Watershed education coming to area

The Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre is visiting Thunder Bay and surrounding areas to deliver watershed and wetland presentations to school classes, seniors’ centres, and community groups.
The interpretive centre’s “Watershed Legacy” team will deliver workshops to teachers, educational presentations to students and community groups, and watershed presentations at key educational events.
Programs offered are interactive, permitting students and youth to learn by doing.
Examples of K-12 classroom programs include “Wacky Weather,” “Creatures of the Night,” “Discover Watersheds,” and more.
Evening presentations explore the natural wonders of wetlands and encourage participation in community monitoring programs.
One ambition of the project is to put communities “on the map” by having them participate in creating a Geographic Information System (GIS) web-based interactive map.
The team first will work with high school students, teaching them GIS and GPS basics with a hands-on geocaching activity—similar to a high-tech scavenger hunt.
The goal is to then have 10 communities follow up this activity by gathering information on the natural, cultural, and historical features that make their watershed unique—and also tell the story of their community.
“Part of the interpretive centre’s mission is to deliver outreach initiatives to bring resources and wetland programming to areas that may not have access otherwise,” noted Nathalie Bays, education co-ordinator for the interpretive centre.
“This project allows us to go directly into communities and get people excited about the natural world around them.
“The new ‘Legacy’ map will also get students involved in learning more about their community and surrounding watershed while creating a legacy of information and resources for future generations,” she added.
The team will be visiting Robert Moore School here tomorrow (Nov. 23).
Teachers and community groups interested in learning more about the programming offered should contact 1-888 (50 marsh) ext. 299.
This project has been made possible, in part, by the Department of Canadian Heritage through its Museums Assistance Program and the support of Ontario’s Ducks Unlimited Canada.
The Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre—a joint venture of Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Province of Manitoba—fosters public awareness and knowledge of the inherent values of wetlands and their associated ecosystems.
It also encourages support for their conservation through innovative education and outreach programs.