Celebrating Fifteen Years of Engaging Programs!
Winter and Spring 2023
Care and Consideration for Food-Bearing TreesOutaouais Environmental Campus
La Pêche Organic Orchard (POCO) offers a unique site for demonstrating early spring maintenance tasks that allow trees, bushes, and vines to flourish.
Shelley Lambert, Director, Forêt Capitale Forest & Chief Food Forester at Nanabush Food Forests
Stephanie McNeely, Director, Forêt Capitale Forest
Caring for the Community Forest on NCC LandsNCC Visitors Centre (33 Scott Road, Chelsea)
Experience the challenges and opportunities facing professionals juggling multiple demands and priorities in these well-loved forests.
Stéphane Wojciechowski, Senior Manager
Bruno Chicoine, Forest Engineer
Marina Torreblanca, Biologist
National Capital Commission
Economics of Forest Ownership and ManagementCentre Communautaire Multifonctionnel de Cantley 6 Imp. des Étoiles, Cantley, QC
Discover strategies and resources to fulfill your long-term tree care objectives. Victor Brunette, private woodlot owner Patrick Crocker, Directeur Général, Agence des forêts privées de l’Outaouais
January 22 @ 13:00 – 17:00
Impacts of Climate Change on Our Forests
Wakefield La Pêche Community Centre, 38 ch de la Vallée-de-Wakefield
Identifying and managing invasive species and the precarious future of Sugar Maples
Paul Hetzler, ISA Certified Arborist and Environmental Consultant
Mike Rosen, Past President of Tree Canada and Forestry, Arboriculture Consultant
EARTH PATH programs continued Fridays from September 16 to November 25
Corinne and Caylin mentored 13 young people, aged 6-12.
November 5, 2022 @ 09:00 – 13:00
Ecological Assessment and Tools for Forest Management
Carl Savignac, founder and director of Dendroica Environnement et Faune, and Pascal Audet, President, and Director General, Ma Foret
The announcement of funding for a Community Forestry Education project
The announcement of funding for a Community Forestry Education project at the ecoecho.ca was held on Tuesday, November 1, at the Chelsea administrative offices of the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais.
October 8, 2022 @ 13:00 – 16:00
Managing your Property: Tree care options for Homeowners
Michael Rosen, past President of Tree Canada, Forestry, Arboriculture Consultant
This experienced arborist/professional forester/maple syrup producer and tree lover showed 15 guests how to balance these priorities in a growing rural neighbourhood.
October 2, 2022 @ 09:00 – 13:00
Among the Trees: Forest immersion on the Whale Trail
Andrea Prazmowski, Certified Nature & Forest Therapy Guide (foresttherapyottawa.ca)
névé dumas, writer and community herbalist
Trees teach about our kinship with all of Nature and renew our sense of connection and wonder. This gently guided walk, journaling, and conversations will help you recharge and come alive within and without.
September 25, 2022 @ 09:00 – 13:00
Planting and Preparing trees for Winter
Mike Petryk, Director of Operations at Tree Canada (treecanada.ca)
Victor Brunette, Woodlot owner and past Director General of AFPO (l’Agence des forêts privées de l’Outaouais) (afpo.ca)
EARTH PATH programs were offered June 27-30, July 4-8, and August 15-19
Corinne and Caylin welcomed 34 participants aged 6-12.
HUNDRED ACRE WOOD/FORÊT DES CENT ACRES
Community volunteers and generous donors celebrated the acquisition of 100 acres of the Minnes Farm on March 31, 2022. Their contributions joined with private foundation and government grants to protect this conservation land trust for today and forever. Special acknowledgement to Olaf Jensen, the many who helped over this year-long initiative, and the expertise of ACRE Chelsea. The property is at 70, route 105 in Wakefield, Quebec.
To learn more, visit: https://acrechelsea.qc.ca/eng/hundredAcreWood.html
EARTH PATH programs continued Fridays from March 18 to June 3
Corinne and Caylin mentored 9 young people, aged 6-12.
