Banner Photo: Mountain to Oceans programme. (Credit: Hailey Renaud)

2020 Rating

2020 Rationale

There are a large number of outdoor educational organizations and opportunities in the Sound, with an increasing emphasis on traditional knowledge.

2017 Rating

2017 Rationale

From outdoor schools to summer camps to ecotourism, opportunities for environmental education abound in Howe Sound’s “outdoor classrooms.” The increase in outdoor learning provides health benefits with no known negative impacts.

The following is an excerpt from the full updated article. Download the full 2020 article for all content and references.

Outdoor Environmental Learning: increasing opportunities

Author: Conor McMullan, Director of Educational Programs, Cheakamus Centre
Reviewer: Scott Slater, Principal, Bowen Island Community School

Excerpt from 2020 article

The Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound region presents countless opportunities for formal and informal learning. From overnight school and camp programs to field trips and interpretive experiences, there continues to be a growing interest in providing children and youth a wide range of yearround outdoor learning opportunities. These opportunities provide meaningful outdoor experiences, which is a powerful way to foster understanding and care for our environment.

Read the full article to see what else is happening.

Background: Learning about marine garbage. (Credit: Ocean Wise)

What’s been done since 2017?

The table below reports on progress made on recommended actions from the previous 2017 article, where identified. Many of these require ongoing action.

2017 Action Action Taken
Government Action and Policy
Prioritize protection of Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/ Howe Sound’s natural beauty so that it remains preserved for educational opportunities to thrive and expand in the future. In January 2019, an Important Bird Area (IBA) in English Bay/Burrard Inlet was extended to include part of Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound. In March 2019, Fisheries and Oceans Canada formed eight marine refuges around known glass sponge reefs in Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound, closed to all bottom contact fishing activities. (See Marine Protected Areas, OWHS 2020).

What can you do?

A detailed overview of recommended actions relating to climate change is included in The path to zero carbon municipalities. In some cases, no progress was identified on previous recommended actions; these remain listed below. Additional actions marked as NEW also follow.

action-individual Individual and Organization Actions:

    • Familiarize yourself with educational opportunities available to all ages in Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound, and get involved! 
    • Explore opportunities to incorporate outdoor learning and natural sciences into professional development.
    • NEW Promote volunteer opportunities that support educational initiatives

action-governmentGovernment Action and Policy:

    • Increase awareness of and encourage participation in the many educational opportunities offered in Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound for all ages.
    • Support research on children and youth development outcomes from natural science educational opportunities, in order to better understand and document the benefits of these programs and justify further growth.
    •  Collect and maintain information on educational opportunities and participation in Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/ Howe Sound to track trends to understand needs and desires for this type of learning.
    • Identify additional local conservation groups, citizen science projects, and restoration efforts for potential collaborations with educational initiatives.
    •  Capitalize on the uniqueness of Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound’s natural beauty and accessible location by expanding outdoor education programs throughout more schools in the Greater Vancouver Area.
    • NEW  Prioritize and support education at a range of sites in Átl’ḵa7tsem/Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound by providing appropriate campsites and facilities and access points.
    • NEW  Identify and support initiatives to enhance Indigenous knowledge and connections in Átl’ḵa7tsem/ Txwnéwu7ts/Howe Sound.
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