Thirteen-year-old Sarah Liscombe of Armstrong has earned her Gold Level Action Award through the North Okanagan chapter of the Young Naturalists’ Club. This is the highest achievement possible within the club, which fosters nature discovery and environmental action in young people between five and 14 years old.
A self-motivated nature enthusiast, Sarah achieved gold through her completion of 20 nature projects over the last three years. Prior to this, she also completed the Silver and Bronze Action Awards.
One of Sarah’s projects was participating with her family in the annual “egg take” at Kingfisher Interpretive Centre on the Shuswap River. Donning hip-waders and catching salmon in a net before collecting eggs, Sarah said she had to be prepared to get wet as “the fish had other ideas about where they wanted to be!” Sarah also created a butterfly slide-show that showcased her photographs set to music.
“My inspiration came from my grandfather who took me on nature exploration walks when I was a small child,” she said.
Sarah has been a member of the North Okanagan YNC since its inception in 2003. She’s a role model for other members who are encouraged to discover nature in their own neighbourhoods, explore local ecosystems, learn about native wildlife and take part in environmental stewardship actions to protect habitat.
Children are invited to attend monthly Explorer Days with a parent to enjoy time in nature as well as learn about a variety of local animals and plants. Activities range from pond studies and nature hikes to building bird feeders and watching sheep dogs at work. Kids can also work on independent nature projects to earn awards from the provincial organization of the YNC. The YNC has been connecting children and nature through a program of volunteer-led nature clubs across B.C. since 2000.
“Time spent outdoors exploring the world around us can be a challenge in over-scheduled lives,” said Aaron Deans, who coordinates the club, along with Kathy deGrace and Kathy Smith.
For more information on how you and your children can be involved in the Young Naturalists’ Club, and the fall program of activities, see www.ync.ca or contact Deans at 250-542-5122.