Quinte Conservation's outdoor education programs are available throughout the year. They can be delivered at a number of conservation areas across the watershed. These environmental outdoor programs offer hands-on learning experiences in nature. We offer them to public and private schools, nurseries and day cares, homeschool groups, youth groups, day camps, and service groups.


We customize our outdoor programs to meet current learning goals and curriculum objectives. Programs are delivered by experienced outdoor education staff. 

The following programs can be booked as a field trip to a local conservation area including Potter's Creek Conservation Area in Belleville; HR Frink Conservation Area in Plainfield; Vanderwater Conservation Area in Tweed; Macaulay Conservation Area in Picton, or Depot Lakes Conservation Area in Verona.

Ask us how your program can be modified for a conservation area near you and for your curriculum goals.

Contact us to learn more.


Seasonal Nature Exploration with Curriculum Focus

Health & Physical Education: Grade 1-12: Active Living, Movement and Competence

It’s refreshing to look for and enjoy the revolving cast of wildlife wonders and activities on the horizon with each new season. The interpretive hike can be tailored to a particular learning goal, a cluster of curriculum expectations, or it can be an open inquiry, allowing engaging learning opportunities (a barred owl, a red squirrel cache, a nurse log) to organically emerge from the forest to engage students.

Mapping It Out & Basic Orienteering Skills

*NEW  Introduction to GPS (Grades 7-12)

Social Studies, History, and Geography: Map and Globe Skills: Grades 1-12

From a bird’s eye view to our view, students will gain an understanding of maps and navigation. Where have I been? Where am I? Where do I want to go? How can I get there? Students will ask these fundamental questions, make maps, discuss their choices, read maps and, depending on grade level, orient maps, use compasses, various units of measurement, relative directions, cardinal directions, contour lines, grids, proportional representations, and symbols, testing their skills by completing an orienteering course.


Introduction to GPS (Grades 7-12)     Supported by Enbridge Fueling Futures Grant 

Students will learn the history of satellite-based GPS technology and how it works. Students will learn what GPS is used for and how GPS data it is used in the conservation field. Students will be shown how to use handheld GPS units to navigate. Outside, students will participate in an advanced orienteering challenge that has students working cooperatively in small teams, using GPS units to navigate to checkpoints and learning about their local watershed. 


Nature Connections & Nature Art Program

The Arts: Grades 1-3: C1, C2, D1, D2

Why do songbirds sing, grouse drum, and wolves howl? This activity will attune students to the natural environment around them and the great symphony of nature with its rests, beats, dawn choruses, banjo plucking Green Frogs, and babbling brooks. Students will focus on elements and principles of visual art in nature, creating and sharing music and visual artworks using found materials in nature. 

Protecting Biodiversity

Strongest Curriculum Connections: Science & Technology: Grade 6: Understanding Life Systems: Biodiversity

Wow! The grandeur of all things great and small, beautiful and bizarre, dark and dazzling, sweet and stinky, soft and spiky. Why should students care if there is one fewer species tomorrow? Students will learn about biodiversity, especially all the biodiversity close to home, and see the interconnectedness of the ecosystem as well as the effects of habitat loss and invasive species through a nature walk, group activities and games.

Exploring Habitats 

Strongest Curriculum Connections: Science & Technology: Grade 3: Growth and Changes in Plants; Grade 4: Habitats and Communities; Grade 6: Biodiversity

Exploring forest, field and/or aquatic habitats, students will discuss what local plants and animals need to thrive and learn about the effects of some invasive species. Students will play a part in the habitat balancing act through a role-playing game and discuss how we can help protect, create and enhance habitat for wildlife in our communities and contribute to healthy, diverse and resilient ecosystems.

A native tree, shrub, and/or wildflower planting opportunity may be available (site specific). 


