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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.


Fall 2018 Workshops

Register for Fall Workshops
Birds of Prey - September 27 & 29 (Two-Part Workshop)

Birds of Prey

Part 1: Thursday, September 27th, 6:30-8:30 PM  
Part 2: Saturday, September 29th, 8-10 AM

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Learn all about High Park’s Birds of Prey from expert birder Emily Rondel! In this adult nature workshop you will learn all about the different varieties of birds of prey, how to identify High Park’s raptors, how to use a field guide and binoculars to their maximum potential, and where to look for birds of prey in Toronto’s biggest park. The workshop will include a birding hike, which will take participants to some raptor hot spots in High Park. This workshop is open for all levels of birders, including beginner. The birding hike will be moderate in difficulty.

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Instructor Bio:
Emily Rondel is the Toronto Community Engagement Coordinator for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. She has studied and observed birds from the high Arctic to the tropics, but she finds the birds of the GTA particularly fascinating in their adaptability to human-made change.  She has a decade of experience running bird monitoring efforts that track the diversity and health of avian populations. She also provides outreach and education about birds to audiences of all ages and experience levels. She is also the Records Councillor of the Toronto Ornithological Club.

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 Part 2 of this workshop is: Saturday, October 13th, 8:00 - 10:00 AM

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

Cost:
$50 Early Bird (Must register at least three weeks in advance)
$60 Regular
$44 Seniors (age 60+)

Making Friends with Places: A Passage de Toronto Workshop - October 9 & 11 (Two-Part Workshop)

Making Friends with Places: A Passage de Toronto Workshop

Part 1: Tuesday, October 9th, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Part 2: Thursday, October 11th, 6:00 – 9:00 PM

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This two-part workshop will offer participants an introduction to learning about their individual, familial, cultural, nation, and professional position from the lands, waters, and climate they live and work within. The two 3-hour workshop sessions will be grounded in the ancestral land relations of High Park and Humber River (Passage de Taron:to), and will begin with situating ourselves in the living relations of this place. We will engage some stories from the three Indigenous nations of Taron:to (Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Wendat) and wampum treaties like the Two Row. There is an emphasis on participatory activities that asks participants to draw insights from the land/water/climate-based teachings, and to begin thinking about their ancestral origins, stories and practices in relation to what these places teach. These sessions are centred on different ways of relating with the land/water we live within.  

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Facilitator Bio:
Timothy Leduc is author of the new book, A Canadian Climate of Mind: Passages from Fur to Energy and Beyond (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016). It engages the Two Row Wampum to look at the colonial roots of today’s climate change-energy issues, which are reconsidered as a spiritual initiation into healing the pain of disconnection at the root of modern culture. His first book, Climate, Culture, Change: Inuit and Western Dialogues with a Warming North (University of Ottawa Press, 2010), was short-listed for the 2012 Canada Prize and looked at climate science, politics, and economics from the perspective of Inuit cosmology. He is faculty in land-based and Indigenous Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University Brantford, and has worked as a social worker in northern Indigenous communities and as an urban land-based educator.

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

Cost:
Regular: $60

Fall Wildflowers - October 13

Fall Wildflowers

Saturday, October 13th, 2:00 - 6:00 PM

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Spring and early summer are probably best known as the peak season for wildflowers, however many don’t realize how much the fall has to offer too! Join ecologist Dan Stuart for a whirlwind wildflower tour to explore High Park’s forests, wetlands, and oak savannah ecosystems and their late-season bloomers. This workshop will focus on plant identification techniques and ecosystem dynamics, with an emphasis on native fall wildflower groups such as Asters and Goldenrods.

Participants will leave with the following:

  • An understanding of foundational plant identification methods, including familiarity with the use of a dichotomous key.
  • Knowledge of plant anatomy, with a focus on specialized structures specific to Asters, Goldenrods, prairie grasses, and other late-season wildflowers.
  • The ability to identify many native fall-blooming species located in High Park and beyond.

