The Regional Municipality Of York

    >>

Outdoor Education

The more that you learn the more places you will go. By Dr.Seuss

York Region offers a number of outdoor education programs designed for clubs, community groups and schools to connect people with nature and inspire action. 

Author James Raffan once said, “Learning about nature is no substitute for learning in nature.”

Nature's Classroom

Nature’s Classroom is a fun, free and informative outdoor education program offered to a variety of groups and organizations including not-for-profit and charitable organizations, clubs, community groups, families and schools. This program is open to children, youth, adults and seniors.

Held in the York Regional Forest, these engaging sessions are designed to share rich stories of the forest and its importance to our community. Each program includes a guided forest walk.

Programs are 1.5 to 2 hours in length and are available for ages 4 and up.

Eligible group size: Minimum of 10 to a maximum of 25 participants (including adult supervisors)


Programs for all ages

Canada’s First Living Building: Inside and Out Explore Canada’s first ‘living building’ - the Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre - to discover the features of its sustainable design. Enjoy a guided walk to experience the history of the surrounding forest while learning how it supports a healthy community.  Offered year-round. Recommended for ages 14 and up.

Nature by Snowshoe Explore the forest on snowshoes and learn about their origin and cultural significance. This program requires snow.  Offered December to March, weather permitting. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

Nature Watch —  Do you want to be a citizen scientist? On this walk, you will explore the forest and learn how to report your discoveries. Help local conservation and science efforts by observing plants and animals and sharing data through online applications, while learning more about the nature around you. Offered year-round. Recommended for ages 14 and up.

Nighttime Wonders — When the sun goes down – you should go exploring! Use your senses to smell, hear and see the forest at night. Offered October through to April. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Wild about Wildlife — Wildlife lovers - this is the walk for you! Learn about the animals that live in the forest and how to know if they’re around. Engaging stories and forest folklore make this guided walk even more awesome! Offered year-round. Recommended for ages 4 and up.


Programs for adults (16+) and seniors (55+) only

Forest Stroll — ‘Easy does it’ is the theme of this stroll. This leisurely walk will take place on the accessible trail and is ideal for people with limited mobility or those who want to walk at a slow pace while taking in the many views offered by the forest. Offered year-round.

Getting Active in the Forest — Fitness buff…or not – this is a fun way to get active outdoors! Breathe in the sights and smells of the forest as you get your heart rate up with this low to medium impact walk. Offered year-round.

Vitamin N — Nature is good for you! Join us to discover more about the benefits of spending time in nature and ways to enjoy this awesome ‘vitamin’.  The program includes an indoor presentation followed by a dose of ‘Vitamin N’ by way of an interpretive walk through the forest. Offered year-round.


Customized programs

Customized programming including badge requirements for Scouts and Guides may be accommodated, on request.  

Programs are designed to suit the needs of many different types of groups including:

  • Scouts, Girl Guides and 4-H
  • Seniors
  • Naturalists
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Local clubs and community groups
  • Faith groups

Cost

This program is provided at no cost.


Registration

To register or learn more about the program, please fill out an online application. You will be contacted by the program facilitator.

forest,school,education,guided,walk The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Adopt-a-Stream Crossing Program

Through the York Region Adopt-a-Stream-Crossing program, school and community groups have the opportunity to help restore forest cover and habitat in-and-around streams near Regional roads.

Activities include:

  • Tree and shrub planting
  • Litter pickup
  • A classroom visit upon request

Adopt-a-Stream Crossing program volunteer hours count toward the Ministry of Education’s required secondary school community service hours in Ontario.

We supply:

  • Planting and restoration instruction and guidance
  • Trees and shrubs for planting
  • Safety vests, gloves and shovels
  • On-site safety instructions for working around busy roads, water and uneven ground

Group responsibilities:

  • Wear clothing appropriate for the weather and sturdy footwear on the day of the planting
  • Group leaders are responsible for participant organization and ensuring safety standards are met

Cost

This program is provided at no cost. If a bus is required for schools, registered charities or non-profit organizations, the cost can be paid by York Region.

Registration

Events take place between:

  • April and June (spring planting season)
  • September and November (fall planting season)

To register or learn more about the program, please fill out an application form. You will be contacted by the program coordinator.

adopt,stream,crossing,walks,forest,road,planting,litter The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Envirothon

Envirothon students


Get your high school students outside to explore nature hands-on. Register for the 2020 Envirothon - the Growing Tomorrow’s Green Leaders Challenge!

What is Envirothon?

York Region Envirothon is an interactive, hands-on, outdoor environmental education program for youth in grades 9 to 12. .The event, which will be held on April 21 and April 28, is part of the Ontario Envirothon and the North American Envirothon.

  • A province-wide network of educators and resource professionals deliver this program through field trips, workshops, competitions and resource materials
  • All material is tailored to fit Ontario curriculum and Ontario specific activities and scientific information
  • Envirothon promotes teamwork, leadership, communication, critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Over 15 regional competitions take place across the province every year, with winning teams from each regional competition competing at the Ontario Envirothon Championship, happening in May or June 2020   Champions compete at the North American Envirothon Competition which will take place at the University of Nebraska from July 26 to August 1, 2020

The winning team of the York Region Envirothon will also receive a gift certificate for planting a tree, shrubs or garden kit for their school, courtesy of Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF).

