RIDEAU VALLEY WATERSHED — More than 30 new classes will be visiting the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s two flagship outdoor education centres thanks to special funding through the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation, the Ottawa Community Foundation and TD Friends of the Environment. Subsidies are now available to cover busing costs for schools visiting Baxter and Foley Mountain. Separate subsides are also available to priority schools visiting Baxter who need assistance covering program and busing costs.
Baxter Conservation Area, located in the City of Ottawa near Kars and Foley Mountain Conservation Area in Westport will welcome some 1,800 additional students during the 2018-2019 school year thanks to this funding. Owned and operated by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) these two popular outdoor destinations offer education programming year-round to nursery schools, daycares, homeschooling groups, public and private schools and community groups. Each year, over 10,000 children participate in these interactive, curriculum-based programs.
“Our outdoor programs are carefully crafted, innovative and reflect the Ontario curriculum,” said Andrea Wood, Baxter Conservation Area Supervisor and Interpreter. “We are so excited to offer this special funding — we want everyone to access our programs because the best way to learn about nature is to experience it.”
Programs can be a half-day or a full-day and look to provide students with a strong understanding of our natural world, how it functions and how humans fit into it. Topics include beaver pond ecology, forest habitats, orienteering and snowshoeing. All programs are interactive and experiential to provide students with a “hands-on” approach to learning about natural science in our “Ecology Lab.”
“We are constantly looking for ways to make our programming more accessible,” Rebecca Whitman, Foley Mountain Conservation Area Supervisor and Interpreter. “We look to remove barriers — through accessible trails, low program cost and now special subsidies.”
Teachers who are interested in this opportunity are invited to contact Baxter and Foley Mountain Conservation Areas directly.
“We are looking to foster a lifelong relationship between children and the natural world,” said Ms. Whitman. “Learning outdoors is a wonderful adventure and we believe children learn best by doing.”
To learn more about outdoor education programs, day camps and other outdoor learning at Baxter and Foley Mountain Conservation Areas, visit www.rvca.ca.