Education is a key component of the activities of the Slocan River Streamkeepers. Our program’s coordinator is Shanoon Bennett, a professional environmental educator and longtime Slocan Valley resident. Shanoon is an all-seasons outdoorsperson with a degree in Earth Sciences, and the founder of Huckleberry Adventures, a program dedicated to instilling appreciation for the wonders found in the wilds of our backyards.
In 2016 Shanoon was honoured, by the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network, with an “Award of Excellence” in Environmental Education for her outstanding contribution to environmental stewardship and education.
In the Fall, Streamkeepers give presentations at local elementary schools and collect field data in conjunction with the Biology 11 class at Mt. Sentinel High School. The unique “partnership” with local schools enables students to have a hands-on experience sampling and collecting data with different types of equipment, and gives an appreciation for science at work.
2016 was a very successful and busy year for local school and community events with the Slocan River Streamkeepers outreach programs.
The Know Your Watershed Program, a grade 8 science curriculum program was presented to seven different classrooms throughout the Columbia Basin: Castlegar, Nakusp, Slocan Village, and South Slocan. The schools participated in a watershed and stewardship program that including class sessions, stream/river water science field trips, and student action projects. In the Slocan Valley, two schools participated in the RiverWatch pack-it-in/pack-it-out mesh bag construction program, for bottle and garbage collection when floating on the Slocan River.
Several Watershed Connections: Ecological Diversity programs were presented throughout School Districts #8, #10 and #20 through the Wild Voices for Kids network.
We also had a very successful community outreach event at the Unity Festival, whereby the water channelization display, aquatic insect collection, microscope exploration, and painting-fish tables connected with well over 300 children over the course of the weekend.
Toadfest at Summit Lake was another outreach event whereby the Slocan River Streamkeepers and Wild Voices for Kids set up a display tent, and connected with approximately 400 children and adults over the course of two days.
Wild Days was a collaboration between the Slocan Lake Stewardship Society and the Slocan River Streamkeepers, on Springer Creek in Slocan City and offered a community-based stream science exploration and hike up the watershed, with 20 participants.