Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre receives $60,000 grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation

Page 26, The Packet, Friday, February 17, 2006


St. Michael students experience wildlife education program

Close to 200 grade 7 and 8 students from St. Michael Catholic High School in Kemptville were the first to participate in ‘Wild Things, An Introductory Course on our Wildlife Neighbours’. The program at the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre was made possible by a $60,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

If you aren’t able to tell which of the following: skunk, weasel, raccoon and mink, isn’t part of the same family, your children may be able to tell you. Thanks to a two-year $60,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre will be taking their new education program out to area schools, teaching children more about local wildlife and their environment.

"I was delighted to learn that the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre had received this two-year grant from the Foundation," said the Hon. Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Culture and MPP for Ottawa-Vanier. "This unique program will be brought into classrooms by the Centre ‘s volunteers and children will also be able to go online to find more information on the website," added Minister Meilleur.

In November, the Foundation awarded the Wildlife Centre a $60,000 grant so that it could create a more cost-effective and sustainable way of delivering progressive wildlife education and awareness programs in the community. Over the next two years, funds from the grant will go towards wildlife education in area schools, developing a supporting website, participating in community events and recruiting new volunteers to support this growth in activity.

The first school to be involved was St. Michael Catholic High School in Kemptville where close to 200 grade 7 and 8 students participated in ‘Wild Things, An Introductory Course on our Wildlife Neighbours’.

"The purpose of these presentations is to give young people practical information on wildlife as well as stimulate an interest in the natural world and encourage outdoor adventures and physical activity," said Kate MacNeil, the Centre’s Education Coordinator.

The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre is in a unique position to offer a wildlife education program. It has had hands-on experience providing rehabilitation for dozens of different species of injured and orphaned wild animals over the years. The group’s call centre hotline has also responded to 100,000 calls and offered many solutions to human/wildlife issues around homes and gardens in the Ottawa area.

The need has never been greater, as much wildlife habitat has been lost due to development and many animals have had to adapt and share this space with people. This program is designed to help young people understand these challenges and to develop an appreciation for those animals that are an important part of our environment.

"The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre’s new programs, with the help of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, will provide them with the tools to do just that," says Donna DuBreuil, President of the Centre.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, receives annually $100 million of government funding generated through Ontario’s charity casino initiative.

*** Full story and photo as it appeared in The Packet (PDF 396K)


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