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Northlands Park - Memories Worth Keeping
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Educational

Locally grown cropsWhen the Edmonton Agricultural Society (EAS) came into existence in 1879, it did not have educational underpinnings as a key part of its mandate. However, as the organization’s scope broadened, its contact with the community and its capacity to promote learning also grew. This was perhaps a natural direction for the EAS to head in, being an organization that attracted natural leaders and ambitious, creative minds.

Children at the farmThe educational impact of Northlands Park is manifold, traversing age categories and traditional fields of learning. Positioned as an initiator and innovator in the community, much of its educational legacy has been in the realm of practicality and application, but has nevertheless echoed in the halls of academia.

Primary and secondary schools have had partnerships with the organization dating back to early in the 20th century. Livestock Pavilion booths, and spring, summer, and fall events all served as showcases providing information on the prairies’ natural artifacts, resources, and technology. A tangible introduction to the larger world of agriculture exposed urban children to the sector that provided them with things necessary forAgVenture participants sustenance. Groups like 4-H, and modern activities such as AgVenture, linked the realities of rural and urban children.

Post-secondary students have also experienced the effects of Northlands Park activities. Over many years, University of Alberta faculties such as Agriculture, Business, Home Economics, and Animal Husbandry all maintained an interface with the volunteer-driven organization. By providing a place to apply theoretical learning through cattle judging, for example, Northlands Park assisted in the vital integration of theory and practice. Real-life exposure and relationship building with industry players provided students with valuable experience and the organization with fresh perspectives and vision for the future.

Beyond learning within the regular confines of formal education, Northlands Park has created solvent initiatives such as on-site learning programs at the exhibition grounds. Through the provision of scholarships, some of Alberta’s young and talented have received the financial support to realize academic pursuits in various Alberta universities, colleges, and institutes.

VolunteersThe province’s young are not the only ones who have felt the educational impact of Northlands Park though. Individuals who have been drawn to the organization as volunteers, members, directors, or board executives have had opportunities to acquire new skills transferable to other facets of their lives—personal and professional.

It could even be said that the public at large has also shared in experiencing the educational impacts of Northlands Park. Cattle judgingThose who have visited cultural events have been exposed to valuable and unique contributions of others around the world. Consumer show buffs have had ample opportunities to learn more about their particular interests, as have those visiting activities such as Kennel Club shows.

By exposing children and adults to new ways of seeing and doing, Northlands Park has supplemented conventional forms of classroom education and perhaps provided the spark inspiring some individuals to pursue life-long learning.

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