Newcomers to the Pacific Rim and residents looking to brush up on local history and ecology should take note that the West Coast Ambassador Program is in full swing and open for registration.
For 2021, the free online training sessions include: Small Town, Big Picture (Ucluelet on Mondays and Tofino on Tuesdays), Nuu-chah-nulth Lands & Waters (Wednesdays), Terrestrial Ecology (Thursdays) and Marine Ecology (Fridays). Participants can easily sign-up online at raincoasteducation.org for each course, or even just one, depending on what life allows.
“The program has one goal and that is to make people feel like they are part of this community,” said RES executive director Mark Maftei.
He said the training program is targeted towards frontline, seasonal workers as well as people who already live here, but want to gain a deeper knowledge about the region.
“Whether it’s to learn more about the ocean or the forest or more about First Nations perspective, we are basically trying to reach all the people who live and work here to create a sense of community,” said Maftei.
The West Coast Ambassador Program is delivered by the RES in partnership with the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce. It is supported by both Tourism Tofino and Tourism Ucluelet.
This is the second year the Ambassador Program will be offered virtually via Zoom.
“That’s taken the social element and meeting new people, on the other hand I feel like it’s made the content a lot more accessible. People can tune-in from the comfort of their own home on a much more flexible basis,” he said.
Anyone interested in registering for the West Coast Ambassador Program is encouraged to visit: raincoasteducation.org. Courses run through to the end of June, and take place on weekdays, 5-8 p.m. via Zoom.
Maftei highlights the value of the program.
“We’re always trying to improve it and refine it. If you’ve taken it before, you’re not going to be bored taking it again. Every year, we try to make it a little bit better and I feel like we are doing a really good job of making sure that the content is keeping pace with dynamic nature of life in our communities,” he said.