Environmental Education

Since 2009, the RDCK has supported the Wildsight Beyond Recycling program which provides environmental education in local elementary schools.

Created in the Kootenays, Beyond Recycling (BR) is a school-based environmental education program. It provides solutions-focussed curriculum that allows students to recognize the impacts of their lifestyle choices and highlights the importance of individual action. All BR lessons are based on scientifically sound knowledge and integrate locally relevant and recent information, particularly around issues of climate change, energy and waste reduction. Lessons are designed to complement the new BC curriculum, with connections to science, social studies, language arts, math and the core competencies.

Twenty lessons are brought into the classroom (Grades 5-7) weekly by a local BR educator. Several optional special lessons involving field trips and Earth Day activities make for a potential total of 27 available lessons. Unteractive lessons involve learning through inquiry and investigation, using experiential activities, discussion, small-group tasks and technology; with a goal of encouraging students to think ‘beyond’ simply recycling — taking effective, positive environmental action and finding solutions for living more sustainably. BR’s environmental education lessons focus on increasing awareness and student empowerment. Lessons address environmental issues and aim to remove barriers to motivate environmentally appropriate choices and behaviors.

The 2020/21 school year  was the twelfth year of BR delivery on a regional scale, offered in communities throughout the Columbia Basin. A team of 11 Educators partnered with 18 classroom teachers to deliver the Beyond Recycling program. The BR educators completed a total of 40 blog posts to share the exciting activities that happened in the classroom.

The COVID pandemic continued to impact school-based programming in 2020/21. External educators were not allowed in many schools. To meet the challenges, BR educators were able to pivot, adapting in-person program facilitation to either outdoors or online.

The content on this page was last updated July 20 2021 at 3:31 PM