Upgrade your Nature Hikes at RRCA’s Cooper Marsh Conservation Area

Provided by the RRCA
Upgrade your Nature Hikes at RRCA’s Cooper Marsh Conservation Area
The RRCA now offers free guided walks and a lending library at Cooper Marsh Conservation Area in South Glengarry. (Photo : RRCA)

Visitors to Cooper Marsh Conservation Area in South Glengarry can now engage their inner naturalist thanks to a new lending library offered by the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA). The program is hosted within the Conservation Area’s Visitors Centre and includes items such as binoculars, insect collection kits, field guides, pond dipping kits, and more. All are lent free of charge.

“Cooper Marsh is an ideal spot for experiencing nature,” says Scott Braithwaite, the Marsh’s Nature Interpreter. “Through this lending library, visitors of all ages can now get a closer look at the plants and animals which call this wetland home.”

The program also provides extra tools for citizen scientists eager to share their observations with the RRCA and other researchers monitoring the Marsh’s biodiversity. Visitors can now easily log their observations to a public database available at rrca.on.ca/CitizenScience.

Braithwaite also offers free guided walks through the Marsh every Saturday and Sunday this summer. All are welcome to gather by the Visitors Centre at 10 a.m. before heading out on a 40-minute tour.

“It’s a chance to learn about the Marsh’s history and its hydrological and ecological functions, including the vital habitat it provides to many species of birds, fish, amphibians, insects, plants and more.”

Located a few minutes’ drive from South Lancaster, the 663-acre Cooper Marsh is part of the larger Charlottenburgh Marsh – one of the most significant wetlands in Ontario. The RRCA actively maintains, enhances, and restores this natural area, which also features viewing blinds and towers, and a five kilometre system of boardwalks and nature trails. Nearly 50,000 people visited Cooper Marsh Conservation Area in 2022. The RRCA reminds visitors that some of the Conservation Area’s trails are currently closed due to substantial repairs to the Marsh’s system of pumps and ring dykes.

The Marsh’s Visitors Centre is open Wednesdays to Sundays, from 9 am to 5 pm, providing opportunities to take in taxidermy displays, look at specimens under a microscope, discuss wildlife sightings, or simply take a break from the heat on a warm day. The Centre frequently hosts programs for school groups in partnership with the River Institute. For more information visit rrca.on.ca or contact (613) 938-3611 or info@rrca.on.ca.

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