Enjoy learning on the land. The Kortright Centre for Conservation is pleased to offer a series of courses and workshops that cater to both amateur and professional naturalists looking to learn new skills in a fun and hands-on environment.
At Kortright Centre for Conservation we understand that education is a lifelong process. To provide learning opportunities for our adult visitors, we have developed a series of adult courses, all taught by experts in the field, and designed to provide hands-on training that will allow you to apply your knowledge.
Ancient Technologies Course
Dates: May 4, 5, 11 & 12, 2024
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
This four-part course will take you back in time to the ancient woodland setting of the Kortright Centre. Join expert outdoorsman Jonathan Thompson to learn about the four essential elements of survival: fire, shelter, water and food.
Learn the art of fire by friction and make your own fire-bow kit to take home. This course will cover a variety of important skills essential to survival, including cordage, tracking, shelter building, finding potable water and foraging.
Ontario Naturalist Level 1
Course Description: Learn a vast array of naturalist skills from experts in the field. This blended learning course, targeted at budding or amateur naturalists, combines 40 hours of in-class, hands-on instruction and self-paced online learning.
In this course, you will learn species identification, ecological significance, memory aids, and threats to local flora and fauna. This newfound knowledge will help you experience the natural world in a whole new way.
This course has a maximum cohort of 20 students to ensure high quality, individualized learning.
Select modules in this certification course are also available as individually priced workshops:
Module 2: Reptiles of Ontario
Module 3: Amphibians of Ontario
Module 4: Introduction to Birds of Ontario
Module 5: Natural History of Southern Ontario
Module 6: Mammal ID and Tracking
Module 8: Birds of Prey
Module 9: Wildflower and Tree Identification
Module 10: Butterflies of Ontario
Module 11: Bees
Module 12: Dragonflies and Damselflies
Course dates and times will be determined based on the best season and time of day for wildlife viewing in the field, and speaker availability. Most sessions will be held on weekends, but at least one session will be scheduled on a weekday evening.
In-person session dates will begin in April 2024.
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is committed to creating an accessible experience for all participants. If you require an accessibility accommodation, please email Jennifer.Ouimette@trca.ca.
Cost: $505 + HST*
*Register now before prices go up in 2024!
The Kortright Centre for Conservation is pleased to offer workshops that cater to both amateur and professional naturalists looking to learn new skills in a fun and hands-on environment.
No workshops scheduled at this time. Please check back soon.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS PROGRAMS
Naturally Mindful: Silent Retreat in Nature
Sunday, March 3, 2024
Sunday, May 5, 2024
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
This five-hour silent retreat in nature will provide you an opportunity to experience various mindfulness in nature and mind-body practices that will allow you to rest your mind, connect with yourself and your body, and deepen your relationship to nature.
The day begins with an arriving circle, intention setting and sharing of guidelines for the day/orientation, before going into the period of silence. The facilitator will provide instructions throughout the time.
The silent practice period will begin with a gentle yoga class that will be followed by various mindfulness meditation practices that will be guided (i.e., including forest bathing, sitting meditation, walking meditation, eating meditation, self-compassion and/or gratitude practices) in a flow sequence, which helps the mind to settle and body to restore.
Being in silence within nature allows the mind to rest, and clarity and authenticity to emerge. In this world of endless distractions and noise, many people find silent time in the forest- with guidance- to be refreshing and healing.
It can also be discomforting, and ways to work with discomfort and our thoughts, and to access the support of nature will be shared.
The silent retreat is a healing experience in community, supported by the beautiful natural environment of Kortright Centre and an experienced and skilled facilitator.
After ending the silent period, the retreat will end with a tea ceremony and sharing circle about our experiences (challenges and insights) from the day, which allows us all to connect and learn from each other, and a discussion of nature/mindfulness practice in daily life.
This day-long retreat is a perfect introduction to a silent retreat experience (if you’ve never had one) and will help you deepen your mindfulness practice if you are an experienced practitioner.
No prior experience with mindfulness or yoga is necessary; the yoga will be accessible to all levels and options will be provided. Simply arrive with an open mind and show up exactly as you are; you will be supported throughout the day.
For this day-long retreat, please dress comfortably and wear warm layers, appropriate to the weather, as parts of the day will take place outdoors. Please also bring a light lunch that does not require heating up.
Further information about what to bring will be emailed to participants before the retreat. This experience is suitable for adults and older teens.
For winter retreats, we are pleased to announce that the closing circle will take place with a bonfire (weather permitting).
