“We live in a temperate rainforest.” I had one class that teased me and said it in chorus when I entered their classroom. It is a regular part of my announcements before recess, lunch and any other special events in which kids are heading outdoors in the rain. You need to understand to dress appropriately for the weather in Vancouver, so you can embrace opportunities as they present themselves. If you don’t venture out in the rain, you miss chances for fun, adventure or perhaps a really good story. Never was there a clearer example of this than at the Tidal WAV 2022, hosted by Wild About Vancouver and the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation on Friday, June 3rd.
As the day drew nearer, the probability of rain increased. It went from a 40% chance of rain to a 100% chance of rain during every hour of the event. It was not the rain of Spring showers. It was not one big downpour followed by a beautiful rainbow. It was heavy torrential, side slanting rain that drenches all in its wake. And yet, just over 400 pre-schooler, elementary, and secondary students, educators, parents, volunteers, Park Rangers, Wild About Vancouver Steering Committee members, outdoors enthusiasts and our Powwow dancer team donned their rain gear and headed out for the Tidal WAV 2022 event.
Chris Penton, the LEAD Ranger at Vancouver Parks and Recreation, and WAV Steering Committee member was early and Ceperley Park was ready to welcome all to what Stanley Park has to offer. Chris has been a steadfast ally in wanting to educate people in how to interact with wildlife and open eyes to the tremendous outdoor opportunities available in our celebrated urban park. SPES (Stanley Park Ecology Society) has also been united in this aim. A huge addition was keeping the Park Ranger Station open to answer questions and provide valuable teaching opportunities.
The tent and tables organized by our trusty Park Ranger were also invaluable. Thanks to volunteers, Brad (Team WAV) and David (Team Wild Moccasin Dancers), the sound system was set up under the easy up tent, wrapped in garbage bags, and we had ourselves a party.
About 60 students from the TREK Outdoor Education Program at Prince of Wales Secondary School were the first young people to arrive along with teacher extraordinaire, Kate Inch. They brought with them good rain gear, great attitudes, and a number of outdoor skills activities to teach to Tidal WAV participants. They were also ready to participate in activities and had no difficulty marveling and laughing at the “wildness” of the rain.
BC Literacy (BCLCILA) and Frontier College tents had a steady stream of people coming to do scavenger hunts and collect their free books, many from Elsie Roy Elementary and the Home Learners Program in the VSB. Check out some of the titles given away and the list of distributers and publishers willing to support this initiative on this link. The biggest challenge was keeping up with quantity of people wanting to participate and trying to keep the books dry.
The Singing with Sandy tent was a fun place to be. Three boys in particular kept reappearing to play instruments and sing. So did some of the older students to sing favourites like Raffi’s, Baby Beluga.
Shyama Priya of The Wild Moccasin Dancers, worked her magic and had small groups and large groups doing Pow Wow dancing in the rain. Her flexibility was admirable, and I appreciated how she was clearly enjoying herself and her team. I was happy to have her daughter there to help give out draw prizes and David to help my husband with the weight and mysteries of the sound system.
Forest Schools and outdoor programs, including Fresh Air Learning, iGeneration Education, Muddy Boot Prints, and Saplings Outdoor Program, showed up with outdoor learning activities to engage students. We also had some other outdoor programs for preschoolers that regularly show up to do forest school in Stanley Park. Great activities. Great sense of community.
Ocean Wise, Friends of False Creek, Sea Smart, and the Year of the Salish Sea all showed up with activities for focus attention on our oceans. The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development has been declared from 2021 – 2030. The implementation of Sustainable Goal 14 for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources is a perfect way to engage students and other community members in transformative work that is imperative to our future. These groups have so much to teach and do it in such an accessible way.
We are very appreciative of the support from the people and groups encouraging physical activity. We received a generous donation from ParticipACTION and are happy to be part of the Community Better Challenge from June 1 -30th to put Vancouver on the map as Canada’s most active community and winner of the $100,000.00 prize. Community members are encouraged to download the free ParticipACTION app and track their personal activity until the end of June. This counts to our WAV Team total and qualifies you to win awesome prizes.
Special thanks to Cathy Acuna for the support from HUB Cycling. HUB not only supports advocacy to make cycling safer and better for all ages and abilities but also provides an incentive to bike to work and school. I first started biking to work as part of a HUB Bike to Work Challenge and have supported many fun bike/ walk to school initiatives since. Cathy Acuna personally delivered a box of t-shirts, bike lights, and water bottles to my house for our TIDAL WAV 2022 event. And as you know, Stanley Park has supported biking in the park in a number of ways, including bike rental spots in the park. Rerouting the bike route through the park during the height of COVID was instrumental to many of us for physical activity and sanity.
Although ParticipACTION and HUB did not have the capacity to run a booth at TIDAL WAV, they did sent materials for our volunteers to get the word out there. Thanks to Marlee and Annie from SFU for familiarizing Tidal WAV participants in these ways to #getOUTdoors and #getINvolved.
