The Most Wonderful Place on Earth

By now you all know that I work at Bridgehead, and having stated it numerous times before, I’m assuming you also know by now how much I love it. Well, it just got better…

Not possible!? I know. But it did.

One of the things that I’ve noticed about working at Bridgehead – a company which sets a huge example as far as environmental awareness – is that it attracts a variety of different and very interesting people. People work for Bridgehead for a number of different reasons, but it’s usually way more than just a job. More often, I’ve found my co-workers to care deeply about the same things that I care about, namely: the environment, ethical treatment of people and animals, and last but not least… yummy coffee, tea & food.

So this past weekend one of my wonderful co-workers, Kirk Cushing, invited all of us to his family property. It was more or less a belated holiday party and even though it was way past the holiday season, it was easily the BEST holiday party I’ve ever been to.

Background Info

Kirk’s family own and operate the International School for Earth Studies which is a private, interdisciplinary institution specializing in three main disciplines: wildlife rehabilitation, outdoors recreation and environmental education. They have roughly 500 acres of amazing property about 1.5 hours north-east of Ottawa.

They. Have. Their. Own. Lake.

Plus they have as many trees and hills that you could possibly ever want, not to mention an incredible variety of animals. It’s truly a wonderful place.

I wasn’t able to meet Kirk’s dad, but the rest of his family were warm, welcoming and very passionate about everything that the school stands for. I was instantly struck by how knowledgeable they all were, experts in their own right from a variety of topics ranging from dog sledding to animal rehabilitation. From what I could tell, they are very wholesome people who value the art of good conversation and hard work.

They are also incredibly compassionate people who are known for their ability to rescue and rehabilitate local wild animals. Injured or abandoned bears, raccoons, deer, and various birds of prey all find their way to the Cushings where they will be cared for with expert and capable hands. Sometimes, like the grumpy bear cub that keeps waking up from what’s supposed to be her winter nap, they are able to be released back into the wild after recuperating. But sometimes their injuries mean that they have found a new forever home, like the flightless Snowy Owl with an injured wing.

As I’m sure you can imagine, the rehabilitation costs are not always cheap, not to mention the number of mouths they have to feed. As such, the Cushings have set up the Cushing Nature Foundation which provides support to not only their own animal rehabilitation services, but also to any endeavor that provides shelter and/or protection to any indigenous animal native to the province of Quebec.

If this speaks to you, please click here to find out how you can help the foundation.

And now the photos…

The International School for Earth Studies


The Family Home

Cushing Mews

Rehabilitated Snowy Owl

Rehabilitated Bird of Prey

Naughty raccoon who should be sleeping

The Stable

Working horses

Working horses

Working horses

Working horses

It was Cold!

Beautiful property

I'm in an igloo!!

The view from the igloo.

Rob's all geared up for dog sledding!

Dog sledding

Dog sled

Sled shed

Snow Poonums!

Snow Poonums!

Snow Poonums!

Snow Poonums!

Snow Poonums!

Snow Poonums!

So thank you to Kirk and his wonderful family for welcoming us into their special little world. We loved being there with you and cannot wait to come back and visit!


ps. The Cushing’s all wear Steger Mukluk’s and I was lucky enough to be loaned a pair. EASILY the comfiest and warmest boots I’ve ever worn. I would like to get my own very soon. They blew my North Face ones out of the water times ten bazillion. (Sad but true!)

Amazingly warm mukluk boots made of moose


5 thoughts on “The Most Wonderful Place on Earth

  1. Hey, I didn’t realize you were working at Bridgehead! That’s awesome. I met someone, a scientist, who worked there for a long while and she loved it. I actually wish I could work at a place like Bridgehead on the side right now, but I’m so isolated and the only coffee shops in this area (excluding Halifax of course) are Tim Hortons. Seriously! Anyway, i’m excited for you and hope this continues to be a great experience for you. And you must get discounts… I’m jealous!

    The photos are great too. Nice to learn about the Cushing family!

    p.s. I don’t know why but I’ve increasingly found that NorthFace products don’t stand the test compared to smaller companies who specialize in outdoors stuff. Lots of their stuff is made in China now and just focused on bulk production, so I’m not surprised that you’ve found some superior boots. I have an old pair of mukluks from when my family lived in Nunavut, but I’m guessing the new ones are better. is it maybe time to treat yourself? 🙂

    • Mmm… weekly comps.

      Every week you get either 1/2 lb coffee of your choice or 100g of tea. PLUS we get a discount on other shiz like FAIR TRADE BROWNIES!!

      It’s definitely a good place to work. And I don’t have to wear a visor/hair net combo like I would at Timmy Ho’s.

      LOVE IT!

  2. Wonderful and uplifting! Love the photos and love what the Cushing family are doing. A place for you to revisit methinks! Just one question, which “style” of Steger Mukluks were you wearing???
    Also, like Camille, above, I would love to have a place like Bridgehead to work in, but having a place like Bridgehead to visit here would be even better!! I miss it!!

  3. i just had to say… i checked this photos out again because they are so damn cute (no, sorry, not talking about you Rob – the animals!!!). hee

    the racoon, fowl, and horses and dogs… they are amazing! the dogs are especially crazy cute. 🙂

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