The third annual Festival of the Wild Child, a two-day event at High Lonesome Nature Reserve in the Pakenham Hills, takes place on August 24th and 25th. Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., this festival is offered by the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) and provides a variety of Stations along wooded trails and by ponds to learn, explore and engage with the natural world.
Knowledgeable volunteers are at each station to help open windows into the many wonders of nature. At Tranquility Pond and at Joel’s Pond children can don rubber boots, grab a net, and experts will be on hand to help identify and learn about the creatures they find. At Beaver Pond, the ever-popular sound-scaping site will offer a relaxing way to hear nature’s sounds amplified, including the surprisingly active life in the bottom of the pond or the wind high up in the trees. Forest fun takes place at Stonewall Arboretum and a turtle or two may be spotted at Turtle Pond adjoining the arboretum. Next door is the rock station with an explanation of the local geology and much more. As you walk further along the trail there is a soil pit where the “Soil Guy” will take you on a journey through the historic life of the area through an examination of distinct layers of the earth.
Inspired by the day’s adventures the whole family can participate at the Magical Mystical Musical Old Oak with dramatic performances by woodland characters who will save the Old Oak tree from the evil elf who stole the 5 golden acorns. The Old Oak will also be a place for games, crafts and music-making. For those with a creative bent, at some of the other stations there will be an opportunity to try your hand at various creative activities that are linked to that station: pottery at the soil pit, painting pet rocks at the rock station, bark rubbings at the Stonewall Arboretum, artwork at the sound-scaping site and poetry at the ponds.
There are also special events throughout the weekend: a campfire (weather permitting) in the afternoons with bannock making and other crafts, maybe a sing-a-long and story-telling. In the Welcome Centre there will be an opportunity each afternoon to learn about the special benefits of the much-maligned wasp with an exhibit and mini-lecture.
Each child will receive a passport and get a stamp at each station they visit.
Admission is free to children and youth under 18 and $10 for adults. You are welcome to bring a picnic, however “Law and Orders” will be onsite preparing delicious meals.
Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust is a charity dedicated to preserving wilderness lands and is committed to providing events, like the Festival of the Wild Child, that engage the community with the wonders of nature in a wilderness-like setting.