CORNWALL, Ont. – The St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences is now working to connect Canada, not just the Cornwall area, with nature.
For the next two years, the River Institute will be working in National Wildlife Areas across Canada to implement geocaching (hi-tech treasure hunting) and educational activities.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) awarded the federal government contract with the specific goal of “Connecting Canadians to Nature.”
“This work with ECCC takes the River Institute nation-wide,” said Dr. Jeff Ridal, executive director at the River Institute. “We look forward to visiting the amazing National Wildlife Areas across Canada and sharing messages about conservation and species protection along the way.”
Geocaching is an outdoor recreational game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache hidden at that location. Inside a geocache container is a log sheet and other items (treasures). Read more about it at www.geocaching.com.
The Connecting Canadians to Nature project will utilize geocaching to educate and inform the public about the efforts made to protect and conserve Canada’s ecological heritage via the Canadian Wildlife Service’s network of protected areas.
Geocaching routes will encourage visitors to explore eight National Wildlife Areas, including: Alaksen and Vaseux-Bighorn in British Columbia, Last Mountain Lake in Saskatchewan, Big Creek and Prince Edward Point in Ontario, Cape Jourimain and Shepody in New Brunswick, and Chignecto in Nova Scotia.
Ridal said the River Institute’s expertise in ecology, environmental education, and GIS mapping will ensure that the geocaching routes and activities are educational and fun for everyone.
For more information, visit riverinstitute.ca.
The St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences is a non‐government organization established in 1994 as a unique community partnership among governments, educators, business and industry, and the Mohawks of Akwesasne.
Its scientific work contributes locally, nationally and internationally to the greater understanding of how large river ecosystems and their components function. As a learning and discovery centre, its education programs introduce thousands of students to the benefits of science, and its community programs build a deeper local appreciation for the vital scientific, social, economic and spiritual importance of river ecosystems.