Education in the Wild

Monica Nissen Receives National Environmental Education Award 


Monica Nissen, local Nelson resident and Director of Wildsight’s education programs, was awarded a prestigious national award in Canmore last week—the 2015 Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication Award of Excellence.

Monica’s passion for the wilderness and her gift for teaching drew her into the field of environmental education where she has worked both inside and outside the classroom for the past 20 years. ... Read more »

Victory! Environmental Education Returned to BC Curriculum

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Environmental Education has been returned to the BC curriculum thanks to your input and support! 

Last spring, when the first draft of brand new curriculum for BC was released, teachers all over the province noticed that there was something glaringly missing: Environmental Education.

Believing in the fundamental importance of learning about ecosystems, ecology and sustainability, thousands of letters were sent to the Ministry of Education, petitions signed and voices raised, united in their message to bring Environmental Education back into the new curriculum. ... Read more »

Job Opportunity: Seeking Passionate Environmental Educators


Are you passionate about inspiring awe and wonder in our children? Wildsight is looking for new educators to take kids outside into their wild backyards, connect them with nature and teach them about sustainability. If you are an experienced Environmental Educator who lives in Invermere or Golden, we’re looking for dynamic people to lead our Education in the Wild, Know Your Watershed and Beyond Recycling programs.

All interested applicants, please send a letter of interest and a CV to

Find out more about our programs here

NEW VIDEO! Experience our Education Programs First-Hand!

We are delighted to be able to showcase the inspiring work being done by passionate Wildsight educators all throughout the Columbia through this new video. Enjoy!

A big thanks to the filmmaker, Yana Kehrlein, to all of the sponsors and individual donors who make these programs possible, and to all the teachers, students and educators for your inspiration.

Go Wild: Youth Backpacking Trip into the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy


This August 15-20, a group of Kootenay youth will head out to explore the wilds of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy (PWC). Southern Canada's largest protected wilderness area, the PWC recently celebrated its 40th birthday and we want to celebrate. We are taking a trip of youth on a backpack trip to experience the region's breathtaking wilderness landscape and develop their outdoor leadership skills. 

Who: Youth, Aged 14-18

When: August 15-20

Where: The Purcell Wilderness Conservancy 

Guides: Wilderness guide, wildlife biologist and adventure writer Dave Quinn will lead the trip 

Cost: $150 per participant - gear rental can be provided for free, if required ... Read more »

The Gift of Awe and Wonder


I remember being 10 years old and going camping with my family. In the morning, we went on an interpretive walk with one of the park’s inspired naturalists. On the walk, we came across a group of painted turtles. I remember so clearly the absolute awe I felt in that moment. The feeling that there was so much to discover about nature and that an entire lifetime of learning could never bring me even close to discovering its depths. ... Read more »

Take Action to Keep Environmental Education in BC Classrooms


Environmental education for our children is under threat. Our government is planning changes to the BC Education curriculum, which could weaken or even remove ecology and environmental education from BC classrooms. They’re calling it a “re-engineering” of our education system: limiting environmental education to kindergarten through grade 3 and shifting the focus through grade 9 to chemistry, physics, human biology, and geology.

I have been leading Wildsight’s Education in the Wild programs for 9 years. I have watched the curiosity, magic and wonder happen when kids learn and connect with nature. I am proud to say that we have taken more than 35,000 kids outside over the years – 6260 last year alone But it’s not enough. ... Read more »

Will our kids learn to love the wild?


You love the wild. So do we. 

Not everyone loves the wild like we do. From pipelines to ski resorts and farmlands to parks, our wild places are under threat. But the latest threat is more frightening: our government proposes to drastically reduce ecology and environmental studies in the BC science curriculum.  ... Read more »

Wildsight's Beyond Recycling Program Celebrates Earth Day in Classrooms Across the Columbia Basin

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Kids in classrooms around the Columbia Basin will celebrate Earth Day this coming week.  ... Read more »

Share your love of the wild: Help get kids outside


You love the wild: The beauty of an untouched mountain valley. The still waters of a lake at dusk. The intricate web of an ecosystem.

