May 17, 2018 — 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, day cares, home schooling 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 programing 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.
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The Ottawa Community Foundation is a public, non-profit organization created by and for the people of Ottawa. It connects donors who care with causes that matter and serves as a trusted resource for addressing issues and leveraging opportunities in the community. It attracts and manages a growing endowment, the invested earnings of which provide grants to charitable organizations. For more information, visit www.ocf-fco.ca.
The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is one of Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities. The RVCA is responsible for furthering the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources in the watershed. The Rideau watershed covers 4,234 square kilometres in eastern Ontario and is home to over 620,000 people. For more information, visit www.rvca.ca.
The Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation is a registered environmental charity working to help protect and conserve the lands and waters of the valley of the Rideau River in Eastern Ontario. The Conservation Foundation builds partnerships and seeks new individuals, corporations and groups wanting to get involved in the vital work of taking care of our own natural environment. For more information, visit www.rvcf.ca
TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) is a national charity that funds environmental projects across Canada. With the support of more than 180,000 donors, TD FEF has provided approximately $89 million to over 26,000 environmental projects and programs. For more information, visit https://fef.td.com/.