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Volunteer Training Opportunities


Coming Soon:  Volunteer Training Opportunities for 2020.  


Ambassador Earth Day Clean Up

Ambassador Training:

Reaching out to the community and sharing why conservation is important is a key volunteer job. Known as Ambassadors, these volunteers attend events, call supporters to invite them to events, deliver Passport to Nature booklets, and more to spread the word about The Couchiching Conservancy.

In this training course you will become familiar with the ambassador’s tool kit including our tent and table set up. You will go over all materials and handouts we provide to the public and learn how to fill them out and answer any questions related to them. Participants are privy to our latest campaigns and focuses  so that they can promote them to the wider community. Finally you will gain confidence in representing our organization and conservation in the region by better understanding the facts and figures associated with The Couchiching Conservancy. 

Two Sessions to choose from: 

Wednesday April 22nd, 2020 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm   Location: Grant’s Woods 

Sunday April 26th, 2020 from 1:30pm to 3:30 pm   Location: Grant’s Woods

Instructors: Courtney Baker & Joelle Burnie

To register, email or phone Joelle at or 705-326-1620. 



Avenza Mapping:

The Avenza Maps App can be downloaded to Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.  It can be used to track your movements on a map in real time, without using up your data.  You can pin locations in the UTM format and add photos. 

In this two hour introductory course at Grant’s Woods, we will teach you how to download a “geo-tagged” property map to your phone, track your movements, use it to tag the location of your sightings and your photos, and upload the information to google earth.   This easy-to-use mapping tool will revolutionize your property monitoring visits!  The course is two hours and will be a combination of indoor classroom instruction and practical outdoor exercises. 

Next Sessions:

Tuesday February 26,  1 to 3 pm at Grant’s Woods.

Sunday April 28th, 1 to 3 pm at Grant’s Woods.  (FULL)

Instructor:  Dorthea Hangaard.  There will also be one-on-one tutor support available at the course.  To register email  or phone   (705) 326-1620  

This course is offered free to the Conservancy’s active volunteers and paid members.



Green Frog on the Green River. Photo: Mel Tuck

Frog Calls:

Learn your frog calls and participate in our spring/summer Frog Call Monitoring Program. 

Using the Bird Studies Canada “Marsh Monitoring Program” protocols, you will learn how to identify 10 frog and toad calls individually and as part of a chorus.  For more information on the Frog Call Monitoring Program, visit the main volunteer page here.

Instructors:  Dorthea Hangaard and Meagan Coughlin

Two sessions to choose from: 

Tuesday March 5th, 2019  from 1 to 3 pm   Location:  Grant’s Woods.

Sunday March 31st, 2019 from 1 to 3 pm  Location:  Grant’s Woods.

To register, contact   (705) 326-1620.

This course is offered free to our citizen science volunteers and paid members. 



GPS Handheld Devices:

A practical course in the use of a handheld GPS device for newbies and  rookies.  Just the basics you need to use the device on your monitoring visits.  This course is for Couchiching Conservancy citizen science volunteers. 

Next Course: Wednesday April 3, 2019     1 to 3 pm    Instructor:  David Hawke  Location:  Grant’s Woods.

To register, contact   (705) 326-1620.



Dave Hawke with a ‘prized pull’ of Dog Strangling Vine

Invasive Species: 

All volunteers who work in the field are encouraged to take this two hour course periodically, to enrich your skills at identifying Invasive Species in the field.  This course focuses on terrestrial plants.

Two Sessions to Choose From:

Sunday February 24th, 2019 from 1:30 to 3:30  pm.  Instructor:  Dave Hawke

Wednesday February 27th, 2019 from 1 to 3 pm.  Instructor:  Dave Hawke

Location TBA depending on numbers.   To register, contact  (705) 326-1620



Take the course to learn why this is a ribbon snake rather than a garter snake. photo: Dorthea Hangaard

Reptile and Amphibian Identification:

In this course you will learn to identify the reptiles (turtles, snakes, lizard) and amphibians (salamanders and frogs) of our region by sight.  

This course was created to train volunteers who are part of our reptile and amphibian monitoring program, but all volunteers who work in the field for the Conservancy are encouraged to attend. 

Two Sessions to Choose From:

Wednesday March 13th, 2019 from 1 to 3 pm. Instructor:  Dave Hawke.   Location TBA

Sunday March 24th, 2019 from 1 to 3 pm.  Instructor:  Ginny Moore.  Location St. Paul’s Centre, 62 Peter St. N. Orillia

To register contact  (705) 326-1620 




The Eastern meadowlark is listed as Threatened in Ontario. photo: Dave Hawke

Species at Risk: 

All volunteers who work in the field are encouraged to take this two hour course periodically, to enrich your skills at identifying Species at Risk. 

Next Courses:

Tuesday April 16th, 2019 from 1 to 3 pm  Instructor:  Dave Hawke.   Check back for more dates next week.


To register, please contact  (705) 326-1620





Water Quality Monitoring

This is a full day course from 9 am to 4 pm.  The morning session is inside, and in the afternoon we go streamside to practice using the kits.  Instructors:  Lisa Neville, Dorthea Hangaard, Meagan Coughlin, and Jane Bonsteel. 

Next course:  Spring of 2019, once the ice has melted and things have warmed up.





The Eastern whip-poor-will is listed as Threatened in Ontario

Whip-poor-will and Nighthawk Surveying:

This course is for volunteers who sign up to conduct Whip-poor-will and Nighthawk surveys throughout Simcoe County and Carden in 2019.    You will learn about what habitat to look for & how to identify them by sound and by sight.  We will cover the survey protocols, and assign you an area and a team-mate (if you don’t already have one).

Two dates to choose from:

Tuesday April 9th, 2019 from 1:30 to 3 pm

Sunday April 14th, 2019 from 1:30 to 3 pm.

To register, please contact  (705) 326-1620.