by Neil Carleton – Metcalfe Geoheritage Park Committee

As a pilot project of Metcalfe Geoheritage Park, loan collections of rocks, fossils, and minerals are now available for grade 4 classrooms and homeschooling in Mississippi Mills.

The study of rocks and minerals in grade 4 introduces students to the science of geology.  The best way to learn about rocks and minerals is to have specimens available for study.  Pictured here, from Rocks Box 9, are hands-on samples of the metamorphic rock gneiss.
The 15 loan collections, each in a sturdy bin, include sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous ROCKS – gneiss, granite, limestone, marble, sandstone, schist, shale – Ordovician age FOSSILS, about 450 million years old – brachiopod, cephalopod, colonial and solitary coral, crinoid, gastropod, trilobite – and Precambrian age MINERALS, about 1 billion years old – calcite, feldspar, mica, quartz.
Each loan collection includes a class set of hands-on samples for students to study, measure, compare and contrast, classify, describe, draw, photograph …  These  examples, from Rocks Box 12, are feldspar, an abundant rock forming mineral of the Canadian Shield in our area.
Each loan collection also has a large specimen for classroom display.  This fossil sample is colonial honeycomb coral from Rocks Box 1.
During the Ordovician Period, about 450 million years ago, our part of the world was near the equator.  The shallow, tropical oceans that covered the North American protocontinent were rich in early marine life.  Their fossils can be are found in the sedimentary limestone of our area.  Diorama image courtesy of the Manitoba Museum.
The 8 classroom sets of specimens in Rocks Box 15 are for student testing.  Rocks  limestone + sandstone + shale + marble.  Minerals  calcite + feldspar + mica + quartz.  Pictured here are testing samples of mica, a common sheet or flake mineral of the igneous and metamorphic rocks of our region.

TEACHER NOTES    The illustrated teacher notes that have been prepared for each Rocks Box include descriptions, explanations, and a glossary of geological words.

COST    The 15 loan collections are free.  Donations for their upkeep are welcome.

LOAN PERIOD    Each Rock Box can be borrowed for a day or so, or a week, or longer.

LESSON PLAN    Classroom teachers and homeschool instructors are asked to contribute a lesson plan to each Rock Box they borrow. 

RESERVATIONS    By email on a first-come-first-serve basis.

CONTACT    Neil Carleton  <>

Metcalfe Geoheritage Park in Almonte is located at 250 Almonte Street, at the bottom of Bay Hill below the lower falls.


2016 Official Opening

2017 QR Code System Installation

2017 QR Code System Inauguration