Why is a Code of Ethics necessary?

In this time of social distancing, respect for ourselves, each other and our community is very important. Regardless of our level of interest in natural history, we need to make every effort to act in a positive and responsible way.   

In Waterloo Region, several of our trees are considered ‘species at risk’ and harming them and/or their habitat is a criminal offence under Canadian law.  By finding the largest trees in Waterloo Region, you are also finding the oldest trees as well.  These venerable, sometimes rare trees, are worth our respect.  For this reason, we ask that participants of MonsterMadness be careful with their trees and avoid breaking branches or damaging bark.  

  1. Be considerate of others. Respect social distancing if you go beyond your home, and stay at least two metres apart. 
  2. Be considerate of all living things and their needs including space, food, water and shelter. Always assume that an animal is sensitive to your presence, and please do not deliberately scare animals of any kind. 
  3. Be considerate of wildlife habitat We should not trample or damage wildlife homes. This includes our trees which are homes to many animals.  
  4. Respect the rights of landowners. If you go beyond your home, be aware that all parks and recreation areas have restrictions around use (what you can do there and when). The use of trails and natural areas is permitted, but please check restrictions on use before heading out. Please do not trespass on private property.
  5. Try not to disrupt others’ activities. Many other people enjoy the outdoors, so try not to interfere with their activities. 
  6. Be responsible with your tools. If you are using binoculars, hand lenses, traps, nets or feeders please be polite while using them and always clean-up and/or put away your tools so as not to litter or pollute our environment.  Your exemplary behavior will generate goodwill with the public.

Going further, please think about how we all can respect and promote healthy trees and forests. Support the conservation of trees and the habitats they create. Promote the protection and proper management of trees and forests. Act to prevent needless killing of trees. Plant a tree at your home, encourage your school to plant trees, and advocate for conservation policies that protect forests. Be mindful of any negative environmental impacts of your activities, including contributing to climate change. Reduce or offset such impacts as much as you are able.

Thank you!


The Outdoor and Environmental Education Team.