Discover Nature with Your Class
The Branch Out program enhances grades 6 -12 science and geography curriculum and raises awareness about local climate change issues.
Participants are inspired to discover and restore nature in their community and participate in a local stewardship project. The program includes an interactive online workshop with CVC staff, followed by a field trip to a stewardship site.
This free program is offered during the spring (April, May, June) and fall (September, October).
- What: A compulsory online interactive workshop with your class to help students understand environmental issues related to climate change. This workshop will help students be prepared for the field trip.
- Duration: 90 minutes (approximate).
- Who: Teachers and their students participating in the program and with CVC staff.
- Topics Covered: CVC’s Code of Conduct policies, health and safety for the stewardship event, how to prepare for the field trip, and a presentation covering local nature and wildlife, issues affecting environmental health such a climate change, how to take action, and more!
- What: A hands-on stewardship and learning project led by CVC staff where students may:
- Plant native trees and shrubs
- Remove invasive species
- Assist with a shoreline clean-up
- Tend to and care for past planting sites
- Conduct ecosystem-based field studies (e.g. tree or stream study)
- Take a hike or complete other activities to explore flora and fauna, climate change impacts, and/or local environmental issues.
- Duration: Full day (approximately 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., with lunch break).
- Who: Teachers and students participating in the program with CVC staff. Please note, there must be a ratio of one teacher/adult volunteer to every 20 students. However, please refer to your own school’s policies regarding rations as they may be lesser.
- Where: The field trip will take place in the either the Fletchers Creek (or Hungry Hollow) Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan (SNAP) area, CVC Conservation Area, or a local municipal green space.
- The program is designed as a two-part layered learning experience that includes a virtual workshop and a field trip.
- Each field trip can accommodate up to 40 students per day.
- Teachers are encouraged to register as a group or department.
- The Branch Out program is free thanks to generous support of funders and is offered to schools within the Credit River Watershed.
- Teachers are responsible for arranging and paying for transportation to and from the event site.
- All students attending the field trip must bring a Branch Out waiver signed by a parent/guardian (no digital signatures) in order to participate in the event. Teachers will also need to sign a waiver to participate in the event.
- The program runs rain or shine, with exception of severe weather. When booking a bus for your trip, please ask that the bus stay on site for the entire day in case of severe weather or other health and safety issues. The bus will act as a shelter for some field trip locations.
The wellbeing of our participants, teachers, and staff is our top priority. Participants are required to follow COVID-19 best practices and safety protocols:
- Stay at home if you are feeling sick, if you have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive or are under self-quarantine.
- Practice physical distancing and best hygiene practices in compliance with local and provincial guidelines. We will do everything we can to ensure participants maintain physical distancing at our events. If this is not possible, staff and participants will be asked to wear a face mask.
- Bring your own snacks, lunch and water.
- Bring your own mask and gloves. We have extra supplies.
- Equipment and supplies, such as shovels, will be provided but you can bring your own.
- Dress for the weather and wear long pants and closed-toe shoes or boots.
- We’re following provincial and local guidelines for outdoor gatherings. There will be a maximum of 40 participants, including staff, at the event.
- You must acknowledge and read all CVC waivers and forms (both teachers and students). The waivers will be sent to you once you book a field trip.
- Online registration and COVID-19 pre-screening are required for all CVC events. You must complete the online self-screening 24 hours before an event and upon arrival at the event.
- You will receive notification if events change or are cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.