Wild Connections | July 2016
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JULY 2016

Summer inspiration

Get inspired outdoors this summer and imagine the possibilities for fall outdoor learning!

HCTF Education is working on many new tools to support outdoor learning right in your schoolyards (and beyond).  This Wild Connections issue brings to life inspirational possibilities for outdoor, inquiry-based learning just outside the school doors.

The concept of Naturescaping is a growing interest (no pun intended) in backyards, communities – and in schoolgrounds.  Learn how a rural Fraser Valley school, once at risk of closing, has flourished with the transformation to outdoor, inquiry-based learning and creating outdoor learning spaces.  Their exciting plans for the near-future will need a follow-up story! 

Speaking of which, don’t miss the new Naturescape tools on our website: 
“Outdoors, Projects and Places”:  
C2C: Discover Naturescape:
(A big shout-out to our friends at Fort Whyte Alive for sharing their resources with us.)

Our Wild Schools program is evolving with new opportunities to support schools growing their connections to nature in their community. Just one example is a one-day, school-wide outdoor learning event held by a Victoria school.  Check out the story of South Park's Outdoor-a-thon at Beacon Hill Park, including their tips on logistics and what teachers learned.

Note: the Wild Schools application date for all schools is March 31 (each year).

Outdoor learning and growing food:  read about a Pender Island student learning adventure in growing and making pizza from scratch.  Yum and wow! Tips and ideas for others included.

Not a Wild School?  No problem.  HCTF Education has a rich resource of workshops, lessons and resources, GO Grants and much more!  Have a look at our website to find it all. 
(TIP: next GO Grant application deadline is September 15th

As you enjoy your outdoor summer adventures, we hope you are finding some inspiration for your fall planning.  If we can support you, please let us know!

HCTF Education Team
1-800-387-9853 (ext 4)
(Victoria: 250-940-9786)

Naturescapes Transform Learning!
Nestled in the heart of the Fraser Valley lies the small rural community of Dewdney. Three years ago, declining enrollment threatened the future of the community’s only school, but today, Dewdney Elementary has become a shining example of how re-creating outdoor space can strengthen student learning and bring together a community. Led by the vision of their Principal, Mrs. McLeod, and the implementation of the Community Outdoor Recreation and Environmental Education (CORE) program, this small school has been hugely successful in incorporating  environmental education, stewardship and restoration into everyday learning.

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South Parks’ Outdoor-a-thon:
A whole school celebration of outdoor learning
To celebrate their year of learning, the whole school spent a day doing an “outdoor-a-thon” exploring various stations set up at a nearby park.

South Park Family School has been engaged in many place-based learning activities this year as a Wild School.  The school is right across Beacon Hill Park, walking distance to the inner harbor and downtown and a 15-minute walk to oceanfront and beaches.  In addition to being a Wild School, they are also one of the pilot sites for their School District #61s’ nature kindergarten program.  The school and the staff have used all these assets to launch a year of outdoor learning.  To celebrate their year of learning, the whole school spent a day doing an “outdoor-a-thon” exploring various stations set up at a nearby park.

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If They Grow It, They’ll Eat It!
Creating a school garden transforms your schoolyard into a hands-on, outdoor learning space. Students experience excitement, anticipation and a sense of accomplishment from planting seeds, watching plants grow and ripen and harvesting. And a garden sets the stage for all kinds of conversation and skill building around food choices on personal, social and environmental levels.Although food is vital to our survival and quality of life, our food knowledge is at an all-time low.

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