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2021 Summer – Junior Park Program
2021 Summer – Junior Park Program The City of Peterborough, Recreation Division, is offering a free outdoor play program for children 4 to 8 years
Family-Friendly Summer Activities
Family-Friendly Summer Activities Getting outside with your baby or toddler is great for the whole family. A bit of fresh air and exercise can help you
Kim’s Spring Activity List
Kim’s Spring Activity Guide Our Outdoor Activity Consultant, Kim, has rustled up some exciting Spring Activities to keep our Pathway community busy! 1. Kites learningliftoff.com
Three Activities for Earth Day
Three Activities for Earth Day Here are three wonderful activities from our Outdoor Activity Consultant, Nature Nancy, to celebrate Earth Day. Enjoy making a ‘Sense
Soaring Towards 10,000!
Soaring Towards 10,000! Pathway Explorers have been busy logging Landmarks and we’ve reached a record number, soaring towards our goal of 10,000 Landmarks! The winter provided
Home Sweet Home: Build or install a nest box this spring!
Home Sweet Home: Build or install a nest box this spring! Here’s a great spring activity to try at home or at school. Nest
Join the #LandmarkChallenge
Join the Pathway #LandmarkChallenge Got screen fatigue? Need an excuse to get outdoors with the family, build memories and enjoy activities that encourage kids to
Winter Bingo Looking for a fun winter activity for all ages? Here is a free winter Bingo game cards from the Pathway! Visit a
Winter Wonderland: The Night Sky
Winter Wonderland: The Night Sky Winter is a perfect season for an often overlooked family activity – exploring the sky at night. With winter’s early
Summer Report Highlights
Summer Report Highlights We’ve had some super ideas from families and other groups this summer. Some of our favourites include: The James family learned how
Bird of the Month: Black-capped Chickadee
Bird of the Month: Black-capped Chickadee While so many birds are flying to warmer places to spend the winter, the hardy little Black-capped Chickadee is
Squirrel Nest Game Eastern Grey Squirrels are the common tree squirrels found in many areas of southern Ontario, and are more often black than grey.
Family Cycling Adventures
Family Cycling Adventures Here’s a great idea for being active and spending time with those you love, even during social distancing in the pandemic. The
Bird of the Month
Bird of the Month: Meet the Yellow Warbler! Summer is a perfect time to go searching for new feathered friends. This perky ray of sunshine
Ideas Aplenty… Our thanks to Kathy MacMillan-Jones for sharing these ideas for summer family fun with kids of many different ages. Remember to report what
Spring Frog Calls
Spring Frog Calls
There’s another wonderful symphony that begins as soon as the snow melts in spring. Local frogs are looking for mates and a place to lay their eggs to keep life thriving in wetlands. Each kind of frog or toad has its own characteristic call. How many of these early songsters can you listen for this spring? These calls are from the Toronto Zoo’s ‘Adopt a Pond‘ website. It’s also a great source for more information about reptiles and amphibians.
Striped Chorus Frog
To help scientists monitor the presence and abundance of these important ‘indicator species,’ try participating in a Citizen Science program where you report what you’ve heard or seen. A good program for the Peterborough area is ‘Frog Watch Ontario‘.
A super resource for other things to look and listen for in spring is Drew Monkman’s book ‘Nature’s Year in the Kawarthas.’
Sounds of Spring
The Sounds of Spring
Every spring we’re reminded of the joy of being alive, and life’s drive to survive and thrive. Can we join the celebration by opening our eyes, ears and hearts to the everyday miracles around us?
Birds in Spring
Local birds are very busy in spring – finding a mate, making a nest, and getting ready to raise a family. We are surrounded by an absolute symphony of spring birdsong, as birds (mostly males) sing to attract a mate and establish their territory.
Try training your ears in very early spring to recognize some of the most common early songsters in the Peterborough area. Here are a few sound files from the excellent Cornell Lab of Ornithology to help you get started:
There’s an amazing resource to help you recognize nearby bird songs, especially as more and more migrants return, and the soundscape gets complex and sometimes confusing! Try downloading the Merlin Bird ID app on your cell phone, and select ‘Sound ID’. It will help you listen and point out sounds it recognizes, along with images of the bird that you can click for more information.
