Environmental education for youth is a major focus of the Metchosin Foundation activities this year, involving both of our local elementary schools as well as Belmont and Royal Bay High Schools.
In February, teachers and students at Westmont Montessori School were presented with an outdoor environmental education backpack to support student outdoor activities in the forests, fields and shorelines around the school. The packs include class sets of magnifying glasses, hand grip tweezers, and measuring sticks as well as a set of laminated pamphlets for doing field species identification.
An “Eco-Card” Project is also well underway. The Foundation is producing, with the help of local naturalists and writers, a set of 50 laminated cards. These 4 inch by 6 inch cards have pictures on the front of some of Metchosin’s most common plant species. On the back is a description of the plan written with ten-year-olds in mind. Sets of these eco-cards will be donated to the schools. The plan is to have them ready by the summer. Also, teachers in both schools have indicated their need for speakers, especially for the upper grades, who have expertise in environment, ecology, gardening, natural history. We are currently developing a list of Metchosin experts, so please let us know if you would like to participate in your area of interest. Wildflowers in the spring? Birds in the summer? Mushrooms in the fall? Animal signs in the winter?
The Foundation is also working with teachers at Westmont Montessori and Hans Helgesen schools to produce laminated maps of Metchosin and Metchosin environments. The map posters will be donated to the schools for classroom use.
On Friday and Saturday April 7 and 8, the Walk and Talk will focus on Native Bats in Metchosin. The presentation at the Community House Friday evening will be followed by an opportunity outdoors to build your own bat boxes. Materials will be provided in a kit format. Donations to the Metchosin Foundation will be welcome.
The new Metchosin Foundation High School Scholarship Project is being launched thanks largely to a generous donation from one of our Metchosin benefactors. Funds will be made available for students who are:
- Residents of Metchosin
- Graduating from Grade 12
- Have demonstrated excellence in key areas, and
- Are pursuing higher education opportunities.
Further criteria are being discussed and details are currently being worked out with the local high schools. If you are interested in enhancing this fund with a tax-deductible gift, please contact the Metchosin Foundation.