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Keeping kids in touch with nature through the pandemic

Even before the pandemic, the Environmental Education Team was a leader in connecting students with nature through technology.

While children are once again stuck indoors with virtual learning, HCA Environmental Education Team is working hard to adapt and make sure the magic of nature can still find its way into the virtual classroom.While nothing can replace the experience of being outdoors, the Environmental Education Team has developed unique, interactive, curriculum-linked programs which will help keep students connected. So far, they’ve developed three different programs to share with Hamilton’s students.

Livestream Virtual Sessions are 45-minute sessions directly linked to grade levels of study and curriculum requirements. Many of these sessions include worksheet materials which reflect the study session, often including experiment ideas and discussion points.

E.Y.E. (Exceptional Youth Explore) Wonder Sessions are 15- to 30-minute interactive series, allowing students and teachers to ask questions and provide input on conservation themes. In this series, Environmental Education Team members chat directly with students to unravel the myths and mysteries of our natural world.

HCA Conservation Clips are pre-recorded clips where naturalists record some of the key features and interest points found within the Hamilton watershed’s Conservation Areas. These clips will be available in the late spring.

These efforts follow a successful pre-lockdown fall term where the Environmental Education Team was able to lead sessions outdoors on school grounds. One enthusiastic teacher from Dundas Central School had assumed the highlight of the week was going to be shooting a rocket on the school grounds. To his surprise, his students were far more excited about the red wrigglers they set up in vermiculture kits for a soil and plant study!

None of this would be possible without your continued support and generosity. HCA’s continually evolving Environmental Education programs are funded through donations from people like you to the Hamilton Conservation Foundation’s Step Into Nature Fund. Click here to donate today and help ensure that kids keep their connection to the natural world.

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The TH&B #103 Locomotive is 1 of only 2 of its kind to be preserved. It was moved to #WestfieldHeritageVillage in 1977 to join the Jerseyville station, where it has become a focal point of the Village. For more info, visit https://hamiltonconservationfoundation.ca/donations/westfield/

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