Marc Walter’s new artwork “La Grande Nourricière” was unveiled September 10
Through the first ten days of September, Marc worked daily with over 100 community members to create a sculpture made from cedar boughs to celebrate the majestic beauty of trees.
The monumental “mother tree” was welcomed with a blessing ceremony by Natalie Coutou. La Pêche Mayor Lamoureux and sixty guests participated, including representatives from the MRC, NCC, Tree Canada, and La Pêche Global Forest Initiative. The initiative was funded by Caisse Dejardins de Hull-Aylmer and MRC des Collines-de- l’Outaouais Cultural Development Fund. See detailed article.
EARTH PATH programs continued Fridays from September 17 to November 19
Educators Corinne, Caylin, and Erika mentored 11 young people, aged 6-11. Activities included sharing and gratitude circles; stories and teachings from First Nation’s lore; drumming and music-making, fire-keeping; exploring; nature crafts and games and plant, bird, and animal studies.
EARTH PATH offered three week-long summer camps from June 28 to August 20
Educators Corinne and Erika welcomed 32 young people, aged 6-11. Activities included sharing and gratitude circles; stories and teachings from First Nation’s lore; drumming and music-making, fire-keeping; exploring; nature crafts and games and plant, bird, and animal studies.
EARTH PATH programs ran Fridays from March 12 to June 4
Educators Corinne and Erika hosted 10 young people, aged 6-12. Activities included sharing and gratitude circles; stories and teachings from First Nation’s lore; drumming and music-making, fire-keeping; exploring; nature crafts and games and plant, bird, and animal studies.
- EARTH PATH continued Fridays from March 12 to June 4
We welcomed 10 girls and boys aged 7-12 with mentors Corinne, Erika, and Pierrot. Activities included sharing and gratitude circles; stories and teachings from First Nation’s lore; fire-keeping; journaling and group sharing; nature crafts and games and plant, bird, and animal studies.
EARTH PATH nature programs ran Fridays from September 18 to November 27
Educators Corinne and Erika hosted 10 girls and boys, aged 6-12 with Pierrot’s ongoing support. Activities included sharing and gratitude circles; stories and teachings from First Nation’s lore; drumming and music-making, fire-keeping; exploring; nature crafts and games and plant, bird, and animal studies.
- Gatineau-based Cobra du Mandingue presented two drumming and dance workshops with fifteen musicians and dancers in May and June.
- Propeller Dance co-founder Shara Weaver taught three outdoor dance classes in July, attracting ten to fifteen participants.
- EARTH PATH youth programs ran 3 week-long camps from July 6-10, 13-17, and August 17-21 Educators Corinne, Bryarly, and Erika provided an in-depth mix of outdoor engagement activities, serving twenty seven girls and boys from 6-12 years old with Pierrot’s able assistance.
- Tree-planting with Tree Canada, l’Agence des forêts privées de l’Outaouais and Les Conseillers forestiers de l’Outaouais
Supporting reforestation to capture carbon and beautify the community, we teamed up with Tree Canada to plant 20,000 trees and create a 20-acre forest. Species include Burr and Red Oak, Black Walnut, Black Cherry, Red and Black Maple, Red Pine, Tamarack, Trembling Aspen, Yellow Birch, and White Spruce.
- ACRE Chelsea hosted a bird walk on June 13 Naturalists Rachel Vallender, Geof Burbidge, and Stephen Woodley led three small-group tours to discover and identify over 30 bird species in the forests and fields of Eco Echo. These included:American Crow, American Goldfinch, American Robin, Baltimore Oriole, Black-and-white Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-capped Chickadee, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blue Jay, Bobolink, Cedar Waxwing, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Kingbird, Gray Catbird, Hermit Thrush, Indigo Bunting, Northern Cardinal, Northern Parula, Ovenbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Red-wing Blackbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Ruffed Grouse, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-breasted Nuthatch, White-throated Sparrow, and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.