Carrie Serwetnyk, former member of the women’s national team and the first woman conducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame, showed up to lend her support. We decided to put the soccer skill stations on hold for next year but were glad to have her at TidalWAV22 letting our girls know it is not only okay to compete, it’s a life changing opportunity.
The Poetry Writing station was set up and Ben Dewar, a Surrey Educator, and WAV Steering Committee member was ready to facilitate writers, young and old, in writing Haiku. However, the covered picnic area was far more desirable as a shelter from the rain rather than a place to write about the beauty of nature. Next year, Ben.
The same was true of the Bird Watcher’s Station. Some stalwart souls were given some information about the Pacific Blue Heron Rookery and wanted to check it out. Stanley Park has one of North American’s largest urban colonies. Soggy people were given directions to find it between the tennis courts and the Parks Board Office and went to try to get a glimpse of the baby herons. Apparently even the baby herons were also hiding from the torrential rain. Fortunately, the heron cam can help you to learn more and get a better view than from down below. Follow this link.
Dr. Hart Banack, flew down from the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George for Tidal WAV 22. Wild About Vancouver was his brainchild back in 2014. He has collected steering committee members and has been a steady source of inspiration. He arrived ready to teach orienteering and participate in the conversation about how Wild About Vancouver will move forward as a group to further the work in providing opportunities for people to get outdoors for physical health, wellness, environment learning and community building. We are also exploring the research potential of WAV work.
Wild About Vancouver is affiliated with the Institute of Environmental Learning (IEL) at Simon Fraser University and grateful for their financial support. Conversations have also been going on with Dr. David Zandvliet, co-chair of IEL at Simon Fraser University and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Chair in Bio-Cultural Diversity and Education. We have been discussing how WAV can involve our community in the UN Decade of Ocean Science. In the coming year we are exploring hosting an event on Howe Sound and some possible research opportunities.
Students participated in activities and received free outdoor learning books. Teachers, parents, and volunteers went into the draw. Like-minded people came together in community. Ultimately our goals for Tidal WAV 22 were fulfilled. I am thrilled by the people reaching out and wanting to be a part of Tidal WAV 2023. The Vancouver chapter of the BCTF Environment al Learning Provincial Specialist Association will be a great addition. Please go to www.wildaboutvancouver.com to find out more, request information, or volunteer to work with WAV. More information is below if you would like to support Wild About Vancouver financially.
There are so many people to thank for making this event possible:
Thanks to the Wild About Vancouver Steering Committee for their efforts in the midst of an exceptionally taxing COVID year. Congratulations to all of you for keeping this boat afloat. All efforts are celebrated: Dr. Hart Banack, UNBC; Chris Penton, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation; Kate Inch, VSB – TREK Program; Ben Dewar, Surrey Schools, Skateboard Enthusiast; Lulu Wang, CEO iGen Ed and Sparks Academy; John Patrick, photographer; Jason Camp – Assistant Head Madrona School; Annie Montague, Frontier College; Craig McCullough, Reporter and Producer; Dr. David Zandvliet, SFU, IEL, UNESCO Chair in Bio-Cultural Diversity and Education
It is a pleasure and a much appreciated learning opportunity working with all of you.
WAV Chair / TidalWAV22 Coordinator – Carrie Froese, Inquire2Empower Consulting
Special thanks to the following people for promoting out event: Janet Fraser, Vancouver School Board Trustee; Chas Desjarlais, District Principal of Indigenous Education at the Vancouver School Board; Larkyn Froese, PDP student, chair BC Lit Council Tidal WAV 22 Committee
Thanks so much to our donors for their generosity:
Hub Biking (t-shirts, water bottles, bike lights), John Patrick (framed bird photo), Kidsbooks ($200.00 worth of gift certificates), Stephen Hui (3 copies of his great, new hiking book for kids), The Outdoor Learning Store ($200.00 worth of gift certificates), The Green Teacher – Ian Shanahan (educational online session) and Take Me Outside.
Thanks to Meg Zeni for her online session about Learning in the Rain. The content was so helpful to the participants and all proceeds were donated to WAV.
Thanks to Karen Addie for donating the proceeds of her session focused on supporting outdoor learning with books with parents of iGeneration Education and St. Georges School.
The work of Wild About Vancouver has been made possible through the support of ParticipACTION and the donations of our supporters.
We are always appreciative of donations.
Follow this link to donate via the WAV website.
Simon Fraser provides tax receipts through our affiliation with
The Institute of Environmental Learning at SFU.
Yellow Cedar Donors: not yet
Pacific Dogwood Donors: iGeneration Education; Intercap Financial
Liquorice Fern Donors: Glee Devereaux; Institute of Environmental Learning
Salmonberry Donors: Megan Zeni; Michael Schipper; Carrie Froese
Yarrow Donors: Chris Penton; Linda Klassen, Tom Mooney, Assistems Consulting; Inquire2Empower Consulting; KLA EdLearn Consulting
Thanks also for in kind donations from SILT (Southern Interior Land Trust) and activities provided by the many organizations in the park during the Tidal WAV Event.
You time, energy and money has helped to support the work of Wild About Vancouver