We depend on your passion for wild places and wild species.

Community Science

The Community Science program is critical to the work we do. Hundreds of volunteers help monitor species at risk, test water, record data and more. These sightings and records help the Conservancy take stock of what is happening in our region, and identify areas for acquisition and protection projects.

Water Quality Monitoring

This is our benchmark Community Science program, which began in 2015. 

Water Teams test for up to 9 different water quality parameters on-site including Temperature, Depth, pH, Dissolved Oxygen, Phosphates, Turbidity, Alkalinity, Nitrate-Nitrogen, and sometimes Chlorides.

Bat Monitoring

There are eight species of bat in Ontario; four of them are listed as endangered. Bats are active at night, emitting echolocation which cannot be heard by humans.

Bat Monitoring teams of 3 are assigned a property and cover a designated route 1/2 hour after sunset. Using an Echo Meter Touch 2 Pro, they record the echolocation calls of bats which can then be analyzed to determine species.

Frog Call Monitoring

There are one toad and nine frog species in our region. Volunteers are trained to identify their calls both individually and in a chorus.

Volunteer teams of two head out 1/2 hour after sunset to a Conservancy wetland. Three trips of fifteen minutes through the spring and summer, at different temperature thresholds and reveal information on the health of the wetland. 

Monarch Monitoring

This program supports the national milkweed watch initiative  and  mission monarch.

Since the Milkweed plant is the Monarch's sole source of food, both of these programs target milkweed in order to track the health of Monarch Butterfly populations. 

Reptile Monitors

Volunteers stealthily follow a designated route, looking for basking & nesting turtles, snakes, and on some properties the five-lined skink.  The five-lined skink is Ontario's only lizard.    

Salamander Monitors

Volunteers monitor vernal pools in the early spring for amphibian egg masses, and then switch to monitoring under boards for the summer and fall.

Wildlife on Roads

Roads impact species movement and cause animal mortality. The data from this project helps us understand what species are impacted and supports the need for mitigation measures.

Grassland Birds

Volunteers learn to identify and record occurrences of grassland birds in the region. These observations give us a picture of the health of grasslands in the area - one of our most threatened ecosystems.  

2023 Community Science Numbers


community science programs contributed to


volunteers involved in our program who are trained and given a monitoring site


nature reserves and easements monitored

Key Projects

Just as our landscapes are connected together, so are the following projects. Monitoring for species at risk helps with taxes, connecting with private land owners allows us to focus on species protection and preserving habitat. The connections are endless.

MOTUS Towers

An international collaborative research network that uses coordinated automated radio telemetry to facilitate research and education on the ecology and conservation of migratory animals. Motus is a program of Birds Canada in partnership with collaborating researchers and organizations.


Taxes & NHIC

When there are documented Species-At-Risk occurrences on our Nature Reserves, that information can be shared with the Natural Heritage Information Centre (NHIC), which then allows us to apply for a lower tax bracket for the Reserve.

Strategic Habitat Offsets

We have a detailed decision making tree to consider potential offsets. These partnerships allow us to improve local habitat, either on an existing reserve, or by working with a private land owner.

Sundial Creek

North Orillia is fortunate to have a rare cold water stream supporting Brook Trout in its midst, but it is gradually declining in health due to urbanization.  We believe there’s a way to co-exist, and are calling on all residents near Grant Wetland to pitch in and restore Sundial Creek back to health. 

Read more here

Invasive Species Management

There are many invasive species threatening our area, and our focus is on garlic mustard and dog straggling vine.

Landowner Stewardship Program

Through this free program, trained staff work with private land owners to implement long-term stewardship projects that are tailored to their environmental goals.

On-going Trail Maintenance

With our 23 km of trails, and thousands of people visiting each year, a lot of care is needed.

Engagement Organizing Practices

We look at our work through an "EO" lens. That means we are always trying to bring people closer to our mission, finding the right people, asking them and more.

Bird & BioBlitzes

Volunteers help us complete annual species blitzes in Carden.

Passport to Nature Canada

Our program model has been adapted by non-profits all across the country. As a community of practice, we work together to improve our engagement programs so we can do more for nature.

Ranching in Carden

By working with local ranches, we are able to manage alvar habitat.


Shrike Monitoring

We work with Wildlife Preservation Canada to support the endangered Eastern Loggerhead Shrike population.

Past Projects

Copeland Forest Friends: was established to conserve the natural integrity of Copeland Forest while facilitating compatible recreational use. The Conservancy formed a working group, which has now evolved into a non-profit. www.copelandfriends.ca

Community Science - Whip-poor-will & Nighthawk Monitoring: In June, by the light of the full moon, volunteers took to the backroads of Oro-Medonte, Severn, Carden, and Ramara Township. Surveys were done by car, with a team mate, just after dark.

Community Science - Plant Monitoring: This program took advantage of smartphone apps such as SEEK which can readily identify plants in the field. Volunteers were assigned a nature reserve to monitor, and asked to capture photos for a maximum of 12 plants per visit that are in bloom, identifying them using smartphone apps and Field Guides, and ranking their abundance.

Oro Moraine study

Golden winged warbler study

The Land Between

Fencing & Water Systems