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About Our Nature Centre

Mission and Mandate

 To share the enjoyment and importance of living in harmony with nature by providing eco-educational experiences to engage the community in:

  • balancing human needs with the needs of nature in our everyday lives
  • discovering plants, animals and water life
  • becoming stewards of our water, land and air
  • working towards a sustainable ecosystem for future generations

Goals and Outcomes:

  • Effective environmental education
  • Modeling environmentally responsible practices
  • Combining experiential learning and classroom learning
  • Care, concern, actions in our place of living

 Our work includes:

  • Education and hands-on demonstrations of ecologically sound practices related to water, lakes, lakeshores and upland areas.
  • GAMIING works with individuals, community groups and other interested parties to further understanding of and participation in practices that balance human needs with the needs of wildlife and natural ecosystems
  • Capacity building to move forward stewardship of natural resources through collaboration with partners and other community groups. Stewardship in this context is the wise use of our natural resources and care of these resources for future generations by communities who understand the importance and are actively engaged.

 GAMIING operates from a 100-acre property with a natural shoreline, surrounded by wetlands, forests and meadows. A Conservation Easement has been placed upon the land and put in Trust with the Kawartha Heritage Conservancy to preserve it in perpetuity as a dynamic natural venue to which the public is invited to relax, reflect and participate in interactive demonstrations of low-impact and zero-impact of lakeshore living.

 

 OVERVIEW

As a not-for-profit charitable organization, we are dedicating ourselves to share the enjoyment and importance of living in harmony with nature by balancing human needs with the needs of nature, working together towards sustainable ecosystems and stewardship of our natural resources and heritage for our and future generations. We do this with effective outdoor environmental programs for children and adults.

What you can find here at Gamiing beyond the programs are:

  • a Native Nursery,
  • a beautiful Forest with about 7km of trails,
  • 30 acres of Wetland,
  • Geocaches

Seed Collection, Wild Edibles Adventure and Monitoring Protocols  are special events for those who are interested in learning more about what the land has to offer.

Special Occasions can be a birthday to celebrate here, or a family reunion with a "natural" flavour.

Our Volunteer Program is open to anyone who would like to help out in any of mthe many opportunities available.

OUR PROGRAMS

Onsite programs for schools and community groups and visitors alike are offered at the Gamiing Nature Centre site
Outreach programs we bring to you in schools, libraries, community centres and other venues

OUR ANNUAL EVENTS

Winterlude
Easter EcoEgg Hunt
Summer Lakeshore Festival
Great Lakes Shoreline Cleanup
Fall Fest
Gamiing Smudging

Why Gamiing Nature Centre matters to the next generation ...

Most children as well as adults are well aware of global issues and threats to the environment. We have learned that from watching Dora the Explorer, the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. We recycle, use no-trace lunches, but our physical contact, our intimacy with nature on a day-to-day basis, is fading. Society is teaching us to avoid direct experiences in nature and to disassociate the outdoors from joy and solitude, effectively banning much of the kind of play that older people enjoyed as children.

This alienation from nature has a high cost associated with it. Nature Deficit Disorder is a term coined by Richard Louve, an American journalist and writer, which describes this cost as a diminishing use of our senses, difficulties with concentration and attention, physical and emotional illnesses and changing behaviours, such as bullying. It may have profound implications for the health of future generations as well as for the earth itself. Therefore, restoring the bond with nature is in everyone's interest for our mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. That is what Gamiing tries to do.

Our Eco-Education programs for children and adults are based on four principles, found in:

Native Traditions
Ecological Footprint
Slow Movement
No Child Left Inside

www.ecokids.ca/pub/eco_info/topics/first_nations_inuit/traditions.cfm
www.davidsuzuki.org
www.slowmovement.com
www.richardlouv.com/books

We continue to develop and implement programs and workshops to provide young and old with structured and unstructured opportunities.

