2nd Annual Minesing Wetlands BioBlitz!

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Historic Fort Willow

2714 Grenfel Road

Utopia, ON L0M 1T2


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Calling all naturalists and nature-lovers alike!

The Friends of Minesing Wetlands is a non-government, not-for-profit group that promotes educational, recreational and public awareness about the internationally significant Minesing Wetlands. The group is run by a dedicated group of volunteers who have a passion for the Minesing Wetlands.

With our partners the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, Nature Conservancy of Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada, we are pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Minesing Wetlands BioBlitz on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018!

What is a BioBlitz?

A Bioblitz is a volunteer-based biological inventory of a specific area. Participants include local scientists, professional naturalists, amateur enthusiasts and members of the general public. The goal of a Bioblitz is to identify as many species of plants and animals as possible in a set amount of time, foster nature appreciation, anddevelop a network of capable volunteers engaged in citizen science. By providing community members with hands-on learning opportunities through the guidance of experts, knowledge gained such as species identification, the importance of biodiversity, and stewardship create not only an in-depth list of flora
and fauna, but deeper commitment and connection to nature. This event provides community members with hand-on learning opportunities that can enhance their knowledge of species identification, biodiversity, citizen science and stewardship. The results from our first annual Minesing Wetlands BioBlitz are available on our website.

Why the Minesing Wetlands?

The Minesing Wetlands is one of Southern Ontario’s largest wetland and is home to many unique habitats, vegetation communities, and a vast array of wildlife. The Minesing Wetlands, previously known as the Minesing Swamp, is a Ramsar-designated (internationally significant) wetland located in south-central Ontario just 16 km west of Barrie. The Minesing Wetlands are one of the largest wetland complexes in southern Ontario and host the largest and best example of a string fen in this part of the province. The Minesing Wetlands have also been designated as a Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW) and a provincially significant Life Science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).

So, we ask...why not?

How does it work?

You will choose a hike theme to participate in (see tickets listed below). On June 2nd you will meet your expert leader and/or participants at basecamp (Historic Fort Willow) and travel or carpool to your hike location which you will learn details of at basecamp. You will collect data on all biological species (with a focus on your hike
theme) on a series of hiking trails located in the peripherals of the Minesing Wetlands. All participants will be required to stay with their expert leaders, within close proximity to the designated trail at all times.

At noon, you are invited to bring your picnic lunch and join us as everyone will reconvene at basecamp together to share sightings, stories and brief words of thanks from the organizers.

Please note this event is free, but we encourage you to make a small cash donation on the day of the event. All donations will go to the Friends of Minesing Wetlands to help with their mission to "Inspire Respect and
Sustainability for a World Class Wetland for People, Forever'.


8:00 am - 8:30 am: Meet at Historic Fort Willow, Registration, Meet your leaders

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Opening remarks, safety talk

9:00 am - 9:30 am: Travel to hike location

9:30 am - 11:30 am: Morning Hike

11:30 - Noon: Travel to basecamp for Lunch

Noon - 1:00 pm: Lunch, Remarks, Thanks. Registration for afternoon hikes opens.

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm: Travel to hike location

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm: Afternoon Hike

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm: Travel back to basecamp to pick up vehicle / Depart for the day

Please note:

  • There is a different timing/meeting location for the kid-friendly hike, please see the ticket description for more details.
  • A more thorough description of each hike, including distance and walking surface is available when you view the ticket type.
  • Parents will be required to stay with their children during the kid-friendly hikes at all times during the event.
  • Due to reduced funding this year we will be providing snacks and refreshments but not lunch. Please bring your own lunch.
  • Bathroom facilities are available at basecamp but not at your hike locations. Toilet paper and hand sanitizer will be provided for those who choose to use nature's facilities.

What should you wear/bring?

  • Rubber boots / sturdy boots (rubber boots are strongly recommended as you may encounter wet areas)
  • Long layers of clothing (long pants are strongly recommended)
  • Hat
  • Bug Spray and Sunscreen
  • 1 Litre Waterbottle w/ water (refills we be available at Basecamp)
  • Lunch
  • Backpack
  • Optional: field guides, binoculars, notebooks

What do we provide?

  • Field sheets/clipboards
  • Snacks and water refills
  • Toilet paper & hand sanitizer for using nature's facilities
  • Leaders will have a first aid kit, GPS unit, other safety gear


What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

There is plenty of parking at Historic Fort Willow which will be free for this event.

If your hike requires you to travel by car to the hike departure location you may choose to carpool with your leader, other participants or drive yourself. When you arrive at your hike location your leader will advise you on the best place to park.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

You can contact the FOMW events team at if you have any questions. Please note this event is run by volunteers so please allow up to 48 hours for a response.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No, we will have all of your information handy when you show up to register.

Thanks for you interest in the 2nd Annual Minesing Wetlands BioBlitz!

-the FOMW team

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Historic Fort Willow

2714 Grenfel Road

Utopia, ON L0M 1T2


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