The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club
The Macoun Field Club is for children and youth from ages 8 to 18. It has been bringing kids into first-hand contact with nature and with people who are dedicated to the study of nature for 65 years. It is sponsored by the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club.
Week by week, meetings alternate with field trips during the school year, almost always on Saturdays. At the 90-minute Saturday morning meetings, which take place at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, members exchange news about nature as they see it in their lives and then turn the floor over to a guest speaker for a presentation on their field of interest or research activities.
Field trips are much longer and usually see us eating lunch deep in the woods. We go all over the Ottawa region, but most often to the Club's Nature-Study Area. This is a square mile of the western Greenbelt (Stony Swamp) that the National Capital Commission has given the group permission to research.
Macoun members have been exploring different aspects of this area since 1970, mapping the vegetation, listing the wildlife, and noting the changes that come with urban encroachment, invasive species, and a warming climate. New members choose individual trees of their own here to get to know as the seasons and years pass.
A second location has been a favourite for even longer - wild land in the Pakenham Hills, an hour's drive west of Ottawa.
Macoun Club members contribute articles and drawings to their own publication called The Little Bear, which is distributed to them at the year-end party in June. Many of Canada's top scientists first published here, when they too were curious Macouners.
For more information about the club, please contact one of the leaders by e-mail (Macoun@ofnc.ca) or phone: