The OFNC’s Events Committee plans an extensive program of monthly meetings, workshops, day trips, and longer excursions for the education and interest of our members.
The OFNC website calendar contains the most up-to-date information on events. Please check it regularly for additions or changes to events. Some weather- and year-dependent events can only be announced at the last minute, via the website and by email to members.
Many events require participants to register. Please consult the details in the event description.
Guidelines for participants on field trips
Field trips to natural areas in our region and beyond take place all year round. OFNC events are for members only. Prospective members with interest in attending should contact the trip leader in advance. For some events, participation is limited and members will be given priority. All participants will be asked to sign a waiver. Times given for events are departure times. Please arrive earlier, as leaders start promptly. If you need a ride, please contact the leader.
Please bring a lunch on full-day trips and dress according to the weather forecast and activity. Please always wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Binoculars and/or spotting scopes are essential on all birding trips. Unless otherwise stated, transportation will be by carpool.
There can be risks associated with any recreational pursuit. Before you participate in nature walks and similar outdoor activities, we will ask you to read and sign a statement in which you assume the risk of the activity and release the OFNC from liability for any loss, damage or injury, however caused and whether or not contributed to by the OFNC’s negligence. This assumption of risk and release includes any minors accompanying you.
Our monthly meetings are held on the second Wednesday of every month (no longer Tuesdays) except July and August. After three years of meeting online, the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club has resumed in-person monthly meetings at 7 pm, presentation begins at 7:30 pm. The new venue is City View Church, 6 Epworth Avenue (off Merivale near Meadowlands). Masks must be worn to enter the building, but it is optional once in the room.
Watch past OFNC presentations on YouTube.
Events oriented to all ages
Kids are welcome on all of our trips. We highlight particular hikes as “oriented to all ages” or “especially kid-friendly” as these are most likely to be enjoyed by typical children. Depending on your child(ren)’s interests and stamina, please feel free to bring them along on any events. For events tailored to kids, check out the Macoun Field Club.
Guidelines for participants on field trips
The following guidelines were prepared by the Events Committee. They reflect common sense and experience and make field trips more enjoyable for all.
- READ the excursion announcement and register if required. Make notes of the meeting place and be on time.
- BE PREPARED. If the trip notice calls for binoculars, insect repellent, lunch, etc., bring them. Preparation against insects and ticks is essential if you want to enjoy the trip, especially in May and June. A hat, long sleeves, gloves and a turned-up collar may help. If you depend on insect repellent, we recommend one containing DEET (in various concentrations). However, if you do apply insect repellant, please refrain from touching any insects or amphibians. Especially sensitive persons may find a head net or ‘bug jacket” useful.
- DRESS APPROPRIATELY. Always dress for comfort. Traditional sources of discomfort for beginners are unsuitable footwear and clothes that are too good for mud, snags and grass stains. Bush wear and comfortable hiking boots or shoes are best for nature rambles. For cold weather Spring and Fall trips, wear wool socks (with a spare pair) and hiking boots or water-proof winter boots. If the trip calls for wading in cold water, use rubber boots with insoles and wool socks. For Summer exploration of wetlands, wear canvas running shoes and bring a change of footwear for the trip home.
- COOPERATE with your leader(s). On a trail, stay behind the leader and let him/her set the pace and direction. Do not expect special treatment for you or your children; the leader is not a babysitter. Please INFORM THE LEADER if you wish to leave the group for any reason.
- DO NOT TRAMPLE THE VEGETATION; it may not recover until the next season, if then.
- AVOID COLLECTING, PICKING AND DIGGING. Removing natural objects from the trail leaves it poorer for others. If your leader says that it is okay to collect specimens, move off the trail to take them but always ask permission if you are on private land. Collecting on NCC property, including the Greenbelt and Gatineau Park, is illegal without a permit.
- SAVE YOUR GARBAGE and dispose of it later. Apple cores are biodegradable but they make a trail unsightly, and habituate wildlife to humans as a food source.
- BE A RESPONSIBLE PHOTOGRAPHER. Be aware of the damage you may cause by altering the physical environment to improve your picture. Do not take pictures at the expense of the wildlife.
- DO NOT BROADCAST the location of rare or valuable flora and fauna.
- RESPECT ACCESS to private property; it may have been specially arranged for the trip. Do not assume that you have a right to go back without permission.
- DO NOT BRING PETS; they are neither appropriate nor welcome on field trips.
- DOUBLE UP IN CARS if possible usually at the meeting place. This saves fuel and makes it easier for the leader to keep track of people. Observe the normal etiquette for driving and parking if the “cavalcade” stops for an observation.
- USE COMMON SENSE. The trip could be spoiled for everyone if you are lost or injured.
- IS THIS OUTING REALLY FOR YOU? Don’t go if you have doubts about your physical capacity to undertake the trip – it is unfair to others. Persons with a disability should bring a responsible companion if required. Inform the leader of your limitations before the trip starts.
- REFUND of a fee for a trip, if applicable, will be made only in exceptional circumstances.
CHILDREN are welcome on field trips and are subject to the same rules as anyone else and should be with a responsible adult. Any special restrictions on activities should be explained to children before the trip begins. Children too young or too active to be reasonably quiet on a bird walk should be taken on other kinds of trips.