The Wascana Junior Naturalist program was established here at Wascana Centre in the fall of 2009. In a day when youth are becoming increasingly disconnected from the natural environment around them, this program aims to provide them with an opportunity to connect with nature. Our focus is to bring like-minded children together to learn of the simple joys nature can give them and offer them a chance to discover nature right in Wascana Centre. We hope this program will help youth to realize that there is more than one species of birds in their backyard or that they can see a beaver right here in the middle of their city, or that sitting and studying a wild licorice seed head (natures original velcro) can be fascinating and rewarding.
Wascana Junior Naturalist - Spring 2021
Unfortunately there will not be a Spring 2021 session of Junior Naturalist. Please check back in the summer for possible upcoming details for a Fall 2021 session.
What is a Naturalist?
The dictionary says “a person who studies or is an expert in natural history, esp. a zoologist or botanist.” However, here at Wascana Centre we view a naturalist as anyone who is interested in the natural environment and can appreciate the joys nature has to offer. A naturalist is someone who respects the environment and realizes that a healthy ecosystem is a good thing for wildlife as well as a good thing for humans.
Here are a few examples of what Junior Naturalists have done over the last few years:
- Learned about the exciting lives of bats
- Visited a Northern Saw-whet Owl banding station
- Explored the Habitat Conservation Area for birds, mammals, frogs and turtles
- Visited the Saskatchewan Science Centre
- Discovered the many species of birds that visit Wascana Centre in a year and learned how to identify them
- Built their own bird house to put up in their yard
- Discovered the challenges of migration by playing the Great Migration Challenge
- Planted seeds and watch them grow into native grass
- Helped plant shrubs and grass in the Habitat Conservation Area for wildlife