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Norm Merz

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Local Animal & Wildlife Experiences

Local Animal & Wildlife Experiences

A day trip to the zoo is always fun, no matter how old you are. In fact, being able to enjoy the experience seeing the wild animals through a young child’s eyes makes it all the more fun. Gather the family, pack some snacks in the car and go on a local safari!

Haldimand County boasts its own zoo: the Killman Zoo. The founder, Murray Killman opened the zoo in 1988.  There are approximately 25 species on the 33-acre property. It has one of the largest collections of ‘big cats’ in Ontario. You’ll be able to see lions, tigers and jaguars, among the many other beautiful animals. Looking for a unique party venue? The zoo will happily host your social event.

The Killman Zoo offers a range of programs, including those geared to children and also guided sessions. You can tour the zoo with experienced staff and learn all sorts of exclusive information to enhance your visit. Tours run weekend mornings. Extend your experience of the area and bring your bikes and ride on the rail trail between Unity Road East and Haldibrook Road. For more information on all that’s happening a Killman Zoo, visit: facebook.com/killmanzoo.

Not too far away is the Brantford Twin Valley Zoo. Just a short drive away, this 25-acre facility showcases a wide variety of native and exotic animals. The zoo was established in 1991 as a place for families to enjoy the outdoors in a quiet and clean environment. There’s an indoor party room, a great place to host your next broker meeting or any birthday party. If you’re visiting with family, bring a picnic and take a stroll on the forested nature trail. For more information and to plan your visit, go to twinvalleyzoo.com.

Heading north, just outside of Cambridge is Ontario’s famous African Lion Safari. This massive exotic animal park has so many ways to keep kids busy all season long. Experience the grounds by train, boat or bus, and remember to bring your bathing suits for the water park and splash pad. There is a food pavilion on site but also an area to rest and enjoy your own picnic. Visit lionsafari.com to learn more about programs and upcoming events.

Haldimand County and the surrounding area have many opportunities to experience nature and wildlife, making it easy to plan many adventures to these exotic destinations this summer. No plane ticket required!

Grass maintenance – how to have the perfect lawn

Grass maintenance – how to have the perfect lawn

The grass doesn’t have to be greener on the other (neighbour’s) side. With proper maintenance and care you can have the most glorious green grass you’ve always hoped for. There are several steps to a healthy lawn from watering, cutting, weed control, aerating and fertilizing:

Cutting Edge

Always ensure your mower blade is sharp enough. A dull blade can tear or rip the grass, rather than cut it, making your lawn more susceptible to disease and turning brown. Also the first few mowings of the season should be done on the mower’s lower (shortest) setting, allowing sun, water and nutrients to get to the base of the grass. You can then raise your mower height every one to two weeks until it’s around two and a half to three inches high.

H2-Grow

For a healthier lawn, it’s important to realize that grass should be watered deeply and less often. Watering is one of the most important factors for a beautiful healthy lawn. Water the grass three times a week early in the morning when the sun is starting to rise. Watering in the evening can leave the grass wet overnight which can lead to fungus growth.

Poking Fun

Aerating the lawn is another important step. This gives it the best chance to the receive the nutrients and water it needs to grow healthy all season long. Water the lawn one to two days prior to aeration (you can rent an aerator rather than doing it manually).  Apply grass seed to bare spots on the lawn and water the seeds to help them take root.

Fertile not Futile

Lastly, don’t forget to fertilize! Give it all the nutrients it needs. Once it’s properly aerated and seeded, an application of fertilizer will help feed the grass. With a little extra care, you’ll being enjoying the view of your green grass this summer before you know it!

Simple tips for home organization

Simple tips for home organization

An organized home is a happy home! Having everything properly organized helps the home stay clutter-free. Remember there should be a place for everything. Here’s how to get started in your home.

The first step is to tidy up the house and have everything cleaned and ready to start sorting. Go room by room and see what hasn’t been used in the last six months, as there are probably many items you can get rid of!

Create piles of garbage/recycling or to donate. Once you know what you want to keep, everything will need a proper spot. If you have something that doesn’t have a spot on a shelf or basket it will always be left out looking messy. So a very important key to organization is having proper storage solutions. You can never have too many baskets and bins. Storage has come a long way from hiding under the bed — there are stylish storage options available that complement your decor.

A great spot for extra storage is the back of your doors. This is useful especially in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and closets.

Loose papers and magazines are a very common thing that pile up in the home and add clutter. Set up a filing system and stick to it to keep piles of paper at bay. Keeping this organized will also help you know where everything is.

If you have young children then you know all about toys cluttering up the house. Choose one designated area in the corner of a room to keep their things organized in bins and shelves. It will keep your home looking better and also the kids will know what they have to play with.

Keeping the house organized can be done easily and makes a huge difference for the whole family.

Haldimand County offers many opportunities to enjoy nature

Haldimand County offers many opportunities to enjoy nature

Those living in Haldimand County have an excellent opportunity to interact with all kinds of marine life. Whether you’re canoeing or kayaking or out on a vessel on Lake Erie, the fishing can be as extreme as you like in Haldimand!  There is also magnificent conservation and birding along the Grand River and Lake Erie shoreline. Marine activities are about to get a little more vibrant as we gear up for the spring season.

Getting out onto the river in Haldimand is not difficult. Gather up your fishing license or renew it online at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/renew-replace-or-update-outdoors-card  and get out on the water. Visit the Haldimand County online and discover its #FishingGuide! Read about the top 10 spots, overlook hiking maps, cast into a nearby hole or hire a charter this April in Haldimand!

A hidden gem of Haldimand County is Ruthven Park. This nature centre serves brunches after touring The Migratory Bird Banding Station April 22. Visit Get Wild Baby Earth Day Shower, and roam the historical buildings and Greek mansion at this beautiful destination ground. Before heading out, read the Bird Banding Blog at: http://www.ruthvenparknatureblog.com/

Caledonia is loaded with trails and paths. Caledonian Kinsmen Park and Towpath, Patterson or Ramsay Walkway are all great strolling spots. The Rotary Riverside Trail with access from Seneca Park and Thistlemoor Park Pathway make Caledonia a hiker and dog walker’s paradise. For all future X Games and Olympians, Haldimand is also  home to the Aaron & Devin Koocher Memorial Skatepark.

From Port Dover to Lowbanks, Haldimand County has a stunning shoreline to reel in big game fish. The Grand River, beaches and conservation also offers recreational outlets unlike big city living. Haldimand County offers loads of amenities as well as great opportunities to enjoy the outdoors!

Viewing home checklist for homebuyers

Viewing home checklist for homebuyers

There is so much to remember and take in when searching for a home to purchase and going through multiple viewings. Do you know what you need to look for? Here is a checklist to help you remember all of the important things you’ll want to find out during house hunting:

Basic facts you’ll want to know about the home:

Year built
Asking price
Property taxes
Other condo fees etc.
Home type
Home finish (brick, wood, siding etc.)
Square footage
Lot size
Parking
# of bedrooms
# of bathrooms
Type of heating system
Type of water system

While you view the home, you’ll want to keep a record if each of these home features are in good condition or need work or replacing. Check the age and condition of:

Foundation
Roof
Driveway
Windows
Doors
Garage
Fencing
Floors
Walls and ceilings
Basement
Electric system

Finally, here are a few things to check if the community offers:

Public transportation
Schools
Shopping
Parks
Hospitals
Pet friendliness

You can also create a separate list of what your wants and needs are in your perfect home. This will help remind you and your realtor of your priorities. Keep both of these lists handy as you view homes to help you through the process to find the one that’s right for you.

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