Session Descriptions

Session Descriptions

Know what to expect from your sessions this year and start preparing for your experience!

All times are PDT
AM Sessions (10:45am – 12:00)
Session Title Description
Ocean Sense: Local Observations, Global Connections Dive in and explore Ocean Sense with Ocean Networks Canada (ONC)! Ocean Sense is a series of educational, place-based resources developed in collaboration with Indigenous community members. Indigenous knowledge, scientific concepts and ONC data (scalar and/or video) are integral to these resources which highlight multiple ways of knowing
Teach the Columbia: A Curriculum Resource for our Watershed Wildsight invites educators to learn with us, about the Columbia River watershed, with our recently-completed curriculum resource.  ‘Teach the Columbia’ offers cross-curricular lessons and ideas for high school and college classroom and outdoor learning on topics including watershed geography, Indigenous peoples , ecology and hydrology, ecosystem services, salmon, dams and hydroelectricity, politics and governance, and youth empowerment.
Nurturing Ecological Citizenship: Children’s Participation in Environmental Curriculum and Research This workshop brings together research and practice as it shares findings and activities from a study on children’s ecological citizenship and participation in environmental curriculum and research. Workshop participants will engage in discussion and activities that follow the study’s research process and can be brought into their own learning community.
BC Tomorrow – Engaging Technology for Investigating Sustainability in your own Region Subjects come alive; students are engaged while learning and sharing as they address sustainability in local watersheds. With BC Tomorrow’s free, online technology and teacher friendly resources, students take ownership of their world while exploring the past, considering the future and seeing how choices today could impact their community when as they get older.
Nature as the Teacher: A Daily Practice This session is designed for K-Grade 3 educators who are looking for concrete examples of how to weave nature into their daily teaching practice throughout the seasons. Explore with Bonnie Davison to see how growing food, foraging, learning about our local native plants, and playing nature connection activities can easily be part of one’s daily teaching practice.
Facilitating Self-Expression in the Climate Crisis This workshop will highlight the connection between art and activism in the climate crisis through a lens of decolonization.  Educators will leave with a list of activities that can be used immediately which aim to empower students to raise their voices.
Maps, Walks, and Sit Spots for all Learners (and teachers too!) This session will cover the benefits  of  the routines of Mapping, Walking, and Sit Spots for all learners in support of cross curricular learning, place led pedagogy, and in the spirit of reciprocity and reconciliation, attempting wholeheartedly to consider Indigenous perspectives in all aspects of planning for these routines. I will also briefly touch personally on how I value  this type of work for the consideration of teacher wellness, particularly during a pandemic. Sample texts and activities in support of this type of work will also be highlighted in our time together.
Not all Bees make Honey Did you know that there are over 800 native bees that can be found pollinating flowers all across Canada? Learn why honey bees are not the only bees that deserve our attention and what you can do to help support a buzzing ecosystem. Session includes a workshop on raising mason bees and leafcutter bees (a great activity for classrooms, families and individuals!)
Discovering our Wild, Indigenous and Medicinal Plants Discover our wild, native and medicinal plants that are growing outside our door.  The wild weeds, the ones our ancestors ate who offer lessons how to be a good guest.  Who are our native plants and why they are so important for our local ecology and the gifts and teachings they bring.  And who are the medicines we can be growing in our gardens  to make teas, salves, tinctures, incense helping us build good relationships with our living world.  Practices of reciprocity where we take care of each other, honourable harvest, respect for our Mother, remembering our responsibility, and giving thanks with reverence.  Handouts will be shared.
ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ Tribal School Outdoor Immersion Kindergarten – SENĆOŦEN Sit back and observe, listen to what immersion SENĆOŦEN Kindergarten is like.  How are the little ones taught language culture and important learning lessons? You will be brought through the process of outdoor education Tsartlip style.
Natural Curiosity: Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry Come experience Natural Curiosity’s transformative four-branch pedagogy that encourages children’s environmental inquiry, deepened through Indigenous perspectives. Participants will engage in group knowledge building around how an awareness of Indigenous perspectives can support children with developing a more powerful sense of place, inspiring learning through relationships and reciprocity across Turtle Island.
Northern Lessons Beginning each day outdoors allows children to explore their inner dialogue and their sense of wonder in a peaceful environment.  We as teachers have that moment for quiet conversation, sharing in their learning and making connections to our students passions.  Taking outdoor education from Kindergarten to Grade 7 instills an authentic connection to the environment.
