Education Programs

The NPCA offers educational programming for young learners through to university and college levels. Programs can be hosted at various NPCA Conservation Areas, including Ball’s Falls and Binbrook. NPCA programs are hands-on, experiential, inquiry-based and cross-curricular. Field activities are based on environmental and conservation concepts and practices, and bring the classroom outdoors.

Receive a 10% discount if you combine two programs in one visit. All education programs must be booked in advance (two weeks preferred). Teacher and a maximum of 1 adult per 5 students admitted free. Fees are subject to change. Some programs may require minimum registration.

Half-Day and Full-Day Programs Available!
All listed programs are half-day. New for 2018, NPCA will offer the opportunity to extend any selected program to full-day, or select two programs for a cross-curricular visit.  

For more information, or to book, please contact programming@npca.ca or call 905-562-5235 ext. 22.

SUMMER ADVENTURE CAMPS 2018 & REGISTRATION FORM

 

2018 Education Programs

Elementary Education Programming

 

WINTER OUTDOOR ADVENTURE
January to March (Dependent on suitable snow conditions) for Grades 4 – 12
Snowshoe along trails and learn about wintertime habitats and environmental changes within the Carolinian forest. Warm up by roasting bannock over a campfire, enjoying a cup of cider and playing a winter game. Students must dress appropriately for the weather.
Max group size: 50 students
Duration: 1½ -2 hours
Fee: $5 per student

JOURNEY TO GLEN ELGIN
May to October, Grades JK – 12
This guided tour is an introduction to the history of Ball’s Falls, suitable for all grade levels. The tour introduces students to one of the first communities established along the Twenty Mile Creek, and teaches about early domestic life, and the industrial era of Glen Elgin.  At the Lower Falls, students will discover the importance of waterpower as a factor in settlement and community development. They will visit a 209-year-old gristmill, a pioneer cabin and a Victorian home, and will have the opportunity to help in the blacksmith shop, and make a pioneer craft.
Maximum group size: 50 students
Fee: $5 per student
Duration: 1.5 hours

BALL’S FALLS ROCKS!
May to October, Grades 4 – 6
What varieties of rock can be found at Ball’s Falls? In this hands-on program, students will use their scientific skills to test and identify characteristics of Niagara Escarpment rocks. They will take a tour of important geological sites and features, and will gain an understanding of how sedimentary rocks are formed.
Maximum group size: 50 students
Duration: 2 hours
Fee: $5 per student

AMAZING AMPHIBIANS
April to June, for Grades 1 – 4
Step into the world of Amphibians! Students will explore ponds, streams, and forests to discover frogs, toads, and even salamanders. They will study the life cycle of amphibians, and the impact that humans have on their habitats.
Max group size: 40 students
Duration: 2 hours
Fee: $5 per student

SPRING AWAKENING
May to June for Grades 1 – 4
During this interactive program, students experience the lives of settler children by participating in a variety of seasonal chores, which may include: baking bannock bread in an outdoor bake oven, churning butter, quilting, assembling a timber frame, and planting and ploughing. Students will get to make a pioneer toy to take home!
Max group size: 60 students
Duration: 2 hours
Fee: $5 per student

FALL HARVEST
September and October for grades 2-4
Fall was a busy time of year for the early settlers at Ball’s Falls. Students will prepare for winter by preserving foods and seeds and next planting season. They will learn how the early settlers built and operated the gristmill, help grind wheat into flour, and help the blacksmith in his shop.
Max group size: 45 students
Duration: 2 hours
Fee: $5 per student

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY
November 26 – December 14, 2018, for Grades JK-6, Limited registration
This program introduces students to settler and Victorian celebrations. Activities include demonstrations in the decorated pioneer cabin and the historical Ball home, sampling hot mulled cider and cookies, a sing-a-long in the country church, and the creation of a small keepsake to take home. Best suited for grades 2 – 4, but all grade levels are welcome.
Max group size: 60 students
Duration: 1¾ hours
Fee: $5 per student

TAKE A HIKE!
Year-round, all ages and grade-levels, tailored accordingly. 
Take a hike through the beautiful and diverse Carolinian forest, along the Twenty Mile Creek and through an early settler village. These guided nature hikes showcase the diverse species of trees, plants, birds, insects, mammals, and their habitats. Students will learn about the history and cultural heritage of Ball’s Falls learn how to identify certain plants and animals in the forest, and will view spectacular scenery along the way.
Max group size: 40 students
Duration: 1 ½ - 2 hours
Fee: $5 per student

COMPASS ORIENTEERING
May to October, Grades 6 - 12
This course allows students to develop compass skills while locating markers throughout the parks. Beginning with an introduction to using compasses and measuring distance, students will work in small groups to follow the makers throughout the park. Schools are provided with necessary maps and suggested rules of play, and teachers must oversee the program. It is recommended that teachers visit the site prior to the activity.
Max group size: 40 students
Duration: 2 hours
Fee: $5 per student
 

Secondary Education Programming

Balls Falls: What's Underground             
May to October, Grades 9 – 11
 Students will explore the Niagara escarpment, an important site displaying geologic time in stratified layers. Beginning by viewing of a spectacular rock profile, students will test and identify the types of rocks found at Ball’s Falls, and learn about how geomorphic processes resulted in their formation. Concluding with a hands-on soil alkalinity test, they will study how human activity has been determined by local soil, and how humans have impacted the soils found in Niagara today.
Maximum Group Size: 60 students
Duration: 2 hours
Fee: $5 per student

HUMAN IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENT
May to October, Grades 9 - 11
Students will learn how to conduct a field survey of the forests of Ball’s Falls by creating test plots. Using the test plots, they will learn how to identify invasive species and their impact on the natural environment and native species. Students will be able to identify key invasive species, examine local and global spatial distribution patterns, and identify both prevention and eradication goals and methods.
Maximum Group Size: 60 students
Duration: 2 hours
Fee: $5 per student

WATER QUALITY AT BALLS FALLS
May to October, Grades 9 - 11
Students will collect samples from three locations, including the Twenty Mile Creek for water quality measurement. They will conduct a macroinvertebrate field survey on the Twenty Mile Creek, in which organisms are used as bio-indicators of stream health. Using their collected data, they will be able to determine the health of the water systems at Ball’s Falls by comparing collected data. Using land-cover maps of the area, students will examine the interrelationships between humans and the environment, and identify potential causes for any pollution that may be evident in the water.
Maximum Group Size: 60 students
Duration: 2 hours
Fee: $5.50 per student

Note: When there is a seasonal decline in Macroinvertebrates in the watercourse, students will study air quality.

AIR QUALITY: Using Lichens as Indicator Species
Available September to June
Lichens are reliant on ambient air and are sensitive to changing air quality in their microclimates. Students will conduct a field survey of Ball’s Falls, identifying the spatial distribution and aspect of lichens on trees. They will identify 4 key species of lichens which can be used as bio-indicators of air quality. By examining lichens, students can acquire a sense of air quality at Ball’s Falls, and what factors influence air quality.
 

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