School children enjoy the footprints module at Gavin Lake.

School children enjoy the footprints module at Gavin Lake.

Children learn how to be waste wise

It is fall school program time again at Gavin Lake.

One group of Grade 6 elementary kids in massive boots, another with camouflage paint all over their faces, a third group learning archery … it is fall school program time again at Gavin Lake.

Every September and October, Gavin Lake hosts hundreds of students, teachers and parents as they participate in the three-day program of education and outdoor experiences. This year the six modules being taught are tree identification, archery, camouflage, forest discovery trail, aquatic insects, and ecological footprints.

The Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society partners with Gavin Lake to sponsor the last two modules, which leads us back to the big boots.

In the footprints module, students learn about the idea of an ecological footprint, a concept that takes into account the planetary resources we each use to maintain our lifestyle and clean up our waste. Students then wear the big boots (giving them big footprints) as they participate in a scavenger hunt, looking for tips around camp to help reduce their own energy use and bring down their waste production once they return home.

In the second module sponsored by CCCS, aquatic insects, students collect and identify bugs they find in the lake, learning the importance of these insects in food chains and food webs as well as how changes in water quality can affect them.

These modules complement the in-class Water Wise and Waste Wise programs currently running in Williams Lake and surrounding areas.  The Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society in partnership with the City of Williams Lake has provided Water Wise education for the last five years to schools and the community, and has now added in the Waste Wise program with additional support from the Cariboo Regional District.

For further information on either of these programs or to book a presentation, contact CCCS at or visit the website at


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