Newly Opened Nature School in Brampton Accepting Students This September

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) Announces its Second Nature School to Open at Claireville Conservation Area to Accommodate Overwhelming Demand

July 13, 2021, Toronto, ON – TRCA’s Nature School at Claireville is a registered outdoor alternative private school, and it is now accepting preschool and primary school students for September classes.

The Claireville school was recently opened due to the success and overwhelming demand at The Nature School’s first location, at the Kortright Centre for Conservation in Vaughan. The Nature School takes place in a natural outdoor setting and provides students an opportunity to direct their learning through an emergent and inquiry-based approach to education.

With student to teacher ratios of 12:2 for preschool and 10:1 for primary, children will benefit from the attention Ontario Certified and specialized teachers can provide in a small class size environment.

Importantly, the curriculum touches on all subjects and disciplines: in any given moment, an experience can cut across math, science, art, language and physical education. Learning outcomes are based on real-time explorations and experiences, rather than pre-determined concepts in books or on screens.

preschool student takes part in outdoor learning experience at the Nature School at Claireville

“Our mission is to provide a supportive outdoor student-led learning environment that empowers, motivates, and develops the whole child. This approach, along with the physical and mental health benefits of being outside, will be especially helpful to students on the heels of 18 months of online learning that students had to adapt to during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Darryl Gray, Director of Education and Training at TRCA.

The Nature School is located at the Claireville Conservation Area: a natural and forested area that straddles Peel Region and York Region. Students will be able to explore wetlands, valleys, forests, grasslands, and the west branch of the Humber River and its tributaries.

While the school prioritizes learning in an outdoor setting, in cases of inclement weather, the site features a building for private indoor learning (previously the Etobicoke Field Studies Centre).

“Our family’s experience with The Nature School program has been nothing short of inspiring. All the teachers and leaders we’ve encountered have been kind, patient, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. Our sons come home inspired and tired in a way that we seldom see during other organized activities and traditional school days. We can tell that they’ve used their bodies and brains in a way that has encouraged physicality, courage, leadership, teamwork and problem-solving skills. Most notably, they have had FUN! And in play, the best sorts of learning take place naturally,” commented Leslie and Craig Ferguson, parents of two students attending The Nature School at Kortright.

Parents interested in registering their children should contact TRCA Visitor Services at (416) 667 6295 ext. 3 or email

Please visit The Nature School at Claireville online for more details about the school, teacher credentials, or the outdoor learning model.

About Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
With more than 60 years of experience, TRCA is the largest of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario, created to safeguard and enhance the health and well-being of watershed communities through the protection and restoration of the natural environment and the ecological services the environment provides. Well over ten percent of Canada’s population (five million residents) live within TRCA-managed watersheds, and many others work in and visit destinations across the jurisdiction. These nine watersheds, plus their collective Lake Ontario waterfront shorelines, span six upper-tier and 15 lower-tier municipalities. Some of Canada’s largest and fastest growing municipalities, including Toronto, Markham and Vaughan, are located entirely within TRCA’s jurisdiction.

Media Contact:
Michael Tolensky
Chief Financial and Operating Officer
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
(416) 706-9093 |