Late March 2024

Inside this issue:

  • Seasonal trails reopen.
  • Teens invited to help build next protectors this Saturday.
  • Last chance to register for Beautiful Bats with Dan Riskin.
  • Teen volunteer hours at Springbank Farm.
  • Volunteers needed for Earth Day Blair Flats Cleanup.
  • Yoga in the Garden returns.
  • Mark your calendars for the Spring Plant Sale & EcoMarket
  • Many rare events coming up!
  • Join the Cambridge Mill Race on June 9!
  • Our biweekly poll!

Photo by Larry Lamb

Seasonal Trails Reopen

The Grand River trails at rare closed to the public in November 2023 have been reopened, although visitors should take care to watch out for icy conditions.

The Alvar, Woodland, Osprey and River trails splitting off from the City of Cambridge’s Grand Trunk Trail are closed each November for safety and to protect overwintering wildlife. These trails are some of the more rugged trails at rare, so care should always be taken following these paths. Dogs, bikes and strollers are also NOT permitted on these trails, for the safety of other trail users and local wildlife.

The Butterfly Loop remains closed until Springbank Farm reopens to the public in May.

For more information about rare’s trails, and to download and view a map, please visit

Photo by Michelle MacMillan

Teens! Help Build Nest Protectors at rare this Saturday!

There is still time to join WILD Outside to help build turtle nest protectors at rare! Youth ages 15-18 are invited to rare's ECO Centre and Slit Barn this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to help the Canadian Wildlife Federation prepare for Turtle Season.

Participants will learn about local turtle species, play games, and build nest protectors to keep our turtles safe. CWF is providing free bussing from the KW Auditorium for this event. Please register in advance here or contact for more details.

Register to Help Build Nest Protectors!

Last Chance to Register for Beautiful Bats with Dan Riskin

Seats are still available for our March 27th Conversation for Conservation on Beautiful Bats, with Dan Riskin! Come to the Main Lecture Hall of the School of Architecture in Galt at 7:00 p.m. next Wednesday to hear CTV's Science Guy and former host of The Daily Planet talk about how bats helped to launch his television career. There will be funny stories, breathtaking slo-mo videos, and reflections on the value of curiosity, as well as books available for sale and signing!

This event is FREE, but space is limited, so register now!

Register for Beautiful Bats, with Dan Riskin!

Teen Volunteer Hours Available at Springbank Farm in April and the Summer

Teens looking for meaningful volunteer opportunities for their high school requirements, or just because they want to, are invited to help at the gardens of Springbank Farm as we prepare for the 2024 growing season.

A teen volunteer day is happening from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Monday, April 8 for Waterloo Catholic Board high school students. Waterloo Regional District high school students are invited to come out on Wednesday, April 10 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Teen volunteers will help prepare Springbank Farm for spring planting. Tasks may include weeding, digging, raking and shoveling, using hand tools and wheel barrows.

Similar Teen Volunteer Days will be happening Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon over the summer, starting June 26.

You'll need to provide your own transportation to and from Springbank Farm at 681 Blair Road. You should also wear closed-toe shoes and bring sunscreen and/or a sunhat and a refillable water bottle. We'll provide the tools and instructions on how to use them. After completing the session, a rare staff member will sign off on your school's volunteer form.

If you want to participate in these volunteer sessions, follow the links below and fill out the enclosed waiver. We look forward to seeing you in the gardens in April!

Register for WCDSB Volunteer Day - April 8
Register for WRDSB Volunteer Day - April 10
Summer Session Details and Parent/Guarian Waiver Form for Download

Volunteers Needed for Blair Flats Cleanup.

Volunteers of all ages are invited to join us on Sunday, April 21 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for an Earth Day event at Blair Flats to clean up garbage and other debris along the river shoreline, Blair Road, and everything in between!

Please help us to keep our community clean and keep garbage out of the river. We will supply the garbage bags, but please bring your work gloves.

This event is FREE! But please register and help us make the world a better and cleaner place!

Join us for our Earth Day Shoreline Cleanup!

Yoga in the Garden Returns May 8!

Yoga in the Garden returns on Wednesday, May 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. All participants at this session will receive a packet of the One Seed One Community seed of the year!

We'll meet in the parking lot at Springbank Farm at 681 Blair Road and proceed to the picnic pavilion overlooking the gardens. Admission is free with a donation of food to the Cambridge Food Bank, but be sure to register your attendance below. Also be sure to bring your own yoga mat and dress for the weather.

This time, in case of rain, we'll be meeting at Lamb's Inn at 1679 Blair Road, but hopefully we will stretch under sunny skies and to the sounds of happy birds on May 8!

Photo by Taryn Jarvis

Register for Yoga in the Garden on May 8

Mark Your Calendars: Saturday, May 11 is our Spring Plant Sale & EcoMarket

Join us on Saturday, May 11 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for our celebration of Spring, the Spring Plant Sale & EcoMarket!

Browse thousands of herb, vegetable and flower seedlings, ready for your garden, at rare's Slit Barn! Or join us under the all-weather tent for our EcoMarket where local venders sell their unique wears, and you can meet social and environmental organizations operating in your community!

There will be music, food for sale and more. It promises to be a great time and we look forward to seeing you there!

Learn More About the Spring Plant Sale & EcoMarket

Register Now for Coming rare Events!

These events are FREE, but require registration. We look forward to seeing you here at rare!

Click here for more events happening this Spring!

Join the Cambridge Mill Race and Support rare!

The Cambridge Mill Race is a great event for families to get outdoors and exercise on Sunday, June 9 starting at 10:00 a.m. Participants are invited to take part in the 1K Kids Chipmunk Chase, starting at 10) and the 8K Cambridge Mill Race starting at 10:30. People should start gathering at the starting line at Cambridge's Riverbluffs Park at 9:30 a.m.

Click here for more details and to register for this event. Participants are treated to complimentary coffee from the Grand Cafe, post-race massages from Parke Massage Therapy, and a catered lunch. Funds raised for this years event go to support rare!

Learn About or Register for the Cambridge Mill Race

Our Bi-Weekly Poll: Anticipating the Eclipse

Welcome to spring! As I write this, there's snow outside my window, but after the unusually warm winter we've had, I'm grateful of this reminder of what winter used to be to help me anticipate the arrival of spring.


In the last issue's poll asking what we most looked forward to in spring, 29% favoured the longer hours of sunlight and another 29% picked the sounds of returning birds and other animals, but only 20% stated they looked forward to warmer temperatures, while just 9% picked the smell of thawing ground. Climate change is changing the way we interact with winter.


This may be a daunting thought about climate change, but let's not forget that we have plenty of nature to protect. The habitats here help build local climate resilience in the face of global climate change. Most of all, we know we can convince governments to move to protect these lands, because we've already taken action to protect Schneider's Woods and the Greenbelt.


Let's make protecting nature part of our ritual of spring: to greet the longer days and the returning birds and awakening animals and plants.

For our next question: what will you be doing on April 8 when the eclipse happens?

Select your favourite option below:
Heading to Niagara Falls to view the total eclipse safely through eclipse glasses.
Staying in Waterloo Region to observe the partial eclipse safely through eclipse glasses.
Taking part in eclipse-related events.
Staying indoors.
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