FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Mar. 16, 2015 - Williams Lake: The Invasive Species Council of BC has teamed up with BC Girl Guides to create a new Alien Invader Challenge program that introduces girls and young women from age 5 to 18 to the harm that invasive species can cause and what they can do to limit their spread.
“We partnered with BC Girl Guides to create a comprehensive program to raise awareness and promote positive behaviour change related to invasive species,” says Susan Staniforth, Education Manager of the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC). “Guides are enthusiastic, engaged young people who spend time outside, and the Invasive Species Challenge – Alien Invaders Challenge will support them to be “eyes on the ground” for invasive species across BC.”
The Invasive Species Challenge – Alien Invaders introduces Girl Guides to native and invasive species, educates them about invasive species in their communities, and promote actions they can take. The girls find ways to have a positive impact on their communities by participating in activities that both educate the public and manage invasive species to help create a safe environment for native plant and animal species to thrive.
The Alien Invaders program includes all the necessary materials needed to carry out a variety of age-appropriate activities, including all instructions, worksheets, background research, identification cards, regional invasive species listings, activities, games and challenge requirements. Activities include scavenger hunts, making local field guides, invasive species tag, invader puppet-making, creating an invasive plant ‘wanted’ poster, field trips to identify and map invasive species, and a community weed pull.
“ISCBC has offered such great support, including written activities, photographs, and access to their experts and resources, which has been wonderful to help us develop the Invasive Species Challenge,” says Julie Thomson, BC Program Adviser of Girl Guides of Canada. “We finally have an Invasive Species Challenge that all levels of Guiding can earn!”
About the Invasive Species Council of BC
The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) is working to minimize the ecological, social, and economic impacts caused by the introduction, establishment, and spread of invasive species. Their goals are to: educate the public and professionals about invasive species and their risks to ecosystems and economies through activities such as workshops, seminars and newsletters; coordinate research relating to invasive species and make this available to the public; and undertake and support actions that improve the health of BC’s natural ecosystems.
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Photos available of the Alien Invaders crest and Girl Guides in plant-related activities.