Power To Be hosts educational stewardship day for Prospect Lake elementary

The forested trails and lakefront of Prospect Lake transformed into a classroom to cap off the school year. Power To Be hosted 240 students, aged 6-11, for a special watershed activity day focused on stewardship and inclusion.

“The children were engaged in really amazing learning of how important the watershed is. This next generation are guardians of their environment. They realize how they are part of it and are really concerned,” says Laurel Evans, Prospect Lake Elementary School teacher. “Days like this help create the environmental protectors of the future.”

For Power To Be it was a chance to share the organization’s program site with young explorers. The diverse landscape was the perfect backdrop for five different activities to bring their learning about the Tod Creek watershed to life. Resourced with maps and roaming guides, teachers and students played their way through activities such as watershed games, scavenger hunts and mapping, broom-busting/invasive species removal, storytelling with Elder John Elliot and a dip net activity facilitated by the Peninsula Streams Society. Rooted in each activity were lessons in ecology, riparian zones, birds, fish, invasive species, preservation and the impact of human activities.

“The Power To Be Prospect Lake site was a great setting to finish the day, providing many great examples of what is found within a watershed – including ponds and, of course, the lake,” said Brian Koval from Peninsula Streams Society. “It is my hope that this day will spark an interest in stewardship for this beautiful part of the world we live in and beyond.”

Groups were moved from one activity to the next by Power To Be staff and the children experienced a wide range of learning: from stories to games to conservation activities and nature immersion. The broom pull was particularly successful (and necessary!) and it was a treat to watch the young faces rapt with attention as they listened to Elder John Elliot’s stories of the W̱SÁNEĆ landmarks, while their teachers whispered – just as wide eyed – at the beauty of the land sloping down to the lake.

The day was also an example of the rich experiences that are possible when people work together. In a collaboration with Power To Be and the school, the day was co-facilitated by Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Rocky Point Bird Observatory, Peninsula Streams Society, and Saanich Parks and Recreation.

“This was a great day to bring the community together to exemplify what stewardship means across different sectors and different ages, supporting the greater good for our environment,” says Carinna Kenigsburg, Power To Be Manager of Community Partnerships. “We were delighted to compliment the initiatives of local not-for-profit organizations through partnership, education and supervision.”

As the day wound down and the tired and smiling students returned to the busses that would take them home, it was clear that they knew, just that little bit more, that they too belong in nature.