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Saskatchewan inspires young conservationists with new Save our Shoreline program

Tomorrow’s stewards

Shoreline program geared toward students in grades 4 to 6

In hopes of educating and empowering a new generation of conservationists, the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation has teamed up with the provincial Ministry of Environment to develop the Save our Shoreline program. Geared toward students in grades 4 to 6, the two-phase program was slated to kick off in June.

In phase one, conservation officers are to visit schools to provide presentations on the negative impacts of pollution on wetlands and waterways. In the second phase, the students will join SWF and ministry staff to help clean up waterways and marshes near their schools. “We will pick up all the trash and recycle anything we can,” SWF executive director Darrell Crabbe says.

After the cleanup, the students will be treated to an on-site picnic hosted by a local chapter of the SWF. As well, they’ll receive a junior conservation officer badge and a tacklebox containing jigs, spoons and age-appropriate conservation-related information. This year, Crabbe says the SWF is planning to hand out 1,000 tackleboxes—provided by the group’s Fish and Wildlife Development Fund—with plans to distribute 2,000 next school year.

New program to teach kids about conservation

“We did a pilot project last year and it was very effective,” Crabbe says. “We talked to some parents whose kids very quickly became outspoken advocates. And there’s nothing worse than being shamed by your kid!”

At press time, the program was slated to start in nine schools, but Crabbe was confident several more would be on board by the end of May. As well, he says teachers were in the process of lining up guest speakers and field trips for the final month of school. The SWF hopes to expand the program in 2019 to reach an even wider audience, including youth and church groups.

According to Crabbe, the program’s ultimate goal is to engender a feeling of environmental stewardship in youths so they’ll be able to both educate and inspire others to do likewise. “Ultimately,” he says, “they’ll become our leading advocates in the field.”

Learn more about the SWF’s programs and positions at www.swf.sk.ca.

Bob Sexton

Bob Sexton

Growing up in Gander, Newfoundland, and Peterborough, Ontario, Outdoor Canada's managing editor Bob Sexton jumped at every chance to wet a line and head afield. After spending half of the 1990s working as a tour guide in Latin America, he completed a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University in 2001 and was hired on as Outdoor Canada's assistant editor. Since joining the magazine, he has won two Outdoor Writers of Canada awards, in 2008 and 2011, and contributed to numerous National Magazine Award winning or nominated stories. Sexton is the past president of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors.

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