• Elementary School
  • High School
  • Middle School
  • Outdoor, Experiential & Ecological
Nurturing Minds through OE3

At the heart of the Meadowridge ethos lies an innovative approach to education. 

The Outdoor Experiential Ecological Education Program (OE3) nurtures not just academic aptitude but also a profound understanding and appreciation of our ecological interconnectedness. With the guiding principles of cultivating empathy for the land, exploring wild places with wonder, and developing an ethic of reciprocity, students foster a profound connection to the environment and a deep appreciation for the delicate balance of nature and a sense of responsibility towards its preservation. 

Through a blend of hands-on experiences, wilderness immersion, and systemic learning, the OE3 Program ignites students’ ecological intelligence. With opportunities to garden, camp, hike, paddle, forage, and meditate in pristine natural settings, the OE3 program is a transformative educational journey. Opportunities are also purposefully complementary and tied to the curriculum and units of inquiry. Spanning from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, the OE3 program shapes and moulds learners into environmentally conscious, intellectually agile, and empathetically engaged individuals.

From immersive sensory connections in the North Forest to thoughtful agricultural initiatives and geographical explorations, students have ventured beyond the confines of traditional learning, embracing hands-on experiences that transcend the classroom. Through meaningful and diverse OE3 opportunities, students not only cultivate a deep-rooted understanding of ecological systems and geographical landscapes but also a profound kinship with nature. These experiences echo beyond the present, instilling within our students a lasting appreciation for the environment and a profound sense of responsibility toward nurturing and preserving our natural world. With each activity and exploration, students have become stewards of sustainability, embodying the ethos of interconnectedness, curiosity, and a passion for ecological intelligence that will guide them toward a future of conscientious global citizenship.


Cultivating Nature’s Bounty: Saving Marigold Seeds 
To observe the connectedness between plants and seasons, students headed outside and all over campus. On a tour of the gardens, students learned about companion plants and saw first-hand how marigolds helped vegetable crops, tomatoes especially, by attracting pollinators and repelling pesky bugs. As the seasons changed and the marigolds died, the class headed back out to collect the seeds. Storing them in plant pouches that they decorated themselves, students then tucked the seeds away for the spring planting season. 

Sowing the Promise of Spring: Planting Daffodil Bulbs 
Together with their Grade 12 buddies, kinderbuddies planted and watered daffodil bulbs. 

Delving into Forest Tales: Squirrel Investigations 
Students went off to the campground for some fresh air and story time. After listening to Give Freely of Yourself and Bring Light to the World by Richard Wagamese, the class dug into a game of Nutty Squirrel to learn about how mother squirrels teach their young to find food. 

Grade 2 

Live Lesson in Science 
Huddled around the campfire, students enjoyed a live lesson in science. Supporting their Unit of Inquiry ‘How the World Works’, students saw physical and chemical changes first-hand. First up, physical changes were observed as the class saw the wood go from stump to kindling through force. Chemical changes were seen next, first from the light of the match and next from the marshmallow as it puffed up over the fire. 

Grade 4

Fire as Energy 
As part of their ‘How the World Works’ Unit of Inquiry, students headed to the campground to learn about the diverse forms of energy. Using fire starter kits, students both created and observed different types of energy, from thermal, light, and chemical, to potential and kinetic. 

Grade 5 to 8

In both Grade 5 and in Grade 6 to 8 Explorations, students got to work restoring Latimer Creek as part of the Adopt-a-Stream initiative. Using loopers, students eradicated invasive plants like Himalayan blackberries and English Ivy to make way for the resurgence of native flora along the creek’s banks. 

“It’s never a dull moment when you are a part of the OE3 program!” 

Grade 5 

Simple Machines Challenge 
Innovation and environmental stewardship were combined during an exploration of simple machines and ecological restoration. 

As part of their ‘How the World Works’ Unit of Inquiry, students harnessed the power of simple machines to create a fire. 

Using a wheel and axle (a wheelbarrow), inclined plane (smooth angled road) and wedge (a wood splitter), students built and lit a fire while assessing the use of simple machines in their task. 

Their challenge was using this array of machines to gather, assemble, and use these raw materials to not only build fires but also new knowledge. 

“This term I could be doing creek restoration with elementary students, working in the greenhouse with middle schoolers, and hiking trails with high school students - all in the same week! It’s incredibly gratifying when students express excitement for striking a match to light a fire or eating a roasted marshmallow for the first time. I’m very grateful that I can help provide these meaningful experiences.” 

Grades 6 to 8 
Middle School Explorations 

Harvesting Vegetables for the Food Bank 
Students harvested potatoes, squash, tomatoes, and onions from the regenerative farm and delivered their bounty to the Friends in Need food bank in Maple Ridge, extending a helping hand to those in need within their community. 

Regenerating the Garden 
With the changing seasons, the focus shifted to nurturing the earth. Students prepared the garden beds for the impending winter by replenishing the soil, composting plants that are at the end of their lifecycle and planting a cover crop to safeguard the garden’s fertility. 

