As many as 1,500 students will experience the great outdoors over the next three years – some for the very first time – thanks to a $29,936 grant from BOGS© Outdoor Foundation.
BOGS© also provided 20 pairs of warm boots to ensure students are equipped and dressed for their outdoor visit allowing them to focus on the valuable learning experience rather than cold, wet feet!
The Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation (RVCF) has been campaigning to help 50 schools access outdoor education programs at local conservation areas in the 2019/2020 school year. The Outdoor Foundation grant will cover tuition and transportation costs for 16 priority schools across the region.
The programs are run by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s (RVCA) certified outdoor education teachers at Baxter and Foley Mountain conservation areas. They welcome more than 10,000 elementary and secondary school students to their curriculum-based programs every year for hands-on experiences in nature, from catching frogs to snowshoeing.
But not all students can afford to take part. There are at least 37 priority schools in the Rideau Valley region where funding simply isn’t available for “extras” like outdoor education. To make matters worse, these students are often most lacking quality time in nature: many of them are new to Canada or live in urban communities where walking among the trees, exploring a wetland or building winter shelters is completely unfamiliar.
And it’s not just a missed day of fun. There’s a growing body of evidence that learning through outdoor active play has positive effects on a child’s physical, emotional, and intellectual health. More and more, children suffer from “nature deficit disorder” – a lack of connection with the natural world.
“BOGS© is thrilled to offer youth the opportunity to discover the beautiful Rideau landscape in eastern Ontario and provide footwear that’s designed to keep children’s feet dry, warm and comfy all day long. We chose the RVCF as our first Canadian based Outdoor Education grant partner because of the mutual love for the great outdoors and providing an opportunity for the new generation of confident explorers, nature-lovers and environmental stewards,” said David Earle, Marketing Manager for BOGS© Footwear.
For more information about the RVCA’s educational programs, visit www.rvca.ca/outdoor-education. To support the Foundation’s conservation efforts, visit www.rvcf.ca.