- EARTH PATH summer camps served twenty seven young people between 6-12 years from June 24-28, July 8-12, and August 12-16. Activities revolved around plant and animal studies, nature-based crafts and games, pond life investigations, skills in enhancing forest awareness, and fort and shelter-building. Interwoven with core routines were plant, bird, and animal studies, harvesting and processing medicinal herbs and wild edibles, wildcrafting, tracking, and sensory awareness activities.
- EARTH PATH programs on Fridays from Sept. 20 to Dec. 6 welcomed eleven girls and boys between the ages of 7-12 yrs. with mentors Corinne and Leiko. Activities included sharing and gratitude circles; stories and teachings from First Nation’s lore; fire-keeping; exploring; nature crafts and games and plant, bird, and animal studies.
EARTH PATH programs ran Fridays from Feb. 22 to June 14 welcoming seven full-time and one half-time participant.
EARTH PATH programs ran Fridays from Sept. 7 to Dec.7 serving twelve girls and boys between the ages of 7-12 yrs. with mentors Corinne, Pierre, and Amber, an herbalist. Core activities included sharing and gratitude circles; stories and teachings from First Nation’s lore; fire-keeping; exploring; and nature crafts and games. Interwoven with core routines were plant, bird, and animal studies, harvesting and processing medicinal herbs and wild edibles, wildcrafting and salve-making, orienteering, and tracking.
EARTH PATH offered two week-long camps: June 26-30 for eleven young people between the ages of 6-12 yrs. and July 16-20 with nine participants. Activities revolved around plant and animal studies, nature-based crafts and games, pond life investigations, skills in enhancing forest awareness, fire-keeping, and fort and shelter-building.
- Wakefield’s Annual Earth Day Celebration-Sunday April 22 Eco Echo sponsored a unique film Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees about the pioneering discoveries of botanist Diana Beresford-Kroeger. The event celebrated the public launch of the La Pêche Global Forest.
- EARTH PATH programs ran Fridays from Feb. 23 to June 1 welcoming thirteen participants between the ages of 6-12 yrs. supported by mentors: Corinne & Bryarly McEachern and Pierre Blin.
- Earth Day Celebration-Saturday April 22 in Wakefield Eco Echo again sponsored the Earth Day Market and Environmental Fair, featuring informational exhibitors who educate and inspire.
- EARTH PATH Nature Camp hosted 15 children, ages 6-11, from March through June
- Two Community Workshops welcomed volunteers on June 1
- Members of POCO joined Rob Grace to plan the management of our organic orchard with strategies to care for and enhance the existing fruit trees using a low-maintenance approach to mulching and natural care.
- Representatives of RESTCo shared innovative ideas and approaches to water and waste management and energy solutions for co-housing communities on sites like the Minnes Farm. Established in 2010, this group works with remote (off-grid) communities, notably in the Canadian Arctic and Boreal regions, to reduce the vulnerability of their energy systems.
EARTH PATH Nature Program offered eleven classes from September through November serving eight children, ages 6-11
Our fall session included explorations in the forests and meadows, harvesting wild apples and making applesauce, plant and seed identification, a study of owls in our region, a geology study where we tested pH levels in soils, harvesting medicinal plants, and shelter building. Interspersed throughout was time for crafts (milkweed pod mice, painted pods, pinecone owls, painted acorns, plant posters, leather armbands, walking sticks, landscape cutouts), fire keeping, sharing circles, wildcrafted tea parties, games, music, and stories.
- EARTH PATH Nature Program offered its annual summer camp in June engaging ten young people in outdoor activities.
- In August, Gardens that Seed Living Communities featured permaculture expert Jane Hayes (gardenjane.com) in a vibrant session on designing & growing gardens to strengthen the spirit of community. Over twenty participants, including members of Cohabitat Wakefield, discovered “hands on” techniques to engage others in the fun of gardening together.
