The Tourond Creek Discovery Center (TCDC) was developed as an outdoor classroom that would serve school classes in surrounding Divisions. The site boasts some amazing diversity in plant and animal life throughout the five micro-ecosystems found there: aspen forest, grassland, Tourond Creek, wetland, and rich woodland as well as a wind and solar powered weather station that relays information to Environment Canada. Trails connect the various micro-ecosystems together, at one point passing by a lookout tower overlooking a shallow pond. A dock in the shallow pond facilitates activities such as “critter dipping” where students participate in hands-on learning. Our picnic shelter is located near the school bus parking loop with picnic tables that can house up to approximately 60 people comfortably. Portable outdoor washroom facilities are available during the months of May, June, September and October specifically for school group use.
The TCDC was previously used as the Kleefeld Waste Disposal Site, operated by the RM of Hanover. On November 1, 2002, the site was decommissioned by Manitoba Conservation when the Waste Disposal Site was relocated. As they deliberated the use of the land going into the future, the RM of Hanover approached the Seine-Rat River Conservation District (SRRCD) with the idea of using the area for outdoor environmental education. In 2009, the Outdoor Classroom Steering Committee was formed with members from the RM of Hanover, the SRRCD, the Hanover School Division, Kleefeld Recreation Committee, and local nature enthusiasts. Members were later added from Borderland School Division and the Seine River School Division. After much planning and preparation, the site welcomed its first school groups in May 2012 under the new name of “Tourond Creek Discovery Center”.
In addition to the Steering Committee, other partners have helped the TCDC come into being. When the lookout tower was being proposed, Grunthal Lumber donated all the lumber for construction and under the direction of John Funk, the Building & Construction students at the SRSS built the tower. Others who have donated include Albert Frechette of Lerial Enterprise for the wood chips on the pathways and Chez Koop for the TCDC logo design. One of our biggest supporter is the Steinbach Game & Fish who donate their time and equipment to maintain the trails at the TCDC and have also recently donated the picnic tables for the TCDC. The support of all of our partners is gratefully acknowledged and appreciated! We really could not have done this without you!!!