Education Programs, Camps & PD Days

Children Overlooking Ball's Falls
Ball's Falls Conservation Area
Group of girls spotting bugs on leaves
Nature Education
Ball’s Falls Summer Adventure Camp

Please contact programming@npca.ca for more information or to be added to a waitlist.

Explore the forest, discover our heritage, learn outdoor survival skills, conduct environmental science experiments, roast marshmallows over a campfire, and so much more. Each day, campers will get to experience the elements and explore the great outdoors, play outdoor inclusive games, create crafts and experiments to take home, and spend their summer days in the wild. Summer Adventure Day Camp is held at the beautiful Ball’s Falls Arboretum, surrounded by mature shade trees, with an exclusive campfire circle!

*Day Camp is not offered on Canada Day or Civic Monday. Four-day camp on those weeks is offered at a discounted rate.


2019 Day Camp Details:
Located at Ball’s Falls Conservation Area Arboretum
3159 Sixth Avenue Lincoln, Ontario L0R 1S0

9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Monday – Friday
Extended Care Hours available: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm (Morning, Afternoon, or Both)
Camp runs rain or shine! Indoor facilities are available in the case of inclement weather or heat alert.

2019 Day Camp Fees:

Weekly: $140 per camper **
Weekly: $126 per additional camper
Daily: $35 per camper
Full Extended Care: $10 per day per family

** A 10% Family Discount applies to the additional camper(s) when you register two or more children per week.

What to Pack
Campers must come prepared for an action-packed day in the great outdoors! Backpacks are to include:

  • Litter-less and nut-free lunch and snacks
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Hat and outer layer (windbreaker, sweater)
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Running shoes and rubber boots
  • Swimsuit and towel*
    *For water-based games and activities. There are no swimming opportunities available at Ball’s Falls Conservation Area.

For more information:
Programming@npca.ca or call 905-562-5235 ext. 22.

Daily Summer Camps
Forest Explorers - July 2-5th & July 29th-August 2nd

Discover biodiversity and locate the habitats of our forest friends! Campers will journey into the wilderness to learn about the plants, animals and insects using scientific inquiry skills. Campers will complete a habitat construction challenge, track animal prints and finish a forest obstacle course. Through these STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) activities, they will experience life as a park ranger and ecologist!


Surviving History - July 8-12th & August 6-9th

Experience pioneer life and what it was like to live in the village of Glen Elgin during early settlement. Activities may range from helping in the gardens, to building a barn, and forging tools in the blacksmith shop. Through the week, campers will make a treat in the brick bake oven, grind their own flour in the grist mill and play Victorian era games.


Summer Survivors - July 15-19th & August 12-16th

Have you got what it takes to survive the wild and the natural local natural elements? Campers will learn to navigate through the forest, build shelters and fires, and discover the bounty of the environment around them. They will learn beginner archery skills, emergency signaling, and how to purify water for drinking. They will work in teams to complete the ultimate survivor challenge!


Wet and Wild - July 22-26th & August 19-23rd

Dive into the world of wetlands and wildlife at Ball’s Falls! Take a dip into aquatic life with pond and stream studies, meet the reptiles, amphibians and insects that call the creek home, and traverse the trails looking for important species and their habitats. Campers will learn about water conservation, build their own wetlands and participate in water relay races.


Ultimate Adventure - August 26-30th

Trek through the forest searching for clues on an interactive scavenger hunt. Sharpen your skills in archery, create a team logo and cheer, and participate in the Summer Survivor Challenge! Channel the movements of your favourite animal and try to make it through the Habitat Maze. Campers will also create their favourite treats over the campfire and make incredible crafts to wear back to school.

Niagara Junior Beekeepers Program

The Junior Beekeepers Program http://jrbeekeepers.ca/ is a non-profit hands-on program for children/youth interested in learning about beekeeping. Run solely by volunteers, this program is new to 2019!

The Niagara Contact and Lead Volunteer: Joanna Paul. Email: joanna.paul@hotmail.com c: 905-736-2487

Designed for children ages 10-14 years

Program Objectives:

  • To introduce youth to the world of honeybees and the role of the beekeeper;
  • To communicate the importance of honeybees and other pollinators;
  • To encourage a new generation of beekeepers.


  • Hands-on (working with the bees, honey harvesting)
  • Classroom
  • Workshops (e.g. assembling equipment, candle making)
  • Site visits
  • Guest speakers

Note about bee stings: All participants will wear full bee suits when working with the bees. However, bee stings are always a possibility.

Information Sessions for Parents and Youth:

When: Sat. June 29, 10am. – 11am. for parents and kids (10-14 yrs.) who are interested in registering for the program.

