Kimbercote Centre is an exquisite property that spans over 30 acres, with access to an additional 70 acres that were donated to the Escarpment Biosphere Conservatory. The redevelopment of the site will be executed using a strategic and phased approach.
Phase One is dedicated to the revitalization of the grounds and trails. This will involve rebuilding the barn to provide a variety of unique programming options for experience-based learning, including trades workshops to teach important skills and the value of social enterprise. It will also facilitate the complete re-purposing of the caretaker’s building, which will host an Elementary Forest School, opening September 2017.
Phase Two, the focus of this document, will see the farmhouse reconstructed to provide accommodations for extended immersion into nature, multi-day field trips, sleep-over camps, and professional development workshops.
The transformed building will be the anchor for the Centre, complete with a multi-functional teaching kitchen, dining space, and large programming area. The decks will act as a platform to showcase a panoramic view of the stunning beauty of the Beaver Valley.
Our programs will address the educational needs of each student in an inclusive and comprehensive way. Woven throughout will be a deep recognition of the natural curiosity and honesty embedded in the imagination and spirit of youth. This will be cultivated by programs that embrace cultural diversity through connecting students’ lives to global issues, and through the collaboration and support of other successful educational initiatives.
Kimbercote programs go beyond outdoor education to self-empowerment. The goal is to nurture each child’s sense of excellence. To tackle bullying, prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination head on in the early years before the behaviours are ingrained.
The Beaver Valley is also home to the meandering and scenic Beaver River. The region is culturally rich, with archaeological research ascertaining the area as a site of continuous human habitation dating back almost 9,000 years, providing a unique opportunity to learn about Indigenous culture.
Kimbercote boasts stunning views of the Beaver Valley and Georgian Bay and is a short, 10-minute drive to the picturesque town of Thornbury to the north and Kimberly to the south. The Bruce Trail runs directly alongside the property and the Beaver River is a stone’s throw away. The Blue Mountain ski hill is about a 20-minute drive from Kimbercote and Georgian Bay is 10 minutes away as well.
The biodiversity created by the wetlands bordering the lower property to the higher-altitude protected forests means the flora and fauna change as you hike from top to bottom.
- Home to a number of endangered species
- Maple trees for tapping
- Streams for stream studies
- Abundance of birds
- On Monarch butterfly migration route
- Dark skies perfect for telescopes and astronomy lessons
- A view across the valley
Kimbercote has a unique convergance of other important environmental organizations all serving the same property, including: NEC, Bruce Trail, Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy, Environment Network, Grey Sauble Conservation Authority.
The Centre Takes Shape
Our natural playground will inspire imagination and play, promote physical development, mental health, community engagement and the future sustainability of our planet. Our design will incorporate the concepts of science, art, music, exploration, fitness and fun.
Our community gardens will be a vehicle for our students to give back to their community. They will provide fresh, traditional produce and nutritionally rich foods to low-income neighbourhoods, where this is much harder to access than in other areas. Students will learn that by increasing their consumption of organic local produce they will experience a reduction in their exposure to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Working in our gardens will improve their outlook on life, help them to cope with stress, improve their ability to recover from illness, and restore their concentration.
Our workshop will create a space that will spark imagination, conceptualization and enhance self-esteem by achieving a sense of accomplishment. The benefits of offering this type of programming are unlimited. The following are just a
- Eye-hand coordination
- Dexterity/fine motor skills
- Creative thinking
- Respect for tools and materials
- Increased awareness and understanding of situations
Our greenhouse/atrium will be a spectacular space to augment our organic fields and give students the opportunity to grow produce all year round. They will learn the entire cycle of how to grow, prepare, eat and compost food while gaining valuable insight to nutrition, personal and global responsibility, and a vision for sustainability. It will be a fantastic opportunity for team building and learning about social enterprise.
Accessible Trails and Outdoor Classroom
Kimbercote Centre will develop several kilometers of fully accessible trails with appropriate signage that will allow all students and visitors to match their ability to their appropriate trail level. The outdoor classroom will be a dramatic teaching area that will be detailed in a First Nations design, with directional and colour coded aspects and fit into the natural landscape.
Our teaching kitchen will demonstrate culinary skills and nutrition principles that will prepare our youth for healthy and active lives. Through global thinking, our students will learn that if we each take a few small steps to shift the way we grow, distribute, purchase, prepare and prioritize food, the ripple effect will be enormous. Governments will react with change in policies, businesses will change practices and therefore entire generations will be equipped with the skills, knowledge and resources they need to eat good, nutritious food for a healthier, happier life.
We are committed to environmental stewardship and sustainable buildings that create a healthier indoor environment for occupants through better indoor air quality, less harmful products and more natural daylight. We will reduce waste, conserve energy, decrease water consumption and drive innovation that is used for inspired learning.