Creative Writing to Cope with Stress and Build Resiliency Learn creative ways to engage students struggling with anxiety and other mental health challenges, particularly during the pandemic, utilizing the empowering and healing capacities of writing. Creative writing exercises will be presented in both fiction and non-fiction as tools for personal reflection and betterment.
Supporting Students Through Trauma Using Place-Based Learning Come and listen to three K-2 teachers tell their stories about how their classes dealt with the trauma of going to school during Covid-19 by participating in outdoor learning activities.  Come away with a practical framework to use that promotes social and emotional health.  Have fun participating in some hands-on activities.
Walking in Balance with Nature and the 4 Directions Step into the Medicine Wheel for a walk around the universe within you and connect to the web of life around you. This experience will help you to see the world and your rightful place in Nature in a whole new way. Participation, questions and sharing of your own knowledge are encouraged. The Medicine Wheel is a practical ancient tool to help each one “Walk in Balance”
Community Connections: Working in Partnership with Schools and Municipalities This workshop will share the ongoing collaborative efforts between our municipal work and working with schools.  We will look at how partnering with class and community is a mutually beneficial partnership and how these experiences positively impact classes, educators and community.
Amazing Salmon- Interactive Explorer Day Join us on one of our Explorer Days – a salmon focused event where we will learn how wondrous and important salmon are. Through games, activities and a citizen science data collection event, we will have a hands-on session outside and give you salmon focused resources and ideas to take back to your classrooms and communities.
Rethinking and Unlearning Outdoor and Environmental Education As educators immersed in outdoor and environmental education, we all have blind spots in our knowledge and opinions that we’ve accumulated over the years. In order to achieve inclusiveness and draw more educators in to help move the needle, do we need to revisit and unlearn some aspects of OEE?
Licensing Outdoor ECE programs Now is the time for the government of British Columbia to amend the Community Care and Assisted Living Act and the Child Care Licensing Regulations to include a category of care that licences child care programs operating full-time outdoors without a premise/building. Already a leader in early childhood outdoor education, British Columbia has an opportunity to be a national frontrunner in this popular and rapidly growing movement. The fact that the playing field is still inequitable. The gaps are unacceptable and create barriers for children across all populations to have access to licensed, regulated care. When we advance the categories of care to include outdoor childcare without a premise and/or building, then the commitment that “all children can receive care in licensed programs” will be a lived reality impacting our communities and province.
Agricultural Literacy in the Classroom My Farmer Brown Agriculturalist facebook and twitter accounts, AND within SD69 as a farming and environmental literacy educator. I am an EEPSA member and school newsletter writer, as well as a volunteer broadcaster on our local radio station.
The Place of Environmental Education in the BC Curriculum Join us for an interactive conversation about the place of environmental education (EE) in the BC curriculum. We will begin by outlining a brief history of EE in BC schools, including the Environmental Learning and Experience (ELE) Guide that has inspired many teachers and students. Then we will look at the current curriculum and explore some of the following connections: Where and how can we integrate Indigenous and place-based education practices? How can we infuse climate change education, with an emphasis on equity and diversity, across the curriculum? Bring your ideas, successes and questions, and help us shape the future of EE in BC!
Suppose Your Mother Was a Redbird: Nourishing Your Wild Beauty Come to your senses! Attune, reflect, imagine and play! Let the trees and rivers whisper their secrets. See yourself more clearly through nature’s magical and reflective mirrors. Wild kin become much needed teachers as we remember and embody natural rhythms and become more earth-like. Let wild poetic beauty take flight!
Tell Me a Story…Mapping Ourselves into Place This workshop incorporates the process of community mapping in a participatory, community-engaged, action-based experience for participants. It focuses on place-based stories and celebrates acts of solidarity and expressions of love and support that are connected to place. It also draws out opportunity sites for potential reconciliation actions. The workshop is collaborative, focuses on healthy relationships to self, others, and to place.


PM1 Sessions (1:00 – 3:15pm with break)
Session Title Presentation Description
Taking Care of the Heart through Nature, Play, and Connection We all need to be affected by our world. Yet how do we not get crushed by the magnitude of environmental collapse and devastation?
Workshop participants will explore hands-on nature connection practices in community. I developed practices and resources for all to connect to the Earth as a source of energy, awe, and inspiration. These chaotic times are calling educators into a new way of holding space and creating safety in a wounding world. Through capacity building and sharing stories, you’ll learn how to find sanctuary and nurture much more than resilience. What’s needed is perseverance.
