Columbia Basin Trust to fund education initiatives

Columbia Basin Trust has committed $1 million to two environmental education initiatives.

Columbia Basin Trust has committed $1 million to two environmental education initiatives. Dubbed “Know Your Watershed” and “Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network” the programs are designed to educate Columbia Basin children and communities and give them an appreciation of nature.

According to Tim Hicks, Columbia Basin Trust Manager, Water and Environment, programs like these have a positive outcome.

“These initiatives have proven successful, and we’re pleased we can commit additional funding to help them become more sustainable, plan into the future and grow,” said Hicks in a press release. “Through these initiatives Basin students will continue to have hands on opportunities to increase their understanding of the natural environment, which Basin residents have told us is a priority.”

Over three years, $540,500 will be given to the “Know Your Watershed” program. The project has been in development since 2010 while working with environmental educators in the area.

The program is intended to help grade eight students understand how they use water and where it comes from. Wildsight, an organization that works to encourage sustainable communities has also been a part of the program.

“Wildsight is thrilled to continue working with the Trust to deliver Know Your Watershed,” said Monica Nissen, manager for Wildsight’s education programs. “We hear from teachers and students across the Columbia Basin how much they love the action-oriented, hands-on learning of the program. Because it incorporates knowledge from local community experts, not only does it make a big impact on students, but it also strengthens the community as a whole.”

In the same duration, $500,000 will be given to the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN).

The program was created in partnership with the trust in 2002, by educating participants about the environment around them.

The project also features “Wild Voices for Kids”, where local experts give in school curriculum linked programs.

“CBEEN is excited to continue to play a key role in encouraging environmental stewardship and sustainability in the Canadian Columbia Basin by supporting environmental education,” said Duncan Whittick, CBEEN Executive Director. “There are so many educators from across our region who provide excellent learning opportunities for both classrooms and communities, and we look forward to continuing to work hard to support their efforts.”