The commitment to develop a curriculum, inclusive of environmental studies and outdoor education, began in the Bruce/Grey education system in November, 1970.
Recommendations were put forward by community leaders and educators who had the foresight to recognize the uniqueness of the Bruce Peninsula, unrivaled in Canada for its combined biological, geologic and botanical features. These recommendations provide local students with an opportunity to experience, first hand, this unique habitat and gain an appreciation for their natural heritage through outdoor education programs.
In the spring of 1972, in response to these recommendations, The Mason farm, west of Wiarton, was purchased. The property spans 130 hectares (320) acres and includes a variety of environments: shoreline on two lakes, marsh, swamp, a variety of mixed forest, old meadows and approximately 50 acres still under active cultivation. Buildings on this site include a turn-of-the century stone farm house, large barn and a driving shed. Three portables were added between 1974 and 1976 and two used portable dormitories were subsequently added in 1984 to support program as it was.
The Board of Education knew that there was a need to renew and replace existing facilities at the Outdoor Education site in the late 1980's. The Board continued to recognize the importance of Outdoor Education and continued to support the onsite program but were unable despite valiant efforts to secure capital funding.
Through innovative thinking, a registered charitable Bluewater Education Foundation was established in the late 1990's to raise funds in the Grey Bruce communities. With strong community and business support all of the temporary facilities have been replaced by new accessible facilities. This allows the Foundation to focus on maintaining and improving the site. One of our main focuses is to establish a substantial endowment fund to generate monies that will sustain this invaluable resource for generations to come.