Spring 2015 - Raincoast Education Society

Newsletter of the Raincoast Education Society
Spring 2015
youth programs • raincoast institute
radiation monitoring • festivals & events
summer programs • eelgrass habitat surveys
tofino ambassador program
Notes from the Field
At the outset of our 15th year in operation, we are grateful to everyone who has supported us, challenged us, and shaped us into the
organization we are today. Since our humble beginnings operating a rainforest interpretive centre, we have believed that the best way
to inspire a conservation ethic is through education. Now, we work with over 3000 people every year, through programs with local and
visiting schools and universities, research and monitoring projects, guided tours, summer camps, courses, speaker series, festivals and
much more.
Operating in Clayoquot Sound for a decade and a half has taught us that the most meaningful and transformative programs
are those that get people out onto the land and water. That is why we offer the majority of our programs outdoors, whether it’s
surveying eelgrass meadows with citizen scientists or guiding our field school of local youth up lush rainforest valleys. We’ve also
learned that the need for experiential outdoor learning is growing, and growing up! To meet the increasing demand for adult outdoor
education, we’ve added the Raincoast Institute (see page three) to our roster of programs.
We owe a huge amount of our success to those who stood up to protect Clayoquot Sound’s old-growth forests, streams,
shorelines, and waters, and put our region on the map as one of the most ecologically rich landscapes on the planet. There is no better
place to learn and be inspired by the wonders of the natural world. Please join us.
- Dan Harrison, Executive Director
Raincoast Education Society
Youth Programs
Our local school programs reach over 1,000 youth per year in an area of BC
where little environmental education occurs. We work hard to design and deliver
a broad range of high-caliber outdoor education programs that inspire local
youth to get outside, think critically, and become actively engaged in building a
sustainable future.
Radiation Monitoring
The Raincoast Education Society has partnered with the University of Victoria
and California State University to carry out radionuclide sampling of sea water
and kelp, respectively, in Clayoquot Sound. This project is made possible with
support from the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust and MEOPAR. In 2014, we were
pleased to find no evidence of Fukushima-related radionuclide contamination in
Clayoquot Sound.
Eelgrass Habitat Mapping
The Raincoast eelgrass monitoring program, in partnership with Parks Canada,
Nature Trust of British Columbia, Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society, the
Sitka Foundation, and local residents, maps and surveys eelgrass beds in the
Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area and empowers local youth through
participation in outdoor, conservation-based science.
Tofino Ambassador Program
All local residents new and old can participate in these FREE courses to expand
their knowledge of the area and increase participation in the community. In
2014, over 350 people participated! In conjunction with the Tofino-Long Beach
Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to offer three Ambassador Program
courses to the public: Introductory Course, West Coast Ecology, & Nuu-chahnulth Landscape
Summer Programs
Summers at the Raincoast Education Society are busy! From guided interpretive
walks and community beach seines to summer camps and plankton discovery
days, there are educational progams all summer to engage locals and visitors
with the natural world in fresh ways.
Raincoast Education Society
A Project of the Raincoast Education Society
New in 2015, the Raincoast Institute offers high-quality continuing education courses that inspire adults and young
adults to connect with natural ecosystems. Our field classes are designed to provide students with a comprehensive
understanding of the rich natural landscape of Clayoquot Sound. Designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve, Clayoquot
Sound provides a unique opportunity to study the interconnections between the rich marine ecosystems of the Pacific
Ocean and some of the largest tracts of old-growth coastal temperate rainforest in the world.
Rooted in the Nuu-chah-nulth philosophy of Hishuk-ish-tsawalk (everything is connected/everything is one), our weekend
courses provide opportunities to study natural ecosystems from a holistsic perspective, and to engage with specific ecological
components through hands-on, outdoor-based learning. Each course focuses on different aspects of the complex ecosystems
of the region, from fungi to birds to wolves and more. In 2015, we look forward to offering the following courses:
Animal Tracking
Rainforest Ecology
Nature Photography
Birds of the West Coast
Geology of the West Coast
Seaweeds of the West Coast
Mushrooms of the West Coast
Raincoast Education Society
Festivals & Events
The 18th annual Tofino Shorebird Festival will be held on the weekend of May 1-3, 2015.
The Tofino Shorebird Festival celebrates the arrival or tens of thousands of migrating shorebirds
with a series of educational birding events throughout the region. We draw on local and visiting
experts to participate in the festival, offering guest lectures, birding workshops and much
more! For more info, visit raincoasteducation.org.
The 1st annual Capturing the Coast photo contest will be held on February 28th, 2015 at
Shelter Restaurant. The Capturing the Coast photography contest is designed to celebrate the
natural world, the people, and the unknowns of Vancouver Island’s wild West Coast, and inspire
people to explore, adventure, and respect the region.
The 15th annual Tofino Lantern Festival will be held on Sunday, August 16th, 2015 in the
Tofino Botanical Gardens. This is our signature community event and fundraiser, drawing the
young and old with an unbelievable variety of hand made lanterns and local entertainment.
Don’t miss this magical, candle-lit celebration of West Coast culture!
Dan Harrison
Executive Director
[email protected]
Brady Clarke
Education Coordinator
[email protected]
By Mail:
PO Box 815
Tofino, BC
V0R 2Z0
Luke Stime
Program Development
and Communications Officer
[email protected]
Interested in supporting our work? Please visit our
website www.raincoasteducation.org, send an email
to [email protected], or give us a call at
(250)725-2560. The Raincoast Education Society is
a non-profit organization and a registered charity.
In Person:
1084 Pacific Hwy
In the Ecolodge at the
Tofino Botanical Gardens
Board of Directors
The Raincoast Education Society greatly appreciates the generosity of the following organizations for their financial
support of our programs in 2014 (>$1,000): Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, Anonymous Donor, Clayoquot
Biosphere Trust, District of Tofino, Jamie’s Whaling Station, Long Beach Lodge Resort, Nature Trust of British Columbia,
Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, Pacific Sands Resort, Paddle West Sea Kayaking, Sitka Foundation, Services Canada, Tides
Canada, Tofino Botanical Gardens, Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce.
THANK YOU to everyone who supports the Raincoast Education Society. We are very thankful for
your commitment to our work. We would not be able to do it without each and every one of you.
Photos: Dan Harrison, Brady Clarke, Jeremy Koreski, Bridgette Clarkston, Luke Stime
Raincoast Education Society
100% recycled paper
Marnie Helliwell, Melanie Morris, Jen
Pukonen, Sarah Timberlake, Colin Zacharias