We are Taking our Environmental Courses to the Local Elementary Schools again in 2018

By Blanka Guyatt, member of the Board and Watershed Action Group

The BMWTF Education Committee has received money from The Blue Mountain’s Environmental Sustainability Fund. The $1000+ was matched by the Watershed Fund and these combined funds will provide us with enough money to hire the environmental teachers from the Nottawasaga Valley and Grey Sauble Conservation Authorities.

It has been most encouraging that the schools that participated last year want to continue the program. As well, a few new schools want to join. As in the previous year the environmental specialists from NVCA and Grey Sauble CAs will meet with approximately 50 Grade 6 to 8 students for a day and teach them principles of environmental stewardship working both in the classroom and outdoors. Fostering interest in nature and an understanding of the complexity of the environment is our goal. The students always respond with great enthusiasm. They learn about watersheds, wetlands, lakes and creeks in the area, threats from invasive species, the decline of local endangered species and the importance of their efforts in order to protect the environment for all of us and for their own future.

The committee is developing a hands-on program to teach tree planting, restoration of creeks and the lake shoreline, how to battle Phragmites and other species that threaten the local water and wildlife. The children will also learn about water sampling, fisheries and the importance of healthy water in the tributary creeks. They will learn about turtles, frogs and other species and will be encouraged to log their findings and compare their notes with the other students in the program.

The Watershed Trust engineers, experts and educators will monitor the program, share the results with the community and encourage the students to take an active part protecting our local environment. We hope to provide an opportunity to learn about the environment for every child. This should be easy to accomplish because the Ministry has incorporated environmental education into the curriculum and teachers are supportive.