The Pathway Project has also created some useful resources for beginning birders. Check out our ‘Common Spring Birds of Peterborough‘ checklist, which accompanies the ‘Common Winter Birds of Peterborough‘ checklist (these winter residents are still here in spring). Here’s a recorded workshop for young children that combines the sounds and images of some of our common spring birds to help you get started.
Get outside, tune up your ears, and see how many new feathered friends you can make this spring!
Plants with Purpose
Plants with Purpose
In early March, we hosted an excellent workshop – just after the biggest snowfall of the season! Those who were able to dig themselves out had a real treat in store – spending the morning with two award-winning educators: Bonnie Anderson (Outdoor Environmental Education and Healthy Active Living Coordinator for the Simcoe County Board of Education) and Sherri Owen (local artist and outdoor educator).
They shared a fascinating project that combined Indigenous plant knowledge with scientific botanical information and beautiful illustrations to create a set of plant cards to showcase important plants in their region. And, these cards are meant to be used by classes! They can be sorted by habitat, by height, by plant type (tree, shrub, wildflower etc.), by origin (native or non-native) or other criteria as needed. They can be used to create a simulated garden for a particular purpose. They could be used for a plant hunt (which of these can you find growing in the schoolyard?) or as an introduction to plants to look for as you visit different kinds of habitats.
As an added bonus, each card has not only the English and botanical names, but the plant’s name in Anishinaabemowin, French and Michif. What a wonderful, multi-purpose resource!
Bonnie explained that the cards are not intended to be a substitute for a ‘medicine walk’, where more time would be spent exploring the many stories and uses held within each plant.
Many children aren’t ready for that kind of detail and have short attention spans. These cards are a wonderful first step to spark interest, encourage observation and build relationships.
We had a terrific morning in spite of the weather, learning the importance of respectful interactions with plants, planning imaginary gardens together and thoroughly enjoying each other’s company. Our thanks to Bonnie, Sherri and the Simcoe County Indigenous Education team for sharing this beautiful project with us!
To request access to a PDF of the ‘Plants with Purpose’ cards, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Songs, Rhymes and Books for Winter
Songs, Rhymes and Books for Winter Months
Kate Jarrett, our favourite early years minstrel, has shared some of her favourite material for celebrating the snowy months. How about a rousing chorus of ‘Hibernation’ (sung to the tune of Alouette):
Hibernation (tune: Alouette)
Chorus: Hibernation, time for hibernation
Hibernation, time to go to sleep
Where oh where is little bear?
Sleeping in his den or lair
Where is bear? Den or lair
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Where oh where is little frog?
Sleeping in a pond or log
Where is frog? Pond or log
Where is bear? Den or lair
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Where oh where is little snake?
In the mud beneath the lake
Where is snake? Beneath the lake
Where is frog? Pond or log
Where is bear? Den or lair
The Sky is Dark (Clyde Watson)
The sky is dark, there blows a storm
The fire is hot, our cider is warm
The snow is deep, the night is long
Old Father Fox, won’t you sing us a song
Winter is Cold
Winter is cold, there is snow in the sky
Squirrels gather nuts, and the wild geese fly
The fluffy red fox has his fur to keep warm
The bear’s in his cave, sleeping all through the storm
Snow on the Rooftops (Kathy Reid-Naiman)
Snow on the rooftops, snow on the trees
Snow on the green grass, snow on me
Snow on my mittens, snow on my nose
Snow on my head, and snow on my toes
Whirling, twirling, swirling down
Down and down and down and down
Winter Picture Books
(available from the Peterborough Public Library)
Bauer, Marion. Winter Dance
A fox watches other animals preparing for winter and wonders what he should do
Camper, Cathy. Ten Ways to Hear Snow
A young child helps her grandma who has lost her sight explore nature through listening.
Carlstrom, Nancy. Mama, Will It Snow Tonight?
Three mothers and their offspring – fox, hare, and human wait for the first snow of winter.
Gershaton, Phillis. When It Starts to Snow
Various animals tell what they do and where they go when it starts to snow.
Holler, Sue. Raven, Rabbit, Deer
A grandfather teaches his grandson how to identify a number of animals tracks with Ojibwemowin names.
McGrath, Jennifer. The Snow Knows
Introduces readers to animals both domestic and wild, celebrating wilderness and outdoor play.
Messner, Kate. Over and Under the Snow
Discover the wonder and activity that lies beneath winter’s snowy landscape.
Sayre, April. Best in Snow
A photographic non-fiction picture book about the wonder of snowfall and the winter water cycle.
