For: Local watershed kids; homework reference/s; information and links to local programs; links to provincial and world wide programs; list/s of top web pages for youth and environment; book list/s; and more.
Please contact email@example.com with any suggestions you may have.
2018 [top of page are the most recently posted photographs]
Nov 18th 2018: Times Colonist Article
Pity the words that have flown from dictionary – so unnatural by Jack Knox:
“You don’t often see a real bird’s nest used as a Christmas tree decoration. Or a real bird’s skull. Ditto for conkers, acorns, brambles and heather, or ivy strung as garland. It’s as though they trimmed this tree by dragging it through a Berenstain Bears book.
The conifer in question is up on the third floor of the Bay Centre, part of the Festival of Trees, the annual B.C. Children’s Hospital fundraiser. Of the 81 other entries on display through Jan. 7, none is quite like the one decorated by the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.
Its theme is The Lost Words, the title of a lavishly illustrated large-format “book of spells” that became a surprise
bestseller in Europe last year after being written for the oddest of reasons: to preserve nature-related words that got booted from the Oxford Junior Dictionary.
This goes back to 2007, when the editors of that dictionary — a shortish, kid-friendly version — updated it by A) adding modern words commonly spoken by young people, and B) weeding out ones that analysis showed they seldom used. In came techie terms such as “blog” and “cut and paste” and “broadband.” Among the words going out were 40 from the natural world: buttercup, kingfisher, bluebell, wren, willow, otter …
When British nature writer Robert Macfarlane and painter Jackie Morris pushed back with The Lost Words, a book based on 20 of those 40 excised terms, it was seen as a protest against not just the fading place of nature among the language of youth, but the loss of the natural world itself. The book took off, was labelled an instant classic — a “cultural phenomenon,” declared the Guardian.
Among those captivated by The Lost Words (just released in Canada this fall) were the people at the Saanich nature reserve. Hence the Christmas tree decorations incorporating the 20 words from the book: the wren nest, a raven’s skull, a heron feather, chestnuts, ivy, heather, a couple of newts (OK, the newts are fake). The adornments were fashioned by executive director Kathleen Burton and Swan Lake volunteers, using materials found within the sanctuary itself. “You only have to step on the grounds to find the ferns,” Burton says.
In fact, 17 of the 20 items named in the book can be found there, Burton says. “They’re not gone. They’re relevant to nature and they’re relevant to teaching children about nature.”
So, yes, it rankled to learn the words had disappeared from the dictionary. “It’s like making something extinct before its time,” Burton said. The Christmas tree decorations can be taken as a subtle, gentle form of protest (as well as a way to nudge shoppers across Government Street to Munro’s Books, which is donating $8 from every sale of The Lost Words to the nature sanctuary).
The Canadian Press recently quoted Macfarlane as saying the fault isn’t really that of the dictionary’s publisher, which was just following a policy of including and excluding words based on the frequency of their use. “Blaming a dictionary for telling us how we use language is like blaming a barometer for telling us we’ve got bad weather on the way. It just records the pressure, and the pressures at the moment are that children are thinking less about nature.”
Dictionaries frequently update themselves to reflect shifting times. In October, the Oxford English Dictionary’s latest quarterly revision stretched to 1,400 changes, including the addition of alt right, microbead, uncheck, lumbersexual, douchebaggery and bum crack.
In September, Merriam-Webster revealed 840 new entries, several of them driven by technological change — biohacking, Instagramming, airplane mode,
force quit. Also added were hangry (as in a Snickers commercial),
bingeable (as in Netflix), time suck (also Netflix) and TL;DR (shorthand for “too long; didn’t read”).”
May 25th School Tour of the Watershed:
these photos are from the tours we hosted at Whitehead Park.
15 April, 2016: Students from Bayside Middle School (grade 7), and Keating Elementary School (grades 2/3).
Students release their Coho into Tod Creek, at Whitehead Park.
Watershed Model Salmon Lifecycle and Alder Tree Program [Grade 3]
Since 2006, Gr. 3 students in SD63 have actively participated in watershed model activities, salmon life-cycle education, growing alder trees for riparian zone restoration, stream-side planting, and raising and releasing salmon fry.
This program is delivered to nine schools in the SD 63 (Saanich) region. These include Deep Cove, Sidney, Brentwood, Prospect Lake, Cordova Bay, Lochside, Keating, Kelset and the LAU WELNEW tribal school.
Every year the program is delivered to almost 500 students in total.
Creatures of Habitat – Days of Action
In 2009, Peninsula Streams Society, in partnership with a team of concerned community members, created an environmental education program for Gr. 6 students. We called it “Creatures of Habitat – Days of Action” to reflect the program’s emphasis on proactivity in the face of our environmental challenges.
Every year since, we have brought a “Day of Action” to middle schools all over the Peninsula and into Saanich. With our team of volunteers, workshop providers and theatre crew, we engage over 500 Gr. 6 students/year in environmental restoration activities, interactive theatre and workshops.
In various years, we’ve delivered the program to North Saanich, Bayside, Royal Oak, Glanford and, for the first time in April 2014, Colquitz Middle School.
To date, 3100 students have participated in “Creatures of Habitat”~!
Young Naturalists’ Club of B.C.
YNC is an exciting nature discovery and environmental action program that invites young people ages 5-12 years to discover nearby nature on Explorer Day Adventures with local experts, learn about native wildlife and plants in NatureWILD Magazine and take part in environmental actions to protect their habitat with Stewardship Projects and an Action Awards Quest.
The YNC is a registered charity, powered by passionate volunteers, members and donors. Join the Club! Become a member, subscribe to NatureWILD, or make a donation today.
YNC Passport to Nature
When a family takes out a membership every child is issued a pocket sized Passport to Nature with six event tickets together with their new member pack.
The purpose of the Passport is to encourage and recognize participation in outdoor nature events, whether sponsored by YNC or some other group such as Cubs and Brownies, school field trips, park programs, community clean-up, etc. Please bring your Passport to Nature to Explorer Days and other outdoor nature events.
Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society: Preservation Through Education
To excite school-aged youth and inspire them to care for the environment through our education programs.
To provide direct restoration of wildlife habitat.
To actively engage our communities in ongoing environmental stewardship.
Photo: from the Biofacts Gallery on NWPS site.
What We Do: We introduce children and adults to the wonders of the natural world in order to encourage an enduring respect for wildlife and wildlife spaces.
Preservation: Through educational and stewardship activities, NWPS is working towards preserving wildlife and wildlife habitat for their own intrinsic worth and for the appreciation of all.
Stewardship Programs: These programs develop an awareness about the ecosystem and impacts on wildlife and wildlife habitat. Through coordinated stewardship activities, youth are able to work toward preserving the environment.
Education Programs: NWPS reaches schools throughout B.C. with our own unique environmental education and habitat stewardship programs. Our target population is school-aged youth and we reach an average of 7,500 individuals annually through our programs, newsletters and communications.
Awareness: Our Green Ribbon Campaign aims to raise visibility and awareness about wildlife, wildlife habitat and environmental issues in our communities, as well as provide a means to support environmental preservation.
Learn more at: http://northwestwildlife.com