My Butterfly Teacher:  Connecting to Nature’s Cycles in the Schoolyard Get inspired to engage your students in a full day of outdoor learning, connecting to the life cycle of a butterfly. Help students honour their own difficulties by recognizing how, like the butterfly in chrysalis, their challenges can result in great transformation. Doing so can foster well-being, hope, and resilience.
Overcoming Barriers to Outdoor Play and Learning in Schools A global body of research supporting outdoor play and learning in our schools resonates with teachers who agree that everyone has an opportunity to be the best version of themselves outdoors!  Bring your school specific challenges and barriers for outdoor play and learning to this session and we will collectively support a re-think of how they might be resolved!
Anti-Racism Foundations in Place-Based Learning for White Educators The 2020s are proving to be a time of significant societal upheaval. An anti-racist lens is essential for white educators as they navigate the benefits and complexities of place-based learning. The ongoing presence and impact of racism is one of the challenges that teachers, administrators, school staff, and indeed all citizens, are called to address. Join Margaret-Anne for an introduction to tools and concepts necessary for integrity-based and effective anti-racist strategies for your place-based learning and community connections.
Engineering and Sustainability in First Nations Fish Harvesting Traditions Join to learn about the mathematics behind Coast Salish fish traps. This session contains a panel and a hands-on component. In the panel, you’ll learn about the history behind the Tla’amin Nation’s fish trapping practices. You’ll then explore code-based resources modelling traps and the impact of greedy harvesting on fish.
Develop and Implement a Meaningful Outdoor Watershed Education Experience for Your Students Join SkeenaWild Conservation Trust’s environmental educator, Christine Slanz, in an experiential and interactive workshop experience that will bring K-12 educators out to a local stream.  Learn how to communicate key watershed science principles and concepts with students and their application in environmental problem solving.  Explore creative learning experiences that are place-based, inquiry-based and hands-on.
Invitation to Put on a New Pair of Glasses: Creating a Physical & VIrtual Space to Work towards Decolonizing our Conversations in Education Focused on engaging with a different perspective, participants will try see through wild woman’s eyes in this session. An invitation to begin to cross the bridges of knowing from Western to an Indigenous perspective will be offered through engagement with two gifts and through storytelling.
Community Activated Aquatic and Riparian Restoration at SṈIDȻEȽ Explore the complex cultural and ecological landscape stories of SṈIDȻEȽ. This site was a wintering village for the W̱SÁNEĆ peoples for thousands of years. The narrative of its colonization, industrialization, environmental destruction and subsequent First Nations cultural revitalization, and community activated, land and water-based restoration will be the focus of this outdoor class. We’ll walk the land and converse with local knowledge keepers, Elders, activists, learners and educators.


PM2 Sessions (1:00 – 2:00pm)
Session Title Presentation Description
Nature-Based Physical and Health Education: Fostering Connections to Place Nature-based physical activity has the potential to meet PHE curricular competencies and content while fostering enduring understandings and authentic connections; however, learning in outdoor and/or natural environments often makes up a small percentage of PHE practice. This experiential workshop will balance a researcher’s knowledge on the benefits of NBPA and new teacher’s experience implementing NBPA in her teaching practicums with attendee NBPA participation.
Two-Eyed Seeing on the Salish Sea This session will dive into the “how” of  using the “Two-eyed Seeing” approach to develop conservation education. You will learn how Indigenous ways of Knowing can combine scientific knowledge and ways of knowing in nature-based settings to create a greater depth of respect and understanding for coastal environments.
Making the Case for ‘Curriculum for Bioregions’: Possibilities and Digital Curriculum Tools for the PNW FLIP THE MAP! is a series of digital curriculum resources that encourage creative interactions with cartography (mapping) as a means for understanding the land/place we live. ‘Flip the map!’ presents a series of maps and mapping exercises that, together, work as a flexible curriculum-tool that educators can use to generate place-based curricular activities and pedagogical practices for a range of subjects and disciplines. Dr. Cary Campbell  and Marion Benkaiouche of the Group (multimodal research) present and review the context of ‘curriculum for bioregion’ movements and the specific aims, functions, possibilities and limitations of this type of curriculum tool through an interactive presentation.
Land Based Lessons Learned –  Engaging with Indigenous Plants and Peoples This session will showcase a recent school based planning resource created by Farm to School BC and provincial partners that highlights multiple  indigenous plants education programs from across the province. The session intends to showcase the programs that were highlighted in the resources document, and act as an official launch of the resource. The goal of this session is to  inspire and support teachers, school administrators, Elders, community members, and Knowledge Keepers who are interested in developing similar initiatives connected to K-12 schools. This session was created with input from partners across multiple indigenous plants / foods programs, including Indigenous educators, school district administration, community members and cultural Knowledge Keepers.
