The WRDSB has provided Outdoor and Environmental Education (OEE) experiences to its students since the early 1970’s. The Board currently operates four day-use OEE Centres at Blair and Wrigley Corners in Cambridge, and Laurel Creek and Camp Heidelberg in Waterloo. In addition, a seasonal program is staffed and run at the Huron Natural Area in Kitchener. Our Centres host as many as 900 classes – approximately 20,000 students – each year.
Field trips to the Centres provide opportunities for students from grades 1 to 12 to participate in highly stimulating, hands-on programs that support topics being taught in the classroom. The OEE programs are conducted by Outdoor and Environmental Education Specialists at each location, and are designed to address the expectations of the Ontario Curriculum for Science and Technology and Social Studies in the elementary grades, as well as Science, and Canadian and World Studies at the secondary level.
In addition, our Outdoor and Environmental Education Specialists offer planning, resource support and outreach services to teachers to assist them with integrating environmental education into their classes. Click here to visit their blog.
Outdoor and Environmental Education is also supported in the WRDSB through Ontario Ecoschools http://www.ontarioecoschools.org/ and the Toyota Evergreen School Grounds Greening Program http://www.evergreen.ca/.
“Environmental education is a context that can enrich and enliven education in all subject areas, and offer students the opportunity to develop a deeper connection with themselves, their role in society, and their interdependence on one another and the Earth’s natural systems. It is an approach to critical thinking, citizenship, and personal responsibility.”
– Dr. Roberta Bondar, Shaping our Schools, Shaping Our Future – Environmental Education in Ontario Schools (2007)
What do people say about WRDSB Outdoor Environmental Education Centres?
“We’ll enjoy continuing this unit here at school, thanks to the inspiration from our day with you”. – Teacher
“It would be nice if all of my education could be learned outdoors and be this much fun.” – Student
“Wonderful – the learning really came alive.” – Parent
“The program is simply outstanding!” – Parent
“Important stuff! Whenever kids can learn about nature through touch and experiencing, the learning becomes fun and interesting and therefore, value added.” – Parent
“That was the best trip I’ve ever been on.” – Student