Stewart, Melissa. Under the Snow
A look at the amazing ways animals behave and interact with their environments on a snowy day.
Thornhill, Jan. Winter’s Coming
A young snowshoe hare hears that winter is coming – but who, or what is winter?
Yeomans, Ellen. Some Snow Is…
Celebrates all the different kinds of snow – from melting to packable!
Yolen, Jane. Owl Moon.
A father and daughter trek into the woods to see a Great Horned Owl under a winter full moon.
Kim’s Winter Activity Guide
Kim’s Winter Activity Guide
As winter approaches you might be wondering how you can best get out and enjoy the season. Our Outdoor Activity Consultant, Kim, has curated a list of local events and activities that will have you bundling up and falling in love with winter all over again.
These activities connect with so many Pathway Landmarks, from Landmark 1(Explore outdoors together), to Landmark 11, 14 and 17 which all encourage you to try different kinds of outdoor recreation that don’t require gasoline or electricity.
There’s so much to do in Peterborough and surrounding areas this winter.
The City of Peterborough has plenty of neighbourhood outdoor rinks including Cameron Street Park, Dixon Park, Earlwood Park, Golfview Park, Hastings Park, Kiwanis Park, Nicholls Park, Northland Park, Mapleridge Park, Poplar Park, Stenson Park, Turner Park, and University Heights.
Rinks are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (weather and ice conditions permit)
The Peterborough Lift Lock
Park right on Armour Road, just south of Hunter Street, and get on the ice within a minute.
Make sure that you see the green flag flying over the canal before venturing onto the ice.
Quaker Foods Urban Park
The newest addition to Peterborough’s skating rinks is called ‘The Commons‘ area! It’s refrigerated and has lights for nighttime skating!
215 Charlotte Street St, Peterborough
Lakefield Speed Skating Oval
The park is open from noon to 6 p.m. on weekdays and full days on weekends. Lessons are available. You’ll find it at 3358 Lakefield Road.
Tobogganing at Armour Hill
The legendary hill is in Ashburnham Memorial Park, on Armour Road where it meets Douro Street.
Cross Country Skiing
Kawartha Nordic Ski Club offers beautiful scenery along 46 kilometres of classic trails, 27 km for skate skiing, and 2 km for night skiing. There are also nine kilometres for snowshoeing. You can rent skis and snowshoes right on-site.
Address: 7107 Highway 28, Township of North Kawartha
Ski right in Peterborough in Jackson Park with the Peterborough Nordic Club
The groomed route begins at The Trans Canada Trail. The trail will be groomed west along the trail just before the 4th bridge at Atkinson Road. The groomed route is 4km in total.
Peterborough’s outdoor gym is in Beavermead Park. The 12 low-impact stations overlook Little Lake. Enter the park at 2011 Ashburnham Dr. and look for the gym near the volleyball court.
There are different fitness stations with several types of exercises, as well as standalone equipment such as a recumbent bike. The gym is also fully accessible for persons with disabilities. and includes a fitness station that accommodates wheelchairs.
Go Ice Fishing
Chemong Lake is a fisher’s paradise and is a great venue to introduce kids to this annual tradition. No licence is required during the family day weekend.
A half-day farm adventure for the family at Woolley Wonderland Farm in Lakehurst. It’s all outdoors with lots to do. Meet your favourite Frozen characters with Olaf and Elsa, join in the bonfire with hot chocolate, take a wagon or sleigh ride, and pet the miniature farm friends. This event runs until Jan 8.
Wanderlight Alpaca experiences run through the winter and offer you and your family a chance to meet alpacas and go for a walk with them. Wanderlight Alpaca is located at 874 Lynch’s Rock Road in Lakefield.
Don’t forget to also visit the animals at the Riverview Park and Zoo this winter. The zoo is located at 1300 Water St, Peterborough, and is open 8:30 a.m. until dusk.
Lakefield’s Polarfest February 3-5, 2023
PolarFest is an exciting family festival, offering something for everyone to enjoy!
Choose from activities including: Opening Ceremony with fireworks display, Snowman Building Challenge, Candlelight Skate, Ice Carvings, and for the brave the BEL Rotary Polar Plunge
Peterborough’s Snofest February 17-20, 2023
As part of this Snofest Event, meet outside in the Heritage Pavilion for a snowy Story Time in the Park with the Peterborough Public Library. After, warm up inside the Peterborough Museum. Do a simple craft, explore the galleries, and play with the many interactives. Feb 17, 10:30-11:00 and 2:00-4:00
See more of this year’s festivities by checking the Peterborough website for information.