Risky Play! In this sesion,  we will discuss the definition, history, benefits and categories of Risky Play, differences between boredom and anxiety with respects to playing in FLOW, the RISK Triangle (a concept developed by Jarrett Krentzel), site assessment and risk management in regards to mitigating risks versus hazards, requirement for successful Risky Play and how to work within the requirements and regulations of licensing regarding Risky Play. Come join us for a fun and engaging presentation, where my goal is to is to raise your awareness of Risky Play and create a positive association to all of its benefits!
Connecting Classrooms to the Ocean through Place-based Intertidal Learning The intertidal zone is an accessible place-based learning location. Filled with a diversity of species, there are many adaptations to learn about. Why can’t seastars move when the tide leaves? How do animals and algae cope with drying out? In this session, you will learn ways to connect a fun beach field trip to the BC Science curriculum.
Outdoor Education for our Youngest Learners Join the LEARN Team as we explore the outdoor education mindset, explore materials, activities, funding and community connections.
A Reasonably Radical Approach to Education: Systems Thinking in Schools How do we help our students become impactful problem solvers who can tackle complex problems like climate change and social inequality? Through systems thinking! In this interactive workshop, teachers will learn about a systems thinking mindset, tools to help students see systems and interconnectedness, and how to identify leverage points for change.
Class Actions for Saving the World Place based, inquiry led actions for making a difference in the world is what you will get when you attend this seminar.  Hands on learning, Learning about climate change and the biggest differences that can be made in our small communities are what will make us self sufficient survivors.  Know your neighbourhood and keeping track of what is happening to the land, water, tree and animals can give you clues and indicators in weather and the health of the ecosystems.  Unit plans, activities, and powerpoints will be shared for you to use after the session.
Beyond The Walls – Nature-based Learning In BC Parks Go beyond the walls and take your learning outside in one of nature’s best classrooms – BC Parks! Learn about our curriculum-aligned resources and share how BC Parks can further enhance your nature education as together we inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.
Connecting to Place, One Pull at a Time Join the Invasive Species Council of BC to experience the new Invasive Species in the School Program. You will participate in hands-on place-based activities, receive detailed lesson plans and videos, and learn how you can engage local support for action projects and invite an expert into your classroom.
Microplastics in the Salish Sea: Inspiring Action through Data Collection This interactive outdoor workshop is an opportunity to learn how two secondary science teachers have been inspired to turn a class project into a Vancouver Island citizen science movement. Participants will have the chance to develop microplastics sampling techniques while learning how field studies can inspire environmental action and hope.
Being and Learning Outdoors Viewed through the Core Competencies Many of us know the secret: Taking learning outdoors is a fantastic option. Here, it is enhanced with curricular goals and the Core Competencies to provide a tool that can support with planning and assessment. Through relevant stories, examples, and a K-9 competencies rubric, let’s chat about being outdoors!
An Introduction to Place-based Education in the BC Curriculum An interactive discussion on the role of experiential and place-based learning in BC’s curriculum, including its connection to the First People’s Principles of Learning. How can we facilitate more experiential, inquiry-based, environmental and place-based education in all subject areas and grade levels? We will also explore rich classroom-ready resources from across BC and Canada.
Escape The Mundane: Place-Based Environmental Education In this virtual escape room style session, educators will interact with a variety of engaging digital tools and explore experiential, place-based lessons from GreenLearning’s free programs relating to climate change, energy and green economy.
Dipping Toes into the Nechako Watershed: Students Co-leading the Learning The Koh Learning Project in the Nechako watershed is exploring ways that students, teachers, community members and place are working together to re-imagine learning and what it means to learn from the land.  As part of the Koh Learning Project teachers and students are actively working to be contributors and agents of change within the watershed.


PM3 Sessions (2:15-3:15pm)
Session Title Presentation Description
A Holistic Approach to Soundscaping This workshop proposes to experience listening to land and water and build soundscapes, but…. go beyond the scope of our two ears. Blending literature, research, and Faye’s fabulous wisdom, we focus on interconnectedness. Using the mind, body, spirit and heart we yearn to become more attuned to land and water.
Voice of the River – Youth’s Connection to the Watershed Hop on board and head downstream with youth from across the Columbia Basin and discover how this place-based, experiential education river journey influenced their environmental attitudes and values in relation to the watershed they call home.  Can you create similar learning experiences for your students? Join to find out!
