Classrooms were completely empty at the Nicola Canford Elementary on Tuesday, February 14, as students, teachers, and staff all assembled at the school’s gymnasium to participate in Earth Rangers’ outreach presentation.
Earth Rangers did their four school tour in the Nicola Valley. The non-profit organization aims to spread awareness about wildlife conservation to the youth and invite them to become stewards of the environment.
“Basically, we go around schools to inspire kids to care about climate change and wildlife protection in their area,” Earth Rangers Presenter Braden Wood explained. “We want to show them that they could even make a difference in their own backyards.”
Earth Rangers informs the kids about what they are doing on the conservation front, as well as giving the kids the opportunity to contribute through the Earth Rangers app.
“On the Earth Rangers app, they can do activities like the ones in our presentation,” he added. “They can plant pollinator gardens for local fauna and even make little toad houses for their backyard.”
“For those kids who really have passion for ecology and looking after our animals and our planet, it’s kind of a neat way of getting involved,” said Principal Burt Bergmann. “It allows them to help out at whatever level. You can do sponsorships or you can just perform little tasks and track yourself that way.”
About 150 students, from kindergarten to Grade 7, converged in the Nicola Canford gymnasium to witness the presentation, learn, and see the animals. Last year, Earth Rangers also made a stop at the local elementary but in a more restricted capacity.
“They came to us last year virtually,” said Bergmann. “They did a pretty good job when it came to the presentation and activities but the experience is really elevated when kids interact in person, and see the animals up close.”
The presentation delves deeper into climate change and habitat loss as it pertains to wildlife conservation. Interactive video presentations as well as games were done to keep the kids wholly engaged.
The main attraction and undisputed stars of the show were definitely the animals. Earth Rangers brought along with them four different animals:
- Sonic the Barn Owl
- Millie the Three-Banded Armadillo
- Delta the Savannah Monitor
- Chavez the Crimson Rumped Toucanet
“Our animals help us to promote and spark joy,” said Co-Presenter Michela Fusco. “Our animals inspire kids in wanting to care for the environment.”
The shows are made possible through Earth Rangers’ partnership with Teck Resources Ltd. The group’s trip began last September, with plans on concluding their tour at the end of May.
Their stops for Merritt include four elementary schools, namely Nicola Canford Elementary, Diamondvale Elementary, Bench Elementary, and Merritt Central Elementary.
Earth Rangers completed the Nicola Valley leg of their trip on Wednesday, February 15. They are set to visit Kamloops elementary school students next. For more information about Earth Rangers and their initiatives, please visit www.earthrangers.com.