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Adult Workshops

Adult Workshops

Our workshops are aimed at an adult audience looking to learn more about nature. No previous knowledge is required!  

You can click on the name of the workshop below for more details. Registration is required for all workshops.

If you encounter any difficulties registering or have any questions regarding registration you can reach us at naturecentre@highpark.org or by calling 416-392-1748.  Our Office Hours are between 9am – 4pm, Monday – Friday.


Winter 2019 Workshops

Register for Winter Workshops
Winter Bird Photography Workshop - January 19th

Winter Bird Photography

Saturday January 19th, 10 AM - 2 PM

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Photo credit: Nancy Barrett

Description:
This workshop is geared towards those who have some experience with cameras, but are new to photographing birds.  Join birder and wildlife photographer, Nancy Barrett, and learn tips and techniques which will help you gain confidence and improve your skills.

In this workshop, you will learn how to capture great images utilizing effective camera settings and simple field techniques; gain familiarity with your subjects and your camera gear; and understand ethical approaches to bird photography.

The workshop will include an illustrated indoor presentation, followed by a chance to photograph birds in an outdoor setting and to put some of those new techniques and tricks into practice.

***Participants are required to bring their own camera equipment.

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Instructor Bio:
A self-taught wildlife photographer, naturalist and birder, Nancy Barrett has felt a keen curiosity for the wonders of the natural world since early childhood. She endeavours to express that passion through her sensitive bird and wildlife images.Nancy volunteers with several organizations, leading workshops for groups including the Toronto Ornithological Club and the Friends of Sam Smith Park.  She partners with the Humber Interpretive Centre in mounting bird and nature-themed exhibits, featuring her work. You can find Nancy walking the trails of her favourite parks with her camera gear and binoculars, always ready to answer questions for budding birders and photographers. Constantly inspired by the beauty and biodiversity of the green spaces in our big city, she continues to share that inspiration. Nancy is currently the VP of the Friends of Sam Smith Park.  

Inclement Weather Date: At the discretion of the workshop leader, the outdoor portion of this workshop may need to be rescheduled due to severe weather such as a snowstorm, freezing rain, extreme cold alert or high winds. In this situation, the Nature Centre will email participants at least one and half hours prior to the program start time. The rescheduled Inclement Weather date for this workshop is: Sunday, January 20th, 10 AM - 2 PM. 

Cancellation Policies: Please see our website for information regarding cancellation at https://highparknaturecentre.c...

Cost:
Regular: $60
Seniors: $44 (60+ years)
Workshop Bundle: 15% off when you register for 2 or more workshops (applied at checkout)

Teachers in Nature Educator Workshop - January 26th

Teachers in Nature Educator Workshop 

Saturday, January 26th, 1-4 PM

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Description:
Geared towards teachers, this workshop will explore interactive methods and activities to help get students out into nature in their local ecology. This workshop hopes to aid teachers in incorporating nature and outdoor time into their classrooms. Led by Jon Hayes (Program Director) and Laura McClintock (Adult Program Coordinator) of the High Park Nature Centre, this workshop will include time for discussion, and will address the advantages, as well as obstacles to getting students out in nature in an urban setting. The workshop will involve time indoors to explore theory on the subject, hands on activities and outdoor time on the trails of High Park to practice new skills in nature.


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Instructor Bios:
Jon Hayes joined the HPNC team in 2006. After receiving his Bachelor of Education at OISE/UofT, Jon fell in love with teaching in an outdoor setting and has been doing it ever since. Jon looks for ways to connect people of all ages with their local ecology through immersive, hands-on experiences. Jon has also taught at Toronto Botanical Garden.

Laura McClintock joined the HPNC in September 2018. Laura has worked as a park naturalist with Ontario Parks for seven years, at Presqu’ile Provincial Park. Laura has taught piano to children in Cobourg and Toronto ON with the Royal Conservatory of Music curriculums at Metropolitan School of the Arts. Laura enjoys teaching children of all ages and strives to connect people to natural spaces by exploring their natural communities and rich histories through stories and hands on experiences.


