New playschool facilitator helps expand childcare offerings at Mansons Hall

New playschool facilitator helps expand childcare offerings at Mansons Hall

The playschool at Mansons Hall is doubling the hours of childcare offered on Cortes Island. Photo by Loni Taylor. There’s been an increased need for affordable and accessible childcare on Cortes Island for years, according to the Local Economic Action Plan for Cortes Island, created by the Cortes Economic Development Association (CCEDA). The Southern Cortes Community Association—which coordinates several community services⁠, including the Cortes Playschool⁠—is offering some solutions, including hiring Hannah Schwartzentruber as Playschool Facilitator at Mansons Hall this winter. Schwartzentruber has her early childhood educator assistant license and is currently working towards her early childhood educator diploma. She has worked as an ECE assistant in the interior of British Columbia, while she was doing her practicum. Prior to getting hired to the new position at the playschool, Schwartzentruber was working in private childcare locally on Cortes. Her passion for the environment is one of the driving inspirations for her work with young children. Schwartzentruber shared exciting news about an expansion to the childcare offerings at Mansons Hall. As more services are requested by parents, Schwartzentruber is ready to fill the gaps. She is enthusiastic to facilitate expanded hours at the playschool as well as offering an outdoor nature program. To register your child in Cortes playschool, email mansonshall@gmail.com. Listen to the CKTZ story below: Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - New playschool facilitator helps expand childcare offerings at Mansons Hall This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative....
Tuition-free wildfire-fighter training still accepting applications

Tuition-free wildfire-fighter training still accepting applications

The class size is relatively small, with a total 12 students accepted into the program. Photo courtesy of North Island College. North Island College (NIC) in Campbell River is starting another round of tuition-free four-week-long wildfire crew member training at the end of this month. Instructor Henry Grierson, who’s been in the forestry and wildfire suppression industry for some 40 years, told CKTZ News that while past students are often young people starting out on their career path, some are also older folks who are looking for a change. The course will run Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and provide a balance of theoretical and technical knowledge. The curriculum was vetted by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), which means the training is recognized across Canada The program, which also ran last year, is offered in partnership with Strategic Natural Resource Consultants and is free to successful applicants, thanks to funding provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement. Listen to the full interview with instructor Henry Grierson about what kind of person is a good fit, the challenges and rewards of the job and what to expect in the program: Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - Tuition-free wildfire-fighter training still accepting applications 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 Forestry Partnership trains locals in tree falling, first aid, and fire suppression

Cortes Island Forestry Partnership trains locals in tree falling, first aid, and fire suppression

Cortes Island is home to diverse forest ecosystems which also supports a locally-driven forestry industry. Photo by Kate Maddigan. This past fall, the Cortes Forestry General Partnership offered several free training opportunities to local forestry workers and other residents of Cortes. The training included Tree Falling Certification, Occupational First Aid Level 3 and Fire Suppression and Safety. By the end of the training period, nine Cortes residents had completed the training. Cortes Community Forest manager Mark Lombard indicated that not only does this training improve local resident’s employment status, particularly in the forestry industry, but the island is also better prepared for medical and fire emergencies. Funding included grants from the Community Workforce Response Grant. The Forestry Partnership has not yet ruled out further local training opportunities in the months to come. The Cortes Forestry General Partnership is an equal partnership between the Klahoose First Nation and the Cortes Community Forest Cooperative to manage the 2013 Community Forest Agreement (CFA) for approximately 3,869 hectares of crown land on Cortes Island. Both parties are directly responsible to their constituent memberships. More information can be found at cortesforestrypartnership.com Listen to the CKTZ News interview with Mark Lombard below: Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - Cortes Forestry Partnership trains in tree falling, first aid, and fire suppression This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative....
Bird enthusiasts get ready for the 2021 Christmas Bird Count

Bird enthusiasts get ready for the 2021 Christmas Bird Count

The Christmas Bird Count is in its 122nd year. Photo of Anna’s hummingbird by George Sirk. The Cortes Island Museum co-sponsors the count with Bird Studies Canada and the Audubon Society, an American non-profit conservation group. The official count day is a 24-hour period when interested folk around the globe can observe and record the species and approximate number of individual birds they spot in their local area or even at their own bird feeder. The museum’s webpage explains that for the 2021 “CBC, count week will start on December 30 and will last until January 5.” The three-day shoulder periods on either side are especially for observing rare birds, which on Cortes include great-horned owl, pygmy owl, trumpeter swan, and osprey. Bluejays (pictured above) are rare on Cortes, which is the habitat of its close relative, Steller’s jay. Photo by George Sirk. The Cortes Island Museum has been facilitating the Christmas Bird Count since 2001, and all the collected data is available online. If the count has to be rescheduled due to adverse conditions, a post on Tideline will announce the new date. The checklists, forms and a map of the island are available on the museum’s website. The observations need to be submitted by Jan. 6, which can be done by calling, mailing or emailing the museum. The very first CBC was on Christmas Day in 1900, thanks to writer and scientist Frank Chapman, and has evolved into North America’s longest-running wintertime birding tradition. Baby barred owl. Photo by George Sirk. Tune into the interview with local naturalist and guide George Sirk, who has been personally involved with the Christmas Bird Count for nearly four decades, by clicking below.  ...