Kootenay-Boundary Environmental Education Initiative (KBEE)
Welcome to the first Seasonal Circular for school districts in the Kootenay-Boundary learning region.
The purpose of this publication is to highlight opportunities and celebrate success in the Kootenay-Boundary learning region. The Kootenay-Boundary Environmental Education partnership was initiated to support a coordinated focus on K-12 environmental education across the region.
Teachers’ daily professional decisions and actions shape the learning, decisions and actions of future generations of environmental stewards. Individual teachers with a passion for EE and pockets of collaboration in and between schools exist now. Intentionally connecting the districts, schools, and teachers of the region and providing common awareness, access to professional development, resources, and opportunities will enhance the EE experience and learning of all of our students.
Supporting students' understanding of their local environment, and empowerment of thoughtful action, through outdoor, experiential, place-based and place-conscious learning.
A big thank you to our steering committee:
Jennifer Roberts & Diane Casault
Terry Taylor & Lorna Newman
Kristi Crowe & Katherine Shearer
In addition to this seasonal circular, the Kootenay-Boundary Environmental Education working on a number of exciting initiatives this year! These include:
1) Community Partner Directory: In partnership with CBEEN, we will support the further development the community partner directory: http://cbeen.ca/directory/
2) Videos of Exemplars: Producing a video series of EE exemplar initiatives & activities to inspire teachers to incorporate EE in their classrooms.
3) Leadership Clinic: We will support teacher capacity building around the 2017 Environmental Education Leadership Clinic.
4) Curricular Tools: We will support the development of curricular tools for K-12 educators to support the integration of EE in the redesigned curriculum;
5) Assessment: We will create a survey for teachers, students, and parents to assess their experience with EE in our schools;
6) Partnerships: We will establishing or strengthening partnerships with BC Classrooms to Communities Partners, including EEPSA, EECOM, WildBC and CBEEN, as well as funders such as Columbia Basin Trust, local community foundations, and the Vancouver Foundation.
We would like to thank Columbia Basin Trust and the Vancouver Foundation for their support!
Child & Nature Network International Conference
April 18-21, Vancouver
Inspiring keynotes, expertly-curated workshops, field trips and action labs designed to support and advance the work you do to connect children, families and communities to nature.
Environmental Education Leadership Clinic
April 29 - May 2, Kootenay National Park
Teachers are invited to apply to attend with the purpose of starting/developing a local environment/outdoor education learning group chapter to support teachers in their school district.
Education: No Limits Conference
May 11-13, Jasper
The Global Environmental and Outdoor Education Council is teaming up with the Health and Physical Education Council to offer this joint conference.
See Change: National Environmental Learning Conference
May 18-21, Nova Scotia
Explore and share how innovative learning inspires connection to nature, more sustainable lifestyles and livelihoods, resilient communities and a life-giving planet.
Upcoming Pro-D Events
Evergreen School Ground Greening Grants
Deadline: February 10
Helps schools create outdoor classrooms to provide students with a healthy place to play, learn and develop a genuine respect for nature.
WildBC GO Grants
Deadline: February 15
Grants for K-12 classes toward transportation, project materials and program fees that support outdoor, hands-on learning in and about nature.
Check out CBEEN's Funding Directory!
Check out WildBC's Resource Room!
Click here to access.
Outdoor Play Webinar
January 19, Online
This webinar introduces participants to some invigorating experiences that will keep children moving and exploring while it is “Burr” outside.
Place-Based Education Webinar
Feb 1, Online
CBEEN and Green Teacher are offering a webinar on how places provide compelling narratives which students can investigate as they build the many points of understanding and proficiencies required in K-12 schooling.
The Power of Positive, Inspiring Solutions Webinar
Feb 20, Online
CBEEN and Green Teacher are offering a webinar on how, using a positive three-step approach, you can turn worry into hope, and then into action.
Fields Forward Education Workshop
April 7-9, Creston
This workshop is for educators to enhance their ability to start school gardens, to go deeper in their environmental education, to think about creative ways to teach using local community resources. Read more...
Directory of Community Partner Organizations
This online searchable directory lists over 100 organizations that support environmental education opportunities for all ages in the Columbia Basin.
Benefits of Connecting Children to Nature
Outdoor learning environments (OLEs) stimulate the diversity of children’s play experience and contribute to their healthy development. experience.
