If you need a quick shot of nature, this is the place to see it!
Located in Oakridge, Sifton Bog is close to one of London's popular local markets - Remark Fresh Markets. This natural gem has a meandering boardwalk that leads to a platform extending into Redmond's Pond. Although this ESA is not the largest, once you reach the pond it is amazing how remote it feels, especially so close to a busy intersection.
Along your stroll you might spot turtles, dragonflies, different birds and even deer. "Since the bog is surrounded by woods with Carolinian affinities, one can experience in a ten minute walk changes in vegetation that could normally take a journey of several hundred kilometres," (Ontario Trails).
This place was essentially made for Instagram users! It almost feels impossible to take a bad photo along the winding boardwalk or lush green forest. Sunrises and sunsets offer fantastic shadows for organic and serene photos.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR EDUCATION
Did you know that this bog was created because of the cool, oxygen poor conditions and dead plants that sank and did not fully break down? The plants became compressed and ended up making layer upon layer of build up eventually forming a semi-floating mat that surrounds the open water at the centre (Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, ESA Brochure). This environment allows for easy camouflage for animals like the Midland Painted Turtle. The physical surroundings of the bog provide the perfect habitat for these turtles.
Ask your children if they are able to see a turtle or a frog! If you can't see any frogs right away, take a close look into the pond to see if you can spot any tadpoles. Take this opportunity to teach them about how tadpoles turn into frogs. Perhaps they might even want to find a frog to kiss it and see if turns into a prince!
BROCHURES & ACTIVITY
BINGO! Check out ReForest London's BINGO sheet that can be used for any of London's walks or hikes. Print it at home and use it in your neighbourhood (or wherever it's safe to wander outside)! DOWNLOAD HERE.