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Monthly Meetings

Monthly Public Meetings of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club

The Hamilton Naturalist’s Club meets monthly, September through May, usually on the second Monday of each month. Meetings are held at 7:00 PM, at the Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd West, Burlington. Parking is free. We begin with socializing. The formal part of the meeting begins at around 7:30 pm.

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HNC Monthly Meeting at RBG headquarters (Photo: Stephanie Lechniak-Cumerlato)

Monthly meetings can also been seen on our calendar along with other HNC events.

Date: Monday, November 13, 2017

Speaker: Jen Baker

Topic: Protecting Nature with the Land Trust Program

The Hamilton Naturalists’ Club (HNC) has been protecting and restoring natural spaces since 1919 in both urban and rural settings. HNC recognizes the value of protecting and restoring nature in both small and large areas as well as the importance of being able to visit nature. HNC’s outdoor education program has shown the lack of a connection to nature which started the urban habitat creation projects and nature outings. HNC also remains busy with stewardship activities at the nature sanctuaries and with creating new nature sanctuaries. Jen Baker, HNC’s Land Trust Manager, will describe the club’s urban and rural stewardship activities and the unique partnerships that have been formed.

BIO: Jen Baker has been a volunteer with the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club for over 15 years and has served as the only staff person since 2008. As the Land Trust Manager she works to secure natural lands for permanent protection and helps to steward the HNC’s nature sanctuaries with a focus on protecting species at risk. She coordinates the HNC’s popular hands-on education program that teaches students about local wildlife and gets them out in nature. She also works to secure important natural lands with the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System and the Hamilton Conservation Authority. Prior to joining the HNC, Jen worked at Ontario Nature for almost 10 years in a variety of roles, including Boreal Program Manager and Nature Network Manager. Jen enjoys being outside as much as possible whether it’s running, trekking to Machu Picchu, hiking Gros Morne Mountain, or paddling a quiet lake.

Date: Monday, December 11, 2017

Speaker: Carolina Thomson

Topic: Turtle Watch

I am an eleven year resident of Dundas. As an amateur photographer I set out six years ago to photograph the amazing wildlife around Dundas. I was amazed by what I found right here in our backyard. I have been actively sharing my photos, reminding people of the species living amongst us and joining the crusade to save their very special habitat. I joined Dundas Turtle Watch as a volunteer three years ago. I read about the plight of turtles province wide and thought it would be interesting to get involved with a species I knew little about. I have learned so much in my short time about these incredible reptiles and like to share what I’ve experienced with interested members of the public. Dundas turtle watch has shown that we can make a difference by helping to protect, save, rescue and educate folks about these incredible reptiles at risk. Come out and learn about the different species and the challenges they face as well as what we can do to help them and ensure a future for our turtles.

Date: Monday, January 8, 2018

Speaker: Peter Thoem

Topic: The Owl Foundation – A fly-by-night organization?

The presentation looks at the mishaps (mostly man-made) that befall owls, the treatment and care they receive at the Owl Foundation, the foundation’s successes and some losses. It looks at what was learned from the big Snowy Owl irruption in the Polar Vortex winter (2013/14) and the Great Gray Owl irruption of 2004. It includes many great photos of owls both while receiving treatment and unrestricted birds in the wild.

BIO: I have been a naturalist all my life (so far). Since retirement in 2010 I have dedicated a lot of my time to projects related to wildlife and natural areas. I volunteer on numerous projects at Royal Botanical Gardens including spearheading a multi-year bird population study.

I have volunteered many hours and days at four bird observatories (Long Point, Bruce Peninsula, Ruthven Park and Chokpak, Kazakhstan). I have recently spent some months in Uganda helping to develop birding-tourism opportunities. In late 2016 I offered to take on the role of speaker ambassador for The Owl Foundation.