Outdoor Environmental Learning: increasing opportunities
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.
- 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
Government 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.