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Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

Skip Navigation LinksLake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority > Neighbourhood Naturalists

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Neighbourhood Naturalists​

Explore the outdoors with us! Join our outdoor education team as we head outside to investigate what plants and animals live in our yards and neighbourh​o​ods. Follow along and see if you can complete the challenge with your family.

​​Introducing Seek​

​Have you ever spotted a cool plant or animal and wondered what exactly it was? One of the best solutions to uncovering that knowledge now exists right inside your pocket - and the best part is - it’s free!

Seek is a kid-friendly nature based app that uses the power of image recognition technology to identify the plants and animals around you. There is no registration required, and no user-data is collected. Your location is never stored, and once it’s on your device it doesn’t even need a data connection to work!

 

​Week 1 Challenge

Can you identify 3 different plants or animals using seek? 

​Want to use Seek indoors? Check out our practice sheets:

Invertebrates​

​This episode is all about the creepy, crawly, but always cool...Invertebrates! They are animals that have no spine and include things like snails, worms, insects and even squid!

 

Week 2 Challenge

Can you find some invertebrates in your neighbourhood? Even better if you can name them or the family that they belong to! Use the seek app to help!

Want to practice indoors? Check out our practice sheets to help you get started!

Habitats

​This episode is all about Habitats - the places where living things get all the food, water and shelter that they need to survive! Go for a walk, or look out the window and see what kinds of habitats you can find! Who do you think might live there?

 

Week 3 Challenge

Can you find a habitat in your neighbourhood? What sources of food, water, and shelter can you find? Use this worksheet to create a map​ of the habitat in your neighbourhood!

Mammals

This week is all about the magnificent mammals that live in our neighbourhoods! A mammal is an animal that:

  • Has a spine
  • Has hair or fur
  • Gives birth to live young (and nurses them with milk!)
 

Week 4 Challenge

Mammals are experts at camouflaging. Try out our camouflage challenge​!

Everyday Nature

This week is all about appreciation for the nearby nature that we see every day! How often do you see a dandelion or squirrel? Likely pretty often...but how much do you really know about them?

 

​Week 5 Challenge

Try taking our “(Extra)Ordinary Scavenger Hunt". Look for common species in your neighbourhood, but try to see them in a new way! How many can you find?

Turtles

Did you know May 23 is the day of the turtle​? We wanted to celebrate by featuring the different turtle species that live in the Lake Simcoe watershed.

 

Week 6 Challenge

If you see a turtle crossing the road, make sure to brake and pull over to allow it to cross the road safely.

Invasive Species

Hundreds of invasive species have infiltrated our lakes, rivers and forests, putting our native fish, plants and animals as well as their habitats at risk. After an invasive species arrives it is almost impossible to remove it. This can cause irreparable damage to important habitats and ecosystems.

 

​Week 7 Challenge

Here are a few things you can do to help:

  • Learn to identify invasive species in your neighbourhood - you can even use the SE​​EK app
  • If you find invasive species in your garden, try to replace them with something native - check out the Grow Me Inst​ead Guide for ideas
  • If you spot an invasive species, take a photo and report it to the Invasive Species Centre

Trees

​​Here's a clue about what our topic is this week ... where do saplings go to learn? ElemenTREE school!

That's right - this episode is all about trees! Here at LSRCA, we LOVE trees! We even have a staff member from our Forestry Team​ that has planted more than 1,000,000 trees himself!

 

Episode 8 Challenge

Can you identify 2 different trees in your neighbourhood? Use this tree ID guide​ to help you. Use the SEEK app and see if you got your ID right!​

Butterflies and Moths

I have scales but I don’t measure weight
I’m an insect but I’m not a ant
I feed on nectar but I’m not a bee
I’m colourful but I’m not a rainbow
I fly but I’m not a bird​

This episode is all about butterflies and m​oths!

 

Episode 9 Challenge

Can you find a butterfly or moth in your neighbourhood? Use the SEEK app or a field guide to help you identify what you find! ​