Stewardship & Citizen Science
NatureKids BC actively engages its participants in stewardship and citizen science projects and initiatives. It is a way to ensure the continued existence of our wild spaces, but is also a fantastic way to learn about the natural world and make a tangible difference. Through partnerships and funders, we often have small grants available for our nature clubs for things like equipment, tools, seeds and plants.
Stewardship just means taking care of the natural areas around us, whether that be parks, beaches, forests, preserves or our own backyards. Clubs are encouraged to spend at least one Explorer Day a year on activities that improve or enhance habitat. For example:
- Nest box construction, cleaning and maintenance
- Removal of invasive species
- Planting of native species
Want to get a Stewardship day going for your club or community? Start here:
- Check our some of our past projects and links to resources in your community
- Contact us about grants for your community or more information on how to get started
Citizen Science is the crowd-sourcing of conservation data by the general public. It’s a great hands-on learning tool to get children and youth involved in real science and helps them learn new things about the world around them. We select specific projects on an annual basis, provide resources and tools that make it simple for our members to engage and learn. We partner with and promote provincial and regional counts (ie birds, amphibians, bats) so that our members are able to participate and be active submitting data across a wide area of topics.
Here are some of the citizen science initiatives we’re working on:
Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4Kids): Inspired by the Christmas Bird Count, one of the oldest ongoing citizen science projects in Canada and the US, the Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4Kids) initiative engages new generations of young birders and nature enthusiasts. Each CBC4Kids event helps create an annual snapshot of how the birds in our parks and other natural spaces are doing during the months of December and January while highlighting any common bird species that need our help. Learn more here.
Pollinator Citizen Science: Our 2018 youth citizen science project focuses on pollinators. Through this citizen science project, youth will learn about wild pollinators, species identification and data collection methods through our network of nature clubs, our online community and resources such as NatureWILD magazine. They will collect essential data on the abundance and diversity of bees, wasps, and butterflies in green spaces in their local area through data collection events and be encouraged to take action to increase pollinator habitat by planting for pollinators. Learn more here.
Bat Citizen Science: Our 2019/2020 youth citizen science project focuses on bats. For the next two years, we are inviting families, clubs and schools to learn about and get involved with bat citizen science through four different bat-themed Explorer Days. There are 4 different levels of engagement: Bat Buddy (meet the bats), Bat Detective (bat count), Bat Bestie (environmental stewardship action) and Bat Champion (help raise awareness about bats). Learn more here.