Cancellation Policies: Please see our website for information regarding cancellation at https://highparknaturecentre.c...

Cost:

Regular: $45
Seniors: $33 (60+ years)
Workshop Bundle: 15% off when you register for 2 or more workshops (applied at checkout)

Winter Tree ID for Beginners - February 3rd

Winter Tree ID for Beginners 

Sunday, February 3rd, 10 AM - 2 PM

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Description:
Build skills, knowledge and learn how to identify the trees of Ontario while they sleep.  This workshop will be led by Laura White and will begin indoors with a discussion of what to look for when identifying trees in winter– bark, twigs, buds and tree shape. You will then go on a guided hike on some of the lesser known nature trails of High Park to practice your new skills by identifying a variety of trees. This course is recommended for the beginner-to-intermediate tree observer. Dress in layers for both indoor and outdoor learning.  The hike will be moderate in length and difficulty.

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Instructor Bio:
Laura White is an experienced ecologist and passionate naturalist with a wealth of information about trees to share with you. As a certified tree nerd, Laura loves identifying trees in winter and finds High Park's Black Oak savannah a great place to get up close and explore all parts of the tree. Winter is Laura's preferred season for tree identification because of the challenge involved. "I love identifying trees in winter because you get to know the entire tree and its surroundings, not just the leaves. You have to take into account the bark, the form and the location. You use all of your senses."  As a Planting Specialist with the City of Toronto's Forestry department, she is currently helping to grow our urban tree canopy, one winter-loving tree at a time.

Inclement Weather Date: At the discretion of the workshop leader, the outdoor portion of this workshop may need to be rescheduled due to severe weather such as a snowstorm, freezing rain, extreme cold alert or high winds. In this situation, the Nature Centre will email participants at least one and half hours prior to the program start time. The rescheduled Inclement Weather date for this workshop is: Sunday, February 10th, 10 AM - 2 PM. 

Cancellation Policies: Please see our website for information regarding cancellation at https://highparknaturecentre.c...

Cost:
Regular: $60
Seniors: $44 (60+ years)
Workshop Bundle: 15% off when you register for 2 or more workshops (applied at checkout)


Nature Journaling: Origins of Citizen Science - March 2nd

Nature Journaling: Origins of Citizen Science
Saturday, March 2nd, 12 PM - 4 PM

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Description:
Use your observation and recording skills in this workshop to become familiar with the art of nature journaling. Join artist Nellie Sue Potter and Emily Beaton (HPNC Community Programs Coordinator) as they dive into the world of nature journaling. This workshop is for those entirely new to nature journaling, as well as those who want to extend their knowledge and technique. This program will provide you with instruction on observing, recording and sketching and provide tips for you to continue your nature journaling practice beyond the workshop! This workshop will also look at the the history and cultural influence nature journaling has had in both the scientific and art communities.

The workshop will include both indoor and outdoor components.  Please ensure that you are dressed for the weather and that you wear a warm, comfortable footwear.  We are committed to offering accessible programming and plan to hike on wide trails with gentle inclines.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us prior to the workshop.

Art supplies required*:

  • Good quality graphite pencils (i.e grades 4B, HB, 2H) 
  • White vinyl eraser
  • Sketchbook or journal of unlined paper
  • Pencil sharpener. Preferably the kind that comes with an attached container to catch the pencil sharpenings
  • Pressed paper stomp, about the size of a pencil, or a bit larger

*Please note that we will have a limited supply of materials available at the nature centre (i.e copy paper, clipboards, pencils).

