An Insider's Guide to Waterloo Region

Interesting places on and off the beaten track

Archive for May 2010

Nature walk at Huron Natural Area

Beaver Pond at Huron Natural Area

Josh Shea, coordinator of Kitchener Natural Areas Program, led a hike through Huron Natural Area this past weekend. It was an interesting walk for young and “old” alike and we saw the beaver dam, a Great Blue Heron, Red-eyed Vireo, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Wild Turkey egg, as well as various plants, turtles and insects. And I saw my first Red-backed Salamander which Josh found under a rotting log. He is leading another hike at Huron Natural Area on Saturday June 12, 2010 at 1:00 PM.

Red-backed Salamander

Written by Ruth

May 31, 2010 at 12:05 am

Bloomingdale Mennonite Church

Bloomingdale Mennonite Church

“Bloomingdale was known as the Snyder Mennonite Church until 1960. The name derived from pioneer Jacob Snyder, an 1806 immigrant. The first meetinghouse was built in 1826 on land conveyed by Jacob Snyder the same year. It was likely destroyed by fire in 1872. The present brick building was erected in the 1870s. The congregation suffered a division and the group that came to be known as the Mennonite Brethren in Christ possessed the building from 1874-1879. A family also left at the time of the Old Order Mennonite division in the late 1880s.” (from the Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

Written by Ruth

May 30, 2010 at 12:10 am

New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale

We visited the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale on Friday evening, sampled some food and looked at the beautiful donated quilts which will be auctioned on Saturday. This annual event is famous for its quilts and its strawberry pies but there are many other things to enjoy. There were no fresh strawberry pies on Friday, but thousands will be made and sold today. The following information is copied from the event website.

“The New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale takes place every year on the last Friday and Saturday of May.  It hosts over 40 venues with an estimated 2000 volunteers donating their time and expertise while demonstrating their passion for assisting others in need.

The Relief Sale was started in 1967 by individuals from Mennonite churches in southwestern-Ontario in response to the ever-growing world-wide need for relief from hunger, poverty and natural disaster and for development and peace-building activities. All merchandise and services are donated which means all funds raised on sale days are donated directly to Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a not-for-profit relief, service and development and peace agency of the Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in North America. MCC seeks to demonstrate God’s love by working among people around the world suffering from poverty, conflict, oppression and natural disaster. Started in 1920 in response to hunger in the Ukraine, MCC strives for peace, justice and dignity of all people.

Many people contribute to the success of the sale: donors of goods and services, supporting church congregations, auctioneers, venue coordinators and volunteers as well as the thousands of visitors from a wide geographic region who purchase the merchandise. Annual revenue from the Sale has been well in excess of $300,000 for more than 25 years. Since 1967, over 14 million dollars have been raised.

The sale attracts visitors annually because it is entertaining while raising money for a worthwhile cause. People come year-after-year because they know that the event is run exclusively by volunteers with a passion for the sale and its good work and that all of the money goes to MCC.”

Ten Thousand Villages tent with many fair trade items for sale

Location: New Hamburg Fair Grounds (map)

Written by Ruth

May 29, 2010 at 12:01 am

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron is one of the most recognizable herons in the area and is commonly seen along rivers, creeks and ponds from March to November. This picture was taken at the Greenbrook Water Pumping Station in Kitchener. (Lakeside Park)

Written by Ruth

May 28, 2010 at 12:01 am

Posted in Birding, Trails

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Old Hardware Store in Ayr

The village of Ayr in North Dumfries township is very picturesque and home to many historic buildings. This old hardware store is now a pizzeria. The movie Cold Creek Manor (2003) was filmed in Ayr and other local locations in 2002. I did home care visits here at that time and remember that the store signs were removed on the buildings for the movie set.

Written by Ruth

May 27, 2010 at 12:00 am

Zehrs Markets

Zehrs at Laurentian Power Centre in Kitchener

Zehrs is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Emory Zehr and sons Lester and Clifford opened the first Zehrs store in Kitchener, Ontario, in July 1950. The first Zehrs Market was located at 100 Highland Road West at West Avenue and now there are more than 50 stores in southwestern Ontario. This is the Zehrs store I shop at most often.

Written by Ruth

May 26, 2010 at 12:05 am

Corn Field

Cornfield near Roseville (photo taken by Becka)

Corn has sprouted in the fields and warm temperatures this week will make crops grow quickly. Local asparagus and rhubarb is available and local strawberries may make an early appearance this year.

Written by Ruth

May 25, 2010 at 12:02 am