Think of the last time you were able to just sit and listen to nature around you. A bird chirping in a nearby tree, plop sound of a frog hopping into the pond at your feet, the wind rustling the reeds around you. Many of us dream to find such a place of solitude and connection to nature, void of the hustle and bustle of city life. Such a place can be found in Ramara, just 20 minutes east of Orillia, at the Robert L. Bowles Nature Centre.
Named after local resident Bob Bowles, an award-winning writer, photographer, Master Naturalist and educator; the centre pays tribute to Bob’s lifetime conservation achievements and his role as a custodian, protecting and caring for the lands throughout our region and the province. The Robert L. Bowles Nature Centre is a place where you can relax in nature, spend quality time with your family and engage in outdoor, healthy activities.
A primary goal for the reserve is to share the land with outdoor enthusiasts who revere and want to learn more about nature. With an array of habitats on the 100-acre property, including forests, meadows, wetlands, a pond and orchards, there is a diverse landscape to discover.
Visitors can sign up for an array of workshops and classes, including ones led by Bob Bowles himself. He is the reserve’s lead instructor offering classes and workshops about butterflies, dragonflies, mushrooms, frogs, mammals, trees and shrubs, ephemeral flowers, pollinating gardens and their pollinators.
Mental health and wellbeing are also top of mind for the nature reserve. “People need, more than ever, to experience the physical and mental benefits of being in nature,” says June Crinnion, manager of the Robert Bowles Nature Reserve. “We want people to realize they can make a difference in helping our world be a healthy and exceptional place to live for generations to come.”
Bush Breathing sessions are another way to experience the centre encouraging relaxation and the reduction of stress. Done individually or in small groups, Bush Breathing encourages you to slow down with intention while taking a slow walk in nature to allow your senses to awaken while breathing in the fresh air. From the crisp, clear air of a winter’s day to the warm, comforting embrace of the summer sun, these sessions are offered in in every season at the centre.
“This area has so much to offer and its proximity to the GTA area makes it convenient for people to travel only a short distance and experience the great outdoors.”
Natural beauty and serenity can be found year-round. There is a pond that is full of wildlife, especially during the early part of spring when the birds are migrating to their breeding grounds. Moose and deer also make the area around the centre their home.
“We hope people acquire new knowledge and understanding of the importance of nature and its gifts. We hope every person that visits or attends one of the workshops is inspired to become a steward of this great land.”
Learn more and see upcoming events at robertbowlesnaturecentre.com
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