Students from Kent elementary were treated to a special learning experience with the Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning this week

Kent students engage in outdoor classroom

Lessons in ecology taught on the river's edge in Agassiz

The water that runs through the rivers and streams is important, but only part of the watershed, Kent elementary students learned this week.

Students were invited to take part in an outdoor classroom on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, through the Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning. The program is sponsored by Nestle Waters in Hope. With three separate stations set up on the edge of the Fraser River and on the grounds of the Fraser River Lodge, they moved through learning about aquifers, mineral soils, sturgeon and salmon, and  how they’re all related.

“Most of our water is hidden underground,” volunteer instructor Kelly Pierce told the students. His station included a large foam mat that represented the underground aquifer, made up of mineral soils, and a forested foam mat to cover it.

The kids were invited to spray the foam aquifer until it was soaked, to illustrate how much water the aquifer holds.

Without water in the aquifer, the students learned, our forests would dry up and we wouldn’t have drinking water.

Along the river, children took turns reading out cue cards with topics about salmon and sturgeon, gravel removal and much more, while more volunteer instructors led discussions around those topics.

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