Hello Lizzy!! A big welcome to SNOTtawa the city of snobs and city councillors with heads buried in their posterior regions!
You are probably best to keep it on the hush-hush if you keep anything more than cats or goldfish in this city (bylaws here have gotten ridiculous and people just don't grasp that a leopard gecko or a corn snake actually CANT do them any harm)
As for the herp club... I always heard it was free to join and attend. The meetings are held at people's houses (if they are charging for anything more than the newsletter I will fall over laughing) Probably not the greatest idea to join the yahoo group though... when I did that I started receiving several daily spam emails and virus emails (easy to narrow down where they got the addy when its the only place I put it... grr @ yahoo)