Where: The Camp House, Balls Falls Conservation Area
3159 Sixth Avenue, Lincoln, ON, L0R 1S0.
An overview of the program will be discussed, and parents will have the opportunity to complete the registration forms and pay the program fee if they decide to register their child.

All subsequent children’s meetings: Held the second to last Saturday of each month, July through to November, 10am – 12pm., with the possibility of an extra field trip, TBA.

Beekeepers Program Details

Joanna holds a Graduate Certificate of Commercial Beekeeping from Niagara College, a program which integrates apiary experience with a focus on honey production and pollinator health strategies for managed and wild pollinator species. She also holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts Honours Degree from York University, specializing in Design and Biological Illustration. She now uses her artistic skills to create informative and engaging bee education programs.

Joanna has extensive experience facilitating outdoor public education, including school aged programs teaching about forests and wetlands at Heartland Forest, and volunteering to assist at camps, school trips and historic interpretation at the Ball’s Falls Conservation Area. Her illustrations can be seen in the new signage she helped design for the Ball’s Falls Historic Site, and can be found on greeting cards she designed to help raise awareness about native bees in decline.

In addition to managing her own hives and mentoring new beekeepers, Joanna has researched the history of beekeeping in the Ball’s Falls area and continues to assist with bee research at Niagara College.


Program Fee:

  • $135/child; additional children in the same family – $110 each. Please inquire if subsidy is required.
  • Fee includes snacks and all equipment and protective clothing used in the program.
  • Each participant also receives a hive tool, jar of honey and candle;


  • Signed consent/waiver, registration form and photo release forms;
  • Payment in full;
  • Commitment to attend each session; pick up and drop off on time;
  • Proper footwear (e.g., rubber boots, running shoes, no sandals or open-toed shoes)

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.

Beginning July 1, 2019, rates are updated as follows:

Half-day Visit: $7.00 /student

Full-day Visit: $12.00 /student

Minimum group size of 15 students, or minimum fee of $105.00 required to book.

Did You Know…. Ball’s Falls Conservation Area and its programming are now officially listed as Preferred Vendors with Girl Guides of Canada? For more information on GGC Preferred Vendors, click HERE.
Girl Guides of Canada
Girl Guides of Canada
Primary School Programs
Winter Outdoor Adventure

January to March (Availability dependent upon suitable snow conditions) for Grades 4 – 12

Students will snowshoe along our trails in a guided trek, learning about wintertime habitats and environmental changes within the Carolinian forest. Students will then warm up by roasting a treat over a campfire, enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and playing a winter-themed game. Students must dress appropriately for the weather, including clothing layers, winter boots, hats, scarves, and mitts.

Max group size:
50 students

Duration: 1½ -2 hours

Curriculum Links: Grades: 4 - 12 | Physical Education, Geography

Ball’s Falls Rocks!

May to October, Grades 4 – 6

We are having an identity crisis! What kind of rock is underneath us? 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

Curriculum Links: Grades: 4 - 6 | Science, Languages, Geography

Follow Our LEED

Year-round— All Grade Levels

How do humans impact our environment? What can we do to change the way we use our resources to protect our planet? Step into and around the Centre for Conservation at Ball’s Falls Conservation Area.

Maximum group size: 30 students

Duration: 1 hour

Curriculum Links: Grades: JK - 12 | Science, Language

Amazing Amphibians

April to June, for Grades 1 – 4

Step into the world of amphibians at Ball’s Falls! Investigate ponds and streams, under rocks and logs, and in our forests, for frogs, toads, and even salamanders. Explore the life cycle of amphibians, and the impact that humans have on these and their habitats. Students will take part in an experiment and consider ways to protect these important indicator species in the environment.

Max group size:
40 students

Duration: 2 hours

Curriculum Links: Grades: 2 - 4 | Science, Languages, Physical Education

Insect Investigation

April to June, for Grades 1 – 4

Step into the world of amphibians at Ball’s Falls! Investigate ponds and streams, under rocks and logs, and in our forests, for frogs, toads, and even salamanders. Explore the life cycle of amphibians, and the impact that humans have on these and their habitats. Students will take part in an experiment and consider ways to protect these important indicator species in the environment.

Max group size: 40 students

Duration: 2 hours

Curriculum Links: Grades: 1 - 4 | Science, Languages, Physical Education, Geography

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 pioneer chores, which may include: baking bannock bread in an outdoor bake oven, churning butter, quilting, assembling a timber barn frame, and planting and ploughing the spring garden. Students will make a pioneer toy to take home!

