Since 2007 Tundra Oil & Gas, through the Richardson Foundation, has lent financial support to the West Souris River Conservation District for the district’s Energizing Environmental Education Program. Tundra’s support of $100,000 was recently renewed for another four years with a presentation to WSRCD representatives and Board members.
The Energizing Environmental Education Program is a program whereby West Souris River CD educates youth through partnering with schools.
“We have our annual Land and Water Day out at Cherry Point,” said Dean Brooker, the manager of WSRCD. On location, VCI and Reston students spend the day on the shore of Oak Lake. Often a number of presenters hold sessions - such as the Burrowing Owl project, water quality studies, WDFD for water safety/rescue. This program begun by VCI science teacher Ray Cochrane and has continued with teacher Julie Mathieson.
“School programs can actually apply for funding through us if they want to purchase resource materials relating to the environment,” says Brooker. “Books, DVDs and some have actually purchased trees to plant around their school grounds.”
“We’re doing the Wilderness & Remote First Aid Course. It’s a three-day course for the students. They have hands-on experience going out, using splints created from tree limbs, scavenging for stuff.”
Instructors will come out and work with Reston and Oak Lake Schools. It’s a program that he hopes will grow to include all the schools.
Another course that has been a great hit is the trapper education program, which is planned to go ahead this winter at the Oak Lake School.
“We’re really pleased with the donation,” said Brooker of the $100,000 presented by TOG. It amounts to $25,000 per year for the next four years to help with the CD’s environmental education outreach.