- Aboriginal Architect Douglas Cardinal presented conservation development concepts to over 120 people on April 22 at the Community Centre. His vision for sustainable, healthy, “small footprint” homes would enhance the Eco Echo learning community.
- Eco Echo sponsored Wakefield’s Earth Day 2016 opening night film, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING, based on Naomi Klein’s inspiring book, for an estimated 100 attendees.
- EARTH PATH Nature Program continued its programming with Friday sessions serving eight young people.
- EARTH PATH Nature Program offered eight Friday sessions engaging twelve young people.
- In November, Nikos Kavanya brought her Dreaming the Seeds program to the Wakefield Community Centre and inspired twenty four participants with the importance of planting and nurturing seeds in gardens and communities.
- In May Claudia Hehr offered How to Communicate with your Animals for sixteen guests during her Voice of the Animals Tour.
- EARTH PATH Nature Program provided two dynamic camp programs in late June and early July with Bryarly & Corinne McEachern.
- In August, the Mycologues amateurs de l’Outaouais welcomed fifteen partcipants for their annual mushroom collecting and identification workshop.
- Architect Stan Britton’s “Moody Manitoba Morning” sculpture attracted community members from November 2014 to April 2015.
- EARTH PATH Nature Program offered sixteen weekly programs from February through June 2015 for young people from 6-12 years old with educators Bryarly & Corinne McEachern
- Eco Echo supported the workshop titled: Climate Change Challenges and Community Solutions in the Gatineau Hills October 26 at the Wakefield/La Pêche Community Centre.
- EARTH PATH Nature Program offered eight enriching programs in October and November.
- On September 17, the Ferme Minnes Farm introduced its sustainable development project at the Community Centre. Visit: FermeMinnesFarm.ca
- Our Winter Solstice Celebration on December 21 with Joanna McMillan welcomed friends and neighbours to honour the turning of the seasons and the New Year!
EARTH PATH Summer Camp returned in July with a one-week summer camp serving eight children that balanced the development of naturalist skills with community building. Campers had the opportunity to do crafts with natural materials.
- Eco Echo again celebrated Earth Day in April in partnership with Wakefield Ensemble at the Wakefield/La Pêche Community Centre, sponsoring the Rooney’s new film titled Precautionary Principle: The Nicole Bruinsma Story.
- EARTH PATH: Nature Connections offered thirteen day programs from February through June.The program provided nine children from 6-11 years old with an opportunity to build community and connect with nature through creative play and exploration, while strengthening their naturalist skills and wilderness awareness. The long cold, snowy winter tested participants’ fortitude and adaptability!
- Eco Echo celebrated April 22, Earth Day, with Wakefield Ensemble by hosting two workshops at the Wakefield/La Pêche Community Centre. These highlighted the NCC’s proposed ecological corridors to connect to the Gatineau Park and a presentation by ACRE Chelsea on the role land trusts play in preserving natural habitat. The program included Raúl Alvarez’ film Land Awakening and a community supper catered by Au Coeur de Saule.
- Environmental educators Corinne & Bryarly McEachern’s EARTH PATH Nature Program over four weekends in May and June shared the wonders of nature with youngsters who experienced our forests and fields as their classroom.
- October’s Deepening Our Relationship with Nature workshop with Hilary Samuel from Catalyst Mind introduced participants to the Natural Systems Thinking Process, a practical and accessible means to access our natural inherent state of well-being.
- EARTH PATH Nature Program returned with eight enriching programs in October and November.
- Eco Echo sponsored a screening for 200 people at the Black Sheep of Land Awakening by filmmaker Raúl Alvarez.
- Owen Tuf and Pierre Bisson planted a half acre of indigenous wildflowers from The Wildflower Farm. Sylvia Spring and Christopher Minnes planted organic sunflowers that were donated by Eric Corneau and Maude Bertrand.
Master R.D. Chin, Feng Shui architect offered an inspiring two-day workshop to heal and transform relationships with the land and community by enriching the knowledge and practice of this ancient art.
