September 20, 2013                                                                                           

Woodend to Offer “Wild” Learning Opportunities  

Group PhotoThe District School Board of Niagara and the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) are pairing up to support student learning at The Walker Living Campus at Woodend.

Calling the partnership a “natural fit”, DSBN Special Initiatives Facilitator Kevin Graham said this agreement with the CWF will expand the learning opportunities for students at the soon-to-be-constructed Woodend campus. “As part of the beautiful Niagara escarpment, Woodend is home to many different species of wildlife. Working with the CWF is an excellent way to help students develop an appreciation for the ecological diversity of the area,” said Graham. 

After signing the memorandum of understanding with the DSBN, Ken Beattie, the Wildlife Federation’s Habitat Programs Manager, told the assembled crowd of students, Board staff and Trustees, that Woodend is one of the best examples of Carolinian forest in all of Niagara.

“The opportunities that arise from this collaboration will help students gain an appreciation for where they live and how they fit into the ecosystem,” said Beattie. “Without education, there can be no conservation. So we think this is a very exciting and worthwhile partnership.”

DSBN Director of Education Warren Hoshizaki said this partnership embodies everything the Board wants to achieve with the Walker Living Campus. “Woodend is all about helping students to make those important connections between themselves and the surrounding environment. We are confident that our educational programs will be enhanced by this partnership, so this agreement is very positive,” said Hoshizaki.

Once completed, The Walker Living Campus will be a progressive, 21st century ecological learning environment for both the community and students at the DSBN. It will completely reinvigorate the outdoor education centre currently sitting atop the Niagara escarpment. The development will include a school house consisting of two classrooms, a gathering place where students will explore sustainable building practices and renewable energy sources, and an outdoor classroom for students to become immersed in the beauty of the natural landscape.

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