By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – Local environmental scientists have opened their doors in a big way, giving the community a closer connection to nature.
The River Institute celebrated the opening of its Outdoor Learning Laboratory with help from Mark MacDonell (left), St. Lawrence College, Jeff Ridal, River Institute, David Murphy, Cornwall City Councillor, Rik Saaltink, River Institute Board of Directors, and Christina Collard, River Institute.
The River Institute, a local non-profit agency, opened its new Outdoor Learning Laboratory, for outdoor learning, wet research work, and community programs.
“We needed additional space at the River Institute for students and staff to gather for workshops, water festivals, and outdoor research,” said River Institute executive director Jeff Ridal, in a statement. “The Outdoor Learning Laboratory is perfect – it provides shade in hot weather and shelter on rainy days.”
Over 600 elementary students were recently at the structure, to participate in the Eastern Ontario Children’s Water Festival. Students learned important facts about water conservation and water science.
St. Lawrence College carpentry students built the laboratory, with donations from the community.
“Under the supervision of Mark MacDonell at St. Lawrence College, the students rallied together at the end of the semester to take on this project,” said Ridal. “We are thrilled with the result, and we hope all the carpentry students realize how much it is being used and appreciated.”
The River Institute was established in 1994, and is an independent organization that is entirely self-funded. Located on the campus of St. Lawrence College, the River Institute’s mandate is to undertake environmental research, education, and community action programs with a focus on the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence River ecosystem.