Outdoor Connections recently expanded their Forest School Program. Submitted photo

New yurt to serve as outdoor school

Erich Leidums Special to The Free Press

On Friday, May 26 Outdoor Connections began the construction of a yurt platform at Birch Meadows. With the help of volunteers the yurt was completed throughout the weekend. Located in an upper meadow surrounded by mountain views this 20-foot-wide structure will serve as an indoor warming space for the Outdoor Connections Forest School Program. This opportunity was only made possible with the support from Sonya and Marcel Erzinger – the owners of Birch Meadows.

Currently the Forest School Program takes place at Mt. Fernie Provincial Park for ages 3-5. The program happens twice a week and runs from 9 a.m.-noon. As the first year of this program comes to a close it is possible to see how the children have grown and evolved throughout the year. Parents and teachers discuss how participants have grown in resiliency, confidence and regularly display a curiosity for the natural world.

Outdoor Connections is an organization that provides affordable opportunities for children of all ages to be active and spend time in nature. The yurt allows the organization to become more self-sufficient and creates sense of place that will benefit Forest School and other future programs.

Starting Sept. 2017, Forest School will take place at Birch Meadows and is expanding to add an additional full day program for children ages 5-7. There will also be an additional half-day program that will take place in the afternoons for ages 3-5. The success of this year’s Forest School Program combined with how quickly enrollment for next years programs filled up demonstrates the demand for a program of this nature.

This yurt was only made possible thanks to the generous donations of individuals and businesses in the Elk Valley. A Gofundme account, The Fernie on Fire fundraising event and direct donations have come together to make this yurt a reality. A special mention goes to Carolyn Doyle of Big Bang Bagels, Home Hardware, Island Lake Lodge, Loralee Thomas of Fernie Real Estate and Morrissey Aggregates Ltd.

There is currently a wait list for next year’s programs. If you would like to learn more about the Forest School philosophy or details regarding the Beyond 4 Walls Program visit Connectoutdoors.ca.

Just Posted

Study shows special needs hard to meet in B.C. public schools

It’s lunch time at the Dunn-Reker house, and four happy children bounce… Continue reading

Fernie Museum fundraiser a blast from the past

Retro themed evening raises over $10,000 for museum programming

Fernie Alpine Resort opens for preview weekend

Fernie Alpine Resort will be opening for a preview weekend, this Saturday and Sunday

Local boys raise money for sick children in unconventional way

Four local boys have found a way to use their passion for… Continue reading

Skid Steer stolen from Sparwood Transfer Station

Elk Valley RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance with a theft that… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Parastone weighs in on Slalom Drive

At a public hearing in Fernie Council on Tuesday night, Jacqueline Arling,… Continue reading

Ghostriders play hard against Nelson Leafs

Fernie Coach proud of team’s effort against top KIJHL contender

Cokato resident receives Order of Canada

Dr. Bryan Kolb has been instrumental in helping society understand what happens inside our heads

Mainroad discusses road conditions, standards

Last week, Mainroad, the Ministry of Transportation, the City of Fernie and… Continue reading

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Most Read