Neature Feature · Physical Education

Neature Feature: Nature 360

This week’s reading on the future of Outdoor Experiential Education (OEE) by Grant Linney is one that I really resonate with. In order to discuss the reasons why, I am going to momentarily diverge in this discussion.

Over the past few weeks we have been encouraged to choose an Alternative Practicum Placement, and several acceptable placements have been presented to us. In choosing a placement I was conflicted, because while I desperately wanted to do something that matters to me and will help me grow personally as an individual and teacher, I also wanted to time it properly so that I could still work and go to class and keep up with my responsibilities at home. The Learning Garden placement appealed to me strongly because it’s an Outdoor Education experience, and I want to know how to bring the outdoors into my classroom and how to make my classroom the outdoors; and after watching the Youtube video about The Learning Garden, I was immediately sold.

Returning to Linney’s article, I think that what he says about outdoor experiences taking place in your very own backyard is incredibly important. Students shouldn’t be conditioned to think that nature isn’t where they live, it’s two hours away by car. Looking at the Ontario Parks map alone {make sure the non-operating parks are toggled on as well!} demonstrates that the outdoors is in everyone’s backyard. No one needs the expenses of travel and admission fees to experience and enjoy the natural environment, it is all around us.

In Peterborough there are several lovely constructed parks for field trips or nature walks, but there are also a lot of rugged wilderness spaces in and around Peterborough that could be used to the same effect as any natural setting outside of our community.

My favourite place to experience nature in Peterborough is at the Trent Nature Areas, specifically the Wildlife Preserve and the Canal Nature Area. These trails are great not only for getting exercise and fresh air, but also for enjoying the peace and quiet of nature, and it’s right in our own backyard.

Any favourite places in your backyard where you get back to nature? Comment and share them below!

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