There are certain natural wonders in this world that every child should have the chance to experience. The annual Salmon Run at GoldstreamProvincialPark is one of them. In the past, local schoolchildren were able to experience this amazing occurrence through provincially funded educational programs and the Salmon Run programs at GoldstreamProvincialPark became a fixture in the curriculum of our local schools. After provincial funding was withdrawn in 2002, and user fees for the programs were put in place, many schools and families were unable to afford this opportunity. Even more so, scientists have been exploring the idea that our children are suffering from “nature deficit disorder”, and it is becoming increasingly important to include explorations in nature as part of a child’s education.
Despite these combined challenges, this year will mark 10 years where, RLC Park Services Naturalists at the Goldstream Nature House and Habitat Acquisition Trust have worked together in a fundraising effort to keep these programs affordable for all students, regardless of economic status. This endeavor, known as the Goldstream Chums Corporate Sponsorship Program, reaches out to local businesses and individuals for financial support to help offset costs for schools wishing to attend the Goldstream Salmon Run programs. In the past ten years of the program, close to $200,000 of support has made it possible for over 50,000 of our community’s schoolchildren to attend these outdoor, experiential, nature education programs! This is absolutely amazing!
Our goal for 2013 is to expand on the previous successes of the Goldstream Chums in the past. Each year new members of our local community join the effort to keep the Goldstream Salmon Run programs available to all children, allowing them to witness this incredible spectacle at a reduced cost. We hope that you will consider becoming involved in this worthwhile effort.