This month’s guest post is contributed by Adria Hussain, School Programs Manager with the Stanley Park Ecology Society (“SPES”)
It’s no secret. The next generation will inherit this earth and its complicated set of ecological challenges. Now, more than ever, we need to think about the tools that we’re also passing on to that generation.
How can we equip our kids with skills to be the ecological leaders our communities need? At Stanley Park Ecology Society we believe a love for the natural world, and the ability to have a positive impact on it, is a great place from which to start building this toolbox. Our goal is to empower kids to be change makers through fun, experiential learning.
This year our spring break Eco Camp features a new theme, “EcoLeaders’ Adventures.” The week-long camp is designed to empower campers to take action through conservation and citizen science. Children will be given the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and team work as they become park stewards.
One of the activities campers will undertake is a pond dip in Beaver Lake. Using nets and bowls to catch squirmy creatures, campers will identify aquatic invertebrates and amphibians. While it’s fascinating and fun to find dragonfly nymphs and tadpoles, this activity also serves a conservation purpose.
The species the campers identify will be recorded and submitted to a longstanding database used by biologists to monitor the ecological health of the lake. Through this citizen science project, campers will have a direct contribution to ongoing biodiversity research in the Park.
“Animal Detectives”, our other daycamp, runs from March 18th– 22nd and gives campers a chance to sharpen their observation skills to solve mysteries about the animals that live in the Park. By examining habitat needs of wildlife through hands-on exploration, children gain an appreciation for the interconnected nature of our ecosystems.
These two unique outdoor camps are a chance for kids to connect to nature and be a real part of conservation and stewardship, inspiring and empowering them to make a positive difference for our natural world.
Since 2013, I have been a member of SPES and have published “SPES Saturday” guest posts from the society on Miss604.com. Thanks to the SPES volunteers who contribute these stories monthly.