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UCDSB Community Partner Receives $100,000 Grant, Increases Opportunities for UCDSB Students
UCDSB Community Partner Receives $100,000 Grant, Increases Opportunities for UCDSB Students
Posted on 12/06/2023
UCDSB Representatives with TIWLT Members.

December 6, 2023 (Glen Elbe, ON) - The Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust (TIWLT) is a valuable community partner of the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) and on Dec.1 it received $100,000 in funding to help support their efforts to offer real-world learning opportunities at the Glen Elbe Learning Centre, located east of Athens, to UCDSB students.

The funding, a grant from the Brockville and Area Community Foundation (BACF), was awarded in a small ceremony at the rural location attended by members of TIWLT, representatives from the UCDSB, and students from Athens District High School.

In recent years the Glen Elbe Learning Centre has acted as an important educational hub for UCDSB schools for various real-world learning activities, such as fence building, plant sales, and vegetable planting. Students from Athens DHS frequently visit the farm for hands-on learning opportunities and to immerse themselves in the distinct biodiversity and rich history of the property.

“It’s really important to be able to come out here for me because I can sit in the classroom all day and read from a book but you aren’t really making any real changes,” explained Athens DHS student Alex Simmons. “When you come out here you actually have the ability to make change - you’re helping the community, you’re helping the people around you, and you can see visible change from what you’re doing.”

Simmons is just one student from Athens DHS that has participated in the opportunities that the partnership between Glen Elbe Learning Centre.

“It’s great to be a partner with this group,” said UCDSB Ward 4 Trustee John McAllister. “I’m particularly pleased that our students from Athens District High School are here and will continue to use this valuable resource.”

UCDSB Director of Education Ron Ferguson was impressed by the vast amount of opportunities that have been made available to UCDSB students through this partnership, especially from the perspective of real-world learning opportunities. “It’s one thing to read about the history of our area, to read about how people built things, it’s a whole different thing when you actually go and do it yourself. This is a beautiful partnership, and we look forward to it continuing for many years into the future.”

“I am really proud of the relationship we’ve been able to foster with the school, but I’m most proud of the kids who come out and have taken advantage of all the opportunities that the property presents, and the land trust has provided us with,” added Athens DHS Principal Brent Brown.

There are various projects planned between Athens DHS and the Glen Elbe Learning Centre that will be helped along by the increase in funding including the construction of a gazebo on the property, a mural project created by arts students, and the continuation of activities in the Green Industries class.

For more information on the Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust and Glen Elbe, visit

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