This retreat is facilitated by Dr. Ameeta Dudani, a Clinical Psychologist and experienced Mindfulness and Yoga teacher/Consultant. Ameeta has been facilitating mindfulness programs for stress reduction since 2015, including clinical therapeutic programs, and has curated nature-based mindfulness programs for Kortright Centre and the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary (Victoria, BC).
She believes that mindfulness is a superpower that promotes self- acceptance and healing from the inside out. She is a dedicated mindfulness meditation and yoga practitioner. Ameeta is a registered yoga teacher (RYT-200) and teaches trauma-sensitive yoga that is accessible to all levels and bodies. She teaches yoga as a practice of mindfulness. She is trained in hatha yoga, yoga for anxiety and depression, accessible yoga and trauma sensitive yoga.
Ameeta’s primary teachers of mindfulness are nature and all beings. Her practice is deeply influenced by Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh as well as by pioneers of the secular mindfulness movement such as Jon Kabat-Zinn and Daniel Siegel. Ameeta believes that by regularly (and deeply) immersing ourselves in nature we can truly care for ourselves, each other, and the planet.
TRCA is committed to creating an accessible experience for all participants. If you require an accessibility accomodation, please email Jennifer.Ouimette@trca.ca at least seven days prior to the event.
Sunday, March 3, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 5, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Naturally Mindful Six-Week Course: Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation in Nature
Friday, March 22 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Friday, April 5 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Friday, April 12 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Friday, April 19 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Friday, April 26 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Friday, May 3 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 21 – 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Silent Retreat)
The restorative and therapeutic benefits of connecting with nature are well known. Studies show that spending time in nature helps to bring about positive emotions, activates our parasympathetic nervous system which calms and restores us, and promotes positive mental health and overall wellbeing.
Cultivating mindfulness enhances our ability to connect with nature and only reinforces the benefits. In mindfulness, we train our minds and our hearts to live in the present moment and to bring a kind and compassionate attitude to all of our experience.
Practicing mindfulness in nature can help us get to know ourselves better and learn to more easily switch from the busy “doing” (reactive) mode to “being” (responsive) mode. This helps to transform our relationship with stress and mental health challenges to a more healthy and effective one.
In turn, we can develop greater awareness, insight and trust in ourselves, as well as learn to meet ourselves and our experiences with wisdom and kindness.
Based on the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, this unique six‐week course will help you to cultivate the practice and attitudes of mindfulness meditation in daily life by learning from your own experiences and from the wisdom of nature.
Each two-and-half-hour session will include teachings, guided practices indoors and outdoors, periods of silence, mindful journaling, and group discussion. No experience with mindfulness is required for this course; those with any level of experience with meditation are welcome to enrol.
Participants will be given a folder with readings and handouts each week, and suggested home practices. Sessions may include gentle mindful yoga and/or other movement-based practices and all sessions will involve walking in the outdoors. Comfortable shoes and dressing in layers is recommended.
What you need to bring each week:
- Bottle of water, journal and pen, sunglasses, and anything else you need to feel comfortable.
- Please dress in layers, appropriate to the weather, and to wear comfortable walking shoes as much of the session will be outdoors.
- An email will be sent to all registrants prior to the first session with further details. A brief outline of the sessions will be provided at the first session.
SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION & TRAINING
The Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program offers a wide variety of workshops and certification programs at the Kortright Centre, for both professionals and homeowners.
These programs cover disciplines such as renewable energy technologies, green building technologies, and many more.
Kortright’s Commitment to Excellence
- We offer Canada’s largest educational demonstrations of renewable energy and green buildings.
- Our staff members have more than 75 years of combined experience in teaching about and installing photovoltaic (PV) systems.
- We maintain a low teacher-to-student ratio (maximum of 16 students).
- We offer the latest demonstrations of real systems ranging from:
- 100 watts to 90 kw
- Grid and off-grid systems
- Sloped roof top flat, roof roof, integrated and tracking systems
SUSTAINABLE HOUSE TOURS
Take a guided tour or our two LEED Platinum-certified houses: one illustrating sustainable practices readily available today, the other demonstrating cutting-edge sustainable and renewable technologies on the horizon.
PUBLIC TOUR DATES:
• There are no public tours scheduled at this time.
Cancellation Policy for All Workshops
Written notification of a cancellation must be received. Cancellations made at least two weeks before the start of your session will receive a refund of 75 per cent of the fees. Cancellations made within a two-week period will not receive a refund. There is no refund for days missed. For Adult Workshop questions and inquiries please call (416) 667-6295.