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Instructor Bios:
Nellie Sue’s love and appreciation for the natural world is evident in her artwork and art teaching. Her work experience includes working as a botanical illustrator, teaching art to children, and teaching botanical art to adults. Her teaching venues in Toronto include the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Botanical Garden, and now her very own teaching studio, Nature Art Studio, on Dundas Street West, in the Junction area, north of High Park. Nellie Sue has had 3 solo exhibitions in Toronto, including one at Toronto City Hall. She has exhibited with the Botanical Artists of Canada (BAC) in four national exhibitions and has received numerous awards, including first place in 2015. She also exhibits regularly with the Southern Ontario Nature and Science Illustrators (SONSI). In 2018, she has 2 artworks in the international exhibition “Botanical Art Worldwide”. Her botanical artwork has also appeared in trail guides and other publications. She is a member of the Botanical Artists of Canada, The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, the American Society of Botanical Artists and the Southern Ontario Nature and Science Illustrators.

Emily Beaton is a Naturalist Teacher and the Community Programs Coordinator at the High Park Nature Centre.  She studied Biology at Mount Allison University and the History of Science at the University of Toronto, and loves combining these topics with her love of interpretation.  She has worked as an interpreter at Vimy Ridge and Rideau Hall, and as an outdoor educator at Evergreen Brick Works. Emily believes that humans are part of nature, not separate from it, and loves exploring that theme through outdoor games, interactive hikes, and environmental education activities.  

Cancellation Policies: Please see our website for information regarding cancellation at https://highparknaturecentre.c...

Cost:
Regular: $60
Seniors: $44 (60+ years)
Workshop Bundle: 15% off when you register for 2 or more workshops.


 



Past Workshops

Fall 2018 Workshops

Birds of Prey - September 27 & 29
Making Friends with Places: A Passage de Toronto - October 9 & 11
Fall Wildflowers - October 13
Autumn Tree Drawing - October 21
An Introduction to Mushrooms and Other Fungi - October 27

Summer 2018 Workshops

Poisons, Spines & Blisters: Plants with a Dark Side - July 12
Dragonflies and Damselflies 101: Biology and Identification - July 28
Friend or Foe: The Intriguing World of Weeds - August 9
Butterflies 101: Biology and Identification - August 18

Spring 2018 Workshops

Outdoor Play in the Early Years - April 21
Spring Birding for Beginners - May 3 & 5 (Two-Part Beginner Workshop)
Spring Songbirds - May 24 & 26 (Two-Part Intermediate Workshop)
Intro to Landscape Drawing in the High Park Savannah - June 17

Winter 2018 Workshops

High Park Lichens - Feb. 10
Winter Landscape Photography – Mar. 3
Birds of Prey – Mar. 4
Winter Tree ID for Beginners - Mar. 24



Policies

Location

Programs take place at the High Park Nature Centre located at near the High Park Avenue main gates at 375 Colborne Lodge Drive (also known as the Forest School).

Registration

Pre-registration is required for all programs. Registration cannot be confirmed until payment has been received.

Programs are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Cancellation Policy

Requests for refunds made 14 or more days before the start of the program will receive a 90% refund (10% will be retained as an administration fee). Requests for refunds made less than 14 days before the start of the program will receive no refund. Requests for cancellations or refunds must be made in writing and submitted by email to naturecentre@highpark.org.  A doctor’s note may be required for cancellations due to medical reasons. Refunds are not granted for inclement weather. 

Please note, the High Park Nature Centre may cancel any event if the minimum number of participants is not achieved 14 days prior to the date of the workshop.  We will notify registered participants of cancellation at that time and provide a full refund.

Weather

Programs will proceed rain, snow or shine. Please be sure to dress appropriately for the weather as workshops include outdoor time. In the case of severe weather such as heavy rain, thunderstorms, snowstorms or high winds over 35 km per hour, the workshop may take place indoors.

We have set an Inclement Weather Date for some workshops that take place entirely outdoors or when weather would greatly affect the program (ie a birding hike).  If there is an Inclement Weather Date set, our policy is as follows: At the discretion of the workshop leader, the outdoor portion of this workshop may need to be rescheduled due to severe weather such as a snowstorm, thunderstorm, extreme cold alert or high winds. In this situation, the Nature Centre will email participants at least one and half hours prior to the program start time. 

Lastly, we advise wearing long pants, socks and long sleeved tops to protect against poison ivy. If you have any questions please call our office at 416-392-1748.

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