By Jamie Rieger
The Grade 1-6 students at Foremost School were treated to some unique visitors on Wed., Apr. 12 when Earth Rangers held a presentation that included some animal ambassadors.
Michael Veltri, animal trainer and educator said the purpose of Earth Rangers is to teach young people about and help them connect with animals. The students at Foremost were shown several videos showing animals in their natural habitat. The program also encourages them to get involved with conservation efforts in their own community.
“There are a lot of animals at risk and we need to take action,” said Veltri.
The presentation also included protecting ecosystems.
“Canada is home to some of the most wonderful and diverse areas in the world. Hunting, development, and pollution are destroying it and we have to act now.”
The woodland caribou, which is currently a protected species in Alberta’s north, was also featured in the presentation. More than 35,000 sq. km is being developed to assist in protecting the woodland caribou which according to Veltri are losing their prime source of nutrition, lichen.
AltaLink sponsors the event at schools across the province.
“As Alberta’s largest electricity transmission provider, it’s important to us to invest in the communities where we live and work. We are bringing the Earth Rangers program to schools in Alberta to teach kids about environmental sustainability and get them involved in building a greener future for our province,” said Robin Boschman, manager of corporate communications for AltaLink in a written statement.
The Pine Marten, Manitoba boreal forest, bees and pollinators, and small-footed bat were featured in a short video about Canadian species that need protection. When asked following the presentation about the Greater Sage Grouse of southeast Alberta, Veltri was unfamiliar with its Species at Risk status of the EPO.
Earth Rangers is a childrens’ conservation organization that is dedicated to educating young people and their families about biodiversity, and inspiring them to adopt sustainable behaviours and get involved with protecting animals and their habitats. They travel to over two million students and teachers at 800 schools across the country each year.