Click here to access.
This Fall, SD5 has hosted a number of teacher led programs & activities, and have a new outdoor kindergarten class & other environmental education focused classes. Highlights include:
A new Re‐Cycling Center at Jaffray! A recycling team of 14 students take care of the sorting and collecting each week.
FJMS Kindergarten collected information and photos for our next Knook Book.
At GT we have continued with our garden. We have harvested kale, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, beets and potatoes. Classes met with Kathy Murray of WildSafe BC. She talked about her challenges of educating our residents about keeping bears safe.
Planning 10 students gathered all of the supplies they had collected from around the community and met Sophie Larsen, who runs the Cranbrook Food Action Garden.
Kootenay Orchards students in Grades 2, 3 and 4 went Creek Crawling with Patti and Dave from Mainstream Environmental Society’s Water Education Program.
Grade 12 students have hiked overnight you the Conrad Kain hut in bugaboo provincial park, backpacked close to 40km in 3 days in the Hughes range (maus, dibble, sunken drainages), and canoed three days on Columbia lake.
Mme Jen and Ms. Barras’ Grade 4 classes have started a weekly outdoor program to help learn about early European explorers.
Throughout the year Mme. Danielle and Ms. Barras' Grade 4 classes spend a block each week playing games and completing activities outside to help enhance their Science program and create shared experiences in our local environment.
FJMS Kindergarten collected information and photos for their next Knook Book. They are looking at berries in the forest and noticed so much more! The larches yellow needles carpet the forest .
GT have harvested kale, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, beets and potatoes. My class is having an outing each week somewhere in the neighbourhood and are working in the garden each week. We just spread all of the compost that has turned into soil into our garden. ��������qa6>� GT we have continued with our garden.We have harvested kale, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, beets and potatoes. My class is having an outing each week somewhere in the neighbourhood and are working in the garden each week. We just spread all of the compost that has turned into soil into our garden. GT we have continued with our garden.We have harvested kale, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, beets and potatoes. My class is having an outing each week somewhere in the neighbourhood and are working in the garden each week. We just spread all of the compost that has turned into soil into our garden.
They istened to listened to Our boardwalk pond has leaves that float, and soggy sinking leaves. We finished up at Mrs. Sauerborn's garden to do some winter planting and rake up big piles of leaves.
How do we deepen our students’ education experience with relevant place-based learning? How can all members in our district maintain integrity in their relationship to the natural world?
Environmental Education has been an important focus in Rocky Mountain School District 6 this fall.
Every Child, Every Day:
Our students will experience environmental, outdoor, and community-based learning.
We are proud to have local teachers form a chapter of the BCTF Environmental Education Specialist Association and host a fantastic Forest Play pro-d session on October 21.
Our educators have already engaged in a number of EE learning opportunities including Where the Wild Things Are in the Curriculum and Get Outdoors workshops, an Environmental Education Meet and Greet to connect with community resource people, collaborative grant projects around outdoor and nature learning, and an EE book club.
We have a brand new locally developed secondary course Outdoor Education & Recreation.
That our capacity is indeed growing was evident in the number of SD 6 schools heading to the great outdoors for Take Me Outside Day: it was exciting to see how many schools planned multi-age and buddy class outdoor activities that spanned the curriculum from the Arts to Science, Physical Education, Language Arts, and the Core Competencies.
We are working together toward every child, every day experiencing environmental, outdoor, and community-based learning.
Given the emphasis on place-based learning, Aboriginal Perspectives and citizenship in the Curriculum, how can we instill place-based consciousness in ourselves and our students?
School District 8 had a very successful Take Me Outside Day on October 26 with numerous schools and classes taking part.
Just to mention a few, the kindergarten class from Brent Kennedy Elementary ventured out into the school yard with magnifiers in hand to check out butterflies and their habitat while the kindergarten class from Canyon-Lister took part in an inquiry based project with pumpkins.
At Salmo Elementary the whole school took part in outdoor activity stations ranging from yoga, to gardening, to outdoor games.
Jewett Elementary school had full participation in a variety of activities and Winlaw Elementary also had full school participation in creating clay face masks on the trees in the local nature park.
