Best Water Ways: Watershed Literacy, Stewardship, and Restoration Place-Based Learning Initiative.
The Cowichan Community Land Trust (CCLT): Friends of Cowichan Creeks program is excited to be spearheading the Best Water Ways (BWW) initiative with the aim to accelerate fresh water and fish habitat literacy, stewardship, and active restoration within our schools. In order to meet curriculum requirements, the program will be directed towards students in grades nine to twelve in science and social courses. As of May 2019, we are developing the project and place-based learning resources and will begin piloting the program in Cowichan Valley’s schools in the fall of 2019. Over the next two years, BWW will be refined and made accessible online for use throughout the region and the province.
Participating teachers will guide their students through several activity sessions. These lessons begin by introducing the concept of watersheds and the interconnection of people, ecosystems, and water. The sessions then introduce and explore the negative impacts of humans and climate change on our watersheds, and what students can do to help mitigate these impacts. Finally, students will participate in an active restoration activity at a local creek, lake, or other water source, where students will learn how to protect, restore, and care for their local watersheds.
Activity sessions include
- Watersheds- Wading In
- Mapping our watersheds
- Watershed Detectives
- Watersheds under Stress
- Watershed SOS
- Riparian Restoration Workshop
The BWW initiative aims to provide teachers and students with sufficient resources to run the learning sessions independently. The resources in development include a downloadable educator’s guide, a downloadable learner’s guide, and web-based audio-visual tools. Links to conservation organizations, ecological restoration specialists, and Indigenous knowledge support in each region provide help with the riparian restoration activities and other specific local elements.
We are excited to launch pilot runs of this program in the Cowichan Valley in fall 2019. The learning resources will be available and accessible to educators in BC (and beyond) in 2020. Let’s inspire stewardship and active restoration of our watersheds through education!
If you are a teacher interested in running part or all of this program in your classroom, please contact us for more information regarding how BWW meets parts of the required curriculum, how you can use the resources available, etc. We can be contacted with any inquiries about the project by email at email@example.com or by phone at (250) 746-0227.
With acknowledgement and gratitude to our project funders: