Silverdale Forest Friday Gang
- Grade 1
- Grade 2
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Surrounded by small farms, nestled between Silvermere Lake and the Silverdale Wetlands is our extraordinary school, Silverdale Elementary. Our students from kindergarten to grade 2 participate in hands-on outdoor learning every Friday; we like to call it Forest Fridays. As we are a country school we are fortunate to have many open greenspaces to explore, but not enough trees and forest. As such we have endeavored to seek-out a forested area to explore and learn in. For the past few years we have been bussed to the Mission Sports Park two Fridays every month where there is a beautiful forest to experience outdoor learning. Recently, Silverdale Elementary School has secured a partnership with Ducks Unlimited and Genstar Development to access a local forest only 700 meters away from our school.
One of our goals this year was to participate in a local greening project. An opportunity arose to partner with Trees Canada, the city of Mission and the Kwantlen First Nation where we accomplished our goal. All together we have planted 19 trees as a school this year. We planted our first three trees at Silverdale Creek Wetlands where I partnered with two other educators in the school district to put on an outdoor education field trip for any elementary classes that wanted to participate. 45 classrooms participated, approximately 1100 students, which included every class from our school. Over two days, the classes went on a self-guided tour to learn about the importance of Wetlands to our ecosystems, local animals and to all the people in our community. Our next outdoor field trip was to the Kwantlen First Nation to visit their beautiful interpretive centre and park. We planted 8 trees in their park. We went with 8 other classes in the Mission district so there were approximately 225 students that participated. This was an amazing day of learning put on by the elders of the Kwantlen First Nation. We learned about local medicinal plants, explored their artifact museum, sang songs, listened to storytelling, danced and enjoyed Bannock. The last day we tree planted was in partnership with the city of Mission and we planted 8 trees at the beautiful Mission Sports Park where we visit twice a month for our Forest Fridays. We now enjoy looking at the trees every time we visit. It has been wonderful to help add green, living trees to our environments. (Please see photos of tree planting at Mission Sports Park and at Kwantlen First Nation).
As trees have been a major learning focus this year during Forest Fridays, we decided to take a picture of the students in front of a tree on our school property every few months in order to cover every season. September, November and December pictures are being sent to you. Such great discussion and curriculum can be covered with trees and how they change, how we change and how trees give back to the world. Thank-you for your time and consideration!
Please download the supporting PDF for your own Wetlands Teacher Guide.