The workshop will include an indoor seminar followed by an outdoor field hike. The hike will be moderate in difficulty, and participants should come prepared with comfortable outdoor gear. Those with access to hand lens should bring one along, as some plants require examination of small-scale parts.

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Instructor Bio:
Dan Stuart is an ecologist, naturalist, and avid hiker, having worked for the University of Guelph and the environmental consulting sector since 2009. Dan currently works for Azimuth Environmental Consulting, Inc. in Barrie, Ontario as a terrestrial ecologist with a focus on botanical inventories and restoration ecology, but also undertakes studies to evaluate the habitats of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and Species at Risk. He holds Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry certifications in Ecological Land Classification, the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System, and is a designated Butternut Health Assessor. Dan also sits on the executive committee of Tallgrass Ontario, where he helps to oversee and facilitate grant applications, monthly board meetings, and implementation of numerous tallgrass prairie creation, restoration and maintenance projects throughout Southern Ontario.

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, October 14th, 2:00 - 6:00 PM.

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

Cost:
$50 Early Bird (Must register at least three weeks in advance)
$60 Regular
$44 Seniors (age 60+)

Autumn Tree Drawing - October 21

Autumn Tree Drawing

Sunday, October 21, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

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This workshop is designed for nature artists and tree enthusiasts!  With the skilled instruction of botanical artist Nellie Sue Potter, you will learn techniques for drawing trees and tree parts. We will be outdoors, drawing trees, weather permitting. If it rains, we will be inside, drawing tree specimens such as leaves, tree fruit, bark and other tree treasures found in High Park in mid-September. This course is suitable for all levels.

You will learn:

  • How to get started drawing trees and leaves
  • How to achieve natural textures
  • Which details to look for and include in your artwork

Art Supplies Required:

  1. Graphite pencils, grades 4B, HB, 2H ( or your preferred grades)
  2. White vinyl eraser
  3. Sketchbook with stiff backing; or sketching paper, tape and drawing board; or copier paper on a clipboard
  4. Pencil sharpener

Optional items that each student may wish to bring:

  1. Sunhat
  2. Water and a nut-free snack
  3. A portable stool, chair and easel
  4. A ruler and magnifying device
  5. A device for photographing subjects
  6. Paper stomp, about the size of a pencil, or a bit larger (.59)

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Instructor Bio:
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.

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

Cost:
Early bird: $45  (Must register at least three weeks in advance)
Regular: $50
Seniors: $39 (60+ years)

An Introduction to Mushrooms and Other Fungi - October 27

An Introduction to Mushrooms and Other Fungi

Saturday, October 27th, 2:00 - 6:00 PM

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Are you interested in the fascinating world of fungi? Do you want to learn how to identify mushrooms in the field?  Join mycologist, Melanie Croydon-Sugarman this fall to learn about High Park’s marvelous mycology!

In this naturalist workshop, we will learn:

  1. The basics of mushroom identification using keys and field guides
  2. The important ecological roles that fungi play in forests
  3. The many species of mushrooms that can be found in High Park

This workshop will include an indoor presentation followed by a guided hike through High Park to look for mushrooms and other fungi, practice ID skills, and explore the links between mushrooms and trees in the field.  This workshop is open to all those with an interest in mushrooms, with no prior experience needed. The hike will be approximately 2 hours in length, and of moderate difficulty.

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Instructor Bio:
Melanie Croydon-Sugarman is an avid naturalist with a passion for mycology both academically and in her free time. She is currently finishing a Master’s of Science degree in the Department of Forestry at the University of Toronto, where she studies the role of fungi on dead wood decay and forest inter-relationships.   You can often find Melanie hiking the trails of High Park photographing and identifying mushrooms, a place where she is most comfortable. Aside from exploring nature and helping teach Fungi 101 courses at UofT, Melanie also works in the Royal Ontario Museum’s Green Plant Herbarium and aims to continue her career learning and teaching others about the fascinating natural world around us.

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, October 28th, 2:00 - 6:00 PM.

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

Cost:
$50 Early Bird (Must register at least three weeks in advance)
$60 Regular
$44 Seniors (age 60+)


 



Past Workshops

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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