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This "kids teaching kids" approach has proved to be very effective and is without question the key to the centre's enthusiastic response from program participants.

Tantramar Wetlands Centre
Experience Wetlands Education


Naomi Blagdon
Intern Biologist
Tantramar Wetlands Center
February 2005

The Tantramar Wetlands Centre is a community-based, non-profit wetlands education centre specializing in experiential programming for public school students and teachers. Its mission is to promote wetland conservation through effective public education. The Tantramar Wetlands Centre uses education as a tool to promote an understanding of the ecological, social and economic contributions of wetlands.

In 1997 Tantramar Regional High School teamed up with Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Service and the Town of Sackville in the construction of a freshwater wetland on the school's property. This newly restored wetland habitat became the Tantramar Wetland Centre's outdoor classroom and now provides hands-on programs to thousands of annual visitors.

Located in the heart of the world-famous Tantramar Marshes, the site consists of a 15 ha freshwater wetland and an indoor wetlab and work area equipped to handle large groups of visitors. All program activities are experiential and allow students and teachers alike to discover wetlands through exciting hands-on activities. Several different programs are offered throughout the year and are geared to groups of all sizes, ages and grades.

What is especially unique about this project is the leadership role played by local high school students. Over 100 student volunteers are trained to carry out monitoring, maintenance, and research activities in addition to the delivery of the Tantramar Wetlands Centre's educational programs. This "kids teaching kids" approach has proved to be very effective and is without question the key to the centre's enthusiastic response from program participants.

Programs offered:

Winter Wetland Program
(January – March)
 

This program teaches participants that wetlands are critical habitats even during the winter. Through a colorful slide presentation, hands-on activities, and real tracking by snowshoe, participants learn to identify the signs of a variety of winter wetland residents.

Wonders of Wetlands
(April  - June)
This program utilizes field activities and games to introduce younger students to the values of our wetland habitats. Critter dippin', birding, relay games and mystery touch boxes are all part of this action packed morning or afternoon.  Many of these programs are offered in conjunction with Ducks Unlimited’s Adopt-A-Class program.

Wetlands Through Waterfowl
(September – November)
This program familiarizes participants with New Brunswick's waterfowl and waterfowl conservation issues. Following a colorful presentation, students head out to the marsh to practice their identification skills and participate in the handling, banding and release of live waterfowl.

Population Dynamics
(mid November)
This program allows students to study population dynamics in the field by focusing on one of the most common wetland inhabitants, the muskrat. Students lean about the importance of wildlife management and the economic role that these fur-bearing animals continue to play in Canada.

Case Study of a Wetland
(April – November)
This program is designed to allow students to discover the interconnections that sustain ecosystems and the importance of wetlands and wetland conservation. Activities include: waterfowl identification, invertebrate sampling and water quality analysis.

For more information:
Telephone: (506) 364-4257
Email : twc@weted.com
Or visit our website: www.WetEd.com