In this week’s Down to Earth Column, Water Wise Educator with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society Jenny Howell talks about Gavin Lake Forest Education Centre. Photo submitted

OPINION: Back to normal at Gavin Lake Camp couldn’t feel better

In this week’s Down to Earth Column, Jenny Howell gives an update on Gavin Lake Forest Education Centre.

By Jenny HOWELL

Down to Earth

With literally days to spare, the wildfire restrictions were lifted so that schools could come out to Gavin Lake for the fall school program. However, that wasn’t quite the end of this summer’s woes. After just one week of programs the camp hit water issues, a combination of incredibly low lake levels and aging infrastructure – the Gavin Lake camp has about 4,000 visitors a year.

Classes were cancelled, backhoes arrived, new wells were dug and pipes replaced. Now, we are finally back to the ‘old’ normal, with kids running around camp again (instead of firefighters), tents on the field (instead of helicopters), huge quantities of spaghetti being produced in the kitchen (instead of coffee for pilots and incident commanders) and planning study modules (instead of pouring over fire maps).

The Gavin Lake school program is offered free to Grade 6 classes. This is possible because Gavin Lake is a charity and gets donations and sponsorship from multiple local and regional sources. The Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society sponsors two of the six Gavin modules each fall as well as ‘Snow Science’ in the February winter program.

This year the two modules sponsored are Beavers and Wetlands and Aquatic Insects. In the first one, students learn about the biology of beavers, their role as a keystone species, as well as the value of wetlands in protecting the world’s water supplies. In Aquatic Insects, students learn about the bugs at the bottom of food chains and their role supporting the species above them.

Anyone who has come to Gavin Lake with their kids knows how valuable it can be to combine academics and outdoor education. We are now seeing significant cooperation between various groups in our region that focus on getting kids outside and more connected to their environment, giving them multiple experiences both inside and outside classrooms that connect and build on each other. There are many great examples of these partnerships happening in our region.

The Conservation Society’s Water Wise field trips are co-ordinated with both Scout Island Nature Centre and the City of Williams Lake. School District 27 has a Nature Kindergarten based at Scout Island and two Outdoor Ed classes that also work closely with Scout Island and Gavin Lake.

Salmon School, recently held at Gavin Lake, brought together the School District, Scout Island, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, First Nations and the UNBC Quesnel River Research Station. The Conservation Society’s annual Grade 7 Earth Challenge adds in Forestry, Air and Invasive Plants and the list goes on.

These inter-relationships greatly improve and enrich the value of the experiences offered to students. This in turn contributes to producing the educated and environmentally aware citizens of tomorrow that society needs, as we find our way forward in a rapidly changing world.

Conservation Tip of the Month: Spend autumn outdoors with your children. Picking veggies at a local farm, riding horses, fishing, hiking, and raking up leaves are all great options. Bring your leaf litter to the Potato House where it will be used as part of their compost.

Jenny Howell is the Water Wise Educator with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society.

Just Posted

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announed through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

CRD directors, former colleagues mourn director Byron Kemp

Retired SD27 principal and current Area E CRD director passed away Monday

Youth charged with arson after lighting fires during 2017 wildfires

Quick action of bystanders saved elderly woman from blaze, say police

Duelling pianos to duke it out at lakecity Boston Pizza

Improvised, interactive audience request show in town for two shows, Jan 17 and 18

Grey day for Cariboo Chilcotin Wednesday, Jan, 17

Cloudy skies dominate the week’s weather

VIDEO: Williams Lake city councillors commit to overdose response training

A presentation by the Boys and Girls Club’s harm reduction co-ordinator and the RCMP has Williams Lake city council wanting to be proactive.

Food industry failing at voluntary sodium reduction: Health Canada

Health Canada report shows the food industry made no meaningful progress in curtailing salt levels

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announed through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Best B.C. cities to live in: millennial edition

Other local municipalities score at bottom of list from real estate blog

LIVE: Solitary confinement in Canadian prisons unconstitutional: B.C. Supreme Court

Associations argued that solitary confinement was inhuman

1 in 4 B.C. consumers unable to pay bills, debt repayment: poll

Since interest rates first rose in July, poll suggests households across B.C. have had to tighten budget

Fire at Tolko in Quesnel this morning

The Quesnel Fire Department responded at 2:30 this morning

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

154 remote B.C. communities to get high-speed internet

Government funding to bring subsea fiber optic cable to connect people on the coast

Most Read