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Blair Outdoor Education Centre is located in the Grand River watershed, on the Haldimand tract, and on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and Neutral Peoples. We provide nature-based experiential curriculum-linked programming for students. Classes visit for full day or half day programs that include: pond water invertebrate microscopy, stream study, winter bird behaviour, meadow invertebrate diversity, habitat measurement and comparisons, handfeeding chickadees, and orienteering activities. Classroom teachers accompany field trip programs and consolidate the experiential learning in follow-up classroom activities. Our mission is to cultivate environmental citizens by immersing students in outdoor and experiential learning opportunities.
Blair is one of five Outdoor and Environmental Education Centres in the Waterloo Region District School Board. The property is 10 hectares of field, forest and wetland and features Blair Creek, a Class 1 cold water stream, as its focal point both aesthetically and ecologically.
Nathan Mantey, OCT
Outdoor Education Specialist
Focusing primarily on grades 4 through 7, Blair programs cover a range of curriculum topics. In Grade 4 Habitat Comparisons, students undertake an adventure through a variety of natural spaces, making observations about plants, animals and abiotic factors. In the orienteering program, students practice compass use and improve their map skills as they complete indoor and outdoor orienteering challenges. The Grade 6 Biodiversity program provides opportunities for student to classify pond invertebrates using a light microscope, as well as capture and study a variety of insects and other field invertebrates. In winter, students from Primary and Junior divisions connect with winter birds and may get the chance to hand feed Black-capped chickadees! Grade 7 students have the opportunity to apply their studies of ecological interactions to a stream ecosystem, using dip nets to collect and observe aquatic wildlife. In 2018-19 Blair will be offering social studies programs focusing on past and present issues facing First Nations communities in Canada.
All of the field trip opportunities at Blair seek to cultivate an interest in and respect for the diversity of living things around us. By harnessing students’ natural curiosity and desire to explore, our programs provide experiential learning opportunities to support classroom instruction. Our goal is that students leaving our programs feel a new-found or deepened connection with the natural world and a desire to protect it.
82 Meadowcreek Lane