Jack Smythe Field Centre

Time flies is a fairly common adage used in dialogues whether amongst peers or colleagues at work, friends at schools or educational facilities, family members at dinner tables. Every human being relates to these two words time in and again while taking a trip down memory lane. One such instance I cared to share via this post.

Jack Smythe Field Centre located in the heart of Credit River Watershed, within the bounds of Terra Cotta Conservation Area, is affiliated with Peel District School Board providing thousands of young minds with valuable outdoor and experiential education. In 2019, this field centre celebrated its 50th anniversary since having opened as an outdoor education centre in 1969. I distinctly remember my day field trip in Grade 11 in 1994 for environmental science project through Morning Star Secondary School in Mississauga (Malton) Ontario, 25 years ago! (Blog entry on my most memorable years during high school years soon! … perhaps next!!!).

Time flies indeed! 25 years or so onwards, I now take my kids on those trails for nature treks that I once hesitated to walk upon – for a day on a fine spring afternoon – to gather environmental data for a project to studied by a group of four that was randomly chosen by our Science teacher (Mr. Kanitz – I still remember his name). None of the chosen four got along much with each that other that day but somehow managed to get data for task at hand ha! (not much has changed in terms of ‘getting along’, however, as my kids hardly get along or mostly forced to behave with each other for most part haha!)

Interesting how the mind works. As a teenager, spending half a day in the wild was ‘boring’ and forced, rather subjected if you will, in the name of science. Now I wish I could spend fair amount of life moments on those trails daily if possible soaking in the serenity and tranquility of gorgeous landscape and nature within the bounds of Terra Cotta Conservation Area. Maturity comes with age I suppose (for some 😄). Better late than never is another adage that comes to mind. I digress!

This phenomenal conserved area has plenty to offer to kids, youth and adults alike. For instance, during the March Break, students and their families can help tap trees and empty sap buckets as spring comes to life bring along freshly made maple syrup. One can learn the process of collecting maple sap in both modern and historical context as well as experiencing Indigenous roots of sweet water.

Vast network of lines to collect maple nectar from some of the oldest trees in Niagara Escarpment. I can smell delicious hot pancakes with fresh maple syrup while I type this part. A few pictures above from our excursion today illustrating the setup and spaghetti of tubes from where the nectar flows, when the time is right of course!

I recently did a post on Terra Cotta Conservation Area in the precinct of which Jack Smythe Field Centre lies. Thus, there are a number of trails that captivates the mind, through the eyes, of nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. The pictures captured momentarily in the camera do not justice to the sheer beauty of lands but a few more shots below nevertheless.

An open air amphitheater that I’m not really sure what purpose it serves fully but I told my kids upon being inquired that’s where ‘Shakespeare – Under the Stars’ was first acted out. The look I got back from them was rather interesting since they’re not as gullible as they used to be 😁. As an aside, I used to tell them I lived on the trees back in Africa where I was born and raised until age 12 before moving to Canada. They believed that till a certain age or shall I say until Google ruined the surprise for them ha! Anyways, will sign off here with a few more clicks I managed to capture. Enjoy!

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