The Columbian Basin Environmental Education Network’s (CBEEN) Wild Voices for Kids program is a unique program in the Columbia Basin as it enables local specialists to develop programs connected to the local environment and tailored to their area of expertise and passion. These community educators help students to foster important connections to the local environment.
While a few programs are delivered indoors, most are delivered outdoors, immersing students in their local ecosystems. Whether indoors or outdoors, Wild Voices programs get students learning about and exploring the local environment through hands-on and engaging activities that explore things like the local watershed, the local flora and fauna, and wildlife behaviour, as well as topical issues such as local effects of climate change and wildfire.
Currently, they have 34 local community experts providing 70 different program options!
A few examples of their Spring programs include:
1. A Day with Aquatic Macroinvertebrates
2. A Short History of the Columbia River
3. Agriculture in the Classroom
4. Animal Survival Instincts
5. Backcountry Food Preparation
6. Endangered Mountain Caribou in the Kootenays
7. Food Forests & Ecosystem Diversity
8. Grizzlies in the Kootenays
9. Identifying Trees in your Neighbourhood
10. Introduction to Michif Language
11. Let’s Get Growing! Garden Planning for Classrooms
12. Lichen Collection for Mountain Caribou
13. Métis Jigging
14. Outdoor Careers in the Kootenays
15. Stories of the Forest: Reading the Forestscape
16. The Marsh-ians Have Landed: A Pond Study
17. The Wonders of Water
18. Turtle Truths
19. Watershed Connections: A Web of Ecological Diversity
20. What Does a Wildlife Biologist See?