Join us at Rekindle The Sparks Workshop from November 16-18, 2022 at the Ganaraska Forest Centre in Campbellcroft. Our 2022 theme is Reimagining Conservation Education –Reframe, Reimagine, Regenerate. Since 1994, Rekindle has provided opportunities for Conservation Authority outdoor educators from across Ontario to share their expertise, collaborate, and learn from leaders in the field. The goal is to make hands-on, experiential, environmental education even better, thereby improving the health of watersheds and residents across our Province.
A1: Mishkiki for Seven Generations
Under the subtheme of regenerate, this session will be a walk through the woods discussing Anishinaabe mishkiki ‘medicine’, connection the Natural world, and sustainability. On this walk we will explore 7 different medicines, which can affect more than just your physical body. We will discuss the seven generations teachings and our relationship with ‘resources’. We will talk about our medicine bundles. As a proud Mukwa ndodem ‘bear clan’ man, I love to share teachings about our medicine.
A2: Get the Fire for Climate Change under Control
How to share the opportunities for learning about climate change with primary students. How to deal with climate anxiety and create a great hope for the future. See a different opportunity to make a difference.
B1: Hope in Environmentalism
Hope requires a sense of connection to the future. As environmental educators and watershed interpreters, we frequently work with youth, which grants us the opportunity to teach “future leaders.” But what impression does this leave on the minds and hearts of young people and us as educators? Like grief, despair must be acknowledged and worked through. Join Keren for an introduction to hope in environmentalism and take home some activities to address this topic in your programs.
B2: Wetlands in Winter, what's up with that?
Did you know that World Wetlands Day is February 2? How do you teach about wetlands when there is snow on the ground? This interactive program will take you on a walk about wetland games and activities for junior-level students. Reframing activities for a colder time of year and getting students outside while appreciating the wonderful world of wetlands. Moreover, learning about wetlands in winter can inspire citizen science, restoration and enhancement projects for the spring!
B2: Stewarding our wastewater, in urban and rural places
This presentation will discuss wastewater management and treatment, including both municipally and rurally, with a focus on septic systems for rural residents. An interactive tabletop model septic system will be present as an educational tool for discussing onsite sewage treatment, including the components of a septic system and how wastewater moves throughout the system. I will discuss how we can steward our wastewater through best practices, to ensure that our wastewater treatment systems (both onsite and municipal) function properly. Well maintained and properly managed wastewater treatment systems are important for human health and our waterways, and teaching kids to be part of the solution empowers the next generation of environmental leaders.
C: Forest Therapy Walk
Forest Therapy is a research-based framework for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural environments. It is inspired by the Japanese practice of "Shinrin-Yoku" that translates into Forest Bathing. Forest Therapy is a gentle guided experience with the opportunity to relax and reconnect in nature. It is a practice that supports every aspect of our well-being. There are many wonderful health benefits attributed to Forest Therapy including boosted immune function, attention restoration and a reduction in stress and depression. The aim of Forest Therapy is to connect through your senses with the forest, yourself, and others. Invitations and opportunities to share will be offered throughout the experience, and you are meant to partake in any way that feels comfortable for you, all is welcome during a Forest Therapy Walk. Stana is the Guide and “The Forest is the Therapist and the guide opens the door to the senses.” For more information on Forest Therapy, please visit the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides website for more information: www.natureandforesttherapy.earth
D1: Learning on and from the Land
An important component of effective climate change education is land-based learning, where learners engage with local nature in hands-on ways. While such learning doesn't directly impact the critical mitigation efforts required to avoid dangerous climate tipping points, it is essential that learners forge meaningful relationships with nearby flora and fauna so that nature is integrated into their core values and sense of self. In this interactive sense, we will explore the surrounding landscape and seek ways to emotionally bond with our other-than-human kin.
D2: Extreme Weather
Gus Sauer, Forester at the Ganaraska RCA, along with Ryan Goodall, Outdoor Education Instructor, will give a summary of the large storm event that occurred in May 2022, its implications to the organization, tour the destruction that was caused and the clean-up procedure involved. This walking tour will go through sustainable logging practices, the succession of a plantation forest over 85 years with logging as the primary tool utilized to speed up changing the landscape back to a natural and healthy mixed hardwood stand.
D2: Branching Out - a look at forests and forest education tools
This session will explore various ways to interpret the forest, both its contents and the entirety of the ecosystem, and will delve into leafless tree ID and some tools that may be handy for your own forest explorations.
Bring your favourite indoor/outdoor ACTIVITY or GAME or IDEA to share with other participants! Peer to peer learning is an invaluable part of REKINDLE!
WAAT! (‘What Awesome Astounding Teamwork’)
WAAT are we going to do?! The Amazing Race Ganny style! This whole group session involves breaking into small teams to complete a variety of different challenges; some based on the themes of this conference, as well as physical and mental challenges we include in all Amazing Races we operate at the GFC (Ganaraska Forest Centre). This is an amazing way to meet new people, be physically active, test your problem solving skills and learn about a fun program you can adapt to your own CA’s or Education Centres.
There are two categories for a Watershed Interpreters' Network Awards. Please consider nominating yourself, a colleague, or a team of educators you know. Nominations are due Wednesday, November 9, 2022.
Outstanding Achievement Award - NOMINATION FORM
Awarded to an individual employed by a Conservation Authority with a dedicated career in formal or non-formal Conservation Education Programs, who has made a significant and long-standing difference in Conservation Education.
Innovation Award - NOMINATION FORM
This year, to address eco-anxiety, and mental wellbeing, we are looking to learn about an educator who practices self-care through their work, and how this ripples out through innovative practice or programming and is shared with anyone they are working with (such as students and teachers). Examples could include activities that reframe, reimagine, and regenerate older/newer ideas and support the educator to be more heart-centered in an innovative way.
The Watershed Interpreters’ Network (WIN) was established in 2007 to foster and facilitate communication throughout the year among all Conservation Authority (CA) educators. This communication includes annual Rekindle the Sparks Workshops, newsletters, social media and other means to share expertise to improve CA education throughout Ontario. To achieve this, WIN works closely with Conservation Ontario.
The Watershed Interpreters’ Network recognizes the uniqueness and importance of Conservation Authority educators: We are watershed-based, we communicate conservation knowledge from our own leading resource management agencies (Conservation Authorities), and we work visibly and locally through education to make our watersheds healthier and safer.
Rekindle the Sparks is an annual workshop for Ontario’s Conservation Authority educators. Its goal is to make our hands-on, experiential, environmental education even better, thereby improving the health of watersheds and residents across our province.
Since 1994, Rekindle the Sparks workshops have provided opportunities for participants to share expertise, collaborate, and learn from leaders in the field. They are energizing and educational!
Melissa Levi Co-chair (SCRCA), Dan Schneider Co-chair (CH), Nekeisha Mohammed (CO), Kris Ives (ERCA), Keren Bromberg (CVC), Janelle Richards (TRCA), Naomi Saunders (NVCA), Patti Donnelly (UTRCA), Stana Luxford-Oddie (CRCA), Ryan Goodall (GRCA), and Bonnie Anderson (SCDSB).