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Wildsight Education program recognized with national award

Wildsight
By Wildsight
March 5th, 2024

Wildsight’s EcoStewards program is the inaugural recipient of Wildlife Habitat Canada’s Diane Griffin Award.

EcoStewards encourages students to learn about local ecosystems and undertake projects in their wild backyards. Wildsight educators guide students on an immersive learning journey through multiple in-class sessions, culminating in a community action project. We were humbled and grateful that this program was given such a prestigious honour.

“Receiving this award affirms the value programs such as EcoStewards hold not just for our students, but the community as a whole,” notes Robyn Duncan, Wildsight Executive Director. “Working with partners like Wildlife Habitat Canada allows us to engage more students in this program, and it brings our communities closer to a sustainable future through action-based learning.”

When choosing a recipient, Wildlife Habitat Canada looks for a program that excels in connecting Canadians to nature, engaging youth in conservation and providing educational conservation programming.

According to Kylie Graham, Wildlife Habitat Canada project manager, Wildsight was selected because of the “stellar delivery” of the EcoStewards program.

“We found that Wildsight’s EcoStewards Program exceptionally connected Canadians to nature by physically bringing people outdoors and facilitating conservation participation. Not only did Wildsight impact the students, but the teachers, other school staff, and the community in general.”

Wildlife Habitat Canada noted that EcoStewards establishes long-term benefits to the community and the greater field of conservation by educating students about the importance of sustainable actions, and making these experiences accessible for youth in an interactive and memorable way.

“You are targeting the young minds that will guide the future of conservation, making this very meaningful work. This conservation programming was very specific in the sense that it addressed real issues, but also very broad as there were so many individual projects and field trips offered,” says Graham.

For Grade 5 teacher Matthias Starzner, participating in EcoStewards allowed his students the opportunity to not only experience something new, but also to share that knowledge with others.

“The students in my class had never visited the local wetland before. However, they now all have a connection to that place and in turn can help advocate for its care and protection in the future,” says Starzner. “Some will visit with parents or siblings and share their knowledge, others will share the story of how a restored wetland can become home to so many species. This, in turn, will help support other local efforts to restore wetlands and create more wild spaces.”

Thank you to Wildlife Habitat Canada for your support. We are honoured to be the inaugural recipient of this prestigious award; we will continue to work together to make a positive impact on our environment, and inspire future generations to become passionate ecostewards!

Wildsight thanks the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies, Consecon Foundation, Copernicus Education Products, Hamber Foundation, the Province of British Columbia, TD Friends of the Environment, and all of our individual donors for making this program possible.

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