Baxter Outdoor and Environmental Education Programs
Baxter Conservation Area offers outdoor and environmental education programs for students and community groups from preschool to grade 12 and beyond. Join us in our outdoor classroom and give your students the opportunity to explore and connect with nature. Our education programs provide students and visitors with interactive, hands-on, curriculum-based experiences where they will learn about the natural world and their relationship with it. We also offer outdoor education programs where students will learn navigation and outdoor survival skills as well.
Baxter can accommodate up to 60 students per day. All equipment is included in our programs and each program runs approximately 1.5 hours in length. Below please find descriptions of each of the programs we offer. Descriptions are offered as general guidelines — if there are specific objectives that you would like to accomplish, please let us know. Although grade levels are recommended for each program, these are also only guidelines. Please select any desired fields to narrow your search. If you would like to go ahead and make a booking, please click here.
|Half Day Program||$175 / group||maximum 30 students, 90 minutes with an RVCA instructor|
|Full Day Program||$250 / group||maximum 30 students, two 90 minutes with an RVCA instructor|
|Self-directed||$2.50/person||Interested in just visiting the conservation area with your class but not booking a program? The cost is $2.50/person. This does not include the use of buildings other than access to public washrooms. To reserve facilities, contact staff. Staff must still be contacted to book a self-directed visit.|
|Overnight Tent Camping (accommodations only)||1-15 people - $75/night
16-30 people - $150/night
30+ people - contact for pricing
*Additional buildings also available for rent (link to facility rentals)
|Take you class on an overnight adventure to our group camping area! Plan your own activities or book our education staff to provide programming during your stay (see above for pricing).|
Baxter’s Cancellation Policy: A minimum of fifteen (15) business days notice is required to cancel education programs at Baxter Conservation Area.
This policy gives schools/groups on our waiting list sufficient time to try and fill the program opening. If Baxter Conservation Area is notified of a cancellation less than 15 business days in advance of your scheduled visit, a cancellation fee of $50.00 will be charged.
In the event of severe weather conditions (i.e. thunderstorms, snowstorms, etc.), Baxter staff will make contact with your school/group by 7:00 AM the morning of your trip if we need to re-schedule or cancel the program on that day. There will be no charge for a cancellation made due to school bus cancellations or severe weather conditions on the day of your trip.
Baxter Education Program Descriptions
Animals and Habitats
Through a variety of interactive games and a nature hike, students will learn about the amazing animals (birds, mammals, insects, amphibians and reptiles) here at Baxter, the habitats they live in and what they need in order to survive (i.e. food, water,adaptations).
Conservation Authorities and Resource Management
Conservation Authorities are local watershed management agencies that deliver services and programs that protect and manage water and other natural resources. Students will learn how CAs work and the role they play in environmental protection and management. The morning consists of a PowerPoint presentation and case studies with an interpretive hike focusing on resource management in the afternoon. (Full-day Program)
GPS and Geocaching
Weave together technology, the outdoors, and physical activity! Get an introduction to GPS technology and how it can be used to navigate your way through the environment . Discover the fun of geocaches as your students explore the grounds at Baxter!
Put on your detective’s hat and investigate some incredible insects. Students use nets and containers to collect as many different creatures as they can. Learn about what makes an insect an insect and how they have adapted to their environment, and what makes them so special to the natural world. This program compliments Pond Ecology and the two go well together as a full day of program.
Instincts for Survival
How do animals survive in their habitats? What are the skills of a predator? What is the human impact on animal life? Do you have the instincts for survival? This active wide game will help students understand some of the realities of the animal world and have a bunch of fun at the same time!
What are they? Where did they come from? Are they good or bad? What can we do about them? Students will learn about and see a variety of invasive species up-close. They will also be given an opportunity to help remove some of these invasive species from Baxter.
Kindergarten Nature Program
Your Kindergarten class will be led through a series of age-appropriate, interactive activities suited to the season. Investigate what animals need to survive in different habitats through an outdoor scavenger hunt, get hands-on with animal pelts and skulls, and explore nature through fun play-based activities. Can be offered as a half-day or full-day program.
Knee High Navigation
It is never too early to learn the basics of navigation! Students try their hands at using map and compass to work their way through a mini-orienteering course.
Weave together technology, the outdoors, and physical activity! Get an introduction to GPS technology and how it can be used along with map and compass in navigation. Students will complete a mini geocaching treasure hunt.
Give your students the chance to lose themselves in the ways of map and compass work! Students will learn the basics of how to properly use a map and compass and will practice these skills while navigating through orienteering courses of varying difficulties.
Outdoor Survival Skills
What would you do if you were lost in the woods!? What things would you need to survive? Working in groups, students will have the chance to explore the concepts of shelter building, fire building, and outdoor cooking.
The possibility for a more extensive visit exists at our group camping area. The large clearing offers a campfire area, outhouses, and cut firewood. Take an evening stroll on the trails or gather round the campfire for some fun and games.
By exploring Baxter’s pond, students will learn about the diversity of life in a freshwater pond habitat and how these animals have adapted to life under water. Using nets, basins and fact sheets, students will get up close and personal with the animals that call the pond home.
Seeds of Change
Fall is a wonderful time of year to explore the change of seasons. By looking at leaves and seeds, students will discover the concept of change, the life cycle of plants, and how the forest prepares for winter. Where do seeds come from? What do they look like? Where do they go and how do they move around?
Come and experience one of the oldest forms of transportation in Canada! Students will learn how to safely travel with snowshoes and, once comfortable, follow the snowshoe trail through the forest and maybe even try snowshoe games.
Spring Water Awareness Program (S.W.A.P.) Resources
The RVCA is pleased to offer resources to teachers interested in promoting spring water awareness. As winter turns to spring, snow and ice begin to melt and waterways begin to fill up with cold, fast moving water. Children are often interested in exploring rushing streams and thawing ponds during the warm days of spring. However, these areas can be unsafe and it is important to teach students the dangers of these areas. Please go to the following link for more information: www.rvca.ca/outdoor-education/spring-water-awareness-program
Students will be led through a series of team building and problem solving exercises. These activities are designed to help groups work more effectively together while developing useful communication and problem solving skills. NOTE: Normally, offered as a full day program. Please ask about options.
The Secret Lives of Plants
Using GPS units, navigate through a scavenger hunt to learn about the plants that Indigenous people and early settlers used to help them survive the harsh Canadian wilderness.
Have you ever stopped and looked at the soil beneath your feet? Explore our living, breathing soil and some of the curious creatures that help maintain this important ecosystem ingredient.
Investigate the diversity of living things found in a wetland ecosystem. Using nets, basins and identification keys, students will learn to identify animals that inhabit them, the importance and function of a wetland, the different types, human impacts and what we need to do to protect and preserve wetlands.