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Workshops & Videos

If you’re interested in how scientists and community members are contributing to the health of the river and its surrounding ecosystems, we encourage you to explore our workshops and videos. Learn how individuals and ongoing projects have made a difference for the environment in their own unique ways. 


How to Naturalize your Shoreline?

Living by the water is wonderful – the peace and quiet, the beauty of the water, and the enjoyment of spending time with family and friends along its shores are but a few of its many benefits. If you’re a waterfront property owner or know of someone who is, our upcoming Great River Rapport workshop may be of interest to you. On August 23rd, we will be partnering with Watersheds Canada to conduct a live waterfront property assessment. This assessment will look at the relationship between the property and the waterfront and provide recommendations on how this relationship may be improved to benefit both the property and the health of the river. Do you have questions about erosion on your own property? How to naturalize your shoreline? Concerns about runoff and how your waterfront may be impacting the river? Join us for this live-streamed workshop on August 23rd to learn more about the Watershed Canada property assessment process, and how you may improve your own waterfront relationship with the River.

How to Collect and Share Water Quality Data

As our bodies are made up of about 60% water, knowing what is in the water we consume and interact with is important – and what better way to know what is in your water then by taking your own water quality samples! We are joined by Water Rangers to run a workshop demonstrating how to use their Water Rangers testkits to test water quality such as PH, chlorine and conductivity, and learn why these measurements are important.

How to Make Dandelion Root Tea?

Rich in antioxidants, reduces inflammation, aids digestion: one might consider dandelions nature’s secret superfood! Despite often being regarded as an undesirable weed, dandelions have numerous health benefits and they can easily be foraged in your own backyard.

The Great River Rapport invited expert forager Nancy Hildebrand to guide us through the steps she takes to forage for dandelion roots. From choosing the right location and going out to collect, to cleaning and processing, Nancy will provide us with tips and tricks on how to forage efficiently and safely outdoors.

Bird Watching with Mike Chegrinec

Woodpeckers, such as Ontario’s pileated woodpecker, have tongues which wrap around their brains. This allows a well-needed layer of protection for their heads as they drill into trees with forces often reaching up to 1,400 g’s. The pileated woodpecker is but one of over 500 bird’s native to Ontario, all of which have unique sets of characteristics, bird calls, colors and sizes.

Join local community member and renowned birder Mike Chegrinec at the Raisin Region Conservation Authority’s Cooper Marsh Conservation Area in learning about some of our incredible native bird species. Discover how to identify bird calls and physical characteristics, as well as how they nest and feed.

Connecting with community: Participatory research approaches

Indigenous communities have unique challenges when it comes to strategies for caring for creation within their territories. In this Great River Rapport presentation, Abraham Francis will describe the community-based participatory action approach taken with the Mohawk community of Akwesasne to develop approaches for engaging with newly settled Land Claims Areas’ forested lands where the voices of Akwesasronon (Akwesasne Community Members) were reflected.

How Scientists Identify Aquatic Invertebrates?

Sitting at the bottom of the food chain, aquatic invertebrates are great indicators of ecosystem health and function. This is why they are instrumental to the Great River Rapport in determining the health of the St. Lawrence River!

Did you know that some invertebrates are highly sensitive to pollutants, and the presence or absence of invertebrates in an ecosystem can be a key indicator to the state of that watershed

Join us and see how scientists here at the River Institute catch and identify invertebrates! Watch as they collect live specimens and identify them under their microscopes.

How to Protect Monarch Butterflies

Monarch Butterflies are sometimes described as ‘travelling jewels of the sky’ due to their distinctive bright orange hues and black colours. However, due to widespread depletion of milkweed (the only plant on which monarch butterflies lay their eggs and feed) in our region, these beautiful pollinators are now listed as a species of concern.

Christina Enright is a local community member who has dedicated her life to protecting these jewels of the sky. Transforming her backyard into a monarch oasis, Christina saves monarch eggs from roadside milkweed and raises them to adulthood.

In this Great River Rapport Workshop, Christina would like to invite you to join her in learning about the different life stages of monarchs and their importance to our ecosystem.

How Scientists Identify Dragonflies

Do you have dragonfly photos in your camera roll you’ve always wanted to have identified? Questions about dragonfly habitats, catching and handling tips? The Great River Rapport is excited to invite Dr. Mary Ann Perron to host a workshop on all things related to dragonflies!

How Scientists Catch & Identify Minnows

Ah, fish. They help keep our watersheds clean, and they are an important food source and an integral part of our aquatic ecosystems. They’re also a key component to the Great River Rapport in determining the overall health of the St. Lawrence River.

But how much do we really know about the fish in our own backyard? (that is, the St. Lawrence watershed!)

Join us to learn how the scientists at the River Institute catch and identify fish as part of their research! This interactive workshop will enable you to ask questions as they work and join in as they catch, identify, and measure different fish species.

Winterizing Honey Bees

Are you a hobbyist bee keeper or interested in beekeeping? Questions about how to winterize your beehive?

With bee populations quickly dwindling throughout Canada, winterizing your honeybee hives is an important process to undergo in order to maintain a happy, healthy hive throughout a long winter.

Join experienced beekeeper Luc St. Pierre as he goes through the steps required to winterize a beehive.

How Scientists Catch & Track Bats

The Great River Rapport invites you to join Dr. Brian Hickey virtually as he catches and tracks bats for his ongoing research on bat populations, foraging habits and mercury levels.

Beaver Skinning with Tasonteha Skidders

Tasonteha Skidders is a knowledgeable trapper and graduate from the Akwesasne Cultural Restoration program in the 4-year apprenticeship program in hunting and trapping.

Tasonteha will be leading an in-person workshop demonstrating beaver skinning & stretching. In this Great River Rapport workshop, learn all about trapping safety & procedures, the ins and outs of beaver skinning and how the hide is stretched and boarded.