Spirits were high when Windermere Elementary students visited Columbia Lake Provincial Park’s Spirit Trail for a recent field trip.
Amber Aspervig’s Grade 4-5 class visited this local grassland ecosystem through Wildsight’s Classroom with Outdoors program, which encourages kids to experience hands-on outdoor learning. Students learned the names and adaptations of some of the many grassland plants found here, the rainshadow effect and why we have grasslands. Wildsight Educator Jessie Caza also pulled out a giant Columbia Basin map so students could visualize how this local body of water is the headwaters of the complex Columbia River system.
Many students expressed gratitude for having the chance to come to this special place during school hours, Jessie shares.
“Students had a bit of free time to explore the grasslands and came back with a plethora of interesting things they’d found, from old vertebrae bones of an ungulate, to seed pods, to living insects. They probably could have spent half the day just exploring freely,” says Jessie.
Amber Aspervig says her students appreciated the opportunity to learn and explore together in such a beautiful place.
“I saw the students’ connection to place, which impacts their willingness to care for the natural world around them,” she reflects.
Classroom with Outdoors wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Power Corporation, Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies, Consecon Foundation, the Government of Canada, Keefer Ecological Services Ltd., Kimberley & District Community Foundation, Kootenay Co-op, the Osprey Community Foundation, Teck Trail, the Province of British Columbia, Copernicus Education Products; and all of our individual donors for making this program possible.