Mural celebrates Biosphere and Reconciliation

Future visitors to Long Point Eco-Adventures will be greeted by a unique, inspiring, and expressive art installation called the Moccasin Identifier project that is in keeping with our treaty responsibilities around truth and reconciliation and the international effort to build healing relationships between peoples and the land.

It  also embodies the Biosphere’s mission “to enhance ecosystem and community well-being”.

The 8 foot by 24 foot (approx. 2.4 by 7.3 metres) mural, integrates a variety of images around a concept created by two international artists and a First Nations artist to create an expressive piece that provokes conversation about Treaty and the fact that we are all treaty people. This piece is a mutli-faceted collaboration that includes government support, national organizations, local groups, individuals, students, Indigenous partners, and the two artists, Azurite De Luca and Benjamin Swatez,  who have been celebrated for their works in troubled regions around the world.  Working with UNICEF, Save the Children, Rotary International and other agencies, the two have created murals that promote peace and recognize the hardships people have faced in war-torn regions.

This past month (May 2023) Deluca and Swatez collaborated and First Nations artist Bezaliel Hill along with students from Mrs. Laura McKenzie’s class at our home school Valley Heights Secondary School and 30 other people completed the new mural, which will eventually be displayed on the Long Point Eco-Adventures Observatory building.  They also visited the region in March where they shared their knowledge and experiences from their travels in the Congo, Poland, and ground zero in the Ukraine with other local secondary school students.  Carolyn King, former Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations and a recipient of the Order of Canada  and her team from Moccasin Identifier project also spent time with students from the Delhi, Simcoe Composite, Valley Heights, and Waterford high schools discussing Treaty and what it means to be Treaty people.  The students contributed indirectly to the mural through art produced during the workshops held under Moccasin Identifier, an initiative to raise awareness of indigenous culture, Treaty rights, and ancestral presence in Treaty #3 on the lands across Ontario.  The workshops and the mural production were organized by Project Manager Cynthia Brink for the Long Point Biosphere Region with financial support from Nature Canada and the federal department of Environment and Climate Change Canada.  This Mural is the first of four  expected to grace the Norfolk County landscape.

Explore the Biosphere with Lessons in your Backpack

Designed to help teachers and engage school children, the Long Point Biosphere’s Lessons in a Backpack can be a fun tool for anyone looking to learn and connect with nature.

Though tailored for students from grades 1 to 8, they all contain information and challenges that will help families and individuals draw more from their outdoor experiences in the region.

Each lesson is linked to the unique natural environment of the Long Point Biosphere Region.

This project was supported with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Ontario and with help from our friends in the Georgian Bay Biosphere

Also check out our Naturehood Video series on ways to learn and enjoy life in this special place.

Long Point Biosphere Region Receives Funding to Enhance Biodiversity in Norfolk County

Biosphere reserves are located in areas rich in cultural and biological diversity and are models of communities living sustainably with nature.

Norfolk County has long been recognized as one of these exceptional places, with rich agricultural lands, vibrant ecosystems and some of the greatest diversity of plants and animalsin Canada. Residents value their interactions with nature, and Norfolk County has a history of rural landowners and farmers who practice sound land stewardship.

Since 1986, Norfolk has been home to the LongPoint Biosphere Region. Long Point is a remarkable representation of unique Great Lakes coastal ecosystems and a significant refuge for migrating birds. The Long Point Biosphere Region promotes research, monitoring, education, partnerships and sustainable communities in Norfolk County.

The Long Point Biosphere Region is pleased to receive funding from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada to increase biodiversity conservation efforts in Norfolk County. Biodiversity supports food security, the economy, health and our quality of life in the form of clean air and drinking water.

This funding will bring local employment opportunities to Norfolk County as well as reinforcing our culture of sustainable living. It is a chance to strengthen partnerships and work with community stakeholders to preserve and enhance biodiversity in our region. Moving forward, the Long Point Biosphere Region will continue to foster healthy relationships with nature and sustainable economic development in Norfolk County.


For more information contact:

Sarah Emons
Conservation Director, Long Point Biosphere
Phone: 226-236-4215

Summer 2023 – Visit Norfolk’s Amazing Places

This year the Long Point World Biosphere Region (LPBR) is celebrating a total of twenty-two (22) Norfolk County sites as Amazing Places and models for sustainable tourism. 

With support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Ontario, three new  Amazing Places were identified in 2022 through a  project involving stakeholder consultations, local meetings and other initiatives. The project also grouped the local Amazing Places under themed itineraries as one-day packages for families, couples, and all residents and visitors to learn, explore, and have fun.

The list of locations are highlighted under Amazing Places – and check out the suggested GoAmazing itineraries.

Watch for Wildlife on Local Roads this Spring


Now that the first turtles are emerging from their winter naps, motorists should start watching for them crossing local roads. That’s the message of a postcard being mailed out this week to all households in Norfolk County by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) in support of its Long Point Walsingham Forest Priority Place (LPWF) conservation project.

The front of the postcard features a painting by Long Point artist Cindy Presant of a Species at Risk Blanding’s Turtle being carried across a road while a snake, frog and snapping turtle wait their turn. The image of the hands helping the turtle was inspired by a photo of Long Point turtle rescuer John Everett, taken by his wife, Jan.  

“Local photographers and nature lovers have reported seeing turtles much earlier this year so we want to get the message out to watch for wildlife crossing roads to as many people in the community as possible”, said Mandy Karch of the Ontario Road Ecology Group (OREG). “Drivers should also be watching for snakes, and on the first warm rainy spring nights, frogs and salamanders crossing”.

OREG is managing the working group addressing wildlife road mortality issues in the LPWF.  Drivers are encouraged to keep the postcard handy in their vehicles so they can refer to the following tips on safely helping wildlife seen on local roads:

  • Drive carefully in areas with wetlands and forests.

  • Stay safe. Check for on-coming traffic if you see an animal on the road. Never put yourself or other motorists in danger.

  • Let the animal cross on its own if it can do so safely.

  • If moving a turtle, take it in the direction it was headed.

  • Never pick a turtle up by the tail!

  • Don’t pick up adult Snapping Turtles unless you have experience. Use a car mat or stick to help it across.

  • Don’t take the animal somewhere new.

A handy car kit would include work gloves, a high visibility vest, hand sanitizer, pylons and a tote box. 

The postcard also explains how to collect and record data on reptile and amphibian sightings on Norfolk County roads.

Take a picture and report your sighting to the Wildlife on Roads in Ontario iNaturalist project. Your observations will help identify road mortality “hotspots” where action can be taken to mitigate these sites.  

Reducing road mortality of local reptiles and amphibians is one of five priorities identified within the Long Point Walsingham Forest Priority Place. Other priorities include: eliminating invasive species such as Phragmites, restoring and protecting tallgrass prairie habitat, preserving forests and treed swamps, and working with local farmers on managing and maintaining marginal farmland for wildlife habitat.

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