Invasive Species Council of British Columbia

The Wetland Protection Project

Credit: Jennifer Hegan, ISCBC

By Lisa Houle | October 27, 2022

Being outside with your friends doing some hands-on learning – what’s not to like about a fall field trip? On Oct 18, Grade 6/7 students at Telkwa Elementary School, near Smithers, got a special treat. ISCBC’s Jennifer Hegan, Invasive-Wise Education Facilitator, joined their teacher Antje von Seydlitz to provide some experiential outdoor learning about lake and riparian habitat, and aquatic invasive species.

In preparation for the field trip, Antje introduced the activity Know Me Know My Adaptations, part of ISCBC’s downloadable Aquatic Invasives Activity Package. Reviewing articles and current events on local aquatic invasive species of concern, the students also learned about provincial Zebra mussel protection measures. ISCBC’s engaging video on Clean Drain Dry  provided the students with strategies for doing their part to stop the spread of aquatic invasives.

The students walked the riparian trails in Tyhee Lake Provincial Park in Telkwa, BC, and were immersed in riparian nature art and shoreline dip netting, followed by active games to learn about Aquatic Invasive Species and protecting wetlands like Tyhee Lake.

Riparian nature art by Telkwa Elementary School students \ Credit: Jennifer Hegan, ISCBC

“We engaged the students in hands-on learning which they really enjoyed, and it helped drive home the message about invasive species,” said Jennifer. “ Being able to join students on field trips is such a pleasure and learning opportunity as I get to watch their wonder, hear many extraordinary questions, and really see how ISCBC activities playout while working in partnership with a teacher.”

Dip netting proved exciting with the capture of cutthroat and rainbow trout minnows, dragonfly nymphs, stoneflies, and many snails. Loons and ducks were also observed. The Invasive-Wise Education activity Stop the Spread Freeze Tag, and supporting Species Teaching Cards, were used to actively introduce students to both regional and provincial aquatic invasives.

Dip netting in Tyhee Lake, BC \ Credit: Jennifer Hegan, ISCBC

“The students learned how the introduction of species of concern to a lake ecosystem would disrupt the population of native species they observed,” said Jennifer. “The importance of Clean Drain Dry was demonstrated through hands-on learning, cleaning miniature boats as described in ISCBC’s classic series of activities called Vectors of Spread, also found in ISCBC’s Aquatic Invasives Activity Package.”

Antje recently followed up with the IWE team to share her class’s experience.  

“The students most remember the “bugs” and fish and loved the hands-on activities. I liked how we focused on what a healthy water ecosystem looks like, and I really appreciated the hands-on learning experience too,” said Antje. “The students enjoyed using the magnifiers to see things “up close” to figure out what each species was. The laminated sheets to go along with the magnifiers were amazing, as they helped keep the students engaged and interested!”

You too can join ISCBC’s new Wetland’s Protection Toolkit project – an aquatics-focused teaching resource kit and a virtual Educator Training session will be available later this year through the ISCBC website, completely free of charge. Educators will have the opportunity to have an Aquatics Invasives virtual class visit and presentation from our friendly Invasive-Wise Education team.

ISCBC Education Facilitators can help with all kinds of invasive species education and provide personal Educator support – a unique feature of ISCBC’s Invasive Wise Education. Our Educational Facilitators can: 

  • Guide educators through ISCBC resources and activities and facilitate connections to local experts in invasive species action  
  • Deliver virtual class presentations with fun games and a Q&A for students to learn about invasive species – in English or French!
  • Offer teacher ProD opportunities and virtual workshops 

Connect with Invasive-Wise Education Facilitators Jennifer Hegan and Stephanie Weinstein, and check out our full suite of interactive activities for educators at Invasive-Wise Education – Activities and Lessons

Lisa is a Communications and Outreach Coordinator at ISCBC. She values a diverse environment and connecting with others about environmental protection. In her spare time Lisa enjoys spending time at the ocean and beach combing for sea glass. You can reach Lisa at