Maybe you were lucky enough to grow up with the wild. Maybe there was a formative place or person that was your introduction to the wonder of the natural world. Or maybe you’ve only recently come to love the wild. ... Read more »

Share your love of the wild: Help get kids outside


You love the wild: The beauty of an untouched mountain valley. The still waters of a lake at dusk. The intricate web of an ecosystem.

Maybe you were lucky enough to grow up with the wild. Maybe there was a formative place or person that was your introduction to the wonder of the natural world. Or maybe you’ve only recently come to love the wild. ... Read more »

Wildsight Connects Kids to the Wonders of Winter

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Now in its 7th year, Wildsight's Winter Wonder program continues to educate, amaze, and connect students across the Columbia Basin, as they learn about the joys, secrets, and wonders of our winters.  ... Read more »

Classroom with Outdoors: Back to School in the Columbia Basin


What's your favourite class? 'Magic of Ecosystems', 'The Web of Life', 'Lessons from Nature' or 'Diversity of Life and Nature's Services'? All are on offer with Wildsight's Classroom with Outdoors - full-day field trips for kids grades 4-7 offered for free! 

Bookings are open for our September and October programs running in communities across the Columbia Basin.  ... Read more »

Mapping birdsongs, watching the wetland work, measuring trees and inventorying bugs - sound good to you?


‘Going on one of Wildsight’s Education in the Wild trips is like taking the kids on a walk through a science textbook.’  ... Read more »

Kids and parents take the Eco-Challenge


Recycling students ‘tuned out’ at Earth Hour, working all month on

Beyond Recycling students in nine classes at eight schools in
the Kootenays are participating in a one-month Eco-Challenge to reduce their
energy use and lower their impact on the Earth. ... Read more »

Fernie Nature Tours: A Local Social Enterprise


This winter Fernie Nature Tours is stepping into a new phase of social responsibility. Fernie Nature Tours has recently made the shift from an independently owned business to a social enterprise of the Wildsight Elk Valley Branch. A social enterprise applies an entrepreneurial approach to addressing social or environmental issues and creating positive community change. ... Read more »

Biggest year yet for Wildsight’s Winter Wonder


More kids than ever learning the ecology of ‘cool.’ ... Read more »

Grant from The North Face will benefit Basin kids this winter


company’s Explore Fund grant to help Wildsight deliver field trips


North Face, a well-known outdoor clothing company, recently awarded a $2,500
grant to Wildsight to help children explore the outdoors. ... Read more »

42 teens waiting to Go Wild!


'There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.' --Sanne van der Ros  ... Read more »

Eco-Challenge! Coming to a family near you

"If everyone on Earth set out to live like a typical Kootenay
resident, we'd need five Earths to get the job done," says Monica
Nissen, Wildsight's Education program manager in Nelson.

"That's a whopping big eco-footprint." ... Read more »

Kids learn cold science with Winter Wonder

by Nelson Daily Staff

Tumbling down snow banks is nothing new for kids, but learning about
the science of snow puts a whole new spin on it for them in Winter

Elementary school students will be
taking ecology classes in the snow during Wildsight’s Winter Wonder
trips in Nelson this month. ... Read more »

Kids learn cold science with Winter Wonder

More classes than ever learn the science of cold in a year of perfect winter weather ... Read more »

Winter wonderland, outdoor field trip

Students in Mrs. Pitcher’s Grade 1 class spent last Friday morning
playing in the snow and learning about winter ecology. Winter
Wonderland, a Wildsight Education in the Wild program, is a program for
Grade 1 to 3 students. It is designed to teach kids about how outdoor
life works in these cold, Canadian winters. ... Read more »

CBT water pilot programs come to six schools

Grade 8 science students from six schools across the Columbia Basin were among the first to take part in Know Your Watershed, a new regionally-based water stewardship initiative of Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and Wildsight. ... Read more »

Classroom with Outdoors now offers fall programs.


Ecological field trips available this September and October; both spring and fall programs are now free of charge

One of Wildsight’s environmental education programs is offering a fall series for the first time this September. Classroom with Outdoors is now available to classes who want to enjoy the fall weather while they learn about grasslands, wetlands and forest ecosystems. ... Read more »