Holly Zurak photos Big Lake Elementary School students work with members of the Williams Lake Community Forest in the wilderness surrounding the school earlier this month.

Big Lake elementary goes ‘wild’

Elementary school gets application to be a “Wild School” for the 2018-2019 school year approved

Big Lake Elementary School is going wild.

The elementary school has just had their application to be a “Wild School” for the 2018-2019 school year approved by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

The Wild Schools program is a free, whole-school, three year initiative for K-9 schools to support outdoor and place-based learning. This interdisciplinary, curriculum-linked program helps school communities to increase ecological literacy, outdoor field experiences and to build connections in conservation in the community.

Through hands-on environmental learning and experiences, students are engaged through a process of wondering, inquiring, learning and doing. Wild Schools have the opportunity to develop stewardship practices, on-going outdoor learning, community partnerships and support students in becoming environmentally responsible citizens.

“Big Lake has already been focused on nature education and we are so excited about this opportunity,” said principal Holly Zurak.

“We are already in the planning stages of expanding our outdoor learning spaces and are looking into building an outdoor classroom. We are situated in a beautiful space right between lake front and forest’s edge and we’re decked out with outdoor education equipment we were able to purchase with a GO Grant (Get Outside) we received this year from Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation for $3,000. This helped pay for busing to nature trips, nature facilitators, and equipment that we used to fill up GO bags (backpacks) that we purchased from Red Shred’s.

“Our kids are so excited!”

On May 2 the school had a visit from the Distance Education Intermediate Class and their teacher, Bev, as well as three student teachers from UBC who are currently in “alternative education” practicums.

Hugh Flinton, manager of the Williams Lake Community Forest, along with his summer employees, led the school’s two intermediate classes through three rotations: plants, trees and wildlife.

All three rotations headed out from Big Lake Elementary, which is bordered by forest and lakefront.

“The students enjoyed interacting with nature and learning more about our forest,” Zurak said. “This was place-based learning at its best.”

Before the end of the month, the school will host the Nature Kindergarten class and the Grade 7 Outdoor Academy to tour the community forest from Big Lake Elementary, as well.

Then in June, we will host a graduate teacher from UBC, who is currently studying at the Gavin Lake Forest Education Center.

“We are pleased about our blooming relationship and look forward being a hub for nature learning and outdoor education in our school district in the years to come,” Zurak said.

 

Just Posted

Local film receiving national attention comes to William Lake Film Club

This Friday fresh from VIFF and TIFF Helen Haig-Brown’s Edge of the Knife is showing in lakecity.

VIDEO: Glen Arbor sprinkler system bursts, forcing evacuation of 34 residents

As of Monday evening, tenants on the south wing were told they can move back in while water damage to the north wing is still being assessed

Grapplers hit mat for first tournament of season

The Lake City Falcons wrestling team brought home loads of hardware during the weekend

CRD to hold byelection for Area F

Conrad Turcotte who won the seat in the Oct. 20 election has been unable to take his oath of office due to illness

Fire forces family out of home two weeks before Christmas

A Williams Lake mother and her two teenagers fear they lost everything they own in a house fire

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

Trial date set Quesnel local charged with murder, attempted murder

Kristopher Edward Leclair is charged in relation to a July 2018 fatal stabbing

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

UPDATE: B.C. judge grants $10M bail for Huawei executive wanted by U.S.

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Famous giant tortoise DNA may hold fountain of youth: UCBO

After Lonesome George’s death he still provides clues to longer life

Most Read