Get Out and Play
The Peterborough Museum & Archives’ newest temporary exhibit Get Out and Play: Winter Sports in Peterborough will open on Saturday, December 10, and be on display until March 19, 2023.
Get Out and Play was developed in-house at the Peterborough Museum & Archives, using artifacts, archival images, and stories from its collections. Visitors will see skates, skis, a toboggan, and other winter sports equipment from days past. People can learn about the origins of some of their favourite winter sports, as well as the context of these sports and clubs at a local level
Family Literacy Day
Here is an event that’s fun for the whole family. This is a free event and families can get creative in the craft area, pick out a book and settle in to enjoy Paddling Puppeteer, Glen Caradus, and his puppet friends as they entertain us with songs and stories about the natural world. Family Literacy Day is taking place at Peterborough Square, on Saturday, January 28 from 9:30-12:00.
Common Birds of PTBO
COMMON BIRDS OF PETERBOROUGH
These are birds that are residents or have migrated back to southern Ontario in the spring. Use this checklist along with the Pathway Common Winter Birds checklist to see how many different birds you can find on your walk today. To learn more, check out this website, allaboutbirds.org
Ever wonder what feathered friends in your neighbourhood stay here all winter? The winter months still offer a bright array of cheerful bird friends, and most of these will be happy to visit bird feeders. Can you find all 12 of these common winter birds of Peterborough? Use this free downloadable PDF as a checklist.
To learn more about these birds, check out the website, allaboutbirds.org
Schoolyard Score Card
Schoolyard Report Card
Schoolyards are places for playing, socializing, exploring, and sharing the land with other living things. How would your schoolyard score if you gave it a report card?
The best schoolyards build health in many ways – healthy kids as well as a healthy environment. That means opportunities for active play, creative play, quiet reflection, social interaction and exploring the natural world. Many schools are beginning to see their schoolyard as a habitat – welcoming many plants and animals to share the space with the students. This also provides excellent opportunities for outdoor learning and building stewardship skills.
1. INTRODUCTORY VIDEO
Watch the video with your students to help you get started. It explores what we mean by a ‘habitat for people’ and a ‘habitat for wildlife.’ It showcases some projects from other schools to help get your ideas flowing!
These score sheets have grade-linked opportunities to explore your schoolyard using math, science and geography skills. Grades 3-6 will go out and measure the schoolyard and make maps of what they find. Grades 7-8 will begin by drawing their schoolyard from memory, then use satellite images to compare with their drawings, and create accurate basemaps.
Then, using the Score Sheets, students will evaluate their schoolyard on the basis of:
a) Habitat for People
b) Environmental Health
c) Habitat for Wildlife
Download the Schoolyard Score Card below to get started!
Grade 3-6 Report Card
Grade 7-8 Report Card
3. DISCUSSION AND FOLLOW-UP
How did your schoolyard score? Are there things that scored well? Are there opportunities for improvement? Can your class play a role in improving your schoolyard’s score?
The score cards provide suggestions on simple places to begin. Realizing that we can make positive changes in the world around us, and working together to do that, helps build hope, empowerment and leadership skills.
The Schoolyard Report Card is an activity that can build your classes’ Pathway Points and gives you an opportunity to win the monthly draw! Don’t forget to report what you’ve done on the Pathway website pathwayproject.ca
Go Mobile with the Pathway
Download the Pathway Mobile App!
We are so excited you’re here and ready to download the Pathway web-based app.
The Pathway app was designed to help you log Landmarks with ease.
Below you will find instructions on how to install the APP on both Android and Apple IOS devices as well as the step-by-step instructions to log a Landmark.
PATHWAY ANDROID APP (DOWNLOAD IN CHROME)
This Android web-based app is downloadable through Chrome. On your mobile device, launch your Chrome browser to begin.
PATHWAY APPLE iOS APP (DOWNLOAD IN SAFARI)
This iOS web-based app is only downloadable through Safari. On your mobile device, launch your Safari browser to begin.