The grade two class from Hume Elementary continued with their monthly observations of their outdoor classroom. Trafalgar Middle School had students, as part of their Lifelong Learning Explorations, outside doing various activities including some amazing photography and fishing along the lake.
An adventurous group from JV Humphries Elementary/Secondary went on a 14 km hike enduring some pretty wet conditions.
The Media Arts class from Mt. Sentinel Secondary also ventured outside to take advantage of their natural surroundings as subjects for their photography.
This year, both classes in the district and teacher candidates from the West Kootenay Teacher Education Program (WKTEP) were invited to participate in Edgewood's Take Me Outside Day.
Throughout the day students participated in a variety of activities in mixed school groupings. This provided students with an opportunity to interact with one another as well as an opportunity for Edgewood students to share their special place.
TMO Day included a variety of activities, which showed that the outdoors and community as a classroom has numerous possibilities.
In Beyond Ecophobia, David Sobel states, “what is important is that children have an opportunity to bond with the natural world, to learn to love it, before being asked to heal it’s wounds (p.13).” The participation in TMO day was about creating and building on these relationships.
Students spent the day creating a nature journal, participating in an observation activity and journaling about their experience. Activities for primary students took place in our Enchanted Forest a short walk from the school. The intermediate groups went on a longer walk through the community and some of its natural areas. These activities were designed to help foster a sense of appreciation for learning outdoors, an increased understanding of the non-human world and a connection to the local forest of Edgewood.
School District 10 had a very soggy Take Me Outside Day, but despite the conditions 150 students and teachers braved the weather and headed outside.
A Green school district that regularly practices innovative place-conscious outdoor learning, embodies ecological and sustainability principles in all classrooms, schools and district operations, incorporates First Peoples Principles of Learning in outdoor experience, and improves student self-regulation and health through outdoor experiences.
Committed to providing our learners with quality public education through partnerships with our communities and connections to our natural environment. A�"c��o)cf-?��r������;O�)�
School District 20 has made some changes to leadership, and is now identifying teachers in every school who can be part of the environmental education initiative. Some examples of environmental education that has been happening in SD20 this fall includes:
Webster Kindergarteners use a natural outdoor space, located near their school, to explore their ‘outdoor community’ and the changes that the fall brings. Activities included several trips to gather and look at different types of leaves, bark and rock rubbings, changes in vegetation (amount and colour) and the location of animal trails. Items collected were brought back to the class and further discussed and became a part of their class’ learning centres.
Grade 11 students within JL Crowe’s Outdoor Education Academy Program took part in many separate field trips to work with many local specialists in their field, to take in many important and significant ecological sites, and to learn Biology 11, Sustainable Resources 11, Outdoor Education, and Social Studies 11 prescribed learning outcomes through real life hands-on experiential pedagogy. This included:
Visiting the Turtle site / estuary site / natural mineral site
Being at the Gerrard Trout spawning site on the Lardeau River
Hiking through the John Fenger Memorial trail old growth forest
Presentation and discussion with Gillian Sanders grizzly bear talk
Work at the Lakehead and Beyond Produce Co-op Farm
Meadow Creek Spawning Channel with Murray Pearson
School District 20 is committed to providing our learners with quality public education through partnerships with our communities and connections to our natural environment.
A District Environmental Education Team has been working together since last April with the mission of encouraging and supporting teachers to create opportunities for outdoor, place-based learning opportunities for all students. The team has grown to include representation from almost all schools across the District.
The District Environmental Education Team is currently working on creating resource bins for each school, which will include literature on Place-Based learning, ecological literacy, and more. We are also compiling a list of community resources (enthusiasts) who can bring expertise to students.
Some great examples of place-based learning in SD51 this fall includes:
The staff and students of West Boundary Elementary have spent more than the last year deeply reflecting about their connection to the land and nature in their West Boundary home.
Midway Elementary students work, play, learn, and reflect in the Midway Community Garden.
The grade four/five students at Perley had the opportunity to go to the NK’Mip Centre in Osoyoos.
A Kids on Bikes Program has started at Greenwood Elementary!
Hutton Elementary students visited a Sinixt Village Site in Lemon Creek.
School District 51 kicked of the year with their own Environmental Education and Place-Based Learning Newsletter!
How can we cultivate personal and social consciousness of the environment to empower students through thoughtful action to affect positive, sustainable change?