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The Geography of the Greenbelt

The Geography of the Greenbelt is a one-day workshop that covers 2 million acres of protected land! It will teach you about the Oak Ridges Moraine, kettle lakes and kames as well as about other geological and geographical features. You’ll learn about land use issues and investigate the impact that urban growth has on species and habitats.

Ontario's Greenbelt is almost 2 million acres of protected land. It extends as far north as Tobermory and wraps around the Golden Horseshoe as it makes its way west to the Niagara River. Adjacent to, and often in the midst of, one of the fastest growing regions in North America, the Greenbelt is a fascinating case study relevant to several issues in Canadian geography. The Geography of the Greenbelt will introduce you to some of the processes that have shaped the Greenbelt's landscape and provide you with ideas for engaging your students in civic action. You will leave this workshop ready to explore some 10,000 km of trails with your students and to question the impacts of urban growth on your community.

© Evelyn Schmitz-Hertzberg

A typical workshop will include:

  1. Guided hike of Rouge Park, part of Ontario’s Greenbelt, plus advice on leading a hike in any green space near your own school
  2. Information about Ontario’s 2015 coordinated review of three land use plans: the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan
  3. The creation of a dynamic map of the group hike, incorporating mobile devices, social media platforms, GPS units and GIS software
  4. An overview of the Greenbelt: its history, economy, species and habitats, agriculture and physical features
  5. Lots of take-away resources and equipment, plus up to two hours of personal, follow-up support, to help you bring what you have learned to life at your school

Curriculum Connections

The content covered in The Geography of the Greenbelt can be applied across numerous grades and subjects taught in Ontario. However, we find connections to the following courses and strands are some of the strongest:






STEM Education

The Geography of the Greenbelt helps teachers incorporate STEM education and STSE expectations into everyday lessons. Teachers who participate in this workshop will:

  • Learn to map excursions using a variety of tools
  • Identify opportunities for civic engagement
  • Connect with Greenbelt conservation groups
  • Discover land use issues in their own community
  • Construct a model of the Oak Ridges Moraine

Upcoming dates for this workshop:

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