Please consider this letter an invitation to participate in an exciting series of outdoor-based, science-oriented workshops. Local groups including Quoddy Futures Foundation (formerly known as the St Croix Estuary Project Inc), Eastern Charlotte Waterways, School District 10 and many individuals have been getting together over the last few months to determine a way to help youth get engaged in science and to learn about the ecosystem in which they live.
This initiative aims to provide mentoring relationships for the youth, and that's where you come in!
Research indicates that mentoring relationships improve youth motivation and academics. In our case, you, the mentors will attempt to bring in the "outside world", sharing your world view with the students, and establishing relevant purposes for science.
In 2005 a survey regarding our Charlotte County youth's developmental assets was completed. Only 7% of our youth had what is considered to be a healthy level of developmental assets. The analysis showed our youth receive too little support through positive intergenerational relationships, lack opportunity and practice for leadership and they feel disconnected from community. With folks such as yourself joining us on these planned expeditions the youth will have access to people who have lived or worked in the many special places around the Quoddy
Region. With your help, we aim to provide youth with many undiscovered curriculum and life-skills related learning opportunities regarding nature.
Due to the hands-on format of this project, learners will have the opportunity to appreciate & engage in the world of nature. We have 4 of the 12-16 activities planned and ready for you to sign up. These include;
Date - September 21st
Orientation - Quoddy Learning Centre
Students and partners will meet at the Quoddy Learning Centre at the Ganong Nature and Marine Park at Todds Point just outside of St Stephen. We will spend the day together at the Park, starting to build relationships within the group as well as discovering the reasons this project has been implemented. We will be introduced to, and begin to develop our skill sets with tools such as GPS units and cameras that will be in use for data collection throughout the year-long program. We will spend time learning about various local ecosystems by discovering
them first hand during a geocaching activity as well as through a discussion regarding the St Croix River Ecosystem in preparation for the St Croix River outing.
9:30 am Meet and greet activities, introduction to project
10:00am introduction to photography, introduction to GPS, Geocaching
1:00pm Finish up Geocaching exercise
1:30pm Guest Speaker regarding the St Croix River Ecosystem
2:30pm Leave site, return to schools
September 28, 2009
Canoeing – St. Croix River
Students and partners will canoe the St. Croix River form Beaconsfield, New Brunswick to Loon Bay, New Brunswick. Along the way they will explore, photograph and mark points of interest using GPS. Students will participate in collecting water samples, checking for temperature and
learn about the water quality grading system. We will investigate bank restoration projects and methods used to limit erosion. Conservation issues, stewardship and recreational management issues will be discussed while participating in campsite clean ups. Over the day we will explore
a number of small ecosystems and enjoy the river canoeing experience 9:30am Arrive at Beaconsfield, pack canoes and brief the group about the day
· Depart for the day adventure.
· Follow the provided maps and mandatory stops.
· Complete morning activities, observations, photography, GPS
coordinates and water sampling
11:30am Stop for lunch, continue with morning activities, campsite clean up
3:00pm Arrive at Loon Bay, Pack canoes on the trailer, load buses and
return to schools
***Sometime on or about Oct 5th-9th we will be taking in a whale watching expedition as part of this program.
October 26, 2009
Beach Exploration – Green's Point
Students and partners will participate in intertidal sampling and beach seining at Green's Point. They will practice quadrant sampling methods in the high to mid intertidal zone, while exploring the beach and photographing species of interest. We will beach seine in the mid to low
intertidal zone, and participate in collecting water samples, checking temperature, dissolved oxygen and salinity in the seining area as well as the substrate of the sample area
9:30am Arrive at Green's Point, gather gear for seining and quadrant
sampling, brief group about the day, go over sampling methods and common
species, start beach seining and quadrant sampling
11:30am Stop for lunch, finish beach seining and quadrant sampling
2:30pm Put gear away and clean up area, load buses and return to schools
Please spread the word and have anyone interested in coming contact me through email or phone at 467 9905. If anyone is interested in or has specific knowledge or talent regarding any one specific topic, please let me know that too, for instance photography or canoeing.
Thanks, Kim Reeder