The fall portion of the awareness program places aquarium units, acting as living streams, and stocked with various fish species native to the Sackville Rivers watershed. Through “hands-on” learning, the students become caretakers of the fish in the aquariums and gain knowledge of fish identification, life cycle of the various fish species, and their physical and biological requirements. There are also many opportunities to expand the aquarium experience with studies related to wetlands habitat, and the many plant and animal (bird, mammal, amphibian and reptile) species that are native to the Sackville Rivers area.
In the fall of 1994 the program was initiated with five participating schools. The program quickly expanded to include visits to the river, with the students monitoring water flows, water temperature, silt investigation and a close-up observation of aquatic insects. This outdoor hands-on experience became a welcomed extension to the “Native Species” program. The students became more aware of the river habitat and some of the perils faced by our native fish populations.
Objectives of the Fish Friends and River Rangers Programs:
- Encourage stewardship of our local environment and permits children to have a close-up look at aquatic life and limiting factors.
- Students assist the SRA by monitoring the watershed and by alerting the SRA of potential water quality threats.
- Provide opportunities for teachers, students and indirectly the student’s family to learn about fish species, water quality and the environmental issues.
- Meet an overall objective to give support and guidance to community groups such as Brownies / Cubs / Scouts Canada, Boys and Girls Club, in an effort to promote conservation and stewardship of the natural environment. Activities include guided nature walks, neighbourhood cleanups, and opportunities to assist with river cleanups and fish stocking.
These children are the future community leaders and if we are able to teach a sense of belonging in nature, they may have a more ecologically responsible view of their place in the ecosystem when future decisions are made.
Some great critters to determine the water quality of the river.
For more information about the Fish Friends or River Rangers Programs, or if you would like to see the program in your child’s school, contact us at 865-9238.