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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 2-5). Each session runs from  9:30 – 11:00 am and 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 2020 Summer Sessions will open in June. 

The summer program runs once a week in July and August for 6 weeks. Cost: $70, and only $30 for second child. 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




Is your child interested in photography? Do they love nature? Otonabee Conservation and Riverview Park and Zoo are pleased to present the Roberta Bondar Challenge again this summer! This one or two-day summer program provides students with an opportunity to learn about photography and to see the beauty of nature from a different perspective! 

2018 Bondar Challenge 01

Developed by the Roberta Bondar Foundation, this renowned program challenges those who enter it, with a learning experience that infuses art with science, and science with art. 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.

2018 Bondar Challenge 02

Our 2019 program is now complete. Check back in the spring of 2020 for information on our 2020 program.

You can see the winning photographs from the 2018 program here and the 2017 program here

For more information please contact us at


 Student Taking Photograph