'The next generation of climate champions': Conservation-centered spring break activities inspiring youth
School might be out for spring break for many Manitoba students, but that isn't stopping them from learning about important climate issues.
As a kid, Colleen Flook attended a FortWhyte Alive summer camp and is now passing on some of that fun to her daughter, Charmayne, for her spring break.
"Looking for minnows in the pond and being inside the building was always cool and paddling. It was a really fun experience," recalled Flook.
FortWhyte Alive's spring break camps are completely sold out, but they are also hosting different self-guided walks and activities for youth to enjoy on their break from classes.
Visitors can partake in outdoor activities like examining various animal tracks, looking for different textures in nature or seeing how a farm works, depending on the day they visit.
"We are trying to raise the next generation of climate champions here at FortWhyte. People who are aware of their natural environment and how they connect here at FortWhyte," said Mark Saunders, the communications and brand manager at FortWhyte Alive.
Conservation is a topic top of mind following a United Nations report released earlier this month painting a stark picture of the future if the world doesn't slash its carbon pollution quickly.
READ MORE: World on 'thin ice' as UN climate report gives stark warning.
With today's youth facing the largest impact, it adds extra importance to climate-focused spring break programming like the Manitoba Museum's, which is all about water this year.
The museum has water-based science demos, a planetarium show about water conservation and many more H20-centered activities.
"Water is so important to life, animals, to our understanding of the world, so it just seemed like a really great theme," explained Anya Moodie-Foster, the museum's learning and engagement supervisor. "Some of our special programming is going to extend all the way to earth day."
While sharing an educational message is the goal, spring break hosts like Assiniboine Park Zoo have to pass the info along while still making it fun for the children.
"So it's really important to have them here in this atmosphere and have crafts and talks and things that inspire them to think about these animals and their connections they have to the environment around them," said Sara Wolowich Brown, communications coordinator for Assiniboine Park Conservancy.
A message certainly passed on to those there on Sunday.
"Because if we don't keep them safe, then all the animals will go extinct," said one young student there with her family.
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