Baxter Educational Programming
At Baxter, we strive to provide students with a strong understanding of our natural world, how it functions and how we, as humans, fit into it. All our programs are interactive and experiential to provide students with a “hands-on” approach to learning about natural science in our “Ecology Lab.” If you don’t see a program that meets your group’s objectives, please give us a call — and our Interpreters will create one for you!
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)
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, 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 Aboriginal 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 plants and 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.
Educational Programming Costs
Half Day Program
$175 per group
(maximum 30 students)
(90 minutes with an RVCA instructor)
Full Day Program
$250 per group
(maximum 30 students)
(two 90 minutes with an RVCA instructor)
Interested in just visiting Foley Mountain 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.
Camping (programming not included)
$6 per night per student
$75 minimum fee for the group
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
3889 Rideau Valley Drive
Manotick, Ontario K4M 1A5
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.