The West Coast’s pristine landscape offers an abundance of educational opportunities for local youth. (Photo - Raincoast Education Society)

The West Coast’s pristine landscape offers an abundance of educational opportunities for local youth. (Photo - Raincoast Education Society)

Unique outdoor education coming to Ucluelet

Raincoast Education Society’s Field School has been a hit in Tofino.

After three successful years in Tofino, the Raincoast Education Society’s field school program could arrive in Ucluelet.

“We’re still hammering out the details, but our goal is, in September 2018, we’re going to offer field school in every grade at Ucluelet Elementary,” RES executive director Mark Maftei told the Westerly. “We know that it’s a success in Tofino and we just wanted to just jump in with both feet. We’re going from zero to 100 on this. We’re not going to grow it. We’re going to start big and we’re going to start offering the exact same program.”

The program combines the B.C. Science curriculum with outdoor, hands-on, experiences and field school instructors work hand-in-hand with teachers to create unique and relevant weekly field trips.

“Kids love this stuff…Everyone can appreciate that it’s just a much more meaningful learning experience if you can do something hands on and experience it first hand rather than reading about it,” he said. “You’re living in a pristine natural environment where you literally can walk out of your classroom and in five minutes be on the dock looking at a food-web, instead of reading about a food web in a textbook.”

The program costs roughly $42,000 to run and longtime RES supporter Jamie’s Whaling Station jumped at the chance to support a field school in Ucluelet.

“That pretty much turned the project from a hopeful possibility into a reality overnight. We couldn’t do it without Jamie’s,” he said.

Jamie’s Whaling Station’s General Manager Corene Inouye told the Westerly in an email that the company was delighted to support the field school program in Ucluelet, as it has in Tofino since the program’s inception.

“We did not hesitate to increase our total contribution this year to $30,000 so that both communities could realize the benefits of this important educational initiative for our youth,” she said. “Ultimately, it’s not just about operating a successful business, which enables our west coast families to be gainfully employed, but also about continuing to foster and grow our long term community partnerships and being leaders in the support of education and conservation in our Pacific Rim region.”

Maftei noted RES relies on community support and corporate donations and he has been thrilled to see West Coasters cover the Society with love.

“People have a much deeper appreciation for the natural world and they’re much more invested in managing it,” he said. “We’re really grateful to be working in a community that sees the value in what we do and support it. They put their money where their mouth is. They come out to events. They donate. They’re there and that’s really nice.”

Anyone wanting to help the Society’s efforts can reach out through their office at the Tofino Botanical Gardens or visit their website at www.raincoasteducation.org.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni received some good news about an expansion to its emergency department on Jan. 15, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
B.C. health ministry commits $6.25M to hospital expansion in Port Alberni

Plans for larger emergency department have been on hold since 2015

A Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation guardian took this photo of dozens of vehicles parked along a forest service road in the Kennedy watershed. (Submitted photo)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District looks at enforcement of illegal camping

ACRD currently does not have an existing bylaw service to tackle the issue

Ucluelet local Geoff Johnson snapped this photo of a Risso’s dolphin that washed up near Chesterman Beach in Tofino on Wednesday, Jan. 13. (Geoff Johnson photo)
Washed up Risso’s dolphin offers glimpse into “whole other world” near Tofino

“It’s like a UFO crash landed and you can come look at it.”

(B.C. government)
POLL QUESTION: Would you report a neighbour in breach of COVID-19 regulations?

Would you report a neighbour in breach of COVID-19 regulations? READ MORE:… Continue reading

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read