From Oct. 3 to 6, the Burns Bog Conservation Society is inviting students to get excited about the environment.
Stepping into Nature is an outdoor education program that allows Grade 6 and 7 students to spend a day outside learning about nature and how to take care of it. The event brings in local environmental groups and experts to develop a number of activities that bridge the B.C. school curriculum with outdoor education.
“This program is probably my favourite out of all the programs and events the society offers,” said Hillary Rowe, education coordinator for the Burns Bog Conservation Society.
“There is a lot of planning and coordinating that goes into it, but it’s all worth it when you get to see these kids spending a full day outside, getting excited about the moss in a bog or a bug in a stream.”
Before the event, Grade 10 students from South Delta Secondary School are trained by the environmental groups to become well-versed in the interactive and hands-on activities. They then mentor the younger students as they learn about the local ecosystems.
“I think that’s the best part,” Rowe said. “There are so many community layers that come together to make this event possible.
“Everybody is learning something different,” she added. “We have the youngest students learning about the environment, we have the older students learning leadership skills and gaining exposure to environmental career paths, and we have community partners learning how to pass on their skills and knowledge to the next generation of leaders.”
According to the Burns Bog Conservation Society, there is a growing need for teachers to have access to place-based learning opportunities, especially in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.
“This movement towards outdoor learning is fantastic for us, as the Burns Bog Conservation Society,” Rowe said. “We want to get young people outside experiencing nature.
“We know that young people that spend time outside learning about the environment grow up caring more about what happens to our local green spaces – and important ecosystems like Burns Bog. People protect what they love. And they can’t love what they don’t know.”
Stepping into Nature will take place over three days at the Delta Nature Reserve. Teachers interested in participating with their class can register online at burnsbog.org.