Huron Natural Area

The Centre

The Huron Natural Area (HNA) is a joint venture between the City of Kitchener, the Waterloo Region District School Board, and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. It is Kitchener’s largest natural area and over million dollars was invested by the City of Kitchener to upgrade the 107 hectare site, specifically to support outdoor and environmental education programming.

Since the 1990s, many WRDSB staff have contributed to the success of our HNA.  During the summer of 2008, our Board located a portable classroom to the site.  Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro generously assumed the cost of connecting the portable classroom to the city’s electrical grid.  In September 2008, the outdoor and environmental education programs for grades 2 and 3 classes, formerly offered at Bechtel Park, were relocated to the HNA.

The programs operate for six weeks in the fall and six weeks in the spring, contingent on grant funding from local charitable organizations.  The TD Friends of the Environment Foundation has consistently provided this necessary funding for over 15 years.  Financial support has also been provided over the years by the K-W Community Foundation and the Shell Environmental Fund.

About 200 classes or 4,000 students per year can experience the quality environmental education experiences that our HNA provides.

The Staff

Staff at HNA change seasonally. If you are a WRDSB teacher with a trip to HNA, you will be contacted by Allan Woodhouse with your initial trip information before the season begins. Our seasonal staff will reach out with further information in the week prior to the start of programs.

Kristy Elinesky and Alexis Pownall are the OEE interpreters at HNA for the 201-2020 school year.

Programs

We offer programs for Grade 2 and Grade 3 students at this site.

In the Gr. 2 Growth and Change in Animals program, students will do a pond invertebrate study or a field insect study and learn about metamorphosis. Students will also go on a short nature hike looking for the other types of animals (mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish) and the signs they leave behind.

In the Gr. 3 Growth and Change in Plants program students will go on a nature hike searching for different types of plants and discussing their seasonal changes and adaptations. For instance, in the fall we discuss why some trees change colour and lose their leaves and search for different examples of seed adaptation (eg. ‘Hitchikers’ like burrs or ‘Wind-catchers’ like milkweed seeds). Students will also do a Rot n’ Roll activity to search for decomposers and learn about the importance of soils.

If you will be attending one of these programs soon, please visit our Teacher Planning Page.

Contact

Email: hna-wrdsb-oe@wrdsb.ca

This is the central inbox for all staff associated with HNA, each member will receive a copy of all emails sent to this group. Our seasonal staff will respond to you inquiries individually, so please remember to ‘reply all’ to any further communications so that a copy of your conversation will be available to all staff who may need the information.

Location

801 Trillium Dr,

Kitchener, ON

N2R 1K4