Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Outdoor and science education

For those who know me, I spent 5 years living beside Long Lake, Bala, Muskoka. We cottaged there the previous 45 years, and I got to know the lake, its patterns, and its wildlife (fish and fowl, nocturnal and diurnal, amphibians and reptiles).
I have captured several videos of:
Flicker, robins, gray tree frogs,  pileated woodpecker scolding the cat, canada geese, wasp, ducks and geese.
The bats were my favourite.

I attended the first session of the Island Natural Science School, on Toronto Island, back when I was in  grade 6. It must have been 1966. We were the first kids to participate in the week-long stay, although the school was opened in 1960. The history of the islands tells us it was originally a sand bar, it was shelter to migrating birds on thee 9 km peninsula It was called 'Island of Hiawatha' when first surveyed in 1792. 
The school offers many programs and types of lessons I have subsequently taught in my JK to Gr. 8 career: Predator Prey, biodiversity, farm diversity, flight, with follow-up lessons to support the teacher back in the classroom.

What we are privileged to have on our property is wetland and bog. Wetlands are provincially protected, if they are significant wetlands, and a tax credit ensues if you are willing to treat the land as such. We are pleased to do so. A rich place of study for a former elementary teacher, the bog is navigable in frozen winter in frozen winter, otherwise only the deer and turkey, as well as a momma bear, twin 2-year cubs, the wolf and coyote travel.

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