From the Forest to the Sea Watershed Education Project was created as a collaborative effort of SeaChange Marine Conservation Society and the Galiano Conservancy Association.
The project has experienced great success since its inception in September 2000. Programs have been incorporated into the Galiano Community School’s curriculum and continue to be enjoyed by a variety of participants from youth groups, community centres and schools from the Mainland, Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands.
This program involves students from the Galiano Community and also brings in young people from urban areas who traditionally don’t have access to nature parks and wild areas like those that still exist on Galiano Island. Since the inception of our education program, a primary goal has been to extend the opportunity to come visit Galiano to disadvantaged and low income youth through offering bursaries to individuals, classes and groups who would not otherwise be able to participate. With our latest project to create the Galiano Learning Centre, we will be able to offer more multi-day programs as well, tailored for diverse groups of youth and adults from across our region.
It is our intent to equip people with knowledge, nature literacy and hands-on experiences, inspiring and empowering them to become environmental stewards and to take positive action to help themselves, their communities and the environment. We will take students on a journey of discovery with the goal of creating ecological awareness and encouraging a deep caring for the places we all inhabit by:
- Instilling a sense of wonder and appreciation of the natural world, while fostering nature literacy.
- Encouraging first-hand observation and understanding of nature by taking students out of the classroom and into the outdoors.
- Providing an opportunity for youth to realize the connections between humans and the natural world by observing real examples of the effect of human activities on the environment.
Who We Serve
Drawing mainly from the Greater Vancouver and Victoria areas for our one, two or three day long programs, the Galiano Conservancy offers integrated ecological education to participants of any age! A special focus is inner city and disadvantaged groups who have little access to hands-on environmental education.
Groups that have participated include:
- Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society
- Take a Hike
- Boys and Girls Club of Victoria Young Offenders
- Grandparents Raising Grandchildren – Parent Support Services of BC
Galiano Community School
Thanks to a great partnership with Galiano Community School, we have piloted many programs with the local Kindergarten to Grade 8 students. Field trips have included mapping, stream monitoring, salmon fry release, restoration and replanting with native species, marine studies and watershed explorations. In-class programming has included a ‘Climate Change Action Project’, ‘Salmon in the Classroom Project’ and a ‘Forest Restoration and Education Project’. Our ongoing work with these students focuses on deepening their appreciation of the special place they live in, offering them some time out of the class, and having them participate in projects which provide learning, physical activity and a lasting and visible contribution to the community.
In the spring of 2013, Grade 3-5 students were involved in the first restoration project at the Galiano Learning Centre. The Forest Restoration and Education Project (FREP)introduced students to the basics of ecological restoration, and then applied their knowledge to assess the restoration site, which historically was an old mill site. Students measured the slope, aspect and hydrology as well as completed a vegetation inventory and soil profile. They then took their findings back to the classroom to create a restoration plan. Students created a plant list suitable for the characteristics of the restoration site. Over two days, 40 students, parents and teachers installed 150 trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants!
The Galiano Community School senior class worked with us through 2005-2006 to pilot the EnviroMentors project. Over the year, the Grade 5-8 students worked with their teachers and Galiano Conservancy educators to develop and research information on our newest program about Wetlands. Students worked in small groups, chose a topic that most interested them and then worked together to develop short learning activities to teach other students. Finally they hosted and taught a Grade 1/2 class from Vancouver. Hosting, teaching, and leading gave the Galiano students a renewed appreciation of the privilege they have in living on Galiano Island as well as the challenges of being a teacher!
A special project was done in collaboration with the Access to Media Education Society (AMES) in 2002 combining kids’ creative energy with restoration principles to produce the video ‘The Mystery at Laughlin Lake’.
This short eco-restoration drama about Galiano’s largest lake was aired on a local television network program called EnviroMental. Written and directed by the students, they also acted in this light hearted informative eco-mystery.