The Foundation believes it is important for children to have opportunities to get out into nature so they grow up with a connection to the environment and a belief that their actions can make a difference. Supporting hands-on environmental experiences fosters this connection.
The Environmental Leaders of Tomorrow is an innovative program that gives students from high-priority urban areas an opportunity to spend three days at an outdoor education centre. The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority initiated this program, and now oversees its operation in centres across Ontario. Night walks in the forest, tree planting, water sampling and other activities help students internalize their place in this complex ecosystem. Back in the classroom, they put new learning into action by working on community projects and making personal commitments to reduce their ecological footprints.
Similar programs in other provinces are supported by the Foundation, ensuring that every year thousands of children are given opportunities to learn about ecological literacy, environmental leadership, and community action. Many letters of thanks from students convey an experience of a lifetime and a real commitment to taking care of our natural world.