Map our Marshes workshop teaches environmental skills

Map our Marshes - learn how to identify wetlands; how to use GPS technology to map the wetlands; and then how to upload the maps

Participants in a Map Our Marshes workshop put on by BC Wildlife Federation on Saturday

Participants in a Map Our Marshes workshop put on by BC Wildlife Federation on Saturday

Do you feel a concern for the environment but not know what you can do? BC Wildlife Federation is making it possible for anyone to take one simple, concrete step that might pay enormous dividends in the future.

That step is to learn how to Map our Marshes – to learn how to identify wetlands; learn how to use GPS technology to map the wetlands; and then, finally, how to upload the maps you have created onto Google Earth.

On Saturday, Sept. 15, at Thompson River University’s research and education centre next to Wells Gray Provincial Park, a workshop was put on to teach ordinary citizens how to do these things.  Seated around the woodstove at the old Upper Clearwater schoolhouse, the group learned about the characteristics of marshes (wetlands), the different categories of wetlands, and the many important roles that they play in the ecosystem.

Then, the group walked the boundaries of one of the most diverse wetland areas in the province. (This property, which is currently privately owned by Trevor Goward, is in the process of being donated to the Land Conservancy of BC. Goward will then remain on the property as caretaker, and the grounds will be open to educational events for all ages.) As they walked, the group practiced using a GPS mapping tool to create an outline of the marsh area, which could later be uploaded to Google Earth.

Neil Fletcher, wetlands education program coordinator for BCWF, facilitated the workshop.  Fletcher brought experience from many parts of Canada to his work, as well as a Masters of Resource Management (MRM).

 

If you are interested in being part of this exciting “citizen participation” initiative of BCWF, please contact Fletcher at the toll free number of 1-888-881-2293 (ext. 232) or email at wetlands@bcwf.bc.ca.