To learn more about this exciting Ontario Envirothon program, please watch this video.

This program is offered in partnership with Forests OntarioLake Simcoe Region Conservation AuthorityToronto and Region Conservation Authority , Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, York Environmental Stewardship, the York Region District School Board, the York Catholic District School Board and Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests.


Who Can Participate?

Students in Grades 9 to 12 can participate. Teachers or leaders can register teams of five students. Additional team requests will be place on a waiting list. Teams can include private schools, eco-teams, homeschool groups and other community organizations such as Pathfinders or 4-H clubs.

Download the teacher flyer to hand out at your school.


York Region Envirothon – Event days

Teams are required to participate in both event days.

Workshop Day: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM at Lake Saint George Field Centre in the Town of Richmond Hill.

AND

Competition Day: Tuesday, April 28, 2020 • 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM at the Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville.

  • Teams must have adult supervision (teacher or school approved supervisor) at both event days
  • Reimbursements for transportation will be provided upon request
  • Participants are required to dress appropriately for spending the day outdoors, remembering that April weather is unpredictable.

How Envirothon Works

Event days provide students with opportunities to learn and interact with the outdoors.

Students will rotate through eco-stations, learning practical, hands-on, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills on topics including soils, aquatics, wildlife, forestry and this year’s special topic   waste management. Each station is run by natural resource professionals.

A friendly competition is held on the second day to allow students to apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills.  Competitions generally follow the format laid out below:

  • Teams rotate through various stations to answer questions and complete hands-on activities (e.g. forest surveying, etc.)
  • Five stations focus on the Envirothon core topics (forestry, soils, aquatics, wildlife and waste management)
  • Each team will prepare a presentation which they will present to a panel of judges that work in the field
  • Teams are given time to prepare at the event
  • Students must evaluate and analyze the presented problem while relating it to Ontario Envirothon topic areas

Winners will be announced at the end of the York Region Competition Day. The winning team will compete at the Ontario Envirothon Competition, taking place in May, and will also receive a $200 gift certificate from Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) to be used for purchasing a tree, shrubs or garden kits for their school.



How to Register

Register online through the Forests Ontario website.

  • Space is limited
  • Registration cost is *$140 (including HST) for York Region teams who register before March 20, 2020
  • Registration fees increase to *$175 per team after March 20, 2020
  • Registration deadline – March 27, 2020

* Registration cost for York Region Envirothon is offered at a special subsidized rate and is therefore lower than the regular price listed on the Forests Ontario registration page.


Free Study Guides And Webinars – great for any classroom

Study Guides and webinars are available to help prepare students for their local competition and the Ontario Envirothon Championship. Study guides and webinars can also be used by teachers for high school lessons to introduce key ecological concepts like carrying capacity, soil profiles, forest management, water quality assessment and much more.  


2019 York Region Champions

The 2019 York Region Envirothon - Growing Tomorrow’s Green Leaders Challenge saw nine schools compete for the Regional title. Congratulations to all participating schools:
  • St. Elizabeth Catholic High School – First Place
  • Markville Secondary School – Second Place
  • Stouffville District Secondary School – Third Place
  • Alexander Mackenzie High School
  • Bur Oak Secondary School
  • Huron Heights Secondary School
  • Our Lady of the Lake Catholic College School
  • Richmond Green Secondary School
  • St. Augustine Catholic Secondary School
Envirothon 2019 Winning team photo



Contact Information

For more information, please contact Access York at 1-877-464-9675.


Related Resources

biodiversity,challenge,workshop,competition,schools,education,groups The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Tree Bee

what's all the buzz about trees? Tree bee.

Teachers, parents and leaders of students in Grades 4 to 6 are invited to register students to participate in Tree Bee - the tree identification competition.

Get students excited about forests as they learn to identify trees and test their tree knowledge against other teams in the Tree Bee Championship. The championship team will win an environmental grant, to help their school or eco-group become even more green.

  • There is no cost to participate
  • Teams must have adult supervision at the event
  • One to four students per team
  • Maximum of 20 students per school or organization

Register now!

For more information, visit the Tree Bee website or email AccessYork@york.ca

Spelling,Bee,id,tree,competition,kids,youth,grade,4,6,forest The Regional Municipality of York en-US




Related Resources


Nature’s Classroom,outdoor education,group,scout,girl guide,forest,hike The Regional Municipality of York en-US Outdoor Education Outdoor Education York Region offers outdoor education programs to connect people with nature and inspire action. Activities include education in the forest, tree planting at stream crossings and fun forestry competitions.

Contact Us

  • Environmental Services

  • 1-877-464-9675

  • Administrative Centre

  • Accessibility

    Accessible formats or communication supports are available upon request

Nature’s Classroom,outdoor education,group,scout,girl guide,forest,hike
url of logo image en-US The Regional Municipality of York Contact Us

Events Calendar


  • More events