STEWIACKE SLEUTH, BY HEATHER HAMILTON
The Wittenburg Young Naturalist Club (YNC) invites youth and their families to explore our natural surroundings through actual hands-on experiences, both indoors and out, and positive interactions with adult naturalists.
The local chapter started in the fall of 2011 under the umbrella of the Young Naturalist Clubs of Nova Scotia and is heading into its second year with some exciting meetings in the works. Membership is free and everyone is welcome to come to one or all of the monthly meetings where they can share their natural history observations, hear from guest speakers and participate in hands-on activities.
Last year the club had presentations on beavers, which included a walk to a beaver dam, studied trees at the Wittenburg nursery and identified animal tracks while capturing them with plaster casts and molds.
They also learned about wilderness safety, visited the Chaswood Educational woodlot to learn about and sample maple syrup, and had a local birder teach about identifying native birds.
The year wrapped up with a hike around Wittenburg Mountain, using some of the group's new knowledge, and ended with a campfire complete with s'mores and refreshments.
Clubs like the YNC are more important than ever to get our kids outdoors where they can build their knowledge of natural science and acquire what could be life-saving skills such as wildlife species identification and field guide use.
The youth are also taught the importance of wildlife habitat conservation and developing a strong conservation ethic. And a huge spin-off benefit is that time spent with the YNC naturally encourages outdoor recreation as part of a healthy lifestyle for both the youth members and their families.
The Wittenburg YNC meets the fourth Saturday afternoon of each month at the Wittenburg Baptist Church Hall. September's meeting focussed on nature photography and included a trip outdoors to actually take some pictures. Upcoming meetings will cover watersheds, including a pond dipping activity and a trip to the planetarium at Dalhousie University.
For more information, call Wendy Grant at 639-2808 or visit us at www.nature1st.net/ync.
The Stewiacke library branch and The Ridge Shop were happy to host a special evening with author Lesley Crewe in September.
Crewe entertained a group of 30 guests with readings from her sixth book, 'Kin,' followed by a wonderful question and answer session. The guest author is from Glace Bay and has, through her latest literary effort, offered an honest, poignant and often humorous portrayal of small town Cape Breton.
The library is planning more author visits so keep in touch to enjoy this wonderful opportunity to get the behind-the-scenes story of your favourite Maritime books.
The Winding River Art Gallery, at Mastodon Ridge, is excited to be celebrating its first anniversary with an open-house/reception on Friday, Oct. 19, from 6 to 9 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 20 from 10am to 5pm.
On both Friday evening and Saturday, selected artists will be offering discounts. Everyone is welcome to drop by, enjoy some good food and music and, of course, beautiful art work.
The gallery has new fall hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., every day. Featured artists for October are Janice Stewart and Joanne Solway.
For more information on gallery events, call 639-1646
Heather Hamilton has lived in East Stewiacke for almost 25 years and is an avid supporter of her community. If you have community news that the Stewiacke Sleuth should know about, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.