THE STORY OF GAMIING

Gamiing Nature Centre has become the Home for Outdoor Education and a Sustainable Tourist Attraction in the Kawarthas. Located on a 100 acres property on the west shores of Pigeon Lake (45km north west of Peterborough, 20 km east of Lindsay and 15km south of Bobcaygeon), the venue lends itself perfectly for outdoor onsite activities such as field trips during May and June, September and October and even in the winter for elementary and secondary schools, research opportunities for students of Colleges (Fleming College in Lindsay) and Universities (Trent University in Peterborough), citizens sciences projects such as frog, salamander, Blanding's Turtle and Wetland monitoring protocols, events and festivals during each season and workshops for the new tourist who is looking for an experiential venture beyond the beaten path and who wants to dive deeper into authentic local culture, connecting with people in meaningful ways.
A teepee was built by our native partners which is used for storytelling of native history, cooking, workshops. A theatre-like arrangement is found around the fire pit near the lake seating 40 people with a stage for musical events and puppet shows

Our Discovery Shack is the visitors centre with Touch Tables covered with artifacts found on the property (artifacts that can be picked up and examined ie. the skull of a fox and the skull of a raccoon). There are tables for plants, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, fish, rocks and minerals. A computer has Audubon apps on it, protocol information, inventories of our flora and fauna and the cultural and natural history of Gamiing

Gamiing is the Ojibwa word meaning at the shore. This name was chosen to honour those who originated on this land and to indicate our location by the lake. Gamiing provides tremendous opportunities for a variety of demonstration projects, hands-on learning and attractions for visitors. Our 7km trail system of various degrees of difficulties allows for a close-up view of natural features in wetlands, forests and meadows. Our greenhouse and nursery offer native plants, shrubs and trees for naturalization projects.

With our focus on environmental education and (re)connecting with nature, Gamiing promotes with our outreach programs habitat improvement, lakeshore restoration and naturalization, composting, reducing our footprint in all aspects of our lives and stewardship of our natural resources and heritage.

We offer in-school days from October to April with our travelling exhibit of three major displays of wetland and its creatures, invertebrates and herps and raptors or mammals. We use this exhibit also in libraries and community centres at private birthday parties or family days.

Gamiing has developed partnerships with Fleming College, the Bobcaygeon Public School (grade 2 comes one full week in October and one full week in March to emerge in outdoor education), Curve Lake First Nations, John Howard Society, Bobcaygeon First Baden Powell Scout Troupe, Emily Tourist Hub, Kawartha Community Living, Women's Circle, So Green it Hurts and Me-to-We and we have a working relationship with Kawartha Regional Conservation Authority, Peterborough Greenup, Bobcaygeon Environmental Action Group, City of Kawartha Lakes Tourism Department and Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.

Since its inception in 2000 Gamiing's philosophy has been to reach out to the community and not wait until the community came to Gamiing, to forge partnerships and break down silos. We did that with actively engaging in a series of presentations to many community groups such as service clubs, churches and businesses and tell them who we are, what we believe in and what we do. Our programs and services are based on four principles found in Native Traditions, Ecological Footprint, the Slow Movement and No Child Left Inside were for many a new concept. But we persevered and over time the community is starting to change their language and question some of the old ways of doing things. Good examples are the waterless car washes we organized with Trinity United Church and the action Toward a Blue Community, originated by the Council of Canadians, asking City Council to no longer accept bottled water in the community centres, arenas and other City owned public places.

Other examples are the shoreline restorations we did on private properties throughout the City of Kawartha Lakes, tree planting in community parks in subdivisions and shoreline cleanup during the Great Lakes Shoreline Clean up week each year in September.

The building of the first outdoor classroom at Alexandra Public School in Lindsay has been the beginning of a discussion between schools, parents and the community about outdoor education and connecting with nature. Gamiing is proud to have initiated this project with this school which grew into more schools becoming part of Greening our School grounds. We developed a package of How to which includes websites, cost estimates and useful information for schools who are considering building an outdoor classroom.

Our Summer Day Camp program and Nature Club resonates with families in the community. We learn over time that parents are asked by their children who attend camp or the Nature Club to change certain behaviours that are more conducive to environmental principles.

Our venue is not pristine but very organic which supports unstructured play which makes parents comment that is how I used to play, just play. Our accommodations and furnishings are second hand to model a move-away from our throw-away society. This also meets with positive comments from visitors and program participants alike.

Our events are always free of admission to remove barriers for those who would not be able to afford to come. However, we do have a donation box and suggest Admission by donation which we believe has given us more cash than a fee would have done. We also offer the Children's Aid Society free admission for 4 children each year to our Summer Day Camp. These gestures are much appreciated by the community.

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