Have a very YNC Holiday!

Things that are hand-made have a special significance. Along with the items themselves, they carry a message of thoughtfulness and care, which is what gift-giving is really all about:
  • Recipe Book: Gather favourite recipes from your friends and family, and put them together into a recipe book. By adding photos, drawings or a line or two about each contributor, you can make the book even more personal. Binding can be as simple as a three-ring binder. Or you can use heavier card stock to make front and back covers, and finish the book with cerlox or coil binding available at a print shop or quick copy centre. 
  • Edibles: Baking will always be appreciated, especially if it contains chocolate! Home-baked holiday goodies are a tasty gift. Cookies, fudge, jam, relish, pasta sauce - things that are literally consumable will be well received at any time of year. And who wouldn't appreciate a pan of lasagne, a pot of stew or a favourite casserole? One thing - if you are doing munchable gifts, make sure you know the tastes (and allergies, if any) of the recipients. 
  • Plant Cuttings: Cuttings from plants that you have around your home make for a great personal gift. Look in second-hand stores for unique containers like teapots, mugs and bowls to use as planters. Alternatively, a package of seeds will be a pleasant reminder of friendship during next year's gardening season. 
  • Arts and Crafts: Use your time and skills to make something unique. For example: Make a wooden toy, paint a watercolour, personalize a towel. Decorate photo frames, T-shirts, candles or a container for pens. Knit a scarf, crochet a hat, sew potholders. Make book ends, a storage box or letter holder. Make an ornament, a sock monkey, a hemp necklace, table centrepiece or wreath. 
Giving an item an extra life helps reduce our use of new resources. And as any antique-hunter can tell you, browsing through vintage shops, consignment stores and goodwill outlets looking for treasures can be a lot of fun!
  • Books, Music and Movies: Find newer releases at a fraction of the cost, or go for time-tested and familiar classics. 
  • Clothing: Comfy sweaters, flashy silk scarves, or a funky hat or bag ... with a bit of effort, you're bound to find a new favourite. 
  • Housewares and More: Thrift shops can be an ideal place to find a wide range of unique items in very serviceable condition - vases, platters, trays, fancy cups, candleholders, and much else. Or you might run across a musical instrument, garden tools, cross-country skis, binoculars, art supplies or retro-style furniture! 
Giving a gift of service requires the use of little or no natural resources. Whether you buy a gift certificate from a professional, or give a coupon offering your own time, it will be a welcome treat.
  • Time: Instead of giving a physical thing, invite family and neighbours to a seasonal-themed party. Have a pot luck dinner. Sing songs, play games, tell stories. Make people the focus of your holiday time. 
  • Services: Creating coupons that offer free babysitting or housecleaning, snow shovelling, a neck massage or a special treat can mean more than a stocking stuffer.
  • Skill-sharing/Lessons: Music, cooking, languages, pottery, knitting, sewing, yoga, home-repair, bike maintenance. 
Consider giving a gift that will keep on giving... to the environment. Check out some of these items which will save energy, resources and money. Your friends and the environment will thank you!
  • LED Night Lights: They provide the right amount of light, run cool, and use a fraction of the electricity that conventional incandescent bulbs use. 
  • Stapleless Stapler: It's a small piece of office equipment that attaches pages to each other without using any staples. 
  • Wind-Up Radio or Flashlight:  You never need to replace the battery! A hand crank provides the power. 
  • Solar-Powered Battery Charger: Uses freely available sunlight to re-charge batteries.

Good luck creating your sustainable holiday, and have fun!  We wish all of you a wonderful, peaceful season. And remember that the best gift is to be grateful for those we love and to tell them we love them – Happy Holidays from the YNC!

Comox Valley YNC

Volunteer Leaders: Jarrett Krentzel & Jocie Ingram
Email: ynccomox@gmail.com

Meet your volunteer leaders!

My name is Jarrett Krentzel and I'm happy to be your new YNC co-leader. Getting outside, walking and being with kids are a few of my favourite things, so I'm quite excited to start getting out there with you all, hitting the trails and exploring our beautiful Comox Valley together! 

and...I’m Jocie Ingram, a local nature-enthusiast and parent, and I’ll be co-leading YNC with Jarrett. I look forward to exploring nature together with our children, in this rich and diverse area. Hope to see you out at our explorer days!

Upcoming 2015 Explorer Days

Stay Tuned!

