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A Summer with the Birds – Student Shares Her Experiences Working with the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust

Delta-sunrise
As a follow-up to our video series on the HCTF Summer Internship Program , we received the following article from the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust (DFWT), written by their 2016 intern, Jennifer Sibbald. Jennifer is the third BCIT student to complete a summer internship with DFWT under this program. Each morning, from May through July, I was up with the sunrise. It wasn’t that I had trouble sleeping or because I’m naturally an early-riser: I was there for the birds. In spring, as migrating songbirds travel toward their food-rich breeding grounds, many stop in the productive agricultural lands of Delta, BC. This stop-over results in a flurry of morning activity, known by many as the ‘dawn chorus’. This musical cacophony is the sound of many male birds singing to attract a mate, each with their own unique song. In the birding world, these moments are the perfect time to survey birds, as one can identify them by sight as well as sound. Though waking at dawn may not be for everyone, it was the perfect way for me to spend a summer. As a student in the Ecological Restoration Program at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), I jumped...
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BC Kids Granted Opportunities for Outdoor Learning

BC Kids Granted Opportunities for Outdoor Learning
Victoria –The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) has announced it will provide over $66,000 for BC schools to get their students out of the classroom and into the outdoors. Their aptly-named GO (Get Outdoor) Grants will be used to pay for bus transportation, project materials and program fees to provide hands-on outdoor learning experiences for more than 4500 students. The North Okanagan Shuswap School District was one of many school districts across the province who will be benefitting from GO Grants this spring. In total, 5 of the District’s schools plus an additional 10 classes through a district-wide grant will receive just over $7700 for outdoor, environmental education field trips, including some of the following: Armstrong Elementary’ s grade 4 and 5 classes will visit Kingfisher Interpretive Centre to learn about salmon and salmon habitat Salmon Arm West Elementary’ s grade 2/3 and 4/5 classes will be getting out on the Shuswap River to explore life along the river and conduct local indigenous plantings Shuswap Middle School class of grade 6/7 will be going to Norfolk Wild Regional Park to investigate and measure biodiversity in the park Hillcrest Elementary grade 2/3 classes will take a trip Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park...
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South Park School Shares Their CEAF Story

South Park School Shares Their CEAF Story
We received this wonderful video from South Park Family School in Victoria, BC, showing us how they used their CEAF grant to get students outdoors and experiencing nature.  Thanks to teacher Kathy Inglis for putting this piece together: it looks like the students had a fantastic time, even in the rain!     The Conservation Education Assistance Fund (CEAF) is HCTF’s newest granting program, developed to assist BC educators in getting their students outdoors and learning in and about the environment. CEAF grants cover transportation, field leader and project material costs to facilitate hands-on learning about nature. Field studies and projects funded include creating school yard wildlife habitats, exploring local watersheds and wetlands, inventorying forest and marine ecosystems, and conducting marine and freshwater surveys. Since the very first grants were awarded in 2012, the CEAF program has supported over 5,000 students in experiential learning outdoors. Interested in applying for a CEAF grant for your school? The next application deadline is February 15, 2014 : see here for further details.    
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Experiential Learning at Hakai

Experiential Learning at Hakai
Students in the remote village of Hagensborg, BC rarely get to connect with learning opportunities outside the Bella Coola Valley. But thanks to the fundraising efforts of teacher Sara Germain , fifteen lucky students from Sir Alexander Mackenzie School got the chance of a lifetime to travel to the Hakai Beach Institute for a week of hands-on, ecosystem-based learning in a spectacular coastal environment. Here’s Sara story about how an HCTF CEAF grant helped her students connect with the outdoors and bring classroom concepts to life: "Students in BC's Science 10 focus a quarter of their curriculum on the sustainability of life's ecosystems, so this week-long field trip was designed to solidify many of the concepts learned in the classroom relating to ecology, evolution, food webs, humans impact on ecosystems, climate change and more.  I've found that when studying for their Provincial Exam, students who’ve been on this trip are much more successful at applying these concepts because they can connect questions with ideas they 'lived and applied' out in the field at Hakai.   Upon arrival, we did an intertidal species scavenger hunt to introduce students to the new ecosystem they would be exploring for the week.  The next day,...
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CEAF Grants $46,000 to BC Schools for Outdoor Field Studies

CEAF Grants $46,000 to BC Schools for Outdoor Field Studies
HCTF approved 33 CEAF grant requests in its February 2013 application call, providing over $46,000 in funding to British Columbian K-12 classes and schools. The Conservation Education Assistance Fund (CEAF) is HCTF’s newest granting program, developed to assist BC educators in getting their students outdoors and learning in and about the environment. CEAF grants cover transportation, field leader and project material costs to facilitate hands-on learning about nature. Field studies and projects funded include creating school yard wildlife habitats, exploring local watersheds and wetlands, inventorying forest and marine ecosystems, and conducting marine and freshwater surveys. Since the very first grants were awarded in 2012, the CEAF program has supported nearly 5,000 students in experiential learning outdoors. CEAF’s next grant application deadline is September 15, 2013 . Currently, the program is in a 2 year pilot to work through logistics and identify future funding needs.
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