Big Picture Talks: The Jaffa Environmental Education Centre

Friday, May 2, 2014
Welcome sign at the Jaffa exhibit

Teaching the Next Generation to Live in the Carolinian Zone

Jaffa Environmental Education Centre Website

Designed for teaching and learning, this brightly coloured interactive exhibit at Thames Valley District School Board’s Jaffa Environmental Education Centre south of Aylmer has dioramas that take students and teachers to a Carolinian forest, wetland and tallgrass prairie.

More than 100 individuals and organizations have supported the exhibit financially and by sharing their expertise, and Carolinian Canada staff were on-site to help celebrate the opening of this amazing exhibit.

The exhibit is filled with hands-on activities that give students and teachers the opportunity to learn about the area and the need to protect it, says Environmental Educator Johanne Beasley.

Stretching from Toronto to Windsor, the Carolinian Life Zone of southwestern Ontario is among North America's most vibrant and fragile ecoregions.

“Over 90 species of flora and fauna are on display and over 40 of them are at risk,” Beasley says, adding that 90 per cent of the Carolinian Life Zone has been lost.

“This exhibit presents the problem but also offers students many steps they can take to help this area, such as becoming ‘citizen scientists.’ Knowledge of this zone and good stewardship actions go a long way in ensuring it remains intact and hopefully grows for future generations,” Beasley says.

The exhibit helps bring curricula to life for students in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12. Students visiting the classroom take part in inquiry activities that cover curricula in science and technology and math and there are plans to develop an art program around the exhibit.

The Estate of Dorothy Fay Palmer and Ministry of Natural Resources are the primary donors, along with contributions from Bird Studies Canada, Wildlife Habitat Canada, Catfish Creek, Kettle Creek and the Upper Thames River Conservation Authorities, Fisheries Canada, Toronto Zoo, Ducks Unlimited, Western University, Owl Foundation, Tallgrass Ontario, Carolinian Canada and TD Friends of the Environment. Many of them will be represented at the opening.

For More Information:

Johanne Beasley, Environmental Educator
Jaffa Environmental Education Centre, 48346 John Wise Road, Aylmer  N5H 2R4

CCC Staff were there to celebrate the opening of the exhibit.  See more photos online at
CCC Staff attended the Jaffa Environmental Education Centre Opening
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