Walking in a winter wonderland

Kids in Sparwood, Elkford and Fernie are getting outside learning about winter’s colours and wildlife as part of Wildsight’s Winter Wonder program.

Kids in Sparwood learning about the different types of snowflakes.

Kids in Sparwood, Elkford and Fernie are getting outside learning about winter’s colours and wildlife as part of Wildsight’s Winter Wonder program.

Schoolchildren from Kindergarten to Grade 3 have been taking part in the program, learning about snowflakes, how animals and plants adapt to winter and just enjoying the great outdoors.

“It’s so much fun,” said Wildsight’s Elk Valley educator, Lee-Anne Walker. “Kids think of winter as being just white, but we take them out and they see so many colours, from the bright green Aspens to the red Dogwoods, and they get really into it.

“We had lots of scavenger hunts and also learned about the different types of snowflakes, and looked at them with magnifying glasses.

“It’s just a great way to get kids outdoors, playing, learning and having fun, instead of stuck inside.”

The program was sold out in advance and is growing in popularity each year.

“This year Wildsight educators are providing Winter Wonder to 115 classes,” said Monica Nissen, Wildsight’s Education Program Manager. “It’s a record—more bookings than ever.

“And that’s probably because this year we are able to deliver Winder Wonder free of charge—thanks to generous additional support from Columbia Basin Trust.”

Nissen said core funding of Winter Wonder has always been provided by Columbia Basin Trust (CBT). What’s new this year is having the capacity to offer the popular field trips for no charge.

“Winter Wonder just gets more and more popular every year,” Nissen said. “Kids love to get outside and learn about nature by being in it—and teachers appreciate the way our programs connect to their science objectives for each grade.”

Wildsight also has a program for older kids called Education in the Wild.

The Winter Wonder program in Fernie was scheduled to be held last week but had to be postponed until next week due to very cold weather.

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