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Urban Naturalists Club FAQ

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We are super excited to see some of our friends again in nature! We know that attending in-person programs again will be a re-adjustment. We have been working hard to ensure programs are fun, educational and safe. Please see the questions below. If your question isn’t answered here, please email us at

How will nature clubs be different due to COVID?

It will be different, but it will certainly be fun and adventurous! Our focus continues to be connecting with local nature through experience, observation and discussion. Our staff are as enthusiastic as ever to explore High Park with you. There are a number of changes we have made behind the scenes to make things safer, but the main differences you will notice from pre-COVID times are:

  • Programs will be almost completely outdoors
  • We will make every effort to keep social distance of 2 meters from each other
  • We wear masks when social distancing is challenging or indoors for using washrooms
  • We will use fewer shared materials

May I use the washroom?

For sure! Programs will be 100% outdoors, but sanitized washrooms will be available at each of our locations.

What if it is raining?

Programs will continue outdoors in the rain. In severely inclement weather such as high winds, lightning or extreme temperatures we will:

  • Take shelter indoors with physical distance (if possible)
  • Reschedule (if possible)
  • Cancel (if absolutely necessary)

What measures is HPNC taking to ensure COVID safety?

We have made adjustments to our programs to make sure that we keep ourselves and our community safe and continue to follow the guidelines of Toronto Public Health. Although we are making efforts to increase health and safety, we cannot guarantee that you will not contract COVID-19 at our programs.

Here are some of the ways we will ensure health and safety:

  • Staff health screening: each staff member will be screened every day and will be sent home if they are unwell
  • Staff are trained on symptoms to look-for, procedures if anyone is ill and how to adjust programs for safety
  • Staff and participants will wear masks when social distancing is challenging or indoors
  • Participant health screening: staff will screen each participant before every program
  • Washrooms will be sanitized after each group
  • Programs will happen almost completely outdoors with at least 2 m between participants when possible
  • Programs will use far fewer materials and those materials will be sanitized after each use

What if HPNC cancels due to COVID?

Because of diligent staff health screening, there is a possibility that some days we may not have staff available to lead the program. In situations where HPNC cancels a program, participants will be eligible for either a make-up visit or a refund for the canceled visit.

What if I cannot attend due to COVID?

Unfortunately, we will not be refunding or able to accomodate make-up visits if you miss visits due to COVID.

When should I stay home?

To ensure the health and well-being of other participants, you will need to stay home if you have any of the following:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat or trouble swallowing
  • Runny nose or red eyes
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Not feeling well, tired or sore muscles
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • If you have been in close contact with someone who is sick or has confirmed or probable COVID-19 or acute respiratory illness in the past 14 days
  • If you have returned from travel outside Canada in the past 14 days

What happens if a participant is sick during the program

If a participant becomes sick during the program, staff would separate them from the group to a supervised “quiet area”. We would take their temperature and track symptoms. If they are showing any of the symptoms listed above more than normal they would need to go to a testing centre. A negative COVID-19 test result and being clear of symptoms for 24 hours are required to rejoin the program.

If I am sick, when can I return to the program?

Participants can return to the program once they have received a negative COVID-19 test or a doctor’s note and are free of symptoms.

Will we be wearing masks?

When we are outdoors, we will ask participants to wear masks when keeping a social distance of 2 m is challenging. We will always wear masks when indoors to use the washrooms. When social distancing is easy, masks are optional. You are encouraged to bring your own reusable or non-medical mask or face covering. We will also have some disposable non-medical masks available for participants who forgot theirs.