Guide pointing out a plant on a connecting with nature walk, part of the Passport to Nature program in the Kawartha Lakes

Free outdoor activities for connecting with nature

Looking for some new ways to connect with nature? The Kawartha Land Trust “Passport to Nature” program is just the solution.

The program is a year-long series of free, outdoor activities and events on Kawartha Land Trust protected properties, as well as online webinars, which allow people to explore and experience nature.

“There are few things more restorative than spending time in nature. Recent research has shown that spending time in nature—120 minutes per week—can improve one’s health and well-being,” says Anna Lee, Director of People and Operations at Kawartha Land Trust (KLT).

“Attending a KLT Passport to Nature event is a way you can spend some quality time in nature throughout the year.”

Something for everyone to connect with nature

The Passport to Nature program was developed by the staff at KLT and a team of volunteers. The group worked hard to include things to do outdoors that would appeal to a wide audience.

“We endeavoured to create a program that would have something for everyone to connect with nature,” says Anna Lee.

“Many of our events are family friendly. A few, like our immersive Nature Outings and Forest Bathing, are designed with adults in mind. When you look through the pages of the of Passport to Nature guide, we hope people will find an activity or event that speaks to their interests.”

A mix of old and new nature activities and events

The year-long Passport to Nature program is a combination of previously held nature activities and some new things to do outdoors.

“The community will be happy to hear we’ve brought back our popular annual tallgrass prairie seed gathering event at Ballyduff Trails; Skyworld event; and our Immersive Nature Outings among others,” says Anna Lee.

“However, we’ve also added a host of new events for connecting with nature. They include the New to Nature Walk, Roll, or Stroll; visits to the Alderville Black Oak Savanna; Plugging into Nature outdoor puppet show; Winter Solstice Night hike; and more.”

Some of those new events include online webinars.

“In June, we held a webinar introducing people to the iNaturalist smartphone app,” says Anna Lee.

“Our next webinar will be held on March 13, 2024, to highlight Ontario’s frogs and the importance of frog diversity and conservation.”

Making it possible for everyone to connect with nature

When putting together the Passport to Nature program, one of the goals of the KLT was to ensure that connecting with nature would be accessible for all.

“We realize that one potential barrier to being able to access nature is cost,” says Anna Lee.

“Thanks to our donors and Passport to Nature program sponsor Cambium Inc., all of KLT’s Passport to Nature events are completely free.”

Being able to explore and experience nature for free means the Passport to Nature activities fill up fast.

“Each event has its own participant limit,” says Anna Lee. “The number is listed in the information for each activity.”

As a result, if you want to connect with nature the KLT encourages everyone to sign up early on the Passport to Nature Eventbrite page.

Registration for each event opens a month before the activity is to be held.

A program that aligns perfectly with what the KLT is all about

Development of the Passport to Nature program began in the fall of 2022. Its creation was guided by what Kawartha Land Trust is all about.

“Through the support of our volunteers and donors, Kawartha Land Trust has been protecting land in the Kawarthas for over 20 years,” says Anna Lee.

“One of our core strategic priorities is to create new places and opportunities for people in the Kawarthas to deepen their connection with the land and the biodiversity that the land supports, and to enjoy a better sense of well-being that being outdoors provides.”

To sign up for the next activity or event, visit the Passport to Nature Eventbrite page.

Your turn to plan the next date?

We’ve got some ideas for you. Check out our article “Need a date idea? Check out these things to do in Kawartha Lakes“.

Photo credit: Kawartha Land Trust