How to Log Your Landmark
- Click on the Pathway APP Icon
- Login to your account
3. Choose your Grade (Early Years, Middle Years, Intermediate, Senior Years)
4. Choose your Landmark
5. Enter Your Landmark Details (Date, Who Completed the Landmark, Age of Participants, and Activity Description)
6. Take or Upload a Photo
7. Choose if you would like your image published and Submit!
Win Monthly Prizes
There are 30 Landmarks to report and each entry automatically enters participants into the monthly prize draw for a $50 gift certificate to a local business.
Become a Citizen Scientist
Citizen Science Workshop
This comprehensive set of resources provides excellent support for teachers exploring water quality and aquatic ecosystems with intermediate-level classes. The workshop also introduces Pathway Landmark 22: ‘Become a Citizen Scientist by helping to monitor environmental health,’ which is geared to Grade 7-8 classes. The workshop is a partnership between Otonabee Conservation and the Pathway Project.
Ontario Curriculum Links:
Grade 7: Understanding Life Systems – Interactions in the Environment
Overall Expectations: 1. Assess the impacts of human activities and technologies on the environment, and evaluate ways of controlling these impacts; 2. Investigate interactions within the environment, and identify factors that affect the balance between different components of an ecosystem; 3. Demonstrate an understanding of interactions between and among biotic and abiotic elements in the environment
Grade 8: Understanding Earth and Space Systems – Water Systems
Overall Expectations: 1. Assess the impact of human activities and technologies on the sustainability of water resources; 2. Investigate factors that affect local water quality; 3. Demonstrate an understanding of the earth’s water systems and the influence of water systems on a specific region
1. Introductory Video: This 20-minute video, produced by Otonabee Conservation, introduces the Otonabee region watershed and provides an overview of chemical and biological methods used locally to monitor watershed health. This can be used as a stand-alone activity or an introduction to hands-on monitoring opportunities for students.
2. Worksheets: Depending on the equipment you have available and your access to nearby waterways, the following worksheets have been prepared by Otonabee Conservation to guide students through a variety of activities to learn about their watershed and monitor its health:
- Mapping Activity Worksheet
- Water Quality Worksheet
- Biological Indicators Worksheet
- Surface Water Velocity Worksheet
- pH Worksheet
French Language Worksheets
3. Lesson Plans: These comprehensive lesson plans were developed by teacher and Outdoor Educator Sherri Owen to guide you through aquatic field labs with your class.
FIELD LAB 1: WATER CHEMISTRY
This guide outlines safety considerations as well as protocols for water collection and testing. It includes tracking and assessment sheets and identifies where you can find testing tools and supplies.
Finally, we show you how to submit your data to Water Rangers, a Canadian organization accepting water quality data from citizen scientists like you.
Thanks to Water Rangers for contributing a Water Rangers Testing Kit to the Pathway Project. To borrow our kit, email Cathy at email@example.com
DOWNLOAD: WATER CHEMISTRY FIELD LAB
FIELD LAB 2: BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS
This guide provides everything you need to catch and identify benthic bugs, calculate water quality ratings, and create a water quality statement.
You’ll also get two worksheet protocols for evaluating water quality using aquatic macroinvertebrates.
This field lab explains how to submit your data to the Leaf Pack Network Database.
Seasonal Scavenger Hunt
Seasonal Scavenger Hunt
“March is a time when winter’s grip finally begins to loosen. Large numbers of migrating birds return, bird song greets us as we step outside in the morning, the buds of several tree species begin to open, and the longer days and warmer sun rekindle our spirits.”
Drew Monkman’s Monthly Almanac
Keep a lookout for northward-bound ducks on open stretches of lakes and rivers; loud red squirrels trying to find a mate; owls, such as the barred owl, calling “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you”; the bird songs of the house finch and cardinal; the reappearance of raccoons, pussy willows, chipmunks, robins, grackles, and red-winged blackbirds; the sap of the maple trees starting to flow. On a warm day in late March, you may get a glimpse of a mourning cloak butterfly taking its first flight since last fall. These purple-black and yellow butterflies will often feed on sap dripping from maple trees in spring. The mourning cloak butterfly overwinters in the adult stage of the life cycle. If the weather becomes particularly warm, you may see the odd honey bee on a crocus or snowdrop in your garden. Honeybees are one of the few insects that remain active all winter. Coyotes give birth to three to seven pups in late March or April.
There is a tug of war going on in March and April as spring tries to defeat winter. Most of us are rooting for spring as we enjoy longer days and mud puddles. Try this scavenger hunt as you look for evidence of the emergence of spring. Download the PDF here.