Wrigley Corners is a retrofitted two-room school that has been used as an Outdoor and Environmental Education Centre (OEEC) for the last thirty years by the Waterloo Region District School Board. The two acres surrounding the Building have been naturalized into grassland, pond and forest habitats, making it a diverse living classroom.
At Wrigley Corners, we band birds, feed chickadees, run simulation activities and explore the ecology of our local environment. We have some of the region’s greatest biodiversity and most spectacular scenery on our doorstep. It is just waiting to be experienced by another generation of students.
The Centre is staffed by Outdoor and Environmental Education Specialist, Levi Moore (BES, M.Sc.).
Levi has spent considerable time in the field, working as a Wildlife Biologist, enjoys bringing this experience to the activities offered at Wrigley Corners and is a huge fan of citizen science!
Currently only virtual field trips are being held. To request a field trip please use the following google form: https://forms.gle/xCfM9dAcQUg8QKWr7
Grade 7: Interactions in the Environment
Conservation (60 minutes)
In this trip we start with a brief overview of 6 fabulous local birds, the state of our birds in Canada, major causes of population decline, and what we can do about it in Waterloo. To take this activity further, students can be challenged to explore one of Ontario’s species-at-risk, and create a plan to stop its decline in population. This activity would require a second meet to follow up.
Bird Bingo (60 minutes)
Play virtual bingo! There are 34 species in the OEE winter bird bingo deck. We play through the deck and provide identification tips, audio clips, natural history trivia, and opportunities for questions with each species. This activity makes a great introduction to our Conservation program and gets students really excited about birds!
Species at Risk in Waterloo (60 minutes)
Join Levi as he introduces you to the beautiful and charismatic species at Risk of Extinction that live right in our backyards! We spend a few minutes overviewing the importance of biodiversity and what Canada/Ontario have done to conserve the disappearing plants and animals (legislation/penalties/incentives/research). The students pick three of nine case studies to explore as a class. The last 15 minutes is spent brainstorming and prioritizing local conservation actions that a student, a class or the entire WRDSB might take to participate in the conservation of these species.
Owl Pellets!!! (60 minutes)
Join Levi as he ‘unboxes’ an owl pellet. This is a ‘live’ event where students will interact with Levi as he does the dissection, answers questions, does math, tries not to barf! Students will be asked to follow along with this handout that can be handed in as assigned work when the meet is over.
Grade 7: Heat in the Environment
Climate Change in Waterloo 2050! (60 minutes)
Explore what Waterloo will be like in 30 years with Levi as he dives into major changes to expect. To frame the issue we will spend the first 10 minutes reviewing the basics of climate change. After that we deconstruct the GHG emissions targets of Canada, Ontario, Waterloo and the WRDSB. The students pick three of five topics to explore with Levi as we go deeper into ecological, social and economic changes that Waterloo can expect. Let’s make climate change a local issue!
Grade 7: Structures
Design Sprint for the Conservation of an Endangered Species [Chimney Swifts] (90 minutes)
In this 90-minute program OEE staff meet with your class virtually and ‘sprint’ through a process of problem definition, brainstorming solutions, prioritization, prototyping and sharing. We challenge students to find a technological solution to aid in the recovery of the declining Chimney Swift populations in Waterloo Region. We use a mix of jamboards, Canvas, Tinkercad (if pre-taught) and Google Meet chat features as our ‘war room’ to help students tackle this conservation challenge. (This program may require some prework to familiarize students with Tinkercad).
Grade 8: Understanding Earth and Space Systems
Water in Waterloo (60 minutes)
This activity has two parts, a brief overview of water systems in Waterloo and an in-depth exploration of how our groundwater works using a flow model. Along the way, we explore natural and human influences on the watershed and discuss its status as a heritage river. The activity concludes with student-directed manipulation of the flow model and demonstrations of how groundwater can be overused and contaminated.
Escape Room (60 minutes)
Join us as we attempt to escape from the Water Treatment plant! Your class will have to work collaboratively to solve 8 puzzles that will teach them all about water treatment in Waterloo.
Grade 7 or 8: Q&A (60 minutes)
Meet with Levi to do some good-old-fashioned Question and Answer. Pick one of Reptiles, Amphibians or Birds or any conservation issue (pollution, climate change, invasive species, direct mortality, habitat loss) to discuss. Levi will bring his natural history specimen collections (Skulls, feathers, skins, bones, shells, etc…) as show and tell to prompt questions. We frame most of our answers and stories in ways to connect to concepts like food webs, common interactions in ecosystems, and local conservation issues.
2366 Spragues Rd., Ayr Ontario, N0B 1E0
The centre is located about 10 minutes south of Cambridge along Spragues Rd., halfway to Paris. Because the site has limited natural amenities, we use many local public properties for our programs.