Creatures of Habitat 2012 – Volunteers needed

Do you like working outside doing ecological restoration activities?  Do you enjoy working with youth?

If you answered ‘yes’ to both questions, then we have a great opportunity for you!

Earth Day is next month, and Peninsula Streams Society would like to invite you to take part in an awesome volunteer opportunity.  Please read on for more details…

 

This April will mark the 4th year of our Gr. 6 environmental education program, ‘Creatures of Habitat.’ Every year, almost 500 Gr. 6 students in SD63 take part in a full day of environment-related activities, including a theatre-based EnviroJeopardy game, mini-workshops, and a half day of hands-on ecological restoration activities on or near their school property. The hands-on restoration activities are site-specific, and usually include things like invasive plant species removal, native species planting, mulching, garbage pick-up and salmon fry releases. The students are placed into small groups, each led by an adult supervisor, who works along-side them to pull English ivy, cut back Himalayan blackberry, weed native plant gardens and the like.

We get great feedback from our volunteers who, even after a long day of physical activity outside in the fresh air, feel rejuvenated by the work ethic and enthusiasm displayed by the students. We’d like you to share in that experience this year! We are looking for more adult volunteers for our events this year. So far we have only half of what we need to run the outdoor restoration activities, so I hope this notice motivates you to get in touch with me to discuss this volunteer opportunity. We do have some opportunities for volunteers to help out with the indoor workshops, so if that is your preference, please let me know! We hope to make this program a mainstay in these schools, but can’t do that without your help.

1) General CoH 2012 information

The events will take place on the following dates in April:
North Saanich Middle School – Wednesday 18th
Bayside Middle School – Thursday 19th
Royal Oak Middle School – Friday 20th

2) Volunteering

Volunteers are VITAL to this program. Volunteers provide instruction and supervision of the students during the outdoor activities, so we really need a large number in order to run the program. Depending on the number of students at each school, we require anywhere from 15-25 volunteers/day. If you are interested in volunteering, or would like more information, Please reply to this notice, or give me a call at 250-363-6480. You don’t need any special skills related to ecological restoration; as we will hold training sessions for each of the school locations, and have informational booklets for you. You are welcome to volunteer for more than one day; and if you can be there for only a morning or afternoon shift, we can be flexible. If you have volunteered with this program in the past, we welcome you to take part again!…if you haven’t, we invite you to find out more about the event and volunteering through an informational meeting.

Volunteer Activity Description:
We are looking for enthusiastic and responsible volunteers to work with and supervise youth. Depending on the school (each school has slightly different bell schedules), volunteer shifts are from ~8:30am-2:45pm. No restoration experience necessary…we will teach you everything you need to know. The outdoor activities will consist of supervision of a small group of Gr. 6 students doing invasive plant species removal, garbage pick-up, weeding, tree mulching, and similar tasks. Volunteers will supervise groups of 5-8 students. Training will be provided at the sessions below.

3) Informational Meeting and Training Sessions

Information Meeting – We will hold the first volunteer information meeting on Wednesday March 28th from 6-7pm at the Institute of Ocean Sciences (9860 West Saanich Road). At this meeting, we will talk about the outdoor restoration activities that the volunteers will help oversee. This will include discussion on invasive plant species, removal techniques, tools and equipment and other things to help prepare you for the event. If you have volunteered for this event in the past, it is not imperative that you attend this meeting.

We will hold three separate volunteer training sessions (one for each school/field site). All training is from 5:30-6:30pm. Meet in the school parking lot at 5:25pm.

Royal Oak MS – Tuesday April 3rd
Bayside MS – Wednesday April 4th
North Saanich MS – Thursday April 5th

4) Criminal Record Check information  ** new this year. Please read this section; the CRCs are free for volunteers, and should be relatively painless and require little inconvenience on your part. **

School District #63 policy (#5540) requires that volunteers working directly within the schools get Criminal Record Checks (CRCs). CRCs are free for volunteers (they are usually $50 if you need them for employment of other purposes). If you don’t get a CRC then there may be an opportunity to volunteer anyway as you may be paired with a teacher or with another volunteer that has a CRC…if you get this CRC it is good for 2 years and will be not CoH specific.

5) So you’d like to Volunteer?…Contact us!

If you’d like to volunteer (or would like more information), please contact us. Please let me know which day(s) you would like to help out with.

 

We hope you can take part!