The Nature School at Claireville

THE NATURE SCHOOL at Claireville

The Nature School at Claireville takes place primarily outside on Claireville Conservation Area’s 848-hectares property, with access to a wide variety of natural ecosystems and accessible trails.

Students will have use of the Claireville Education Centre, which includes a private indoor learning space in case of inclement weather.






Primary School

Our primary school program is for students from Kindergarten to Grade 3.

Students are placed in a multi-age grade: an approach to education in which students are treated as individuals and their skills are built from the starting point of where they are at, rather than what grade they are in.

The Primary Program at Claireville is offered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

primary student takes part in Nature School program at Claireville Conservation Area


1 Day per Week, Sept to June: $2,800
2 Days per Week, Sept to June: $5,600
3 Days per Week, Sept to June: $8,400


Registration for the 2021-2022 school year is NOW OPEN.
Please contact Visitor Services at (416) 667-6295 ext. 3 or email vservices to find out how to apply.



Please contact Jasmine Green at or (905) 832-2289 ext. 2390.

Minimum registration required. Deposits will be returned if program does not meet minimum registration requirements.


The Nature School Preschool uses a child-led approach to learning that is exploratory, inquiry-based, fun and unhurried.

Children interact with the natural environment through the use of loose parts, creative play, shelter building, whittling wood, cooking on an open fire, knots, making woodland crafts and sharing stories.

The Nature Preschool is offered to children who are 2.5 to 5 years of age and are potty trained.

The program runs from September to June.

The Preschool Program at Claireville is offered on Mondays.

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

student enjoys The Nature School preschool program at Claireville Conservation Area


• Children who are 2.5 to 3 years of age as of September 2021 may attend one day a week. Cost: $1,700

(Monthly payment options are available.)


Registration for the 2021-2022 preschool year is NOW OPEN.
Please contact Visitor Services at (416) 667 6295 ext. 3 or email vservices to find out how to apply.



Please contact Jasmine Green at or (905) 832-2289 ext. 2390.

Minimum registration required. Deposits will be returned if program does not meet minimum registration requirements.

Little Saplings Parent & Tot Program

Recommended for children ages 1 to 5.

In this weekly program, youngsters will explore a new nature theme each week. The format allows for consistent structure with flexible content. Parent or caregiver participation is required.

Dates: Wednesdays, September 22, 2021 to November 10, 2021
Hours: 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

young student takes part in The Nature School Little Saplings parent and tot program at Claireville Conservation Area


  • Outdoor activities such as collecting, hiding, piling, catching, and exploring nature
  • Circle time with structures sharing and engaging stories
  • Free-time indoor activities with exploratory natural touch items


  • $140.00

Minimum program registration required.


PA Day Camps

Come to the Claireville Conservation Area on your PA Day and explore the world of The Nature School.

Students will enjoy the benefits of a day spent outdoors where nature becomes the classroom. This child-led approach to learning is exploratory, inquiry based, fun, and unhurried.

PA Day Camps are offered to children ages 4 to 10.

Dates: Friday November 12, 2021 and Friday November 19, 2021
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

young student takes part in The Nature School PA day camp at Claireville Conservation Area


  • $60.00 per day

Minimum program registration required.



Teachers at The Nature School hold one or more professional designations, including certified Forest School Practitioners, Registered Early Childhood Educators and Ontario Certified Teachers with degrees in Outdoor Experiential Education, as well as extensive experience working with children in their early years.

Jasmine Green

Jasmine Green, Supervisor, Claireville Education, OCT

Jasmine has been an outdoor educator for more than 15 years. With a B.Ed in Outdoor and Experiential Education, a Forest School Practitioners Certificate, and general love and enthusiasm for bringing kids outside, she has helped to develop and deliver nature programming for children of all ages.

Jasmine has worked at The Tawingo Outdoor Education Centre, The Toronto Botanical Gardens, and The Kortright Centre for Conservation. She is excited to bring her passion for the outdoors to The Nature School at Claireville.

Jasmine believes that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. When she’s not teaching other people’s offspring, she spends her time raising her own adventurous kids, taking them hiking, camping, and exploring!

Ken McGillivray

Ken MacGillivray, Teacher, The Nature School, OCT

Ken grew up in Etobicoke but spent his childhood weekends and summers at his family’s cottage on Lake Huron on the Bruce Peninsula. He went to York University to become a teacher, and then to Humber College for a Certificate of Outdoor Education.

Ken briefly worked at a museum near his cottage, then at a YMCA camp in a National Park. Finally, he worked for two years as a primary school teacher at a reserve in Northwestern Ontario.

Ken started his time with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) as an environmental educator at the Kortright Centre, and he has been working for TRCA ever since.

Ken enjoys camping, hiking, canoeing and birdwatching, and he still spends a lot of time at his family’s cottage. He also has a passion for conservation and volunteers with the Canadian Chestnut Council.

Sandra Piacente

Sandra Piacente, Educator, The Nature Preschool

Sandra Piacente has been part of our TRCA education team for over seven years.

From a young age she worked as a skating and camp instructor with children of special needs. Her educational background consists of a degree in Zoology and Anthropology as well as her Montessori teaching degree. She worked as an Elementary Montessori teacher for more than 10 years, incorporating her love for the environment and the natural world in the classroom.

Over the years Sandra has facilitated our Little Saplings program, environmental education programs and special events. She is a proud mom of twins and enjoys spending family time by the lake, hiking, camping, and kayaking. She especially loves the season of winter, skating, skiing and winter hikes.

Ralph Varga

Ralph Varga, Educator, The Nature Preschool

Ralph graduated from the Recreation Leadership program at Centennial College. He grew up in Toronto with a passion for nature and the outdoors, likely spawned through fishing trips with his dad from a very young age.

Ralph has worked in many educational settings with children, from special needs kindergarten to sport programs, and finally 18 years in childcare, working with preschoolers right up to school-agers. Most recently Ralph was a program staff member at the Claireville Nature Summer Camp.

Along with his many years of experience, Ralph brings ideas, passion, and a gentle nature to help guide and support the learning and development of young children.

Ralph enjoys fishing, hiking, baking, gardening, and co-op board games.


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