The Power of Outdoor Classrooms
By CVC’s Jamie Williams, Specialist, Marketing & Communications
One of the best ways to spark a natural curiosity in children is to take them outside. You’ll find endless opportunities for kids to see, hear and feel new sensations in nature. Each new experience can inspire a child’s senses in a way that’s unmatched in an indoor environment.
Research shows many benefits of learning in the outdoors. It offers hands-on experience and grabs kids’ attention. Nature can build imagination, motivate learning, provide health benefits and improve behavior.
We’ve seen first-hand the benefits of kids learning in nature through our outdoor education programs at Terra Cotta Conservation Area. Our programs help students connect with watershed science and better understand the local environment.
Last school year, our outdoor education programs reached over 2,000 students from 75 classes. The classes that visited Terra Cotta Conservation Area ranged from Kindergarten to Grade 8. They experienced a great day of outdoor learning. Our staff welcomed budding young citizen scientists to the park and delivered programming that taught students about:
- wildlife, habitats and life cycles
- maple syrup production and the changing seasons
- water systems and water quality
- climate change and solutions in the Credit River Watershed
- the importance of urban green space and much more.
While at Terra Cotta, kids discover so many amazing aspects of nature. They hear birds like the Kingfisher that sit on branches over Wolf Lake waiting to steal its next meal. They see wildlife like snakes slithering along the forest floor or turtles sunning themselves in the wetland. And they feel natural surfaces like bark on the sugar maple trees under their hands.
As the new school year begins, our Education staff are excited to welcome new students from around the watershed to the park. Nature is a great teacher that always provides new and interesting lessons. All we must do is take time to look around to get inspired by nature. To learn more about our outdoor education program, visit our website.