Past Explorer Days

Sunday, May 24th
Mack Liang Nature Park
1pm - 2:30pm
Mack Laing (1883-1982) was a famous Canadian author, artist and ornithologist, and collector for the National Museum of Canada and the Smithsonian. He moved to Comox in June 1922 where he built his first home, Baybrook. He later built a second home known as Shakesides. Laing donated part of his estate and property to the town of Comox.

We will take a walk on a trail where Mack Laing once roamed... along Brooklyn Creek, which is an active salmon stream, and out to the waterfront at Comox Bay. This lush woodland is a hotspot for birds, and closer to the bay we will see black soil with bits of broken shell, evidence of an extensive First Nations’ midden. At the waterfront, an entirely different habitat exists with salt marsh plants such as the salty tasting pickleweed.

Meeting Place/Directions
Follow Comox Ave right to the very end (go past the Filberg Lodge property). Parking will be on the street, at the corner of Comox Ave. and Mack Laing Court, and we will meet at the Mack Laing Nature Park sign. The trail and salt marsh can be muddy, so wear sturdy shoes or boots…and don’t forget water, snacks and sunscreen if it’s sunny!

Sunday, April 12th
Tsolum River Walk
1pm - 2:30pm
Join the Young Naturalists’ Club down at the beautiful Tsolum River to explore spring wildflowers. Woodland wildflowers are abundant this season, and we are sure to find pink and white fawn lilies (see photo) and trilliums. The trail starts at the Courtenay Exhibition Grounds and loops through prime lily habitat.

A few wildlife viewing highlights that can be found along the river are bald eagles, kingfishers and herons. Some of the natural features include dense thickets of alder, a small remnant forest of douglas fir, and wet areas of salmonberry and skunk cabbage. Some of the largest sitka spruce can be found in the Tsolum River floodplain trails. 

Sunday, March 22nd 

Kye Bay Beach
1pm - 3pm
Join the Young Naturalists’ down at sandy Kye Bay to explore the beach at low tide, and walk along the coastline towards Air Force Beach. We will be looking at the sand flats and tide pools, with creatures such as sand dollars, clams, small fishes, crabs and anemones. We will also watch for ducks, gulls, bald eagles and other birds. If time permits, we might check out the sensitive ecosystem of the upper beach zone, with interesting plants like dune grass, sea rocket, silver burweed and large-headed sedge. 

Sunday February 22nd
Walk in Seal Bay Nature Park 1 pm - 3 pm
Meet at the big parking lot on Bates Road

Come join the YNC for a walk on one of the many trails that leads down to the waterfront. The trail is well maintained and meanders through second growth fir, maple and alder trees, with steep ravines, giant sword ferns and seasonal waterfalls. Once down at the beach, it is not uncommon to spot seals, birds and possibly even a whale! 
Let's walk together and get to know your new co-leaders, Jocie Ingram and Jarrett Krentzel, while we get to know you. Come rain or shine!

Nov 16th: Annual Christmas Bird Count 4 Kids, Courtenay/Comox

Nov 2nd: Mushroom Walk at Seal Bay Park, Comox

Oct 5th: Fish Hatchery tour in Oyster River

Sept 20th: 'Shoreline Clean-up' in Courtenay, along with Comox Valley Naturalists 

Aug 24th (Sunday afternoon) "Miracle beach Walk"

Sunday, August 10th - 1pm - Paradise Meadows Walk
We will be having a walk up at Paradise Meadows this Sunday, August 10th @ 1pm. This will take place at the SWI (Strathcona Wilderness Institute) building. This walk will take approximately 2 hrs. We will be looking at berries and seeds with our guide Krista Kaptein from the SWI.

Sunday, July 6th - Butterfly Count - 10:30am in Cumberland
Our next event will be our "Butterfly Count," ​on Sunday, July 6th at 10:30am in Cumberland.
 We will meet at "Jumbo’s cabin" which is on the road to Comox Lake. Mr.Terry Thormin will lead us on a walk where we will view Butterflies.
What to Bring:
-Butterfly net if you have one (for those that do not bring one we will have extras :)
-YNC Passport (this is a blue card that you are sent when you 1st join, if you don't have this let me know and I will see about getting you a new one)
-water bottle
-hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
-walking shoes
-a smile :)

July 19th or 20th (Saturday OR Sunday) Tsolum River with Dr. Loys Maingon

Sunday June 8th -  at 3pm - Walk of Amara Farm and Portugese Creek
 Our next event will be a walk of Amara Farm and Portuguese Creek on Sunday, June 8th at 3pm. Arzeena, owner of Amara Farm has kindly agreed for us to take a walk of her farm, where she harvests greens and many wild berries, herbs, flowers, etc. We will also get to see her Chickens. Then we will explore Portuguese Creek, located behind Amara farm.

