MUN Botanical Garden
Parent & Tot Program
Greetings From the Garden:
It is time once again for the parent and tot program start at the Garden. This is
your confirmation of registration for this spring. When you drop by the Garden for
the first program, please ensure your contact information is correct and up-to-date.
Please note the attached program schedule, including dates that the program does
not go ahead.
If you cannot attend a session due to illness or a busy schedule, there is no need to
call. However, if you wish to withdraw from the program, or change your time,
please notify the education coordinator by fax, mail or e-mail. The program starts
on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, 2012.
If you are new to this program, please read the “Attention Parents and Caregivers”
section carefully. This information is intended to help you and your child. Please
remember that children grow and develop in their own way, and each child’s ability
to follow instructions and rules will vary. So please do not worry if your child does
not socialize as much as the other children, or “acts up”. Hopefully, you will find
that the family groups attending this program come to the Garden to enjoy some
time with other families, relax, get some fresh air, get to know each other (and
listen to “Duck Stuck in the Muck” every week).
Please note a change in our telephone number and the e-mail address.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon,
MUN Botanical Garden
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1C 5S7
Telephone: 864-8590 / Fax: 864-8596
Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden Inc., as part of the university's inclusive
community, is a not-for-profit corporation that creates and inspires understanding, appreciation and
conservation of plants in gardens and natural areas to further Memorial's mission of research,
education and outreach.
Nature Tots: For children 1 - 6 years old. As in past programs, a hike to Oxen Pond
to feed the ducks followed by a snack and story time will be a regular activity.
Offered on Friday mornings and afternoons and Saturday mornings.
Fee: FREE for members of the Friends of the Garden (FOG).
Public: $5 per session (One adult & one child). $3 for each extra person
Session #1 - Fridays. 10 - 11:30 a.m. (1-6 years old)
Session #2 – Fridays, 1:15 – 2:40 p.m. (1-6 years old)
Session #3 - Saturdays, 10 - 11:30 a.m. (1-6 years old)
Instructor: Anne Madden, Education Coordinator
May 4 - 5: 3 Cheers for Composting!
May 11 - 12: Down on the Pond
May 18 - 19: Forest Fun
May 25 - 26: Signs of Spring
June 1-2: FOG Spring Plant Sale – No Program
June 8-9: Amazing Mammals
June 15 - 16: Feathered Friends
June 22 - 23: Summer Welcome
Attention Parents & Caregivers:
In order to enhance your child’s experience at the Botanical Garden,
we recommend the following:
Please come prepared for all types of weather. This is an outdoor program – we
cannot stay inside. We can leave extra clothing inside if it is not required. Please
remember that a nice day can quickly turn chilly or rainy. We recommend that each
A hat (for rain and sun)
Rubber boots (for those irresistible water puddles) and/or sturdy walking boots or
shoes. No “crocs” please.
Rain gear – to avoid accidents, no umbrellas please.
Mittens or gloves - the woods can be very chilly, even on a warm sunny day.
Please dress the child in comfortable, non-restrictive “play clothes” (i.e. that you
don’t mind getting dirty). Layers are often easier with our unpredictable weather.
Please bring a light (portable) picnic for the snack break. We often have our snack
break outside, so it may be easier to pack it in a small knapsack. We prefer to
keep snacks healthy, so please avoid packing junk food. Due to the high
incidence of allergies, we ask you try to avoid foods with peanuts, eggs,
You will be given a small package (i.e. coloring sheets, stickers and other ‘stuff’) to take home
to further enhance and extend your child’s experience.
Please advise the instructor ahead of time of any special needs of your child. Information will
be kept confidential, and is requested to ensure your child’s success in the program.
While all equipment and supplies will be provided (including binoculars, magnifiers, nets,
etc.), your child is welcome to bring their own, keeping in mind that all adults are
responsible for their child’s personal property.
We will be doing some collecting in the Garden. All living creatures will be treated humanely
and released back to their habitat (home) at the end of each session. It may help for you
to explain to your child that nature’s creatures belong to nature, so they will not be allowed
to take ‘anyone’ home.
While the instructor will do everything possible to ensure a safe and fun program, your child’s
safety and behavior is your responsibility. Please try to hold their hand as we walk along
the trails, and be especially careful when we are near the pond. We ask that you try to
prevent your child from running on the trail, as this always results in accidents and injuries.
Before your visit, you may discuss with your child that you will be visiting ‘nature’s home’,
that all the plants and animals live in nature’s home, and during the program we will all try
to be ‘nice’ to nature. Therefore, we will all try to be as quiet as possible, (better chance at
spotting wildlife this way) and we will try very hard not to pick or collect things without
permission. Don’t worry if you think your child may not be able to do this. We are
prepared to bend our rules for this program as your child develops and grows.
HOW TO BE A DUCK’S BEST FRIEND at MUN Botanical Garden
Children love to feed the ducks when they visit a park. While we all welcome the opportunity
for our children to get a closer look at wildlife, safety for the child is of utmost importance. In
addition, we try to instill a sense of environmental stewardship, particularly at a young age.
In order to keep the duck feeding experience safe for everyone, we ask our visitors at MUN
Botanical Garden to keep the following points in mind. As your child grows and develops, you
may find the following information helpful in explaining why we do things the way we do.
