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Education & Programs

Education at the Park and Zoo

Our education programs have been developed to help students make enduring connections to nature, and to promote behaviours and choices that support the conservation of wildlife and habitats. The program includes a variety of educational opportunities for students of different ages, groups/clubs and other organizations, as well as our visiting guests.For more information or to book programs please contact us at

RPZ Education Program Brochure


Our Programs:

Zoo Academy Day Program 

Zoo Trek Half-Day Program

Turtle Trek Day Program

Guided Tours

Zoo Crew Parent and Tot Program

The Bondar Challenge 


ZOO ACADEMY Curriculum-Linked Day Program

This structured day program employs a combination of in-class activities, observations and discussions at animal exhibits, outdoor games and animal encounters. Individual sessions have been developed (by grade) to support the relevant units of the Ontario curriculum. Sessions are available for Grades 1 - 7.

 2015 Spring Zoo Academy Photo 1

ZOO TREK Curriculum-Linked ½Day Program

This half-day program provides an excellent opportunity for teachers to augment a class trip to the Park and Zoo. Students participate in a “short” in-class program with quick activities/exercises and animal encounters and then enjoy a guided tour of the zoo. Although abbreviated to allow classes time for self-directed activities, the sessions in this program have been developed (by grade) to support the relevant units of the Ontario curriculum. Sessions are available for Grades 1 - 7.


TURTLE TREK Joint-Facility Day Program

Double-up the fun with a visit to the Park and Zoo AND the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre!  This full-day program combines the Park and Zoo’s Zoo Trek sessions with the OTCC’s half-day, turtle and habitat conservation program. Classes visit the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre during the morning and then visit the Park and Zoo for the afternoon (or vice-versa).

 Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre Education Program - Donnell talking about turtle eggs.


Join our tour guides for an interpretive walk throughout the zoo. Tours include general information about and history of the Park and Zoo, detailed information on each species, their conservation status and habitats, as well as the background information about individual animals and are available seasonally to to family-sized or class-size groups.

 ZOO CREW- Parent & Tot Program

Are you looking for a fun way for you and your pre-school child to connect with nature? Riverview Park & Zoo's popular Zoo Crew parent & tot program is an interactive and experiential program for pre-school children (Ages 3-5). Each session typically includes some time for colouring, story time, fun activities, crafts and an animal encounter. We have a different theme each session with a focus on some of the species we have here at Riverview.

Registration for the 2018-2019 FALL-WINTER PROGRAM is now closed.

All three fall-winter sessions have sold-out. Look for information on our summer session in June 2019.

The program is held at the Park and Zoo's Rotary Education Centre (just inside the main gates of the zoo) as well as out and about the zoo. 

2018 Zoo Crew Little Keepers Session  Graduation

This Year's Session Themes:







 2018 Zoo Crew Little Keepers Session




Riverview Park and Zoo and Otonabee Conservation are very pleased to have presented the renowned Bondar Challenge once again during the summer of 2018. Developed by The Roberta Bondar Foundation, the Bondar Challenge is a unique experiential program that helps children make a connection to nature through the art of photography.

During the program, participants learn how to use a digital camera (cameras are provided) and acquire a variety of photography techniques, ranging from basic to advanced. They then have an opportunity to apply what they have learned in a natural setting. The participants choose their favourite photo and it is submitted to the Roberta Bondar Foundation. A panel of judges will evaluate entries from youth across Canada and select winning photographs for the year.

You can see the winning photographs from the 2017 program here

We are are planning to offer this program again in 2019. More information on the 2019 sessions will be posted in early March. For more information please contact us at


 Student Taking Photograph