Max group size: 60 students

Duration: 2 hours

Curriculum Links: Grades: 1 - 4 | History, Language

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 210-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

Duration: 1.5 hours

Curriculum Links: Grades: JK - 12 | History, Language, Geography

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 assist the blacksmith in his shop.

Max group size: 45 students

Duration: 2 hours

Curriculum Links: Grades: 2 - 4 | History, Language

Christmas in the Country

November 25 – December 13 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

Curriculum Links: Grades: JK - 6 | History, Languages

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, how to identify certain plants and animals in the forest and will view spectacular scenery along the way.

Max group size: 50 students

Duration: 1 ½ - 2 hours

Curriculum Links: Grades: 1 - 12 | Science, Language, Physical Education

Compass or Map Orienteering

May to October, Grades 6 - 12

This program allows students to develop compass skills while locating markers throughout the park. The course requires students to use their geography and map-reading skills. Students will begin with a short introduction to using compasses and maps and how to measure distance. Students will work in small groups to follow the markers throughout the park before returning to the start point. Control points are located throughout the park, and schools are provided with necessary maps and suggested rules of play. It is recommended that teachers visit the site prior to the scheduled date, as they must direct and implement the activity.

Max group size:
40 students

Duration: 2 hours

Curriculum Links: Grades: 4 - 12 | Physical Education, Geography

Intro to Archery

Year-round, Grades 4-12

Students will be introduced to the sport of archery and will receive instructions on how to handle and utilize bows and arrows safely and precisely. They will try out a beginner’s archery course, and work as a team to achieve a high score for their class!

Max group size:
30 students

Duration: 1 1/2 - 2 hours

Curriculum Links: Grades: 4 - 12 | Physical Education, Geography

Team Time

Year-round, Grades 6-12

Develop team spirit and cooperation within your class through a series of team-building activities. In this interactive program, students will get to know their classmates and themselves while undergoing challenges and adventures designed to bring the group together and introduce new ways of thinking, problem-solving and communicating. Students will design and take home their own team bandana/flag.

Max group size: 40 students

Duration: 1 1/2 - 2 hours

Curriculum Links: Grades: 4 - 12 | Physical Education, Language

Secondary School Programs
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

Curriculum Links: Grades: 9,11 | Science, Physical Education, Geography

Water Quality at Ball's 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

Curriculum Links: Grades: 9,11 | Science, Physical Education, Geography

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

Rocks and Soils

May to October, Grades 9 – 11

Students will explore the Niagara escarpment—an important site of geologic and geomorphic time. Beginning with a viewing of a spectacular rock profile, students will be guided through a series of stations, where they will test and identify the types of rocks found at Ball’s Falls and learn about their formation. Concluding with a hands-on soil profile test, students will study how human activity has been affected by local soil, and how humans have impacted the soils found in Niagara today.

Maximum Group Size:
60 students

Duration: 2 hours

Curriculum Links: Grades: 9,11 | Science, Physical Education, Geography

ADD ON | 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 four 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.

Curriculum Links: Grades: 9,11 | Science, Physical Education, Geography

Niagara Envirothon

*Note: teams must attend the workshop to compete on May 2nd

The Envirothon is North America’s largest high school environmental education competition. This unique program reaches more than 500,000 students across North America annually; and it’s now being offered to high-school students throughout Niagara!

Since 2008, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority has been coordinating a great outdoor education program called the Niagara Envirothon in partnership with Niagara Restoration Council, Land Care Niagara, Heartland Forest and local naturalist clubs. In 2016 a portion of funding was generously provided by Ontario Power Generation and Forests Ontario.

The Envirothon is a hands-on environmental problem-solving competition for high school-aged students in the United States and Canada. Participating teams complete training and testing in five natural resource categories: soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and current environmental issues. This program is run over two days. The first day consists of a workshop where a minimum of 10 professional volunteers offer to teach students about the five natural resource categories listed above. Eco stations are set-up outdoors and relevant tools and equipment are provided so students have an opportunity to look, learn and actually use the equipment. The second day is a testing day where the students compete for an opportunity to move on to the provincial Envirothon level. The Ontario Envirothon is held in May each year and is run by the Ontario Forestry Association (www.ontarioenvirothon.on.ca).

The technical workshop allows the students to interact with professionals in environmental disciplines from our region. The Niagara Envirothon is a way to enhance student learning and foster potential environmental leaders within our communities. As future leaders, they may one day form policies and promote programs to protect, enhance and restore our environment while promoting public appreciation.

Program Contact: Kerry Royer, 905-788-3135 x234 or kroyer@npca.ca