The "Nature's Classroom" project is a delightful consequence of having a school surrounded by the beauty of a West Coast Forest environment. Nestor Elementary school is tucked into an area which boasts of many natural resources. Nestor Park, with both forest flora and playground equipment, is adjacent to the school property. Many birds, ranging from tiny chickadees to Downy Woodpeckers and our own Provincial bird, the Stellar's Jay, visit. We have even occasionally spotted Bald Eagles! Only a block away from the school is a protected forest green belt along the Coquitlam River, seasonal home to three species of salmon. Little more than two blocks away is a small man-made lake, with a lovely path that leads in and out of the woods. LaFarge Lake is one of our favourite outings, and is home to ducks, geese, turtles, bullfrogs, and many other little creatures.
2001-2002 marks the school year that Mrs. Boekhout's class formally began the "Nature's Classroom" project. For many years her students have been involved in learning about B.C. Flora and Fauna. These types of studies are well supported by the Nestor parent group, which has been very active in "greening of the schoolgrounds". This year, prompted by the Canada's SchoolNet GrassRoots program, the studies were escalated and the learning has gone"online"! It is fitting to note that the name, "Nature's Classroom", was originally suggested by one of Mrs. B.'s Grade 2 students during their plant and bird identification studies in 2000-2001 .
2002-2003 expanded our studies to some of the interesting little "critters" that can be found on a B.C. Forest floor habitat. There are so many! Canada's SchoolNet GrassRoots program again supported our efforts to help our community, and others, become aware of this "secret world" beneath the leaves and stumps.
BC Critters 2002-03 is a Canada's SchoolNet GrassRoots project.