The Ecomuseum Zoo is proud to announce it is the recipient of the prestigious Eleonore Oakes Award, bestowed upon it by CAZA-AZAC (Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) at the annual conference for the renewed programming of its Nature Camp.
Awarded annually by a jury panel composed of industry experts, the honor is presented to a zoological institution and recognizes outstanding achievement by an institutional member in exhibit design, animal welfare, and education or for other significant contributions to the zoo and aquarium field.
Education at the heart of the Ecomuseum Zoo’s mission
Since its opening in 1988, education has always been at the heart of the Ecomuseum Zoo’s mission. Quickly, educational workshops took form, and in 1989, the Nature Camp’s very first edition was launched.
In 2017, strengthened by the recent arrival of a new Education Director and realizing the need to renew the program in light of the evolution of its mission, the Ecomuseum Zoo completely revised and revitalized the objectives, the messages, the content and the activities of the institution’s Nature Camp curriculum. The objective was to integrate notions and concrete actions related to animal welfare and to wildlife conservation in natural habitats. As a result of this reflection the zoo’s education team sought to introduce more advanced concepts: ecological balance, scientific fieldwork for the conservation of wildlife and its habitats, animal well-being in all its forms (physical, psychological, emotional).
In collaboration with various departments of the Ecomuseum Zoo (research and conservation, animal care, landscaping), a whole new programming came to life. A partnership with the Morgan Arboretum was developed to raise awareness among our young campers about Québec’s three major ecosystems. Nature Camp participants were able to take their first steps in wildlife conservation thanks to concrete actions such as an introduction to telemetry an a census of snake species in their natural habitat. Of course, these and more activities were undertaken without forgetting to learn about animal well-being, animal care and Québec’s wildlife species.
The Nature Camp program is now 100% integrated with the Ecomuseum Zoo’s mission: the three pillars, education, conservation and animal well-being, are truly highlighted and all the different departments are called upon to collaborate to ensure the program’s success. All of which make it possible to educate children about the splendor of Québec’s wildlife, fauna with which we cohabitate daily.
“The awarding of this prize brings great pride to the Ecomuseum Zoo team, including of course the zoo’s entire education team. This award is a concrete reflection of the priority given by the Ecomuseum Zoo to raising awareness among future generations. Education has always been a pillar of our mission, and it’s a duty and a responsibility that we take very seriously. Influencing children today can make, and will make, a very big difference for the future.” – David Rodrigue, Executive Director