A class from Silver Creek Elementary uses dip nets to catch small creatures living in Thacker Marsh. The school trip was part of a Grade 4 outdoor education program offered by Hope Mountain Centre.

A class from Silver Creek Elementary uses dip nets to catch small creatures living in Thacker Marsh. The school trip was part of a Grade 4 outdoor education program offered by Hope Mountain Centre.

Nestle Waters supports outdoor education program in Hope

Company will provide Hope Mountain Centre $61,000 over the next three years

Nestle Waters is contributing $61,000 over the next three years to support the Hope Mountain Centre.

The money will be used to continue designing and delivering an outdoor education program for Hope residents and children in the Fraser-Cascade school district.

“They are genuinely interested and supportive of outdoor education,” said Michele Wiens, board chair of Hope Mountain Centre.

“This goes beyond the financial support to providing resource materials and Nestle staff to assist us in developing and delivering programs.”

The initiative began with a Grade 4 wetland program in 2009 and the Grade 5 watershed program was added in 2010 including a plant tour. The program is offered to every Grade 4 and 5 class in the school district and as a result, over 300 students, teachers, parents and support staff are able to enjoy and learn from the experience each year. With the addition of the forest ecology program for Grade 3 students this spring, Hope Mountain Centre will be approaching 500 participants annually.

With extended support from Nestle Waters, Hope Mountain Centre is able to offer the wetlands and watershed programs free to the Hope community and to campers in Skagit Provincial Park during the summer.

“This really is a community program. Adults and children learning about the wetlands and watershed we live in means we will all become better stewards,” said Wiens.

“Hope has some of the best drinking water in the world and education is an important piece of keeping our water systems healthy.”

This year the watershed program will be offered in May, forest ecology in June and the wetlands in September. The dates for the community Pond Crawl is on May 19 and the community watershed outing is on August 11.

For more information on programs, visit www.hopemountain.org.