1.) Please do not touch, pet or try to pick up the ducks.
Even though most local ducks are comfortable enough with people to get close (and wait for
food), they are wild animals and should always be treated as such. Wild animals do not like
to be handled. In fact, ducks will readily bite if approached too closely.
Reaching out to touch a duck, or trying to pick it up can be very frightening for the animal.
This is especially true for ducklings in the spring, which run the risk of being rejected by their
mother due to the foreign scent of humans on them.
Like all wild animals, ducks tend to carry fleas and other parasites. These can be easily
spread to your child. It is best for both ducks and people to keep a distance at all times.
2.) Please do not hand-feed ducks.
Again, ducks are wild animals and may very well bite when a hand is offered to them. Ducks
that do become accustomed to hand-feeding have poor chances of survival in the wild. It is
best to sprinkle the food into the water and then step back and watch.
3.) Try not to throw rocks at the water or shoreline.
As every parent knows, all children love to throw rocks. The rocks can harm a duck, duckling
or a nest full of eggs (or other people nearby). Ducks tend to hide their nests and their young
in tall grasses or reeds.
Ponds are a popular area for all wildlife, not just ducks. Muskrat, weasel and even the
occasional moose, can be spotted at ponds throughout St. John’s. The more quiet we are
around any wetland, the better chance we have of spotting a creature getting a drink or bath.
4.) Please do not feed bread to ducks.
Surprising as it may sound, bread is not good for ducks or any wild animals. It fills them up,
but fails to provide any of the nutrients that they require to grow. In order to survive, all wild
animals require a healthy diet. High energy food provides the fuel to stay warm (particularly
at night) and to fight disease, injury and other problems these creatures face every day.
Bread has an unhealthy salt content for ducks, resulting in dehydration. Also, the gluten in
bread can promote bacterial growth in the pond. This not only creates an unhealthy
environment for your child and the ducks living in the water, but the entire pond ecosystem
can be harmed or even destroyed. At MUN
Botanical Garden we feed the ducks a chicken-
scratch mixture consisting mainly of corn and
wheat. This is more nutritious and we find that
seagulls won’t eat it.
MEDICAL WAIVER / PERMISSION FORM SPRING 2012
PARENTS &/OR GUARDIANS: PLEASE COMPLETE THIS SHEET AND RETURN IT TO MUN BOTANICAL
GARDEN. (YOUR CHILD CANNOT BE ACCEPTED WITHOUT THIS INFORMATION)
Child’s Name: Birthdate: _________________________
Emergency Contact (Daytime): __________________________________________________________________
I, the undersigned, certify that to the best of my knowledge, my child is in good health and do give consent for his/her
participation in all activities in the P&T program, provided such activities are supervised by Botanical Garden staff. I
agree that having taken such precautions as in your discretion are deemed advisable, MUN Botanical Garden will not be
held responsible for any accident or sickness to my child, or for loss or damage to his/her property. I have read and fully
understand the MUN Botanical Garden P&T Program information concerning my child’s registration in the program and I
agree to abide by these policies.
(Signature of guardian / parent) (Date)
Please list any medications, allergies or special needs of your child. This information will be kept confidential, but will
enable us to be more effective leaders for your child.
Special Needs/ Other:
AUTHORIZATION FOR CONSENT FOR TREATMENT
Should a medical emergency situation arise where we would be unable to contact you, we ask that you complete the following form
as used by the Dr. Charles A. Janeway Child Health Centre, granting them permission to attend to your child. We will, however,
endeavor to contact you first. The undersigned herby authorize the staff of MUN Botanical Garden to give consent for and on
behalf of the undersigned and (name of child), relating to all matters of
medical examination, diagnosis and treatment of the said (name of child) during the period
that the said child shall be in the custody and /or control of the persons, and I agree to confirm, if requested, from time to time the
said consent given by said person.
Name of Parent or Guardian: ________________________________________________________________________________-
Signature of Parent or Guardian: _____________________________________________________________________________
Relationship to Child: Date: ____________________________________________
MCP #:____________________________________________ Family Physician: __________________________________
PLEASE TURN PAGE & COMPLETE THE PHOTOGRAPHIC RELEASE FORM + CONTACT INFORMATION
Registration & Contact Information
Parents / Guardian: Please complete
Name of Parents: ______________________________________________________
Name of caregiver (if different from parents): ________________________________
Name / age of Child(ren): ________________________________________________
Phone Number: ________________________________________________________
PHOTOGRAPHIC RELEASE FORM (MINOR)
Please complete Part A or B
I hereby grant permission to Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden to photograph
my son / daughter during activities at the Botanical Garden.
I understand that such photos may be used for promotional purposes, grant reports and in
educational presentations by Memorial University and/or the Botanical Garden without financial
compensation, and by signing below I give permission for such use.
Signature of parent / guardian:
I hereby request that Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden do not take
photographs of my son / daughter during activities at the Botanical Garden that could be used for
Signature of parent / guardian:
PLEASE TURN PAGE & COMPLETE THE PERMISSION FORM
MUN Botanical Garden, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, A1C 5S7 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / Fax: 864-8596