Regardless of where I am traveling, I try to find things to do in the great outdoors. Nothing feels better than the refreshing air of Northern Ontario’s great outdoors (minus the misquotes). I really get a sense of a place when I can experience nature up close. I typically hike in each destination that I visit, but I’m always looking for new and unique ways to get close with nature. Through Tourism Timmins, Timmins Ontario offered me two one of a kind experiences which allowed me to get down to earth with mother nature. Visiting the Millson Forestry Service and Timmins Ecological Beekeeping Association had me on my toes learning about how these two organizations help the environment.
Forestry tour at Millson Forestry Service
Millson Forestry Service has been running in Timmins for over 30 years. With a passion and respect for nature, Millson Forestry Service and their partners work in efforts to protect the forest. From forest management services, oxygen generation, recycling waste into products for sale or wood burning products, planting trees, and educating the public (including school groups) Millson Forestry does it all. Their well planned approach to the life cycle of forests promotes sustainability within Canada. When I visited Millson Forestry Service I had the opportunity to see the company in full swing. Muddy Mark Jaron taught me that Millson Forestry Service works diligently with their partners, forestry companies, and Canadian government agencies to ensure a safe balance in forestry. During my visit, I was able to visit the extensive greenhouses & shadehouses to observe seed cleaning, seed extraction, seed planting, watering & fertilizing, and newly grown seedlings of all sizes. The variety of trees processed at Millson Forestry Service is astounding; I like that at Millson nothing goes to waste. It’s easy to get involved by planting a tree, buying products from their online store, or taking your students (if you are a teacher) or yourself for a tour at Millson Forestry Service.
Buzzing around at the Timmins Ecological Beekeeping Association (TEBA)
Timmins Ecological Beekeeping Association, otherwise known as TEBA is a non-government organization which promotes ecological beekeeping through educational outreach and research to promote and establish ecological beekeeping in the Canadian Northern climate. Visiting Rene and his bees (i.e. his “girls”) was an eye opening experience because I had no idea that conventional modern day beekeeping can weaken bees defence mechanisms and make them prone to disease. Honey bees are dying at a rapid rate and its organizations like this who help raise awareness of the challenges of beekeeping and how to address those challenges in an ecological way. Rene’s passion for his honey bees is beyond compare; Rene takes his own time to educate visitors about organic bee keeping, GMO’s, pesticides, and fungicides because he is passionate about saving his girls. During my tour, I got to visit the girls and observing them hard at work during the start of the season, taste organic honey comb (honey & bees wax created by the bees–a masterpiece), taste honey mead, and take home my very own jar of organic honey.
Hiking the variety of nature paths in the Timmins area
It’s been fun getting to know Timmins by exploring the nearby parks and hiking trails including Hersey Lake, Gillies Lake, and McIntyre Park in Schumacher among others. Each park has its own distinct characteristics, but one thing is a common theme throughout… the risk of bears. I’m not eastern Canada anymore! The risk of seeing a black bear is a real fear in Northern Ontario, not just a stereotype when foreigners think of Canada. Without bear bells or any way to protect myself, I realized wandering alone in the northern Canadian woods was not a good idea. Next time, I’ll go with a friend!
What are your favorite outdoor past times?
*Media coverage for Tourism Timmins