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 Forum Index > H.W.F. Goes Wild in the Schools > School Classrooms
 2011/12 Gordon Terrace Elementary School
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By: SMW (offline) on Sunday, September 25 2011 @ 01:12 AM EDT  
SMW

Hi Pat,

Cattails grow along much of the shoreline at Elizabeth Lake. By midsummer, they look quite distinctive with their long thin stalk and what looks like a "hot dog" seed head. This year's cattails seemed much taller than usual (almost 2 meters or more) probably due to the lake level being unusually high till mid summer.

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Bulrushes do not seem to be as common by the lake. I had trouble finding some tonight. The sun had set by the time I spotted this example.

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By: SMW (offline) on Sunday, September 25 2011 @ 01:59 AM EDT  
SMW

Tonight I took a garbage bag and a latex glove with me on my walk to Elizabeth Lake. Originally I had signed up my grade 3 class to participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up at the lake, but then changed my mind about involving them. How can I expect my students to care about the environment until I expose them to the world around them, and provide them with a wide variety of positive experiences?

Anyway, since several new garbage bins were installed at parking areas beside the lake, there appeared to be less garbage lying around than previously, and, as I made my way from one side of the lake to the other, there was not a lot to pick up. However, as I bent down to pick up some garbage at the Tourist Information parking lot, I was suddenly aware of a number of cigarette butts lying around. 20 minutes later, I had collected four hundred fourteen (414) cigarette ends, many of them lying discarded around a picnic table or at the side of the parking lot, and within 10 to 20 meters of a garbage bin. There was also a large black plastic bag containing several empty beer cans and bottles lying on the ground by a garbage bin. How sad!!

As a matter of interest, according to the results of the 2010 Great Canadian Shoreline Clean Up, over a quarter of a million (227, 830) cigarette butts were collected making them the top litter item in Canada.

It's hard to believe that the parking area beside such a beautiful spot as Elizabeth Lake was home to more than 400 cigarette butts!

Click on image to download

Click on image to download

I wonder how we can make a difference?????????????????????????????????????????????????????
?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
?????????????????????

(By the way, this is what 414 looks like).


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By: SMW (offline) on Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 09:44 PM EDT  
SMW

I first learned about Wangari Maathai from my elder daughter, who had done volunteer work in both Tanzania and Kenya. Wangari received international recognition for all the humanitarian work she had done with women's groups in Kenya, when she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. Planting the Trees of Kenya tells the story of how she returned from her studies in the United States to discover that many of the trees had been cut down to clear land for farming in the area of Kenya where she lived. Instead of bringing prosperity to the people, this had resulted in a deterioration of living standards, since much of the fertile soil had been washed away, and the ground had become sandy and unproductive. She taught women's groups how to plant trees and tend them, watering the seedlings twice daily. She also helped them grow enough food in locally developed nurseries to become self sufficient. Through the Green Belt Movement she founded, more than 45 million trees have been planted across Kenya.

My daughter e-mailed me on the weekend to inform me that Wangari Maathai had died from cancer at the age of 71. I introduced Wangari Maathai to my class yesterday, when I read Planting the Trees of Kenya. Students were encouraged to draw images about the story as I read it aloud, and we would pause from time to time to discuss and reflect on different aspects of what she had done to help her people and the environment.

Today we reviewed what we had learned about Wangari Maathai.

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By: SMW (offline) on Wednesday, September 28 2011 @ 09:58 PM EDT  
SMW

Today the Outdoor Club had their first outing to the Community Forest. We drove to Kettle Lake, then hiked to the Lookout returning by a different trail.

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The view from the top affords panoramic views of Cranbrook and looks west towards the Purcell Mountains.

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Looking towards Kimberley Ski Hill and the Purcell Mountains from the Lookout.

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On the way back to Kettle Lake this group stopped to check out the ponderosa pine bark which smells of vanilla.


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By: jkr (offline) on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 10:47 AM EDT  
jkr

Mr. Wilson, some days I look at your reports and wish I was back in Grade 3 so I could take part in all the field trips your classes take. You definitely have a lot of fun combined with learning how to take care of our World.

And --- I'll have to get the directions to Kettle Lake. I thought I knew where all the small lakes were located around here but I'm not sure I've heard mention of Kettle Lake.


~Judy~


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By: SMW (offline) on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 02:21 PM EDT  
SMW

Hi Judy,

You would go past Sandor's and the Fire Suppression Centre near the overpass, following the gravel road which runs parallel to the highway on the Community Forest side. It snakes its way up the hill above the Trans Canada Trail. Take left at the fork as you approach the Fourth Lake turn off, cross over the cattle guard and travel a further half kilometer to the parking lot at Kettle Lake. It's a favorite spot for many hikers and has an interpretive trail around it.

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By: golden1 (offline) on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 02:28 PM EDT  
golden1

To all you outdoor adventurers.

I love to see that you are learning so much about your neighborhood nature areas. Just looking at all the pictures of your happy faces, I can tell you were joyfully discovering what you can see every day and usually just walk by. Thank you for sharing your learning adventures. I'll be looking forward to seeing more of your activities.


2009 ~ Donna ~ Colorado


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By: sandra gee (offline) on Thursday, September 29 2011 @ 11:52 PM EDT  
sandra gee

Phew I think I'm caught up on all the outings so far and WOW, you've had perfect weather for spending time outdoors. Fall, in all it's stunning color, is my favorite time of the year. Mr. Wilson, thank your for sharing your love of the outdoors with the kids, I think it's wonderful to see them exploring nature and wildlife and more importantly, having fun while learning, a perfect combinationLeft thumb up.

Love the photos of the kids exploring within the boundaries of a hula hoop, great idea! At first I thought the photo of the cattail seeds were bubbles blowing in the wind Grin. All those seeds from just one plant Wooh.

I'd like to share a moment of my day with you and maybe you'd like to share it with your students. Today was clean up day in the yard and while carrying the patio furniture to the shed something on the ground below caught my eye. Looking down I could see that it was 5 little ants carrying the lifeless body of a wasp across the walkway. Looking even closer I could see that the ants were carrying the wasp by it's back, legs pointing upwards. 2 ants walking backwards on one side, 2 ants walking forward on other side and the 5th one was at the head area of the wasp and seemed to be the one directing the others in which direction to go. It was amazing to watch them work 'together' in teamwork and I'm still wondering how they were able to communicate the job at hand to each other. They covered a pretty good distance and I watched until they disappeared under the fence.

I will pop in again soon :hello:.





Sandra, Nanaimo BC
Member since Spring, 2006
"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans"
Song for Sean, John Lennon


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