Community-led support for families with newborns launches locally

Community-led support for families with newborns launches locally

Interested families and volunteers are invited to the First Years Caring Collective open house on May 25. Image courtesy of Yasmina Cartland. First Years Caring Collective (FYCC) is launching on Cortes Island to offer volunteer help for families who are expecting or have recently had a baby. One of the four founding moms, Jodi Peters, used a seed grant through the MicroGrants for Neighbours program to conduct interviews with parents about their experience of going through their children’s first years on the island. Through the gathered information, FYCC aims to fill the gaps by providing social connection, light housekeeping, help with meals and provides contact lists of peer support as well as professional services in the region. Educational events will likely follow in the future. FYCC is partnering with local businesses such as Nzuri Baskets to gift a welcome package to parents of a newborn, and is under the umbrella of the Cortes Community Health Association. An open house on Wednesday, May 25 held 2-5 p.m. in the courtyard of Cortes Natural Food Co-op is planned to explain the offerings and attract volunteer interest in the community. FYCC can be reached via firstyears@corteshealth.ca Listen to the interview with co-founder Yasmina Cartland below: Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - Community-led support for families with newborns launches locally This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative....
Why do frogs sing in the spring? Friends of Cortes Island Society weighs in

Why do frogs sing in the spring? Friends of Cortes Island Society weighs in

Wetlands, such as this pond in Kw’as Park where the interview was recorded, are important habitat for amphibians. Photo by Anastasia Avvakumova. The familiar sound of a chorus of frogs is one sure sign that spring has arrived, and is an important part of the animals’ courtship during mating season. The Pacific Tree Frog, also aptly known as the “chorus frog,” is the one responsible for all-night “concerts” in and around wetlands in the Pacific Northwest. Another species of frog native to Cortes Island is the Northern Red-legged Frog. Although humans are less likely to hear its croaks made primarily underwater, frogs are important indicators of a healthy ecosystem, explains Autumn Barrett-Morgan, a director with Friends of Cortes Island Society. She spoke to CKTZ News about the native species of frogs and their amphibian relatives newts, salamanders and toads that are found on Cortes, their identifying characteristics, and their importance in forest and wetland habitats. Listen to the full interview below: Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - Why do frogs sing in the spring? Friends of Cortes Island Society weighs in This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative....
Cortes Island homestays needed for exchange students starting this September

Cortes Island homestays needed for exchange students starting this September

Teramura said past international students in the school district have come from Spain, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and other countries. Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash BC School District 72 (SD72) is preparing for a brand new high school program called Cortes Island Academy (CIA) this fall and needs homestay families to host off-island students. The pilot program aims to remedy the absence of high school education on Cortes and gives priority to Cortes and Klahoose First Nation students, but has also been advertised across the district and internationally. “It’s a wonderful contribution to our community to bring kids from around the world who are excited to experience our way of life,” said Rhonda Teramura, Homestay and Wellness Coordinator for SD72. “We do see all kinds of shapes and sizes of families, and we encourage everyone to apply,” she added, based on the program running successfully in Campbell River for the last 15 years. There is a monthly $900 remuneration per student, as well as coaching from Teramura and support across the homestay network. Those who are interested can get more information and apply by emailing Rhonda.Teramura@sd72.bc.ca Listen to the full CKTZ News report below: Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - Cortes Island homestays needed for exchange students starting this September This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative....
An outpouring of education from Quadra Island’s Water Security Team

An outpouring of education from Quadra Island’s Water Security Team

This illustration of aquifers was created by Water Security Team’s Bernie Amell. Image courtesy of Quadra ICAN’s Water Security Team. The Water Security Team, part of Quadra Island’s Climate Action Network (Quadra ICAN), is stepping up its offerings of information, research and implementation of projects vital to the future of water. Emeritus professor and stone sculptor Lee Gass, who got involved with the Water Security initiatives at a friend’s urging last fall, said that his first realization was how much there is still to learn. He researched and wrote A Short Course on Groundwater and Aquifers that is now part of the Water Security Team’s resource library. The team hosts two weekly information tables: one is in front of the Quathiaski Cove grocery store on Fridays 2-4 p.m. Recently, they’ve added another table on Wednesdays 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Heriot Bay store. Kris Wellstein from the team wrote, “both tables are displaying and informing community members about our natural water systems on the island.” Team member Kris Wellstein shows off the 1,000-litre rainwater storage tanks she procures. Image courtesy of Quadra ICAN’s Water Security Team. Wellstein is in charge of selling rainwater storage tanks, which have a capacity of 1,000 litres and are made of food-grade metal-reinforced plastic. The team sells them equal to their own cost at $210 each. Interested islanders can contact Kris Wellstein via 250-202-4496 or kwequestrian@gmail.com. Two demo sites are planned at the former credit union in Quathiaski Cove as well as Quadra Builders. The team works with experts, both local and further afield. A government observation well has been in place in Heriot Bay since 2008, and it shows gradually declining water levels. The...
Manual release of chum fry gives salmon population a fighting chance

Manual release of chum fry gives salmon population a fighting chance

Cortes Streamkeepers Cec and Christine Robinson show children salmon fry they are about to release. Photo by Anastasia Avvakumova. Cortes Island Streamkeepers released nearly 20,000 chum salmon fry into Whaletown Creek on Cortes Island on Saturday, March 19, in an ongoing effort to bring back the natural fish population for a healthy ecosystem. Fry are fish in the juvenile stage when they are able to feed themselves, after depleting the nutrients in the yolk sac attached to their bodies at the time of hatching. The fish had grown within a specialized metal case placed directly into the stream in December containing eggs from the Tla’amin Nation hatchery. The newly released fry will gradually make their way from the creek to the estuary, then the bay and finally into the open ocean. The case held two shelves of 10,000 chum eggs each. Slits in the sides let the creek water flow through. Photo by Anastasia Avvakumova. Cec Robinson, one of the volunteer Streamkeepers, said the fish will typically return in four years to spawn in the same stream using their built-in geolocation abilities. “The survival is not great by our standards,” he said, “perhaps 1 per cent, but that’s still a few hundred fish,” and significantly more than the approximately 30 individuals the volunteers have seen return in recent autumns. Special guest Joey Ojeck from Nipissing Territory spoke traditional Anishinaabe prayers and sang an Anishinaabe Water Song before the fish were released into the wild. Joey Ojeck playing the Anishinaabe Water Song. Photo by Anastasia Avvakumova. Similar releases into other streams on the island will happen throughout the spring. Listen to the full...