New Interactive Trail in Tsútswecw Park Tells Story of Landscape & Local Plants through the Voices of Secwépemctsin Language Students
BC Story Trail launch HCTF Board member Ian McGregor is among the first visitors to the Story Trail in Tsútswecw Provincial Park
Today marks the opening of an interactive and interpretive trail in Tsútswecw Provincial Park built on the traditional territory of the Secwépemc people. The trail uses technology to tell the story of native plants and landscape features through the voices of local youth.
Members of the public are invited to celebrate the power of story, nature and culture, and discover the rich history of the land. Visitors will scan signage along the trail to hear students from Chase Secondary School’s Secwépemctsin language class share what they learned from their elders. You can listen to the Story Trail stations by clicking on the image below to visit the interactive map on the BC Parks Foundation website.
Visit the BC Parks Foundation’s website to listen to the story trail stations on their interactive map.
The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) Education program helped support the Story Trails project by covering the class’s transportation costs to and from the park, providing honorariums for elders and having WildBC facilitators work with the students and teachers. The Story Trails project is one of multiple HCTF Education-supported initiatives at Chase Secondary. The school was chosen as a pilot for HCTF’s new high school LEAP (Leadership Environmental Action Projects) granting program. As part of the pilot, Chase’s Biology 11 class brought their stream and watershed studies to life through hands-on field experiences at nearby Chase Creek. Chase students also helped younger students at Haldane Elementary with garden box plantings and Earth Day events. A dozen Chase students were even trained as Park Ambassadors for the Adam’s River Salute to Sockeye event.
Chase Secondary School Salmon Ambassadors worked with younger students and HCTF Education WildBC Facilitator Brenda Melnychuk to educate Salute to Sockeye participants about composting and recycling.
BC high schools interested in provided similar learning opportunities for their students are encouraged to check out the new LEAP grant program. Grants of up to $5000 are available for science, environmental or career courses focused on opportunities for students in environmental and conservation sciences. This year’s application deadline is June 15th. For more information, visit https://www.hctfeducation.ca/c2c-community/leap-grants/
What a fantastic spring it’s been for outdoor learning in BC! HCTF Education, in partnership with BC Parks, provided BC schools with more than $80K in GO Grants to give their students the opportunity to learn about BC’s incredible biodiversity. Over 6,000 students from classes around the province participated in GO Grant field trips this spring. They created wildlife habitat gardens, removed invasive plants, investigated water quality and much more while exploring some of the province’s amazing natural settings, including BC Parks. To find out more about HCTF’s environmental education programs and resources, visit https://www.hctfeducation.ca/c2c-community/partners-and-special-projects/
Congratulations HCTF Education, Cmolik Award Finalist!
HCTF Education Cmolik Prize Finalists
Congratulations to HCTF Education for being named a finalist for the Cmolik Prize for the Enhancement of Public Education in BC. The prize recognizes recipients who have developed and implemented an invention, innovation, concept, process or procedure that enhances educational practice in the British Columbia K-12 public school system.
“On behalf of the entire environmental learning community of educators who help the program to thrive and grow, we are very honoured,” says Kerrie Mortin, HCTF Education Program manager. “Our belief is that every student in BC should be able to learn and experience BC’s great outdoor classroom.”
HCTF Education helps to meet the needs and challenges faced by schools and teachers to implement environmental learning in the classroom. This includes providing field trip (GO Grants) and conservation high school grants (LEAP), school programs (Wild Schools and Environmental Exchange Box), access to a network of environmental educators (WildBC Facilitators), and educational resources. HCTF Education programs and support network continue to be a catalyst and voice for environmental educational initiatives that support changes across the diverse geographies and cultures of BC.
Educators Get Outdoors to learn about Environmental Education
In an event cosponsored by BC Parks and HCTF, educators came together at Strathcona Provincial Park to participate in HCTF Education workshop. Led by HCTF Education’s WildBC Facilitator, Luisa Richardson, the group’s goal was to learn and teach winter ecology activities they could do with their own students.
Using Get Outdoors and Below Zero activities at attune their senses to the snowy world around them, learning was brought to life through hands-on learning.
“All participants were enthusiastically and joyfully engaged. They were happy to receive activities that allowed them to teach youth about habitat, biodiversity and stewardship to lighten their foot print in snowy habitats protected places,” Richardson reported. “We were all surprised at how much harder it was to play predator prey simulations in snow. It drove home how much more energy animals need to find food, water, shelter in winter, and how much harder it is for them to survive.”
Events such as this one, bringing together HCTF workshops for educators is made possible by the BC Parks license plate funding program.
Mon, 21 Jan 2019
Hop to it! Go Grants Deadline is February 15, 2019!
The focus of GO Grants is to help get students learning and participating in hands-on experiences in nature. Field trip grant applications are available to K-12 classes and schools in BC to experience BC’s biodiversity.
HCTF Partners with C2C to Support Environmental Education
NatureKids Otter Home Learner Club - Photographer Colin McQuillan
Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is pleased to once again help sponsor the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM) conference. This popular annual gathering brings together educators from across the nation to share resources and best practices related to place-based education and environmental literacy.
“Partnering with #EECOM2018 is a great way of living out HCTF’s mission to foster environmental stewardship from a young age,” explains HCTF Board Chair Winifred Kessler. “We know classroom programs are a great way of encouraging life-long conservation, and so we are very happy to help teachers gather new tools to take back to their home communities.”
HCTF is part of the BC Classrooms to Communities Network, a group of diverse organizations working together to link education, community and conservation in B.C. This year’s conference has chosen the theme “Classrooms to Communities”, which envisions “learners and educators being deeply connected to place, community and planet, able to effectively communicate their stories of connectedness, and taking responsibility to do so.”
The 2018 conference will take place Thursday October 18 to Sunday October 21 at St. Eugene Mission Resort on Ktunaxa Nation land in BC’s Kootenay Rockies. St. Eugene Mission Resort is owned by several Ktunaxa communities: ʔakisq̓nuk First Nation, ʔaq̓am, ʔakink̓umǂasnuqǂiʔit (Tobacco Plains), yaqan nukiy (Lower Kootenay) and Kyaknuq+i?it – the Shuswap Indian Band. This former residential school site now serves as a vehicle for education and economic development, and is therefore a very fitting venue for this conference.
“We are very grateful for the support of HCTF and share the Foundation’s commitment to finding creative ways to facilitate place-based learning,” says CBEEN Executive Director Duncan Whittick, who coordinated the event. “This conference marks the culmination of work by the Classrooms to Communities (C2C) provincial collaboration which HCTF has been part of since the very beginning.”
The conference will be the launching point for annual provincial Classrooms to Communities conferences taking place across BC as part of the provincial Pro-D day on October 19, 2018. Click here for more information.