October 15 was a very exciting day for a group of 90 new Canadians, mostly families, from Chinese Family Services of Ontario. Given that they are all new to the country, the day trip to Mountsberg Conservation Area in Hamilton was the very first time most of them had found an opportunity to experience Ontario’s beautiful countryside.
On the bus to Mountsberg, when the kids saw horses in the fields, they were shouting with joy and telling their parents, “look at that, look at that!” It seemed very magical for all of them. Once we arrived at Mountsberg, the kids saw a wagon carried by horses and quickly arranged a wagon ride; it was like a dream come true, the kids were really excited.
The birds of prey show was a whole new experience for everyone. We learned about turkey vultures, owls, and other birds of prey. The children became really excited when they got temporary tattoos and face-paintings, which they showed off to their parents and other kids. At the snake show, some participants were stunned to hear all but one snake in Ontario are non-poisonous. It was also interesting for the participants to learn that Ontario’s Greenbelt covers nearly two million acres of land, and it’s the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt.
Families were saying that this kind of trip brings a huge appreciation of nature, its benefits to our lives and also creates family bonding. As a whole, we all enjoyed the day at Mountsberg Conservation Area in the Greenbelt. Families said that they are planning to visit other beautiful sites in the Greenbelt as well. A bundle of thanks to Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and RBC for funding this trip.
Into the Greenbelt is a project of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, in partnership with RBC, The Stop Community Food Centre, and regional Conservation Authorities to bring new Canadians into Ontario’s Greenbelt for fun, educational day trips.