Outdoor class paddles to Kanaka Creek

Grade 11 students from Walnut Grove secondary paddle toward Kanaka Creek.

Students from Walnut Grove Secondary in Langley arrived on the shores of Kanaka Creek Regional Park Tuesday morning to learn about salmon and the environment.

Starting out at the Fort Langley Canoe Club, four classes along with four teachers  paddled to the park in nine canoes to meet Ross Davies of KEEPS. He talked to the students on the topic for 15 minutes before the students climbed back into their canoes and paddled away.

The class is called The Edge Academy and is offered to Grade 11 students in good standing at the school. The class allows the students to do the subjects of social studies, biology, English and physical education in an outdoor setting.

The year-long program started 10 years ago and offers an outing every two to three weeks. Students have been to Bard on the Beach, the Vancouver Aquarium, paint ball (to learn about the battles of the First World War and the Body Worlds exhibit at Science World.

“If we see something out there that is valuable for the students, we jump on board,” says Terry Stead, a science and PE teacher  who runs the program.

“What I think is neat is that they always have something to look forward to every couple of weeks,” he added.

Davies likes the connection that the course is providing between students and the outdoors.

“Even if it kindles the interest of 10 per cent or even five per cent of the students, to go on into environmental studies, then it is a success,” he says.

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