Displaying items by tag: get outside

June 21, 2019 – Twelve classes of low-income students will experience the natural world first hand – some for the very first time – thanks to a generous grant from the Ottawa Community Foundation.

The Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation is campaigning to help 50 disadvantaged classes access its outdoor education programs during the 2019/2020 school year. The grant of $9,420 from the Ottawa Community Foundation will cover tuition and transportation costs for 12 schools from the city of Ottawa.

Each year, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority welcomes more than 10,000 elementary and secondary school students to its Outdoor Education programs at Baxter and Foley Mountain conservation areas. The curriculum-based sessions taught by certified teachers give students hands-on experiences in nature while they learn about natural science, our role in the natural world and how we can protect it.

But not all students can afford the same experiences as their peers; there are at least 37 priority schools in the Rideau Valley region where funding simply isn’t available for “extras” like outdoor education. Unfortunately, it’s these students who are often missing natural experiences the most: many of them are new to Canada or live in urban communities where walking among the trees, exploring a wetland or catching frogs is completely unknown to them. That’s where the Foundation and its generous donors come in.

There is a growing body of evidence that learning through outdoor active play has positive effects on a child's physical, emotional, and intellectual health. More and more, children suffer from “nature deficit disorder” – a lack of connection with the natural world.

Staff use the Ministry of Education’s list of priority schools – determined based on national census income data – and work with local school boards directly to identify schools that would benefit from financial support to get their students outside and into nature.

For more information about the RVCA’s educational programs, visit https://www.rvca.ca/outdoor-education.

To support the Foundation’s conservation efforts, visit https://www.rvcf.ca/.


RIDEAU VALLEY, June 1, 2022 – No cell service? No problem! Visitors to RVCA’s conservation areas can now navigate even our most remote trails with confidence thanks to a new partnership with Avenza Maps. 

The Toronto-based mobile app offers GPS-enabled maps that can be used offline and without cell service to keep your bearings even in the deepest woods. 

“Safety is number one, and this is an innovative tool to help our visitors stay on track while exploring our beautiful properties,” said Conservation Lands Manager Chelsey Ellis. “We’re pleased to partner with such an ambitious and community-oriented organization.”

Tristan Lyttle, senior product manager with Avenza Systems Inc., agreed.

“We’re thrilled to see our local conservation authorities become early adopters of this technology,” Lyttle said. “Getting outside and exploring our surroundings has never been more important, and Avenza makes it even easier.” 

The app is supported by Android and iOS. Instructions on how to get started and use the mobile app can be found at https://www.avenzamaps.com/maps/how-it-works.html. QR codes for the RVCA’s new Avenza maps have been installed at the trailheads of eight conservation areas, and can also be found on their property-specific webpages at www.rvca.ca/conservation-areas. Scanning these QR codes will download RVCA’s maps to your phone to take out onto the trail. Ifyou don't have Avenza Maps app, you will be guided through the installation process

To avoid installation issues, the RVCA encourages visitors to download the free app before leaving home. Traditional trailhead maps and printed brochures will continue to be available, as well as downloadable PDF maps on the RVCA website. 

The RVCA offers a total of 42 km of trails through forests, wetlands, meadows and more. From the Chapman Mills boardwalk in Barrhaven to the Spy Rock lookout at Foley Mountain, our 11 conservation areas offer something for everyone, all year round.

For more information visit www.rvca.ca/conservation-areas or contact Conservation Lands Manager Chelsey Ellis at .


Contact Us

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
3889 Rideau Valley Drive
Manotick, Ontario K4M 1A5

613-692-3571, 1-800-267-3504



Regular Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Member of: conservation ontario