Back to School! Kindergarten students prove that you are never too young to become stewards of the environment.

It’s back to school time here in the Kootenays! We thought this would be a perfect time to highlight two teaches who proved you do not have to be a botanists or biologists to bring the topic of native and invasive species into the classroom during the 2017/2018 school year.

We applaud the environmental education efforts of Jessica Foster and Jennifer Wyatt from Rossland Summit School.  We are thrilled that these teachers recognized that invasive species, unlike many large-scale environmental issues, are something that students can actually do something about, in a hands-on, experiential way. We asked Jennifer Wyatt to give us a recap of her experience of teaching about native and invasive species, read below what she told us.

Kudos to Jessica Foster (left) and Jennifer Wyatt (right) for utilizing CKISS resources to teach their students about invasive plants!

Teaching About Native and Invasive Plants by Jennifer Wyatt

“This past June, Jessica Foster and I completed our Master of Education degrees.  We are both teachers at Rossland Summit School and decided to collaborate together for our final Master’s Project.  Our project consisted of looking at native and invasive plants with Kindergarten students.  As part of the project we worked with the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS).  Jessica and I felt that it was important to teach students about plants in our community including the medicinal uses of plants and about invasive plants, how they spread, and what we can do to help.”

We had a blast pulling invasive policeman’s helmet in Rossland with students from RSS.

“The children participated in an invasive plant pull of Policeman’s Helmet along with Laurie Frankcom and Liam Barnes from CKISS.  We also engaged community members in CKISS’s Play, Clean, Go Program by setting up at a local trail head where students offered to brush people’s shoes and bicycle tires as they came and left the trails.  It was great to see the students take an active role in talking to community members about what they were doing and why.  The plant pull and the brushing station offered students hands-on experiences that provided opportunities for them to see the importance of minimizing the spread of invasive plants.”

These students were out at Centennial trail head to remind trail users to clean their gear, footwear and clothing in order to stop the spread of invasive species.

Start ’em Young!

They say a photo is worth a thousand words, so we will let these images below show you how kids as young as 5 and 6 are making a positive difference to their community!

How to incorporate the topic of invasive species into your lesson plans?

If you are a teacher or environmental educator in our region and are interested in teaching about invasive species we here at CKISS are here to help.  We have an entire page on our website dedicated to teachers! On the ‘Teacher Page” you will find a list of classroom ready activities. In addition we have spent some time looking at the BC curriculum and have developed a document that links “Big Ideas’ to specific activities and lesson plans. You can see this document by clicking here.  You are just a click away from being an environmental education rock star!

Invasive species is a topic that is easy to bring into your classroom!

Youth Pulling Together Program-Field trips and guest speakers

The Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society provides field trips to interested schools and classes. To book a field trip or guest speaker, please contact our Education Program Coordinator, Laurie Frankcom, or 1-844-352-1160 ext 208 and she will provide you with more information and resources. Please note that space is limited for field trips and weed pulls, please book your Spring 2019 field trip by January 31st 2019.

Laurie from CKISS at the RSS outdoor classroom chatting with kindergartner students about invasive plants.

Teacher Pro-D Workshops

CKISS offers workshops to teacher in our region who are seeking a variety of educational strategies, hands-on activities and fieldwork planning tools that support students in learning about both invasive and native species in their communities. If are interested on a workshop to take place at your school please contact Laurie Frankcom,, 1-844-352-1160 ext 208.

If you are attending EECOM’s Canadian Environmental Education Conference, CKISS will be leading a session titled “Invasive Species Education: Hands-on Learning Opportunities for Engagement and Action”.  Hope to see you there!

Teachers from school district 20 participating in a CKISS teacher workshop.

Massive Thanks!

The education and outreach we provide to teachers and their students would not be possible without the support from: