Spring 2022 EEPSA Local Chapter Updates
From April 22 – 24, 2022, forty-five educational leaders from across the Columbia Basin, and around British Columbia, came together for the Environmental Education Leadership Clinic after a 3-year hiatus due to COVID-19.
This Leadership Clinic provided representatives from 15 Local Chapters of EEPSA (the BC Environmental Educators Provincial Specialist Association) with the opportunity to take the time to come together to connect, collaborate and plan for ways they can support outdoor and environmental learning in their region.
These local chapters were supported at the leadership clinic by non-profit organizations such as CBEEN, KBEE, Wildsight, Take Me Outside, Classrooms to Communities and Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. And the Leadership Clinic was also supported by in-kind and financial support by Nipika Mountain Resort and Columbia Basin Trust.
EEPSA is working in collaboration with our Classrooms to Communities partners, the Institute for Environmental Learning (IEL), The Ministry of Education, the Climate Action Secretariat, and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions to rewrite the Environmental Learning and Experience Curriculum document.
This document was last updated in 2007 and is not linked to the renewed curriculum, or reflective of Indigenous ways of knowing or the challenges of climate justice. The lead author, David Zandvliet, has asked us to call a circle of EEPSA leaders to participate in a working group to help review and co-create the new curriculum guide around modern attitudes toward environmental/outdoor/climate/
There are multiple working groups engaging across the province, made up of Indigenous educators, academics, PSA leaders, teacher educators, and community educators. An EEPSA circle of Provincial Executive and Local Chapter Leaders will be one of the K-12 educator groups, and the Ministry is hoping we will take a lead within our districts in the subsequent professional development rollout over the next few years. Our first working group meeting is May 26th.
EEPSA LOCAL CHAPTER UPDATES
East Kootenay EEPSA (EKEEPSA) – SD5
We are hosting an end-of-year campfire celebration to re-connect with local EEPSA members. We will gather on Thursday, May 26 at 5 p.m. at the Outdoor Connections Forest School, Birch Meadows, Fernie around a campfire to share our outdoor learning success stories and ideas. We will be providing food, prizes from The Outdoor Learning Store, and a good time to connect! We are hopeful some dormant members return to share their passion, and bring a few other outdoor loving teachers to add new EEPSA memberships! After two long years of Covid, we feel a casual social celebration is required to reconnect and rekindle our fire! Connect with us! EKEEPSA President is Kelly Henderson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rocky Mountain Place-Based Learning Network (RMPBLN) – SD6
We invite interested educators to reach out to talk about school gardens, learning with the land, supporting new teachers in getting classes outside, the positive impact of risky play, exploration and connection to places within our communities, and student driven environmental impact projects. This team is looking forward to hosting a walking book club focused on The Walking Curriculum during the 2022-23 school year, as well as a Nature Play workshop in April 2023. Connect with us! RMPBLN President is Alexis Barrett: Alexis.Barrett@sd6.bc.ca
Kootenay Lake EEPSA – SD8
With a fresh new executive, the Kootenay Lake EEPSA chapter is excited to work together and support outdoor educators in SD8. Goals for the Kootenay Lake chapter include offering a spring pro-d workshop supporting teachers on how to get their class outside safely, a book club to connect members, and a membership drive to recruit more awesome educators with great ideas! Look out for an email from us encouraging you to sign up for EESPA and your chance to win a basket of goodies from the Outdoor Learning Store. Connect with us! Sarah Pollick: email@example.com
Arrow Lakes Outdoor Thinkers – SD10
- After Nipika, Erika spoke with our superintendent and the district is interested in doing an outdoor/EE focused proD next year
- We are also hoping to find ways to get all levels of the district to work together to support EE
- We are still working on the logistics for a spring gathering/AGM (And recently found out we need to fill 2 executive positions)
- We continue to promote and provide updates on outdoor/EE learning, resources, webinars etc at our monthly union meetings
- Connect with us! Contact: Erika Momeyer (president) firstname.lastname@example.org
EEPSA Revelstoke – SD19
Kootenay Columbia Environmental Educators (KCEE) – SD20
Our district released our executive for 2 days in May in order to plan for next year. We’ve decided to put all our eggs in one basket and develop several different ProD workshops that we can offer at schools in our district. During our upcoming school based ProD we will be providing a champion at each school with a loot bag (all purchased from the Outdoor Learning Store) and encourage them to sign up as many people as possible for EEPSA. Everyone who signs up is entered into a draw to win the loot bag. Connect with us! President: Laura Jackman: email@example.com
Langley EEPSA (LEEPSA) – SD35
On May 20, our district professional development day, LEEPSA is hosting ‘Campfire Connections’ at Williams Park. The aim is to connect with Langley teachers who consider themselves environmental educators, or are curious to meet others who do. The day will include a meet and greet, sharing session, a walk and talk along the trails, and a campfire lunch. Connect with us! LEEPSA President is Marlee St Pierre: firstname.lastname@example.org
Surrey Ecological Educators of District 36 (SEED 36)
Urban Nature Inclusive Teaching Environment (UNITE) – SD39
This year’s local events include: creation of chapter; quarterly meetings; attended EEPSA annual retreat at Nipika; execs visited Saanich schools; and sponsored Nature Art Contest. Plans for next year include: local leadership clinic in Gibsons, regional leadership clinic (7 districts) May 2023, monthly experiential events and hosting proD at schools around the district. Connect with us! Co-presidents: Elsa Medina email@example.com and Cara Laudon firstname.lastname@example.org
B Outside – SD41 (Burnaby)
- revisiting our goals and intentions as a group – does our mission statement still represent who we are as a group?
- creating our own land acknowledgements
- planning book clubs – Natural Curiosity & Ntakmen calendar
- planning & working on our summer and fall seasonal newsletter
- connecting with district partners for collaboration – including our ADST teacher
- organizing our habitat restoration initiative supporting climate resiliency & understanding native plant species
- compiling documentation from teachers and projects around the district for our TD grant work
- Connect with us! Kristina Carley: Kristina.email@example.com
Kootenay Boundary Outdoor Educators (KBOE) – SD51
- Christina Lake Elementary classes have been spending Tuesday and Thursday afternoons outdoors through the year.
- Registered students at Grand Forks Secondary School are participating in the Outdoor Leadership course this term.
- Sharon Peron’s Rewild Area at Perley Elementary is looking beautiful and seeing a great deal of use.
- Working with SD20 teachers to offer a joint pro-d during the 22/23 school year.
- Providing outdoor education resources to interested colleagues.
- Connect with us! KBOE president: firstname.lastname@example.org
Salish Sea EEPSA Chapter – SD 61, 62, 63+
Salish Sea EEPSA is coming out of a winter hibernation. We participated in our local proD tri-district conference in February running a half day session at PKOLS with Saanich Parks, Friends of Mt. Douglas Park and John Harris where we learned some Indigenous practices for being on the land, planted trees and saw the new outdoor learning space! We will continue our partnership in the Fall and hope to host a ProD that is more stewardship training focused and one that melds Indigenous history and ecological practices and principles. We are also working on a proposal to help with better waste and compost management systems in our districts once again! Connect with us! President – Chloe Faught: email@example.com