We have been offering outdoor-experiential curriculum-based programs to students in Renfrew County since 2012. On average we see around 3,500 students each year. We are always excited when we see returning students who remember the highlights of their previous visits to the centre.
Our programs are based on a graduated system, whereby students will build on their previous knowledge set in subsequent visits to the site throughout their elementary and secondary years.
The Shaw Woods OEC programs began running when we received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) for $50,000. Since then we have received funding an additional $155,000 from the OTF, from the Renfrew County District School Board (RCDSB), the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board (RCCDSB) and the French-public School Board (CEPEO), Community Foundations and TD Friends of the Environment.
Our activities, services and programs include: protecting and conserving the native landscape; educating and providing awareness training of environmental issues; delivering outdoor experiential curriculum-based programs to school groups; creating and sustaining partnerships with various community groups and organizations to promote the positive health of our environment and communities; creating awareness and advocacy projects with like-minded groups and individuals (for example, working with PAN State University to conduct a survey of the Red-backed Salamander population in relationship to the increase of the invasive earth worm population); providing recreational and tourists opportunities through the promotion of healthy active lifestyles; maintaining trail networks that are open to the public 365 days a year; hosting community events to promote the strengths of other not-for profit organizations in the local and provincial communities; providing unique opportunities for the scientific and research community in Canada and abroad.
Over the last two and a half years we have had 6,500 students from the Renfrew County District School Board and the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board attend the programs at our centre. We have received hundreds of thank you letters that demonstrate how much the students enjoyed their activities and the importance of what they learned. We have had teachers continue to return to the centre and continue to support our initiatives inside the classroom as well. We now receive funding to support one full-time staff to direct, develop, deliver, and coordinate programs and one part-time assitant until 2020.
We have been approached by the French-public school board to invest in our organization, hire a French speaking teacher to learn our programs, and deliver them to their students.
We have students from Algonquin College developing programs to be offered at our site and to participate ecological projects that promote the protection of our ground source water.
We reach people through social media and have over 7000 visitors to our Facebook page each week. They learn about the local flora and fauna of the site and provide opportunities to share their own initiatives with others.
We are developing community events whereby various organizations come to our site to promote their own initiatives and participate in engaging and motivating activities that promote the environment and healthy active lifestyles.
Check out our partner and funders websites below:
TD Friends of the Environment- https://fef.td.com/
Community Futures- https://www.rccfdc.org/