Marigold Seed Preservation 
With sustainability in mind, students embarked on a mission to preserve marigold seeds. Not only did they learn the art of seed preservation, but they also ventured into the realm of entrepreneurship, planning to sell these seeds at the Middle School Farmer’s Market in June. Taking the initiative a step further, students adorned these seed packets with QR codes that will link to self-made videos that will explain the intricacies of planting the seeds, displaying their proficiency in storyboarding, filming, and editing. 

Decorating the North Forest 
Amidst the holiday season, a spirit of sustainable festivity abounded as students embraced an eco-friendly tree decorating challenge. With a commitment to using natural, repurposed, or biodegradable materials, classes adorned trees across campus, eliciting both holiday cheer and an ethos of sustainability. 

Grade 7

Exploring Plant Growth 
In the Gunning Greenhouse, students explored plant growth and factors, including water, light, soil type, and fertilizer. Over several weeks, these young scientists planted beans or peas, and then monitored and analyzed growth patterns in the controlled greenhouse environment. This immersive experience not only enriched their understanding of ecological systems but also honed their scientific inquiry skills, fostering a deeper appreciation for the intricate relationships governing plant life. 

Connecting Literature with the North Forest 
In Language & Literature, thoughtful teaching and the North Forest helped bring Tuck Everlasting to life. In the novel, students learned about the special Ash tree and its magical powers. In the forest, students learned about the very real magic of the Douglas Fir. Students learned how to identify a Douglas Fir—looking at everything from bark and needles to cones on the forest floor—and about its traditional properties. After this fireside lesson and using their new knowledge, students were sent off into the forest to find one of the two Douglas Firs. The hands-on lesson concluded around the fire once again, this time enjoying some tea brewed with the needles while going over what they learned. 

Grade 8

Meet-a-Tree Activity 
During an exploration of sensory engagement, students embraced the Blindfolded Meet-a-Tree activity. Embracing the unknown, a blindfolded student was led to a tree by a non-blindfolded student, who helped them explore it through touch, scent, and sound, helping forge an intimate bond with nature. After removing their blindfold, students sought out and rediscovered their tree once more with a newfound awareness. 

North Forest Scavenger Hunt 
During an Autumn Scavenger Hunt, students explored the forest floor and gathered treasures that adorned the ground, including tree boughs, cones, ferns, and moss. This hands-on excursion was not just a collection of natural specimens; it was an educational endeavour to understand plant species’ names and properties, and foster a deeper appreciation for the intricate biodiversity of the forest. 

Grade 9

Unlocking Geographic Heritage 
During a hike through Minnekhada Park, students immersed themselves in the wonders of the western cordillera, an activity that tied into the Individuals and Societies curriculum. 

Combining geographical exploration, map reading, and orienteering, students learned to navigate the intricate terrains of the park. Mixing curricular learning with outdoor enthusiasm, students delved into the geography of the region. 

Through map reading and orienteering, students honed their navigational know-how while decoding nature’s trails and terrains while embracing the physicality of the hike. Students connected classroom teachings to the palpable, real-world geography that envelopes their lives, fostering a deeper understanding of the land they call home. 

"Our OE3 program is facilitating meaningful experiences for the upcoming generation of leaders (our students) to intrinsically connect with the natural world that we share and depend on. These connections are driving innovation, wellbeing and hope for a future where all living things can thrive.” 

Grades 6 to 10 

CAS Garden Club 
In the CAS Garden Club, a mix of agricultural and eco-conscious endeavours has unfurled alongside the bounty of nature’s harvest. As the season ended, students reaped a rich, final fall harvest teeming with tomatoes, potatoes, kale, and onions. Fueling their culinary creativity, they delved into a flavourful adventure, cooking up delectable roast potatoes infused with the savoury essence of garlic freshly plucked from their garden beds. 

As the chill of winter approached, students then embarked on the vital task of safeguarding the gardens. Topping up the soil, composting dead plants, and sowing a protective cover crop, the club ensured the earth’s vitality would endure through the frosty months ahead. An innovative endeavour took root as they unveiled plans for a high-capacity worm composter, an eco-friendly solution destined to transform elementary school lunch waste into fertile compost, fostering a cycle of sustainability within the school community. 

Elevating their commitment to sustainable agriculture, club members meticulously saved and preserved seeds from a diverse array of plants—lettuce, radishes, and marigolds—for a verdant springtime revival. Students also embraced the messiness and dirtiness of pressing and drying flowers, while fully embracing the process. 

Members’ creativity flourished as they created Christmas wreaths from foraged forest treasures, celebrating the season with sustainable flair. 

With many opportunities throughout all seasons, the CAS Garden Club has not only nurtured gardens but also cultivated a profound ethos of environmental responsibility and sustainable practices within the school ecosystem.