Kitchener natural areas program

Suburbs

Kitchener's Natural Areas Program (KNAP) is an environmental program that promotes the stewardship of our community's treasured natural spaces by:

  • Engaging the community in environmental stewardship projects,
  • Educating people about our natural areas, and
  • Creating opportunities for people to experience nature in the city.

We fund and deliver this important program, through partnerships with the Waterloo Region Nature Club, Waterloo Stewardship Council, Nature Connect and Humans in Nature.

KNAP events and activities

KNAP (Kitchener Natural Areas Program) offers fun events and learning opportunities for people of all ages. Check out the programming that's currently available for Huron Natural Area and other natural areas in Kitchener. 

Programs are free unless otherwise listed.

Tales and trails discovery walks

Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. from April 17 - June 5, Huron Natural Area

  • Grow your young child's love of nature through stories in the forest. We gather for about an hour and a half to enjoy nature-themed songs and tales, as well as a short hike.
  • Content is suited for children age five and under.
  • Admission is free and registration is not required. 

Family and friends nature programs

These programs are free of charge, less than two hours in length, and suitable for all ages. Each event may feature nature walks, crafts, games, storytelling and hands-on nature exploration.

 Samuel's story walk - EVENT POSPONED DUE TO WEATHER  - NEW DATE: Saturday, June 8, 2 - 4 p.m.
  • Join local author Frank Glew as we celebrate the opening of Samuel's story walk in Huron Natural Area.
  • Samuel's Most Important Message is book about a Blanding's Turtle that lived at the Huron Natural Area and is now featured on signs along a trail in the park. Learn about Samuel's story, meet the author, discover some amazing live reptiles (snakes and turtles) and participate in some hands-on activities in the natural play area.
  • Meet at 1 p.m. for the official opening with activities on-going throughout the afternoon.
  • No registration required. 

Nature hour at Monarch Woods - Sunday, June 9, 2 - 3 p.m. 

  • Join us in Monarch Woods for nature hour.
  • Come and enjoy nature in your neighbourhood! Activities and supplies will be provided to experience and explore the woods and water.
  • Meet on the lawn area just past the trail entrance at 112 Stoke Drive.
  • No registration required. 

Summer Solstice - bats and firefly night - Saturday, June 22, 8 - 10 p.m. 

  • Celebrate the summer solstice by taking in the creatures of the evening and season in Huron Natural Area!
  • Limited space available.
  • Register for this event via email.

 

Neighbourhood nature play program
  • Discover play at one of our newly installed nature play parks. We have partnered with Evergreen to deliver nature play programming at Kingsdale and Gzowski Parks. There will be afternoon, weekend and weekday programs.
  • Check the Nature Play website for more information.  
    • Kingsdale Park - Tuesdays, 3 - 6 p.m.
    • Gzowski Park  - Wednesdays, 3 - 6 p.m.
Humans in nature - forest bathing walks, wellness walks and nature yoga
Forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku walks) - various dates (see below)
  • Join us in Huron Natural Area for a gentle, mindful and engaging walk rooted in the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku or forest bathing.
  • Space is limited and offered on first-come basis.  No Registration Required. 
  • Meet at picnic shelter and dress appropriately for outdoor program.
    • Friday, April 26, 7 - 9 p.m.,
    • Friday, May 31, 7 - 9 p.m.,
    • Saturday, June 8, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Family forest bathing - Sunday, May 5, 10 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Join us in Strasburg Creek Natural Area for a Shinrin-yoku walk for the family.
  • Meet at trail entrance on Rush Meadow Street at Ashton Court.
  • Recommended ages 6+.
  • Registration Required. Email knap@kitchener.ca to register.
Forest bathing - immersion experience - Saturday, May 11, 9 a.m. - noon
  • Join us in Huron Natural Area for a three hour Shinrin-yoku walk featuring additional time for quiet contemplation, personal reflection and nature immersion. 
  • This walk is an extended and longer version of the forest bathing walk. 
  • Registration Required. Email knap@kitchener.ca to register. 
Yoga hike - Thursdays, 10 - 11:30 a.m. from April 4 - May 30
  • Join us in Huron Natural Area for a drop-in yoga hike (no registration required).
  • Get your Vitamin-N (nature) along with your daily exercise on a 90 minute yoga hike.
  • Please wear appropriate footwear and bring along sun protection and water.
  • Meet at the picnic shelter.
  • Program to run rain or shine and will be rescheduled in severe weather. 
Family yoga hike - Saturday, May 4, 3 - 4 p.m.
  • Join us in Huron Natural Area for a one hour yoga hike for the family.
  • Recommended for kids ages 6+.
  • No registration required. 
Wellness walk - Sunday June 2, 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Join us in Huron Natural Area for a 90 minute wellness walk.
  • Nurture your body and mind with an afternoon wander through the woods. This guided walk will have a slow-moderate pace with stops along the way to take in our surroundings.
  • Recommended for adults and families with kids ages 6+. 
  • No registration required. 
Nature in the city speaker series at Kitchener Public Library
  • We've partnered with Waterloo Region Nature (formerly Kitchener-Waterloo Field Naturalists) to deliver a series of talks about nature and urban ecology.
  • Hosted by the Kitchener Public Library at the Central Branch location. Each event takes place at the Main Branch of the Kitchener Public Library.
  Snakes in the city  - Wednesday, March 20, 7 p.m.
  • Discover the often over-looked but ever exciting world of snakes in the city. This will be a hands-on presentation with live animals. 
  • Speaker: Jenny Pearce, Sciensational Sssnakes! 
  • Register online with the Kitchener Public Library to attend.
The world of pollinators. What's the buzz? - Friday, April 19, 7 p.m. 
  • Why should we care about buzzing insects? Kim will draw you into the world of pollination, emphasizing how you can share your space with pollinators, especially native bees. 
  • Speaker: Kim Fellows. Bee City Kitchener. 
  • Register online with the Kitchener Public Library to attend.
Nature in the city: nature prescriptions - Wednesday, May 15 7 p.m.
  • Learn about how time spent in nature helps you rejuvenate and be more resilient in your day-to-day life.
  • Speaker: Kaitlin Powers. Director and Lead Instructor for Humans in Nature Wellness Services. 
  • Register online with the Kitchener Public Library to attend. 

Citizen science projects

We are recruiting interested volunteers to join our ecological monitoring programs and help us gather important information about nature in our city.

If you are interested in this program, please contact our natural areas coordinator or call 519-741-2600, ext. 4177 for more information.

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