With the effects of climate change being more visible now than ever, the next generation is stepping up to make a difference. Earlier this summer, The Nature Trust of British Columbia received a donation from an Aldergrove grade three classroom, and their teacher, Paul Davidson. Davidson and his students worked to collect refundable containers at Shortreed Community School to keep recyclables out of landfills and raise money for charity. For the 2022-23 school year, The Nature Trust was honoured to be the recipient of their donation.  

“I am always teaching the kids about recycling and the things they can do around the community to support and increase biodiversity” Davidson explained, “This year we chose your organization because the class was concerned about protecting salmon habitat… we saw that you do a lot of good work to protect and enhance wild spaces.”  

Passionate about the outdoors, Davidson aims to help his students become responsible stewards of the land and empower them to make choices that reduce humans’ impact on the environment. In addition to collecting refundables, the students also gather flexible plastic like wrappers and plastic bags for Davidson to bring to the recycling depot. The school as a whole also encourages families to pack lunches with little to no garbage and reduce their overall single-use plastic usage.  

“I teach my kids that humans can do so much damage to the natural world, but we can also do a lot of good… I am always preaching that we humans want quick fixes without necessarily looking at the long-term consequences (i.e. plastic is amazing, beneficial stuff but what it does to the environment when we’re finished with it can be so detrimental) … The natural world has so much to teach us – we just need to listen!”, said Davidson.  

For students like those in Davidson’s class, the effects of climate change have had a lasting impact on youth. Participating in conservation initiatives and donating to organizations like The Nature Trust of British Columbia provides an avenue for youth to build a more resilient future:  

“With the heat dome, increasing forest fires, and atmospheric rivers, the kids find that it has negatively impacted their families and the things they can do (camping, travelling, etc.)… They understand that climate change and human activities are having a detrimental affect on salmon habitat.” recalled Davidson, “A lot of kids are saddened by what we are doing to the environment and can’t understand why we do what we do. I think they are more interested in the conservation aspect as it shows tangible results.”  

Salmon River Estuary, 198.1 hectares of conservation land that protects highly productive fish and wildlife habitat.

Thanks to environmental advocates like Paul Davidson, we have a new generation of outdoor stewards who care deeply about protecting our natural world. By donating to The Nature Trust, his class has contributed to protecting vulnerable habitat forever for fish and wildlife across B.C.  

Written by Dominique Bowden, Digital Engagement Coordinator