We are running a new feature for the summer months called “A Day in the Life”, where you get to see what a SSISC staff member does on a daily/weekly basis. This week, you’ll get a chance to see what Shannon has been up to in her first month here.
My first day of the week started on Sunday at the Whistler Public Library as the “surprise guest” for AWARE’s Kids Nature Club. On the last Sunday of each month, AWARE hosts a nature camp at the library (something that I, myself, did not know), and SSISC got the chance to go in and talk about invasive species and do some activities with a group of kids.
We had a pretty good turnout, with close to a dozen kids (and parents) turning up, all around or under the age of 10 (the kids, not the parents!). We had the chance to talk about invasive species, or “aliens” as we like to tell the kids, to make it more relatable, and brought a specific focus on Burdock.
The kids did a plant press activity where they took “fingerprints”, or the venation of the Burdock leaves by flattening the leaf underneath a blank piece of paper and shading on top of it with a pencil until the veins and the shape of the leaf started to appear . They also got the chance to plant nasturtium seeds in germinating pellets that they took home, design their own frog and lily pad and play a game of “Native, Native, Invasive”, which is our take on “Duck, Duck, Goose”. It was a fun and rewarding experience to be a part of and everyone had a good time.
Another note-worthy event of the week was that I got to do another Yellow Flag Iris Patrol training. So far, I’ve had one training a week, which is exciting because I get to educate others about the importance of identifying and reporting aquatic invasive species. The hope is that the guides that I train will be able to identify local aquatic invasives if they do encounter them, as well as pass along their knowledge to fellow nature enthusiasts.
One of my favourite things about all of the events, trainings, and workdays is that I learn at least one new thing a day. I’m really excited to see how even after a few weeks here in my role, I’ve already learned more about invasive species than I ever thought that I would. I came into this position wanting to know more and hoping to share my knowledge with others, and that’s exactly what I’m getting to do!
We would like to give a big thank you to the Community Foundation of Whistler for its grant that is allowing Shannon to be employed by SSISC all summer long.