- During the last two weekends in September, Eco Echo hosted land artist Marc Walter during the 24th Artists in Their Environment Studio Tour. Over 200 people walked the pathways to enjoy sculpture and artwork around and inside the historic barn. Marc’s sculpture “Le Souffle” graced the main entrance to Eco Echo from the highway.
- On Sunday November 4, POCO members and children came together to prepare the orchard for winter with mulch and mouse guards. Holes were dug in preparation of thirty bare root trees and several mature trees selected from the Green Barn Nursery.
- The Winter Solstice on December 21 was celebrated with a Sacred Fire Ceremony by Joe Hiscott, honouring all those working to ensure a vibrant future for our community!
- Eco Echo partnered with Ottawa’s Hummingbird House Healing Centre to host author and Pachamama Alliance co-founder Lynne Twist in presenting The Pachamama Alliance’s Awakening the Dreamer/Changing the Dream Symposium for 35 thought leaders.
- The Second Annual Earth Day Festival on April 23rd, with sponsorship from the Caisse populaire Desjardins de Masham-Luskville, focused on readying the orchard for spring and featured popular rides on two ponies from Captiva Farms. We’re grateful to the many volunteers and families who generously participated in welcoming Spring to the Gatineau.
Members and friends of Les Mycologues amateurs de l’Outaouais joined us for their annual discovery and identification workshop and found over 100 mushroom varieties.
An Earth Day Festival on April 24 hosted neighbors, families and visitors who explored the land, enjoyed tractor rides, visited the Quarry amphitheatre, played on haybales, walked the labyrinth, co-created an environmental artwork, Le Cri, with land artist Marc Walter, listened to music, and celebrated the planting of the first cherry tree in the Community Orchard.
- Members of the La Pêche Organic Community Orchard tended and cared for a variety of 35 fruit trees as they established roots in their new soil.
- Two weeklong programs in August 2010 presented by Isabel Diaz and ARTerres Eco-Art Camp engaged twenty seven young people between ages 6-13 in a variety of interactive and creative outdoor learning activities.
- Les Mycologues amateurs de l’Outaouais joined us in September for the third annual program and discovered 117 delicious and unusual mushroom varieties.
- A Homa Therapy Workshop presented by Sahaj Kaur Durnin, ayurvedic nutritionist, shared the ancient knowledge of Agnihotra with community members.
- Land artist Marc Walter’s “outdoor studio” in the fields and woods at Eco Echo welcomed hundreds of visitors over two weekends in October during the 22nd Annual Artists in their Environment Studio Tour.
- The La Pêche Organic Community Orchard (POCO) planted an additional 40 bare-root fruit and nut trees, bushes and vines for hibernation throughout the winter. It is now the most diverse orchard in the Gatineau!
- Organic farmer Ryan Wilson led an ecological property design workshop in November and inspired twenty community members to take a “hands-on” approach to managing their own property using the principles of permaculture.
A day-long fruit tree and grafting workshop with Ken Taylor inspired 60 participants from as far away as the Niagara Escarpment and Lanark, Ontario. The La Pêche Organic Community Orchard (POCO) took root at this workshop!
Second annual “hands-on survey” with the Mycologues amateurs de l’Outaouais for over 50 participants identified 50 mushroom species on the property.
Eco Echo supported the first steps as members of La Pêche Organic Community Orchard made plans to develop a new source for locally grown fruit on the pesticide-free farmland and preparation began on a one acre plot.
Eco Echo hosted a welcome ceremony for over 100 community members that inspired programming contacts and began local partnerships.
A week-long day camp with Earth Lore Wilderness educators Pierre Blin and Heather Burrill, introduced 5-10 year-olds to nature’s abundance.
Weekend workshops with the Mycologues amateurs de l’Outaouais, permaculture expert Brad Peterson (Environmental Design) and organic farmer Ken Taylor (Green Barn Farm) introduced 40 community members to permaculture practices.