Media Release: from Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority
The Tiffin Centre for Conservation helped welcome over 30 new Canadian families on Saturday. Through hands on workshops, families learned the skills to experience and enjoy the great Canadian outdoors.
“At the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA), we help all Canadians realize that being in nature is a fun activity which does not have to cost a lot of money,” said Naomi Saunders, Manager of Education at NVCA. “Through these activities, we want to help new Canadians feel more comfortable in nature. We have chosen topics and activities that would be helpful to know if they would like to go camping, hiking or canoeing.”
Funded by the Rotary Club of Barrie, new Canadian families registered with the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) this September tried first hand the skills to experience and enjoy the great Canadian outdoors.
“We are a community-based organization,” said Jody Patfield, President of the Rotary Club of Barrie. “We believe that by welcoming new Canadians, we can build a stronger and more resilient community.”
Divided into three groups, families travelled to three separate stations. At one station, Sojourn Outdoors, a local outdoor adventure and lifestyle retailer, walked families through tent setup and showcased hiking gear.
Frank Yamich, retired principal and outdoor enthusiast, demonstrated outdoor cooking equipment that are both easy to use and cost efficient. He also talked about how to avoid dangerous plants found in nature, such as poison ivy.
Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association Canoeing Instructor Andy Owens introduced families to canoeing, covering topics such as the importance of wearing a lifejacket, canoe safety, launching and landing. The session ended with families practicing canoeing in Tiffin’s Papa Bear Pond.
“Outdoor education is a key priority for the SCDSB,” said Sarah Kekewich, Manager of Communications of SCDSB. “We are pleased to work with the NVCA and Tiffin Centre to support newcomers to our schools and communities as they learn about the uniqueness of our environment and how to explore it safely”.
Images provided: Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority