A long-standing relationship relating to land-based education has led the Meewasin Valley Authority, Saskatoon Public Schools (SPS) and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools (GSCS) to create a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to reinforce and enhance this relationship and to further support intentional and strategic collaboration.
The MOU establishes a working group with representation from Meewasin, SPS and GSCS to further collaborative efforts and complement the work already underway between the organizations. Specifically, it will assist in furthering areas of common interest including land-based education; digital resources; language, culture and reconciliation; volunteerism and stewardship; professional development; research, conservation and resource management; and project collaboration.
"Meewasin has been vital to our students' learning for years," said Saskatoon Public Schools Board Chair Colleen MacPherson. "Meewasin provides a vast outdoor classroom for our students, allowing them to explore land-based lessons by getting their hands dirty, following their curiosity and being present in nature. "We want our students to engage in relevant and meaningful learning that helps them understand their role and responsibilities in our community and world. These are the type of rich learning opportunities provided by Meewasin."
"I'm so pleased that we are formalizing the partnership our school divisions have with Meewasin," said Diane Boyko, Board of Education Chair at Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. "Meewasin trails along the South Saskatchewan River are truly a treasure for the City of Saskatoon, and a treasure trove of learning opportunities for students. The variety of educational opportunities this partnership provides will help children and youth be good stewards of creation and the dynamic ecosystems in our city, so future generations can enjoy them."
"Meewasin, Saskatoon Public Schools and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools have been partners for several decades — since the very early days of Meewasin," says Andrea Lafond, CEO of Meewasin,
"Meewasin offers curriculum-linked school programming, land-based education resources for educators and stewardship opportunities for students and teachers in the Meewasin Valley. Formally acknowledging this long-standing relationship and having a shared vision and plan on all touch points will serve our community well, now and into the future."
About Meewasin Valley Authority
The Meewasin Valley Authority exists to ensure a healthy and vibrant river valley, with a balance between human use and conservation by:
- Providing leadership in the management of its resources;
- Promoting understanding, conservation and beneficial use of the Valley; and
- Undertaking programs and projects in river valley development and conservation, for the benefit of present and future generations.
There are 67 square kilometers of land and more than 105 km of established trail, which has seen up to 2.24 million trail visits per year, in the Meewasin Valley. The area also features sites that help people to connect to nature through experiences such as Beaver Creek Conservation Area, the Northeast Swale, Saskatoon Natural Grasslands, the River Landing Spray Area, and the Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink @Nutrien Plaza. Meewasin is a non-profit organization that relies on donations and volunteers for sustainability. To get involved or learn more visit www.meewasin.com