Thursday, 29 September 2011 08:03

Foundation supports environmental education for youth

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Waterton Lakes National Park
The federal government recently expressed appreciation for a $462,790 grant from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, to support a school camp in Waterton Lakes National Park.

In a press release, Environment Minister Peter Kent said, “Canada’s future lies in the hands of its young people. I am pleased the Government of Canada is able to work with the W. Garfield Weston Foundation to give youth this opportunity to learn about and experience a connection to our country’s treasured places.”

The Waterton Ecosystem Investigators Camp (WEIC) is a three-day overnight outdoor education camp where Grade 5 students from urban and local, rural and First Nations schools come to Waterton to enjoy nature and learn of the ecological importance of Alberta’s landscape. Students become immersed in terrestrial ecosystems and learn how the different parts of an ecosystem shape the landscape.

During the camp, students learn about ecological integrity issues facing southern Alberta and become empowered to make positive changes for the environment, regardless of where they live.

The WEIC is linked to the curricula of social studies, science, drama, health and life skills, physical education and art.

Funding From the W. Garfield Weston Foundation will support the camp for the next three years and will cover transportation, accommodation and meals for all participants.

 “We are pleased to announce our support for the Ecosystem Investigators Camp during Parks Canada’s centennial celebrations. Our foundation has supported environmental education initiatives for over 10 years and we are proud to see this work continue through the WESI camp, which encourages students to actively contribute to healthy ecosystems,” explained Camilla Dalglish, director of the foundation.

Dalglish added the camp initiative is a wonderful complement to the foundation’s conservation of more than 30,000 acres in Waterton’s park front area.

The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is a private Canadian family foundation established in the 1950s by Willard Garfield Weston and his wife Reta. The Weston’s believe funds generated through the work and success of Canadian companies should benefit Canadians.

The foundation directs most of its grants to projects in the fields of land conservation, education and science in Canada’s north.

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