Jade Coast Learning: Exploring a framework for Nature Connected Learning This workshop is a combo of roundtable outdoor learning collaboration and a variety of hands-on nature connection practices and experiences that can be shared with co-learners of all ages. It will leave you inspired to facilitate a variety of nature connected learning practices with your co-learners as well as take part in collaborating on building a nature connected learning framework model.
Forest Smart: Exploring the Forest Literacy Framework Learn about Project Learning Tree Canada’s Forest Literacy Framework (FLF), this new resource charts a pathway for those who educate young people, create education policy or curricula, or advocate for forests. During this session, participants will explore the 5 Hot Topics within the FLF through an interactive facilitated discussion.
Forest Speaks Through Human: Mythopoesis as Radical (Re)pair To listen to the voice of the Earth speak in myth and magic when our lives have become culturally overgrown and too small to develop the psychic imagination required for wise-relating and real change, is radical (re)pair. Mythopoesis, through earth-bound practices, generates meaning-making, draws forth our true natures as teacher-guides.
Exploring Our Roles Exploring our Roles is a session run by three settlers who are passionate about contributing to reconciliation and decolonization efforts.  In the fall of 2020, we ran an English conversation club for newcomers to examine the topics of colonization, reconciliation, and systemic racism in Canada.  We will share resources and stories from this experience.
Transitioning to a Fresh Air Classroom Want to take your classroom outside but not sure how to start? I am here to support you by sharing my story and giving you real world tips and tricks for setting up your own Fresh Air Classroom. You don’t need a beautiful forest to make learning meaningful outside.
Empowering Students to Meet Today’s Eco-Social Issues through Authentic Learning From climate change to the pandemic to racial justice, today’s eco-social challenges often evoke despair, helplessness, and eco-anxiety in youth. Learn to blend online and community-based ‘authentic learning’ with pedagogies of active hope to empower students to participate in critical dialogue and local solutions for planetary and personal well-being.
Noticing Differently: Critically Reorienting to Place in Early Childhood Education Educators will “notice differently” matters of equity and inclusion in place-conscious learning by repositioning themselves within multifaceted landscapes. Critically reflective exercises inspired by the ‘spiral of attunement’, will reorient participants to place physically, intellectually, socially, and historically to support children’s ecological belonging and environmental response(ability).
Finding Power and Hope Through Environmental Collaboration: The EEPSA Chapter Model If you’ve ever felt like THE lone ‘environmental’ teacher in your school or region, you are not alone! Come explore how the EEPSA local chapter model brings teachers together through the facilitators experiences working in local chapters and the stories of hope and power that have emerged. Learn to set or find a local chapter in your community and discuss how we can all become a collective force for change.
Inspiring Youth Leadership in Metro Vancouver This session will celebrate and profile the unique achievements of high school youth leaders to influence awareness, action and change for sustainability in Metro Vancouver School Districts! Student leaders from across Metro Vancouver will share their leadership for change stories AND reveal how they have been best supported and equipped with the knowledge, tools and inspiration necessary to step up as engaged and active citizens. Participating teachers and youth leadership supporters will be inspired by stories that remind them why they do this work to support engagement.
Decolonizing or Indigenizing: Which is It? Many educators are grappling with their role to decolonize and indigenize the curriculum.  This isn’t always intuitive or comfortable.  In this workshop Tess and Frances hope to make it more comfortable and feel doable.  We will share a project we worked on over the last year to decolonize one piece of their curriculum.  We will share our process with you as well as our results. You will leave this workshop with the story of how we approached decolonization as well as resources specific to BC’s colonization story .  This includes copies of HBC journal’s from Fort Alexandria, a letter written in the late 1800’s pleading the case of the Williams Lake First Nation and how we aim to use these with our students.
Looking, Listening and Learning from Our Local Birds Our local birds are amazing creatures!  Our investigations and emergent inquiries highlight the deeper connection we have with our land and all those who live here. Have you ever wondered what birds are saying to each other? Do their behaviours tell us something about their environment? Let’s explore these questions together!
Connecting in Nature: Team Teaching Environmental Science in the Outdoors Join us for this interactive, experiential, outdoor session in which we will share insight into Team Teaching and model a secondary school Environmental Science Outdoor Education lesson that connects students to their place in nature and explores Indigenous perspectives and practices.
Everyone Belongs in Nature Join Power To Be as we share stories and concepts through the voices of accessibility and inclusion. Themes will include people, place, practice and the planet. Our goal is to hold space and listen to the history and living story of the land we now call home. We aim to steward it back to it’s original biodiversity while utilizing the site to facilitate life changing adapted programs.