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Position: Nature School Assistance / Research
Type: initially volunteer / compensation pending funding (see below)
Location: Gatineau Quebec / Ottawa region

This opportunity involves helping to develop a nature / forest school on property I own in a rural area just north of Ottawa. The position is un-paid for the moment, but I feel that this project is very fundable and should funding materialize, the incumbant would have the first opportunity to be compensated for their work and derive some income moving forward. I am able to provide reimbursement for travel expenses to and from the actual location, but expect that most of the work can be done from home with meetings in the city from time to time. 

As noted, I own a large parcel of forested land and my vision has always been to use that site to help connect people to nature through education programs. I do not see it being open to the general public, but rather be made available for groups or special programming, with a focus on youth, new Canadians and Seniors. Over the years, I have developed some trails, there is a mix of mature and younger forests, a few small streams and a couple of small ponds. There is a nice change in elevation and from the top of a mountain there is an interesting view. The education potential is high and my goal is to offer programming that is experiential and that encourages people to problem solve, this could involve going off the trails, foraging, team building excercises, camping, making fires and possibly in very localized areas, learning about building shelters and other "hands on-minds on" programs. A lot of these activities, for good reason, are not allowed in parks and protected areas and therefore I see a unique niche for my project compared to the current offering in the region.

The work would involve carrying out research into existing programs in the region (again to define a niche), exploring funding options, legal options and insurance requirements to see if this project is even viable. Should it look viable, then a second step would be the development of a plan to launch the program.

At this point, I am looking for someone with a passion for connecting people to nature, someone who is familiar with the Quebec regulations (insurance and legal), someone who can operate in French (I am anglphone myself, but speak French) and interested in starting out as a volunteer with a view to finding funding to create a part-time or contract position. I would also be interested in organizing a few events even this fall, such as a foraging hike or a mushroom hike, adhoc events to bring people out and to test the trails. A small fee could be requested from participants, with this money going to compensate the incumbant for work conducted to help organize these events. 

If you are interested, please send an email to John McDonnell at:
forest_ranger101 mask*  (old university email!)
to learn more and to set up a time to meet.

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GoodWork ID: 41164       Date posted to Jun 29 2017