DDSB Watershed Festival Motivating Minds

Posted On Tuesday June 27, 2023
watershed 1
Watershed Festival

With summer right around the corner, some DDSB students had a chance to attend the Watershed Festival hosted by the DDSB Outdoor Education and Environmental team.

Students at both the elementary and high school level took part in the festival which occurred on May 31 and June 1, respectively.

“We're thrilled with the fantastic success of the Watershed Festival, which spanned over two incredible days,” says Sarah Jeynes, a Facilitator with DDSB’s Outdoor and Environmental Education team and co-organizer of the festival.

The first day had elementary students immersing themselves in a world of environmental exploration. They engaged in a stream study, closely examining the health of local waterways and discovering the fascinating creatures that inhabit them. The highlight of their day was releasing salmon into Duffins Creek and witnessing the resilience of these magnificent fish firsthand.

Additionally, students had a blast building birdhouses and fostering their creativity while learning about the importance of providing shelter for our feathered friends. An interpretive naturalist hike further deepened young learners understanding of the interconnectedness of all living things.

Building on this success, the second day was an adventure race format exclusively for secondary students.

Secondary students embarked on an adrenaline-fueled journey through the wilderness, putting their skills to the test. Archery honed their focus and precision, orienteering challenged their navigational abilities, and knot-tying showcased their resourcefulness. Furthermore, tree identification empowered them to recognize the remarkable diversity of our local flora, while fire starting taught them valuable survival skills. It was a thrilling day of teamwork and adventure, where students pushed their limits and grew both individually and collectively.

Uxbridge Secondary School student James Marlatt attended the festival and was impressed with how he and others were challenged. “The festival challenges tested our skills and teamwork, but with the completion of each task the excitement grew in running around in the woods,” said Marlatt.

Added Jeynes, “The Watershed Festival was an inspiring and transformative experience for both students and staff. Witnessing the curiosity and passion for the environment was truly remarkable. We are proud to have created an event that nurtures a love for nature and empowers young minds to become guardians of our precious ecosystem while having a great time!”

Both days of the Watershed Festival provided an exceptional opportunity for students to connect with nature, deepen their knowledge, and foster a sense of environmental stewardship. Gratitude is extended to all the student participants, teachers, and volunteers who made this event a resounding success as they help to shape a future where natural heritage thrives and inspires future generations.

Organizers hope to have more students attend next year and make the festival a yearly tradition for the DDSB Outdoor Education and Environmental department.

DDSB offers day and night curriculum connected to outdoor learning at three educational centres in Durham Region: Duffins Creek Environmental Education Centre, Nonquon Environmental Education Centre, and the Durham Forest Environmental Education Centre.

For more information on Outdoor and Environmental Education at the DDSB visit our website.