Local school field trips slowly resuming after nearly two years of cancellations
As school field trips are slowly resuming, businesses and destinations are looking to recoup some losses.
At the Steckle Heritage Farm in Kitchener, workers are getting ready to welcome students back next week.
“I believe we have three or four [schools] lined up,” said education manager Nicky Hanbidge. “Face marks are worn indoors and outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible, hand sanitizer [is offered], and now we’re doing proof of vaccination for any indoor events.”
This will mark the first school tours since spring of 2020 for the farm.
Indoor and outdoor locations are now allowed to host field trips under the reopening act, but the Waterloo Catholic District School Board says it won’t be scheduling indoor ones until further notice.
The public board says schools can consider community excursions that do not require transportation.
Before the pandemic, TheMuseum in Downtown Kitchener hosted as many as 10,000 annually.
“It would’ve been approaching $100,000 a year if you average 2018 and 2019,” said CEO David Marskell. “This year we will be lucky to get 20 per cent of that.
“We are looking at some strategies to get through this, in the new year we will be announcing some significant discounts for schools.”
At the Shantz Family Farm it’s a similar situation, where the pumpkin patch was empty Thursday afternoon.
“On an average day we would have 150 children go through,” said owner Kevin Shantz. “On a beautiful warm summer-like day today, we really miss the school kids.
“Without field trips, there’s been a revenue loss of about 20 per cent, amounting to thousands of dollars a year.”
The farm held off planting a corn maze for 2021, but say they have been able to save on tractor fuel and insurance costs.