Spring Education Program and Field Trips
Project Watershed’s “Students Keeping It Living in the Comox Valley” education and engagement program has been met with a huge amount of interest this year as over 50 classes were eager to participate. With funds from TD Friends of the Environment, Peninsula COOP, BC Gaming and Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, we hope to be able to offer our program to 30 of these classes (over 600 students) this spring.
To pull this off we are relying on volunteers to assist us with the field trip portion of the program. To find out more about the dates and activities of the field trips, please visit Field Trip Assistants – Project Watershed. The other classes will be put on a waitlist for next season pending funding.
Students Keeping It Living in the Comox Valley is a program which is carried out in three phases to deepen the learning and maximize impact. The first phase occurs in the classroom; Project Watershed educational materials are supplied to teachers and an interactive PowerPoint presentation is provided by Project Watershed staff. The second phase occurs in the field; students will go on a field trip to the Courtenay Airpark, Kus-kus-sum or Goose Spit where they will participate in three to six hands-on learning and stewardship activities. These activities could include garbage pickup, a nature walk, planting/maintaining native species, a salmon versus seals game, invasive species removal and more. The classes going on a field trip are separated into smaller groups and rotated through the activities. Community volunteers are needed to help run these activities. Training, how-to video clips and instructions are provided to the volunteers. The third phase of the school program, which occurs back in the classroom, focuses on reflection as students create art/literature inspired by their learning.
This spring we are lined up to work with a range of students from kindergarten to Grade 9 from Airport Elementary, Arden Elementary, Highland Secondary, Lake Trail, Mark Isfeld Secondary, North Island Distance Education, Queneesh Elementary and Valleyview Elementary. The program is tailored to the grade level and topics of each class and connects to local environmental projects as appropriate. For instance, one of the classes we are working with is a Marine Biology Class from Highland Secondary, they will be involved in sampling beach sediment and looking for eggs under a microscope as part of our forage fish citizen science program.
In addition to this program, Project Watershed has created a hub of environmental education materials ranging from colouring pages to videos and classroom lessons which are freely available at Grades K to 12 Educational Resources – Project Watershed.
Earthworks Continue at Kus-kus-sum
While the Kus-kus-sum site is already beginning to come into its own, there is still much work to be done. Just over one third of the area was recontoured and planted last year in 2022. Project Watershed aims to recontour and replant the remainder of the site this summer and fall, if funding allows. The key works you will see on site this year include recontouring and regrading, habitat complexing, and native species planting.
Kus-kus-sum Restoration Overview
The restoration will occur in 3 phases. Click below to read more about each phase and scroll down to see a visual representation of the site features found on the restored Kus-kus-sum site. During Phase...
Forage Fish Map
Project Watershed has been surveying beaches for the presence of forage fish and forage fish eggs. The location of the beaches we surveyed last season are shown below. You can hover over each location to see if eggs were found.
Forage Fish Spring Forum April 26
Announcing the 2023 Virtual BC Forage Fish Monitoring Network Spring Forum! This event is an opportunity for all those interested in the conservation of forage fish in British Columbia to come together and learn about the latest research and updates.
The Importance of Estuarine Environments for Pacific Salmon
Fish monitoring at Hollyhock flats will be starting this summer! We’ve summarized a scientific article explaining what kinds of habitat are important to salmonids.
Kus-kus-sum Site History
A short history of the Kus-kus-sum site from pre-European contact to the present day.