Elementary school children in Sherbrooke will learn about the great outdoors this winter in a unique afterschool program sponsored by the St. Mary’s River Association and the Recreation Department of the Municipality. The program combines outdoor education, physical activity and leadership skill development.
The Trailblazer project intends to teach basic outdoor skills like fishing and observing wildlife while increasing the physical activity of the children through snowshoeing and hiking.
The outdoor activities will take place in Stonewall Park. Later in the spring the children will attend a Municipal Council meeting to outline their ideas about park improvements based on their experiences over the winter. This is a unique approach to leadership skill development and is intended to help create a better understanding of how municipal government works and the role citizens play in bringing about change.
Sean Mitchell, Executive Director of the St. Mary’s River Association believes this is will provide a wonderful experience for elementary school age children. “This is a very creative way of getting children physically active and engaged in their own community. We think there is a lot to be learned through this program and we look forward to seeing our future leaders in action.” The St. Mary’s River Association, Recreation Department of the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s, Guysborough County Regional Development Authority (GCRDA), and Nova Scotia Health Promotion and Protection are partnering on the project.
Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia provided $3000 in funding for the project. This project really reflects the goals and objectives of our community foundation. It is about exciting activities that
enrich the lives of local people, states Pam Harrison, Chair of the Foundation. Harrison adds, “It is a wise investment in our future. That’s what we are about – people investing in rural Nova Scotia.”