Getting Children Outdoors

Each year donations get thousands of children out to the 3,000 acre Dundas Valley Conservation Area where they learn about environmental conservation with their classmates in a spectacular, vibrant and immersive setting.

Field trips are tailored to support the Ontario Ministry of Education’s curriculum from Grades 3 through 12 focussing on five key program areas:

  • Natural History;
  • Natural communities & Ecosystems;
  • Watershed Management;
  • Applied Conservation & Stewardship and
  • Active Living.

The Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) works closely with visiting classes to ensure that they receive customized programming that builds on the lessons being learned in the classroom. Junior/Intermediate students can participate in programs such as Habitats & Communities, Eco Games & Biodiversity and can plant native trees & shrubs or create wildlife habitat. Secondary students undertake ecological investigations in a meadow and forest ecosystem. They can measure, map and monitor the health of a river system offering recommendations for good stewardship practices. Advanced students also participate in the HCA’s active conservation and stewardship projects wherever possible.

On average, HCA is able to get 5,000 children learning outdoors in the Dundas Valley each school year. During that time they are away from the concrete, pollution and computer screens that are an everyday part of urban living. For many children this is the first time that they have been out in the great outdoors making for a truly trans-formative experience.

By being immersed in nature, children learn the value of conservation and living an environmentally friendly lifestyle. By connecting children to the birds, insects, trees and streams that run through the Dundas Valley, they learn to respect them and begin to understand the immense value of protecting them. Countless studies (compiled here) have also shown that time spent outdoors has a positive impact on ADHD, childhood obesity and countless other ailments.

If getting children learning outdoors is close to your heart, please click here to make a donation to support Outdoor Environmental Education.

HCA’s 2022-23 Outdoor Environmental Education Programs are made possible thanks to the generous support of:

  • The Children’s Fund (Y108 95.3 FreshRadio AM900 CHML)
  • Darling Ingredients
  • Theodore Dwyer and Madeleine Tanglao-Dwyer
  • The Dougher Community Fund at the Hamilton Community Foundation
  • The Ray Lowes Environmental Fund at the Hamilton Community Foundation
  • The W. Robert and Marion S. Shivas Conservation Trust Fund at the Hamilton Community Foundation
  • RPR Environmental
  • TC Energy
  • Jen Turkstra and Matt Soar
  • The Edith H. Turner Foundation Fund at the Hamilton Community Foundation
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