Making Friends with Wildlife

A new field trip for grades 1-3 at Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area.

In a new partnership between Cataraqui Conservation and Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre (SPWC), educators from both organizations have created a unique field trip at Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area where students will learn how to protect wildlife and their homes in the watershed. The pilot program, called Making Friends with Wildlife, is designed for students in grades 1-3 and will be delivered by educators from both Cataraqui Conservation and Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre.

“Due to the high stress of our patients at Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre, we are unable to have visitors on site”, says SPWC’s Education Coordinator, Jess Pelow. “At the conservation area, we have an incredible opportunity to offer nature-based programming in a space that models a healthy ecosystem where wildlife can thrive.”

With the expertise of Senior Conservation Educator Stana Luxford Oddie, the program design emphasizes caring for all beings with a good heart and with appreciation for the natural heritage that all beings rely on. In speaking about the new program, Stana says, “I feel that students immersing themselves in nature supports a greater connection to the land and all beings, which is vital to the future of conservation in the watershed.”

With direct links to the revised science curriculum in Ontario, ‘Making Friends with Wildlife’ will also help students understand their role in caring for the natural environment by learning practical actions each student can take in their community. Jess states, “Through carefully curated activities that engage with the land and with wildlife we meet along the way, we hope students will be inspired to protect wildlife and the natural spaces in their neighbourhood after participating in this program.”

Bookings are now being accepted for the new ‘Making Friends with Wildlife’ program in December 2022 at calendly.com/spwc. For field trips in the new year, email [email protected] to indicate interest. Educators will be contacted when the calendar opens for January-June 2023 bookings.

This project was made possible in part by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

For more details about the program, visit sandypineswildlife.org and cataraquiconservation.ca. For questions about the program, email [email protected].

About Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre

Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre is a charity that has been in operation since 1994. The mandate of the facility is to rehabilitate all ill, injured and orphaned wildlife and release them back to their home.

About Cataraqui Conservation

Cataraqui Conservation is a community-based environmental protection and advisory agency, created in 1964 by the Province of Ontario. Cataraqui Conservation’s mandated role is to provide programs and services with partner municipalities to further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources in the Cataraqui Region watershed.