Hands-on learning welcomes Nature As Teacher

Hands-on learning welcomes Nature As Teacher

Cortes Island School just started its new twice weekly program called Nature As Teacher, providing unique experiential learning to the students, and is enthusiastically seeking guest presenters. Dayna Davis, teacher and program facilitator, told CKTZ News the new program is possible thanks to special funding from the Campbell River School District. The funding is partially in response to parental requests to better address multiple-age classroom needs, which are typical of a rural school. The program draws on inspiration from artists such as Andy Goldsworthy. Photo courtesy of Dayna Davis.Davis and the groups of children she is guiding have selected areas of adjacent forest where each student will observe their own tree within the larger ecosystem for the duration of the school year, among other outdoor projects. “Everything that I do takes us outdoors and is hands-on and experiential,” said Davis, who was a classroom teacher at the school for 10 years prior to this role. She is also weaving in Indigenous stories and teachings alongside the BC school curriculum. Already set to partner with the Cortes Island Museum, Davis is open to any community members wishing to share their naturalist kills and knowledge, collections of feathers or nests, outdoor games or art ideas, and will help set up the lesson plans. She can be reached at dayna.davis@sd72.bc.ca. The older students will be doing projects related to their biology and earth sciences curriculum. Photo courtesy of Dayna Davis.   Photos courtesy of Dayna...
Groundwater registration deadline looming for British Columbians

Groundwater registration deadline looming for British Columbians

The government of BC issued a reminder on Saturday that users of groundwater from wells or dugouts for commercial purposes must register by March 1, 2022 to maintain access rights. Photo credit: Glass Of Water by Sue Thompson via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License) A primer called Licensing Groundwater in B.C. answers exactly how and why to proceed through the registration. It outlines three types of possible registration of groundwater use: Domestic – registration is optional but encouraged, and free of charge New commercial – use began on or after March 1, 2016 and a license is obligatory Existing commercial – use began on or before February 29, 2016 and a license is obligatory Domestic use includes water for private dwellings, lawns and gardens, pets and animals kept for household use. Photo via the Government of BC. The Water Sustainability Act (WSA), which came into effect on February 29, 2016, seeks to establish equity in use and fees levied on commercial use of both surface water and groundwater. The first six years were designated as a transition period culminating next spring, and according to Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, a mere 1 in 5 small business owners and farmers who rely on groundwater have applied for a licence.” CKTZ News spoke with Red Williams Well Drilling Ltd. for an industry perspective on the origin of the WSA legislation and how it benefits groundwater users. Top photo credit: If BC residents using groundwater from wells or dugouts for commercial purposes register by next spring’s deadline, they will benefit from a waived application fee. Otherwise a one-time payment, stated as a minimum of $250, will apply.Photo by Luis Tosta on Unsplash This program was funded...
Playschool program on hold due to lack of staff

Playschool program on hold due to lack of staff

The Cortes Island playschool is still seeking to fill two vacancies and has a lot of support and flexibility for the right candidates. Image credit: Kids playing with their dog during sunset – Photo by Rene Bernal via Unsplash CKTZ News spoke with Mary Lavelle, Manager of Care, and Manager of Manson’s Hall, which is where the playschool is located, falling under the umbrella of the Southern Cortes Community Association (SCCA). She explains that the playschool has been running for over 30 years, and having no program this fall is a highly unusual situation, exacerbated by changed COVID-19 protocols, as well as needing skilled employees for a job able to only offer part-time hours on an island with a housing crisis. Image credits: (top) The playground next to the playschool stands empty during traditional program hours. Photo by Anastasia Avvakumova. (podcast) Kids playing with their dog during sunset - Photo by Rene Bernal via Unsplash This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local...
BC announces maximum rent hike for 2022

BC announces maximum rent hike for 2022

The British Columbia Ministry of Attorney General responsible for Housing has capped the maximum allowable 2022 rent increase for residential units at 1.5 per cent. According to the Ministry, landlords must provide their tenants with at least three months’ notice (forms can be downloaded here) the first date the rent can increase is Jan. 1, 2022 the rent freeze in effect since the start of the pandemic has been extended to Dec. 31, 2021 rent can only be increased once every 12 months the maximum allowable increase applies if the same tenant remains once a fixed-term lease ends “The Residential Tenancy Regulation sets out that the annual rent increase percentage is equal to the inflation rate, as determined by the 12-month average percent change in the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) for B.C. ending in July of each year. The CPI is a measurement to determine the average change in prices over time that consumers pay for goods and services such as food, clothing, medical care and even haircuts. The CPI is helpful in identifying and measuring inflation or deflation, which is the purchasing power of our dollar,” Public Affairs Officer Shima Ghailan emailed CKTZ News. Sandra Wood, Executive Director for the Cortes Community Housing Society says that, “The government is being proactive setting a maximum 1.5% rent increase for 2022, because the cost of most other goods and services is much higher than that, thus giving renters a break on their housing expense as an essential service.” Photo credits (top) David Eby, BC Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, speaks at a press conference in April 2021. Photo via...
Apple juice fundraiser for food bank reduces food waste

Apple juice fundraiser for food bank reduces food waste

Good Libations winemaker has announced its annual apple juice fundraiser to support the Cortes Food Bank. Cortes Island residents who want to share the apples on their trees are encouraged to call ahead and be prepared to bring the fruit as soon as possible after harvest. For purchasers, the juice needs to be pre-ordered and will come in plain or ginger-lime flavours in two- or four-liter amounts. Loni Taylor, who is coordinating the project, works as both an apprentice at Good Libations and a board member of Cortes Community Economic Development Association (CCEDA). Her passion for food security showed in this conversation, where she shared about: overabundance of fall fruit and reducing food waste minimizing propagation of apple maggot Good Libations’ succession plan and food programs CCEDA’s upcoming community outreach in regards to its downtown Manson’s commercial space Listen to the full conversation with CKTZ News above. Photo credits (top) There is plenty of space for apple donors to join the fundraiser. Photo by Loni Taylor. (Podcast) Apples dehydrate quickly after being picked and need to be kept in cold storage and juiced promptly. Photo by Loni Taylor. This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative...