recommended!
Kids welcome!
Click here to register

 

FULL – Nature Hike – Black Beach
Meeting Location (Google Maps): Black Beach Trail
Time: 1:00pm
Difficulty: Moderate
Language: English
Maximum Participants: 20
ACAP Saint John would like to take a group of hikers around the NCC Black Beach trail (2.3km). This hike will include talks about seals, birds and other ACAP related projects and will end with a beach cleanup on Black Beach at low tide. Harbour seals are often seen hauled out at low tide on the rocks, where we will bring scopes for participants to get a better view and talk about ACAP’s harbour seal monitoring project.
Best suited for kids 12 and up.
Click here to register

 

FULL – Voyageur Canoe on the Wolastoq & Nashwaak
Meeting Location: TBA
Time: 1:30pm
Difficulty: Moderate
Language: English
Minimum Participants: 8
Maximum Participants: 15
Paddle down the Wolastoq and Nashwaak River via Voyageur Canoe with Second Nature Outdoors. Their experienced guides will point out the amazing gems the river has to offer. There will also be an opportunity to observe birds and plants on the short walk back along the trail to the launch point. This event will be cancelled in case of a thunderstorm.
Kids 8+ welcome!
PLEASE NOTE: Registration for this event is limited to those who are in the same Steady15 group.

Geology Tour of Quinn’s Point
Meeting Location: Quinn’s Point Beach
Time: 5:00pm
Difficulty: Moderate
Language: English
Maximum Participants: 20
Walk the beach at Quinn’s Point with an expert geologist who will explain how the rocks and fossils tell a story of the past. Access to the beach is moderately difficult so wear good footwear. Low tide dictated the evening event.
PLEASE NOTE: Parking is limited. Contact Carole Doyle Roberts at [email protected] for more information.
Click here to register

 

Sunday, June 6

Birding the Sheldon Point Trail
Meeting Location (Google Maps): Sheldon Point Trail (Start from the parking lot beside the barn (or in front of the parking lot gates if closed)
Time: 8:00am
Difficulty: Moderate
Language: English
Maximum Participants: 15
Enjoy early morning birding along a scenic coastal trail. Sheldon Point offers a variety of mixed habitats that are sure to produce a number of resident and passage migrant species. The trail winds along the Fundy coast for several kilometers, with dirt and gravel underfoot: be prepared for some up- and down-hill climbs. Time permitting we may explore the opposite side of the road, the Irving Nature Park Children’s Forest, and overlooking the Lancaster sewage treatment facility and lake.
Kids welcome!
Click here to register

Irishtown Nature Park Canoe and Kayak Outing
Meeting Location (Google Maps): Irishtown Nature Park
Time: 8:00am
Difficulty: Easy
Language: English
Maximum participants: 28
Join us for paddle around the edges of the lake at beautiful Irishtown Nature Park, the third largest municipal park in Canada. Bring your own watercraft, or reserve a canoe or kayak (first come, first served). We will be exploring several beaver lodges and various grasses and flowers. The birding, both on the water and in the surrounding forest, should be great. The tour will be led by subject matter experts.
Kids welcome!
PLEASE NOTE: There is an additional cost for those wishing to reserve a canoe or kayak. Payment must be received at the time of registration. All rentals include paddles and Personal Flotation Devices, but if children already have their own PFDs it is recommended they bring their own, to ensure a better fit.
Click here to register

Spring Ephemerals
Meeting Location: The Osprey Truck Stop, north on exit 275, Highway 11, Dalhousie
Time: 9:00am
Difficulty: Moderate
Language: Bilingual
Maximum Participants: 25
Discover spring flowers in the forest with Jim Clifford. Participants will travel by car up the South East to enjoy the flora and fauna. Some walking through the forest edges will be required.
Kids welcome!
Click here to register

FULL – Voyageur Canoe on the Wolastoq & Nashwaak
Meeting Location: TBA
Time: 1:30pm
Difficulty: Moderate
Language: English
Minimum Participants: 8
Maximum Participants: 15
Paddle down the Wolastoq and Nashwaak River via Voyageur Canoe with Second Nature Outdoors. Their experienced guides will point out the amazing gems the river has to offer. There will also be an opportunity to observe birds and plants on the short walk back along the trail to the launch point. This event will be cancelled in case of a thunderstorm.
Kids 8+ welcome!
PLEASE NOTE: Registration for this event is limited to those who are in the same Steady15 group.

Backyard Birding in Tide Head
Meeting Location: TBA
Time: 2:00pm
Difficulty: Easy
Language: Bilingual
Maximum Participants: 30 (will be admitted in groups of 4 at a time)
Birds love this yard in Tide Head, especially the rare ones. Experienced birders will be on hand to help with identification. No experience is required, just come and keep your eyes and ears open. Entry will be kept to small groups.
Kids welcome!
Click here to register

About the Festival

The 2021 Festival of Nature will be June 4-5-6, 2021.

Festival activities, like field trips and workshops, will take place across New Brunswick.

This year, due to COVID-19, the Festival will be decentralized with events happening in zones throughout New Brunswick and a province-wide BioBlitz.

Expect a weekend of outdoor adventure, nature discovery, and learning from experts. You can choose the events you want to attend within your health zone online.

Everyone is also invited to participate in our province-wide BioBlitz on iNaturalist! Share your observations in our project (TBA). We will also have a social media campaign for a chance to win prizes.

If your health zone moves to the Red or lockdown phase of recovery, all in-person events in the zone will be cancelled. We will notify all participants of event cancellations.

Please note that these changes could occur with less than 24 hours notice.

Yes! Kids are welcome at the Festival!

Many (but not all) of the events are appropriate for kids and families. Events that welcome family participation will be marked with “Kids Welcome” in our schedule.

Absolutely! If you have a last minute event that you’d like to add to our schedule, we may be able to accommodate your idea. Email [email protected].

About COVID-19

Though travelling between zones is now permissible in the Orange and Yellow recovery phases, we strongly encourage you to stay within your health zone when participating in this year’s Festival of Nature. This ensure your own health and safety, as well as that of others.

COVID-19 measure in place at events include:

  • All staff, volunteers, and event participants must wear a mask outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. Masks must cover the nose and mouth. (Masks can be removed while eating or drinking, ensuring physical distance is maintained)
  • All event leaders and participants will be passively screened for symptoms upon arrival.
  • Names and phone numbers must be provided at the time of registration for contact tracing purposes.
  • Hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol will be provided at all group events.

The Festival includes components that can be adjusted depending on what phase of recovery a region is in.

All in-person events can proceed in the Yellow and Orange phases, but will be cancelled in the event a zone moves to the Red or lockdown phase.

The province-wide BioBlitz and social media contest can go ahead in all phases. However, should a zone move to lockdown, participants of the BioBlitz and social media contest will be limited to surveying their own property.

Have more questions? Contact us!

Sponsors

Picaroons Brewing Company
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