Sunday, June 22nd in the afternoon,we will take a walk around Millard creek, this will take 1-2 hrs. Patti Matthew from the Comox Valley Naturalists' (the adult Naturalist group), will be having a potluck at her house at4pm. We have been invited to attend. For those that are interested in going to Patti's house afterwards, please bring a potluck item to share. Here is a link that will tell you about Mallard Creek:

Sunday, May 18th at 2:15pm - Low Tide Walk
We will be having a Low Tide Walk on Sunday, May 18th at 2;15pm. We will meet at the Point Holmes boat launch ramp. ​This walk will take approximately. 1.5 - 2 hours.​
​The leader for the walk will be ​Robin Harrison ​. He has kindly agreed to​ lead us on this walk and exploration along ​the shore at Point Holmes.

Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 10 am  Mack Laing Park Walk

Earth week is almost upon us! We are planning to go on a walk with the Comox Valley Naturalist in Mack Laing park on Sunday, April 27th. To be followed by a picnic in the park, weather permitting.

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014 Snowshoeing at Paradise Meadows, Mt. Washington 
We will meet at the Raven Lodge rentals at 10:15am. Please be on time.

This snowshoeing is for younger and older children. The group will circle around the meadows and families with younger kids can continue back to the lodge. This takes about 1 - 1.5 hours return.For older children that can handle a longer snowshoe, we'll take trails that will explore the park a little further. This takes about 2.5 - 3 hours return.

Sunday, December 8th,2013 in the morning  Annual Christmas Bird Count
This event is run by the YNC and naturalists from the CV Nature Birder's Group.

Would you like to learn about gulls, ducks, grebes, loons, and other birds!? On Sunday, December 8th our group will be doing our annual Christmas Bird Count. You and your family will get to see and learn about these birds in person.

We will be meeting at 10am at the lookout point on the Dyke (Comox Road) in Courtenay. We will break into small groups and bird watch for an hour or so, followed by a potluck, including hot Apple cider. Please be advised that it can be chilly when we are standing around outside.

Sunday, October 13th at 10:30am- approx.12:30pm "Mushroom Walk" 
Hopefully by doing the walk in the morning it will not interfere too much with Thanksgiving dinner plans! As the weather is getting cooler we want to take advantage of opportunity to see and learn about many of the different mushrooms we have here in the Comox Valley - How exciting! 
We will be meeting at 10;30am in the parking lot of Nymph Falls Regional Park (This is where we had mushroom walks for children the past 2 years.) Please try to be a few minutes early, that way we can start the walk right at 10;30.
Please be advised, picking is illegal in regional parks. So, we will not be picking any of the mushrooms that we will see while on the walk.

Sunday, September 8th, 2013 2 to 4 pm "Bees"at Anderton Nursery
Are you curious about bees and how they make honey!? On Sunday, September 8th 2013 we will be meeting at Anderton Nursery from 2- 4pm to learn all about BEES! If we have time, we may also do a craft.
Anderton Nursery is located in Comox, off Anderton Road. To access the garden follow the sign and drive between 2 buildings and on to the gardens in the back.

Strathcona Park Hike & Camp, Sat.July 20-Sun. 21, 2013

A hike and campout for young naturalist families! Please let me know if you’re interested in this event. Depending on the ages of the kids we’ll either hike and camp at Lake Helen McKenzie (about 1.5 hours hiking from Paradise Meadows Trailhead) or we’ll go further to Kwai Lake campsite (about 4 hours hiking from Paradise Meadows Trailhead). This will be a backpacking adventure and we can get together and plan our trip including what food to bring and packing light.  

Astronomy Night – Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 9:45pm
Les Disher has kindly offered to do another Astronomy Night as our last one on Sunday was mainly cloudy! OnSaturday June 15th, if we have clear skies, we'll meet at 9:45 pm. The location is Les Disher's backyard on Venture Road. Les is a member of the CV Astronomy club and is passionate about this subject, it's well worth staying up late for it! Please let me know if you plan to attend.