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Sir William Osler students explored nature in their own backyard.
On Feb. 4, two FortWhyte Alive representatives visited Sir
William Osler to deliver outdoor education to its students.
Miller and Minna Goulet of FortWhyte Alive led students on an adventure of
their schoolyard and William Osler Park, teaching them about the trees and wild
animals that live in the area.
event, Miller and Goulet spent an hour exploring the outdoors with each Sir
William Osler classroom.
and the parent council approached FortWhyte because we value outdoor learning.
We can’t have students coming to FortWhyte this winter, so we’re going on the
road,” said Miller, FortWhyte’s tourism and custom programs coordinator.
helping connect kids with their neighbourhood nature a little bit more. I think
in the city we often times just assume nature isn’t here, but it’s actually all
around us. It’s the nature that we see the most often, so it’s important that
we connect with it.”
might not be obvious to the untrained eye, Miller said Sir William Osler’s
schoolyard and William Osler Park are teaming with wildlife.
park today we saw evidence of a northern flicker bird and we heard a blue jay,
which I learned en franciais c’est un geai blue,” Miller said.
heard chickadees and we saw signs of flying squirrels, red squirrels and grey
squirrels. And that’s just a handful on a blustery day that we’ve seen. Nature
is all around us all the time.”
Grade 3 student at Sir William Osler, said she learned that the blue jay is a
bit of a schoolyard bully.
learned that blue jays steal nests from other birds,” Livinia said.
conjunction with FortWhyte Alive’s visit, the Sir William Osler playground
committee designed an “enchanted forest” using donated natural Christmas trees.
cold and windy weather, no Sir William Osler students or staff were complaining
about learning outdoors.
“One of the
things I’ve learned from Barret from FortWhyte is there’s no bad weather, just
bad clothing. I took his advice this morning and layered up,” said Dominique
Ostermann, Sir William Osler’s principal.
school we have the Polar Bear Club. When temperatures dip below -27 C, we’re
supposed to stay indoors for recess, but parents and students can sign up for
the Polar Bear Club and we’ll take them outside right up until -39 C.”
happy that Sir William Osler students and staff are willing to brave the cold
to learn about their environment.
“At the end
of the day I just want them to feel a bit more connected and understand that
this is a habitat that we share with the natural world,” Miller said.