Environmental Education Commission

About Us

The Environmental Education Centre is a practical, four building facility that offers:

  • Heated sleeping accommodations for up to 70 people. Most rooms accommodate 6 people in bunks. Mattresses are provided, but visitors must bring their own bedding.
  • Shared washrooms with showers.
  • Modern, fully equipped commercial kitchen.
  • Dining room capable of seating 70. Woodstove in the dining room.
  • Large modern classroom with Smartboard and Internet.
  • A small classroom.
  • Outdoor classroom with woodstove.
  • An ‘A frame building’ with woodstove
  • Observatory, ideal for observing the night sky.
  • New TD Friends of Environment boardwalk into heart of a bog
  • New MMSB Kitchen Garden
  • Large patios with a barbeque
  • Also, by the pond, a stone campfire area with seating and dry wood provided.

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Trails and Orienteering

There are several km of beautiful trails that wander through or close to a variety of habitats including old growth forest, new forest and cut-over forest, wetlands, pond and meadow. We ask students to stay on the trails so for the most part the habitat is pristine with carpets of mosses, ferns and other forest plants, mushrooms in season and lichens dripping from the trees. The area is a perfect place for nature study, art and relaxation.

The trails are also home to a permanent orienteering course that is suitable for beginners. The course is more challenging in winter. The area surrounding the Centre has been mapped by the St.John’s Orienteering Club and can be used to set up more advanced orienteering courses.

To obtain an introductory Guide to Orienteering click here.

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Wind Energy

The Environmental Education Centre is remotely located away from Newfoundland’s electrical grid. Until recently our electricity was generated by a diesel generator which was noisy, smelly and, of course, produced tonnes of greenhouse gases. In 2009, thanks to the Newfoundland and Labrador Green Fund, wind turbines were installed which now provide almost 100% of the centre’s electrical energy needs. This reduces our annual greenhouse gas production by about 20 tonnes and provides an important focus for education about climate change. As part of the wind turbine project we promised to educate every student visiting the centre about climate change with the goal of reducing greenhouse gases through their actions when they return home. Visit the students’ page to learn more about climate change.

For more information on our renewable energy system click here.

For a manual describing how to start up Centre in spring click here.

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Winter

The Centre’s remote location makes it a very special place in winter. The last 6km of road to the centre are not plowed meaning that in snow getting to the centre becomes part of the adventure. Snow-shoeing, cross-country-skiing or skidoo will get you there easily. The road, although unplowed, is well used by skidoos making it a relatively easy trek for those on snow-shoes or cross-country skis. Thanks to Mountain Equipment Co-op we have 20 pairs of snow-shoes that we can lend to groups that wish to go winter camping at the Environmental Education Centre.

At this time our main buildings are not prepared for winter use, but the new wind-turbines will probably mean we change this for future years. We now have the potential to operate heat tracing on pipes meaning that in future we will be able to open the main buildings to winter users.

Meanwhile winter campers do have shelter. Our A frame cabin and lodge (outdoor class) are available and equipped with woodstoves and a supply of dry wood. As well, the A frame cabin is insulated meaning that it gets quite cosy. We supply an ice-auger for cutting through the pond to get water or for ice-fishing (in season). There is an outhouse within 50 m of each of these buildings. There is plenty to do in winter:

  • Tracking animal prints
  • Building quinzees (snow shelters)
  • Ice-fishing
  • Try our permanent orienteering course which is more challenging on snow-shoes and when the trails are not obvious
  • Try various outdoor cooking methods
  • Star gazing
  • Moon-lit campfire
  • Study lichens and trees
  • Play games and tell stories around the woodstove at night

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If you have a small group of adventurous people who would like to use these facilities in winter call 709-521-2140 or email Gloria Linnehan at gloriaandjunior@hotmail.com

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