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Seasons on the Moraine - Wetland Wonders

Follow the woodland and wetland trails through Ballyduff’s “back 40” and discover the diversity of wetland plants that occupy the moist to wet sites in the lowlands along these trails  - various ferns such as Sensitive Fern, Lady Fern, Marsh Fern, and Ostrich Fern, Soft Rush, Rough Bedstraw, Spotted Jewelweed, Cut-leaved Water-horehound, Marsh Skullcap, and many more.  We will also learn about the diversity of sedges in these wetlands, with some clues on how to identify these plants that people often pass off as grasses. There are several different kinds of wetlands along these trails, including open marshes, cedar swamps and deciduous swamps, each with its own sets of plant species. Although our focus will be on plants, we will also watch and listen for breeding birds that make these wetlands their home; it should be a good time of year to see adult birds feeding their young. Cross back across the field to South Pond Farms for a hearty lunch and a chance to enquire further into the biodiversity of wetlands and other habitats on the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Your Guide: Bill Crins  – is an ecologist recently retired from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.  Among other achievements Bill developed principles and guidelines for ecological restoration in protected areas. Having completed degrees at the Universities of Guelph and Toronto Bill undertook post-doctoral research in B.C and N.Y. focusing on sedges, grasses and tarweeds.  Early in his career Bill worked in Algonquin Park as a naturalist and life science inventory biologist. Since retiring, he has been teaching in the graduate program at the UofT and volunteering with the Kawartha Land Trust and the Rotary Club.  His license plate reads SEDGES.  Wave when he passes.

9:30 a.m Welcome & Orientation  -  South Pond Barn
10:00 “ Interpretive trail walk through woodland and wetlands
12:15 p.m. Lunch at the Stone Oven & Wrap-up

Essential: weather-proof clothing and footwear.      
Optional: binoculars and camera.