Kitchener natural areas program


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 September 11 - November 13 at 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.

Creature Feature: Wetland Friends - Sunday September 22, 2 p.m. Huron Natural Area
  • Meet in the play area and participate in crafts and and nature play activities. There will also be live wetland creatures (snakes and turtles) to learn about and get up close with.  
  • No registration required. 

Fall Colours: Art in the Park - Sunday October 20, 2 p.m. Huron Natural Area

  • Family friendly activities earth art and scavenger hunt.  
  • Meet in play area to participates in art activity and pick up your scavenger hunt list. 
  • No registration required.

Thirteen Moons on a Turtle's Back - Sunday November 10, 4 p.m. Huron Natural Area

  • Experience singing and storytelling with local Anishnaabe Knowledge Keeper Jan Sherman.
  • Hear about how a turtle's shell is like a calendar.   
  • Limited Space. Registration required. Register here


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: 3-5:30 p.m. 
    • Gzowski Park  - Wednesdays: 3-5:30 p.m.
Humans in nature - forest bathing walks, wellness walks and nature yoga
Forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku walks) - various dates (see below)
  • Join us 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.
    • Saturday Oct. 5, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Huron Natural Area
    • Friday, Oct. 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Huron Natural Area 
    • Saturday, Nov. 2nd, 10:00-12:00 p.m. Huron Natural Area
    • Friday Nov. 15, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Huron Natural Area
Family forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku walks) 
  • Join us for a gentle, mindful and engaging walk rooted in the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku or forest bathing.
  • Registration is required. Register here.
  • Recommended for kids ages 6+. 
    • Sunday Sept.22, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at Huron Natural Area.
Autum Equinox Walk
  • Seasonal shinrin yoku walk to embrace the change in seasons.
    • Monday Sept. 23, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
    • Registration Required. Register here.
Outdoor Yoga Hikes - Thursdays from Oct 3 - 31; Nov 7-28 and Dec 5-12. 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Join us in Huron Natural Area for an outdoor yoga hike. (no registration required).
  • Please wear appropriate clothing including insect and sun protection. 
  • Meet in the open grass space area.
  • Program to run rain or shine and will be rescheduled in severe weather. 
Wellness walk - Sunday Oct 6, 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Join us in Strasburg Woods for a 90 minute wellness walk. Meet at trail entrance on Rush Meadow at Anson Court. 
  • 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.  

  •  Wednesday Sept 18, 2019. 7-8:30p.m.  Levi Moore - Turtle Monitoring in North Dumfries.
  • Wednesday Oct 16, 2019. 7-8:30 p.m. David Gascoigne - Warblers - Our Neotropical Gems
  • Wednesday Nov 20, 2019. 7-8:30 p.m. Peter Raspberry - Gaia's Gifts

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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