RCE Peterborough Kawartha Haliburton - 2020

Location

Canada
CA
Eco Mentor Program
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Eco Mentor Program
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Peterborough Kawartha Haliburton
Contributing organization(s) : 
Camp Kawartha
Trent University
Fleming College
Format of project: 
Powerrpoint
Language of project: 
English
Date of submission:
Update
Additional resources: 
https://flemingcollege.ca/programs/early-childhood-education
Geographical & Education Information
Region: 
Americas
Country: 
Canada
Location(s): 
Peterborough Ontario Region
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Camp Kawartha 1010 Birchview Road
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Peterborough is a small city of about 85,000 located on the Otonabee River in Central Ontario, Canada, 125 kilometers (78 mi) northeast of Toronto and about 270 kilometers (167 mi) southwest of Ottawa. The city contains a University, College and a number of manufacturers. Just south of the Kawartha Highlands, the City has access to numerous natural areas, lakes and parks. It has a large elderly population and the city is growing.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Urban sprawl is becoming an increasing problem in this region, especially since a new major road (the 115) connects Toronto to Peterborough. This has meant that Peterborough is becoming a bedroom community of Toronto with more suburbs, development occupying farmland and natural areas. As Peterborough sprawls, it becomes ever more dependent on cars. There seems to be little in the way of plans to divest from fossil fuels.
Contents
Status: 
Ongoing
Period: 
September, 2010 to September, 2021
Rationale: 
Recognizing that there is not much in the way of formalized training for environmental education at Schools of Education in the Province of Ontario, Camp Kawartha partnered with Trent University to develop a low cost model for teacher training. Called the Eco Mentor Certificate Program, teacher candidates participate in a series of workshops delivered by Camp Kawartha staff and Trent Faculty that provide hands-on activities, strategies and resources for learning how to teach environmental education. The program is delivered at the Camp Kawartha Environment Centre, one of Canada's most sustainable buildings. As a result, we can also demonstrate best practices in sustainable building. This approach to environmental education has been adopted by 4 other universities. The program is also being implemented by Fleming College and in their Early Childhood Education program.
Objectives: 
- Provide student teachers with resources, strategies and the knowledge of how to teach environmental education
- Seed environmental educators throughout the Province of Ontario
- Help student teachers re-wild school yards and create nature rich school grounds
- 20 to 40 teacher candidates receive an Eco-Mentor Certificate each year.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
- Teacher Training
- Workshops on outdoor learning and sustainable living
- Practicums integrating environmental education
Size of academic audience: 
350 Eco Mentors graduated over the past 10 years
Results: 
- 350 Eco Mentors Trained
- 4 other Universities and 1 College adopting this same approach
- A conversation to begin a National Eco Mentor Program has begun with a working group.
Lessons learned: 
Most student teachers are excited to learn about environmental education and nature education but they lack the training, skills and resources to do so. This program addresses this need. COVID-19 has made the delivery of this program challenging this year - but we are adapting this to make it work.
Key messages: 
If we want the next generation of children to become environmental stewards, we need to activate, empower and show them how. This can't always be done from the confines of four walls. We need to train educators how to take children outside, how to create nature rich school yards and demonstrate ways in which we all can live more sustainably. Our Eco Mentor program helps to inspire teachers to foster the next generation of caring stewards.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
This is part of RCE Objective # 2:
"To implement age-appropriate sustainability and stewardship education frameworks from pre-school to secondary school, in both formal and informal settings."
Funding: 
Because Trent University Faculty and Camp Kawartha Staff volunteer their time, this is a low cost model of environmental education. Support is provided by the Ontario Bio-Diversity Council. Space is donated by Camp Kawartha.

Pictures:

File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Learning about senses and trees Paul Elliott
References and reference materials: 
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
Indirect
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
Direct
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
Indirect
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
Indirect
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
Indirect
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
Indirect
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
Indirect
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
Indirect
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
Indirect
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Indirect
Theme
Traditional Knowledge  
Indirect
Agriculture 
Indirect
Arts 
Indirect
Curriculum Development 
Direct
Forests/Trees 
Indirect
Plants & Animals 
Indirect
Waste 
Indirect
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
state: 
Direct
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
state: 
Direct
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
state: 
Indirect
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
state: 
Indirect