The Waterloo Region District School Board recognizes current educational thought which emphasizes the importance of outdoor education as a holistic method of education used to enrich the school curriculum through effective utilization of the natural environment.
– WRDSB Policy 6004
Outdoor Education / Off Campus Education
It is the policy of the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) to promote the development of environmentally sound values by modeling appropriate practice, by supporting environmentally sound activities and by supporting a comprehensive environmental education program.
– WRDSB Policy 2000
Overview: The WRDSB has provided Environmental Education experiences to its students since the early 1970s. We currently operate four day-use Outdoor and Environmental Education (OEE) Centres at Blair and Wrigley Corners in Cambridge, and Laurel Creek and Camp Heidelberg in Waterloo. In addition, a seasonal program is offered 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 hands-on programs that support units being taught in the classroom. The OEE programs are delivered by Outdoor and Environmental Education Specialists, 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 lessons.
What are people saying about WRDSB Outdoor Environmental Education programs?
“That was the best trip I’ve ever been on.”
“Wonderful – the learning really came alive.”
“The program is simply outstanding!”
“Important stuff! Whenever kids can learn about nature through touch and experiencing, the learning becomes fun and interesting and therefore, value added.”
“We’ll enjoy continuing this unit here at school, thanks to the inspiration from our day with you.”
“It would be nice if all of my education could be learned outdoors and be this much fun.”
“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
Centres and Staff
- Blair: 519-653-9855 (Nathan Mantey)
- Camp Heidelberg: 519-885-6528 (Allan Woodhouse)
- Laurel Creek: 519-885-1480 (Sean McCammon)
- Wrigley Corners: 519-501-4031 (Levi Moore)
- Huron Natural Area: 519-885-6528 (Allan Woodhouse)
- Ed Centre: 519-570-0300 (Joe Bell – System Administrator)
- Ed Centre: 519-570-0300 (Sheila McNeil – Administrative Assistant)