Best Water Ways update

Best Water Ways resources launched!

We are welcoming 2021 by launching the Best Water Ways Watershed Literacy, Stewardship, and Restoration Place based learning resources! These are freely accessible to Educators of all types working with learning groups in our communities across BC and beyond. 

The seed of the Best Water Ways initiative began to germinate a couple of years ago during a riparian restoration project along Askew Creek in Chemainus, BC. The project spontaneously involved a group of grade nine students, and it got us thinking about how much more rich the learning experience could be if there were some well developed resources ready at hand that educators and learners could access to connect a holistic, place-based watershed exploration with various field activities. 

We sought funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC and the Pacific Salmon Foundation with the aim of creating watershed learning resources that could be utilized freely and easily by Educators all over the Province and beyond. With the support of these foundations, we were able to move ahead with designing and developing this initiative. 

This Best Water Ways initiative has been a satisfying collaboration involving the professional instructional design expertise and production of the Open School BC team and ongoing feedback from subject matter experts. This includes Quw’utsun Knowledge Keepers and Elders, community partners such as the Cowichan Watershed Board and members of their Watershed Connections educators working group, Cowichan area Ecologist and Ecosystem Restoration Specialist David Polster, and Victoria area Ecosystem Restoration Specialist Karen Mann. Several local teachers and their students were actively involved in piloting the first drafts of the resources, and their input has been invaluable. The final drafts of the session materials were also reviewed by an independent specialist in Indigenous Education, and we thank them for their valuable feedback.

A special thanks is extended to Genevieve Singleton for the addition of her fabulous photographs that really bring these resources to life!

It’s very exciting to be launching these resources, and we hope that they are supportive to educators looking for materials that can be readily integrated into the pod-style, virtual and/or outdoor learning scenarios arising because of the global pandemic.

Please check out the Best Water Ways web page where you can access all the session materials and more, and feel free to share with those who might be interested in this initiative!