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Happy Earth Day! Today is officially  Earth Day, and this year's theme of  Environmental & Climate literacy is a great fit with  HCTF Education's programs and philosophy. HCTF Education partnered with local schools on Earth Day activities to get students outside, learning about the outdoors and making a difference in their communities.   On Friday, Monterey Middle School hosted a public event to help rid their local beach of  nurdles, tiny pellets that are melted down to make plastic products. Because they're so tiny, nurdles are rarely targeted in clean-up efforts, but scientists are becomingly  increasingly concerned about the effects these persistent plastics can have on marine ecosystems. Inspired by their local high school’s presentation on ocean pollution, Monterey’s Grade 8 classrooms decided they wanted to turn their school's annual Earth Day celebration into an outdoor event that allowed them to share what they've learned with their communities and work together to help their local fish and wildlife. The students built nurdle sifters for the public to use, and hosted themed information stations and activities.  Monterey Principal Ken Andrews says he was pleased to see his school's Earth Day plans evolve from an indoor assembly to an outdoor event involving the community. "I'm convinced that the journey toward a more ecologically sustainable society will be led by those of the next generation who feel a genuine sense of connection to the natural world and appreciation of biodiversity," says Andrews. "We partnered with HCTF Education to plan our Earth Day activities, but also to embed environmental learning activities into our everyday practices."  Currently, HCTF Education facilitators are working with Monterey's faculty to create a series of customized marine lessons that will be taught at their local beaches later this spring. For ideas on how your school or classroom can incorporate place-based environmental learning, visit  hctfeducation.ca...
Reminder to Students: WRFC Sponsorship Application Deadline April 30 There's a little over a week remaining for BC post-secondary students to submit their sponsorship applications for the World Recreational Fishing Conference July 16 - 20 in Victoria, BC. The Conference will provide students with the opportunity to learn about advances in recreational fisheries research and management from the world's leading experts. As the official Education Sponsor for WRFC8, HCTF has offered to sponsor up to four BC post-secondary students to attend.  More >>

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If you need financial support for a conservation project powered by volunteers, check out our PCAF grants! The Public Conservation Assistance Fund provides grants for on-the-ground conservation projects in BC. This could include activities such as wetland restoration, reptile monitoring, bird banding, and bat box construction - there are all sorts of possibilities, so long as the project provides clear conservation benefits for native fish and wildlife. Grant recipients must provide at least half of the value of their PCAF grant in volunteer labour (now valued at $15/hr). This year’s application deadline is May 16th, 2017. More>>   
Annual Acquisition Grant Application Deadline Coming Up The deadline for submitting an application for an HCTF Acquisition Grant is fast approaching! Completed applications must be received by 4:30PM on Friday, March 31st to be considered for funding. Full application information can be found here. Questions? Please contact Christina Waddle for further details.     

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Wild Schools at Work Check out this awesome video from Shaw TV of students from Margret Jenkins Elementary School (École Élémentaire Margaret Jenkins) removing gorse and other invasive plants from Trafalgar Park in Victoria. Margaret Jenkins is part of HCTF Education’s Wild Schools Program, a 3-year program providing teachers and students of K-8 schools with free resources, training and support for environmental learning and outdoor field experiences in their communities. In the third year of the program, school receive $500 towards a stewardship project, which allowed Margaret Jenkins to purchase gloves and other supplies necessary for the students to participate in this hands-on conservation project. Hats off to students and staff for a job well done!  ...