Charlottetown, PEI – This week, more than 400 Grade 4 students from across the Island will head out onto a marsh for a hands-on learning experience with student mentors from Charlottetown Rural High School’s Wetland Centre of Excellence. Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is inviting local media on these field trips to observe the significance and impact of environmental education.
Wetland Centres of Excellence are a national network of schools and community partners where students lead wetland projects, peer-to-peer mentorship and community outreach. They’re an important part of DUC’s education program, helping students inspired by our elementary-level field trips turn their passion for the environment into action while encouraging future post-secondary education in the environmental field.
Students from the Wetland Centres of Excellence program not only train to be mentors, but also steward their local wetland by planting trees, conduct research, and spearhead environmental and community action projects. Students in Charlottetown, for instance, have battled nightshade and glossy buckthorn, two invasive plants choking out native species in the Ellen’s Creek Watershed.
“It will be an exciting experience for both the high school mentors and the Grade 4 classes,” says Katie Scott, outreach specialist with DUC. “Mentees will get to explore the sights, sounds and feelings in a wetland. And the mentors get to both share the knowledge they’ve learned and experience the reward in teaching others.”
DUC is grateful for the support of the Prince Edward Island Wildlife Conservation Fund, Scotiabank, and individual businesses, which is crucial in fostering wetland conservation through education.
The Wildlife Conservation Fund, which is generated from annual license fees from anglers, hunters and trappers, provides funding for the protection and enhancement of wildlife. The fund’s contribution to DUC for the 2021-2022 school year helped Grade 4 students across P.E.I. learn about the importance of wetlands and conservation.