Federal agency commits $90,000 for The Riverwood Conservancy’s environmental education program
MISSISSAUGA, June 9, 2020 – The Riverwood Conservancy’s (TRC) field science program for secondary students will receive $90,000 over the course of three years – 2020 through 2023 – from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) PromoScience initiative. The funding will support the Leadership in Environmental Achievements through Diversity and Skills (LEADS) program, which takes students from Grades 9-12 outdoors to learn about local habitats, conduct field research, gain leadership skills, and form foundations for careers in science and environmental conservation.
The NSERC grant will support class equipment, instruction, and Indigenous Elders, who play a role in LEADS programs by sharing Indigenous teachings alongside Western science, and examining similarities, differences, and possibilities to utilize both knowledge bases concurrently.
“We’ve been proud to engage with over 12,000 secondary students since the start of the LEADS program in 2009,” says Douglas Markoff, Executive Director at The Riverwood Conservancy. “This generous support from NSERC will help us continue to develop youth who are environmentally conscious and technically prepared for careers in science.”
“Our areas of study, like trigonometry and forest management for climate change, may not feel very exciting or relevant coming purely from a textbook, but we get to use the beauty of our natural space to impart knowledge in a very unique way,” says LEADS Instructor, Catherine Wassmansdorf. “In almost every class at least one student will say, ‘wow, this is a job?’, and then ask me for details about field science careers. Seeing the excitement in their eyes is so rewarding.”
TRC’s grant application, and NSERC’s approval of the application, were completed before the COVID-19 pandemic. LEADS programs are currently being delivered online; they will resume in Riverwood when public health guidelines allow, and with proper safety precautions in place.
About The Riverwood Conservancy
The Riverwood Conservancy is the charity that provides programs and direction for Riverwood – the 150-acre, urban nature preserve situated on the shores of the Credit River in Mississauga. Working together with like-minded groups and individuals, our mission is to enable people of all cultures, ages, and abilities to respectfully connect with nature and learn about the importance of protecting, conserving and restoring natural spaces for the well-being of future generations – all while experiencing the beauty of the Riverwood gardens.
About the NSERC PromoScience Program
NSERC’s PromoScience Program offers financial support for organizations working with young Canadians to promote an understanding of science and engineering (including mathematics and technology). PromoScience supports hands-on learning experiences for young students and their teachers. Grants may be used to cover improvements to program content or delivery, as well as for new programs and activities. Grants can also be used to cover operational costs such as salaries, travel, postage, materials and supplies, provided that they relate to the promotion of science and engineering.