Adaptations For Survival

Strongest Curriculum Connections: Science & Technology: Grade 1: Understanding Earth and Space Systems; Grade 2: Growth and Changes in Animals; Grade 3: Growth and Changes in Plants; Grade 4: Habitats and Communities

Students explore, through a nature walk and group activities and games, how plants and animals are adapted to survive, with a focus on our local plants and animals. Playing fun role-playing games, students will act out adaptations as “Bat and Moth,” and “Red Fox and Snowshoe Hare.”

Hike Safe Program & Shelter Building

Suitable for all ages and an excellent program option for community youth groups


Students learn how to prepare safely for an outing in the outdoors. Basic Hug-a-Tree principals are covered, including steps to take to avoid getting lost in the woods and what to do if they do find themselves lost, simple steps to stay dry and warm while alerting search parties to your location. Students will participate in a shelter building activity. A campfire is included in this program.


Wetland Wonders: Hike & Netting Program

Strongest Curriculum Connections: Science & Technology: Grade 2: Growth and Changes in Animals; Grade 4: Habitats and Communities; Grade 6: Biodiversity; Grade 8: Water Quality

Students learn all about wetlands, why they are so valuable for water protection, flood mitigation and ecosystem health and how wetlands form over time. Explore a local wetland while discussing the history of wetlands destruction and what we are doing to bring them back. Observe a diversity of wildlife, including species at risk, that are thriving in these spaces from aquatic critters to reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds.

Students will be provided nets and containers to catch, study and release aquatic bugs. Aquatic bugs  act as bio-indicators of water health. Students will identify and rate water quality based on the diversity and quantity of water bugs found. 

Water Stewardship and Sustainability Program 

This workshop is most suited to grades 7 to 12. It has a half-day or full-day program option. 

Students will learn about their local watershed and how their actions impact it. They will take part in basic water quality sampling and benthic (water bugs) sampling to learn about how the health of a local water body is monitored.

Students will explore current local water concerns and brainstorm and share water protection solutions for their local watershed.

In the full-day program, students will discuss water access issues and hardships, and water conservation. Through team-building activities, they will better understand the earth's water system and their own role in caring for this resource. 


Human Impacts on Ecosystems

Strongest Curriculum Connections: Grade 4: Habitats and Communities; Grade 6: Biodiversity; Grade 7: Interactions in the Environment


Students explore how humans impact ecosystems through investigations of forests (past to today), our water, and wetlands. Students will discuss positive actions to protect local ecosystems and look at the past and current health of their local watershed. Students will develop an action plan for protecting land and water for healthy, diverse and resilient ecosystems. 

Students complete their program with native tree, shrub, and/or wildflower planting.


Sustainable Healthy Forests

Strongest Curriculum Connections: Grade 4: Habitats and Communities; Grade 6: Biodiversity; Grade 7: Interactions in the Environment


Students explore the various layers of a healthy forest, from the forest floor to the canopy and discuss how each layer supports a variety of wildlife and contributes back to a healthy forest and biodiverse ecosystem. Student will be introduced to various species of trees and shrubs, and students will discuss the many economic, environmental, and social benefits trees provide. Students will finish with a short sit-spot activity to experience the soothing and calming benefits of slowing down and tuning into their senses in nature.


Program Fees and Booking Details

Programs are available throughout the year for half day or full day bookings. There is no charge for parent/volunteer supervisors. 

Half Day (2.5 hr program in the morning or afternoon)

  • $8 per participant (a minimum charge does apply)

Full Day (5 hour program)

  • $14 per participant (a minimum charge does apply)


Contact us to discuss opportunities for your group.

Request an Education Program

Please fill out our program booking request form and our staff will contact you to discuss your program needs. 



Outdoor Education Program at the H.R. Frink Outdoor Education Centre

Outdoor education programs are offered at the H.R. Frink Centre by Quinte Conservation, the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, and the Hastings and Prince Edward Public District School Board. Schools within the public school board jurisdictions are encouraged to check first with their school board regarding Frink Centre outdoor program bookings.

a large group of students are sitting in a large circle in the forest, all watching and listening to an instructor