Surrey Nature Centre Gives Teachers an Outdoor Perspective

At the Surrey Nature Centre the City of Surrey is giving K-12 outdoor education a boost with workshop training programs geared towards equipping new teachers. These professional development workshops aim to equip teachers with the confidence and knowledge skills to lead lessons beyond the classroom walls. “In many ways the classroom is the community, the classroom is right outside the door – it might be a 100 meter field trip,” says Patrick Robertson, City of Surrey Workshop Facilitator.

Surrey Teachers Map

“In many ways the classroom is the community, the classroom is right outside the door – it might be a 100 meter field trip,” says Patrick Robertson, City of Surrey Workshop Facilitator.

The goal of the workshops is to encourage teachers to take advantage of the creative lesson planning space created by British Columbia’s New Curriculum. “We’re really training the trainers… that’s really building up the teachers’ confidence and knowledge skill to go back and take their kids out into the school yard or out into a park nearby,” says Leah Zia, Parks Operations Coordinator, Surrey Nature Centre.

Surrey Teachers Classroom

The New Curriculum promotes place-based learning in the students’ own backyard. There, engagement in unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature and art seeks to create connection and assign value to the place. Surrey Nature Centre’s workshops look to specifically engage students in environmental learning. The hope is that students will form a connection to their natural environment at a young age, find value and care in preserving the natural resource.

Surrey Teachers Listening to Nature

A longtime pioneer and leader in outdoor education, the City of Surrey’s Surrey Nature Centre has worked in collaboration with Metro Vancouver’s School Programs team, WildBC and the Environmental Educator’s of BC (EEPSA) in delivering workshops to teachers from throughout the region.

Surrey Teachers Sensory

For more information visit Metro Vancouver School Programs page.

Arts Spaces in Surrey Boost Regional Arts & Culture

Two City of Surrey arts venues are giving a boost to arts and culture for youth in Metro Vancouver. A refurbished auto garage is now home base for a theatre company and a hip hop group, and across the street a recreation centre wall is hosting innovative large scale digital art.

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“We are going to be… encouraging emerging artists, young artists and we’re going to ask them to speak with their own voices and build their own pieces and experiment” – Ellie King

Transformed through a $250,000 renovation, Parkway Studio has been overwhelmingly welcomed by its new tenants StreetRich Hip Hop Society and The Royal Canadian Theatre Company who, until now, had been operating without a home base. “Here, we have heat, we have light, we have access, we have up-and-over doors so, we can load our scenery in and out easily. We have bathrooms,” says Ellie King, Creative Director of The Royal Canadian Theatre Company.

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The 2500 square foot space allows the not-for-profit groups to spend more time focused on developing their craft and expanding their organizations and less time scrounging up funding. Ellie King, “We are going to be doing a studio series which we couldn’t do before and so that’s going to be encouraging emerging artists, young artists and we’re going to ask them to speak with their own voices and build their own pieces and experiment.”

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“StreetRich,” says co-founder Mattias Boon, “really wants to create this home for youth, through the artistic elements of hip hop culture help youth become themselves and build capacity.”

While each of the groups is based in Surrey they organize and participate in events throughout the region. The Royal Canadian Theatre Group tour their performances across the lower mainland.

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Another City of Surrey arts initiative is UrbanScreen, across the street at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre.  It is Canada’s largest non-commercial outdoor projection screen. Projections are curated by the Surrey Art Gallery and can be viewed by the public evenings as soon as it’s dark.

Grow Green Guide Offers Plant Suggestions and Sustainable Landscaping Options to Local Gardeners

Grow Green Guide to Eco-friendly Lawns and Gardens from Metro Vancouver on Vimeo.

Spending less time mowing and watering? What’s not to like about that? With the expert gardening advice and creative landscaping suggestions featured in Metro Vancouver’s new Grow Green Guide, it’s easier than ever to enjoy a great outdoor space that reduces water demand, supports pollinators, and looks great too!

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Somerset Garden Residents Reap Benefits of Community and Sharing through Garden Plots and Harvest Boxes

Somerset Gardens from Metro Vancouver on Vimeo.

With more people living in condos, apartments, and townhouses, not everyone has a backyard to call their own. And some people struggle to manage the physical demands of gardening. But around the region, community gardens are filling those gaps. One great example is at Somerset Gardens in Surrey. The residents welcome the opportunity to grow their own food. But, they also reap another valuable harvest, in the friendships that bloom where the seeds of community are planted.

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Reducing Water Demand and Feeding the Bees with Local Species, Water Wise Techniques, and a Unique Lawn

Sustainable Gardens from Metro Vancouver on Vimeo.

Encouraging sustainable gardening choices is the goal of Metro Vancouver’s new Grow Green Guide – which offers local plant recommendations and eco-friendly gardening ideas. Reducing the demand on our water supply is a part of the plan. This water wise strategy is being embraced by municipalities, commercial landscapers, educators, and individual homeowners.

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Metro Vancouver Worked With Craft Breweries to Create Wastewater Rules for a Growing Industry

The region’s craft beer industry is booming, but microbreweries and other fermentation operations add significant quantities of liquid waste to the region’s the sewage system. Metro Vancouver sought input from craft breweries for a new bylaw that protects the environment and infrastructure, while supporting this growing industry.

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Love Food Hate Waste – Enhance the Tradition by Celebrating the Holidays without Food Waste

This year why not start a new tradition? Celebrate the season by ensuring none of the delicious food you take time to prepare goes uneaten. Here are some easy tips to make the most of your holiday feast, without eating turkey sandwiches every day for a month!

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The Christmas holiday season is a time for feasting – across cultures and around the globe. But, the best of intentions, coupled with our desire to ensure there’s enough for everyone, makes it easy to go overboard – ending up with a lot of food that never gets eaten. Did you know the average Metro Vancouver household throws out $700 worth of food annually? This time of year can be hard on the wallet as it is. Cooking food just to throw it away is not the way you want to finish up the year. 

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Port Mann Water Supply Tunnel Nearing Completion

Port Mann Water Supply Tunnel – Tunnel Tour from Metro Vancouver on Vimeo.

Construction on the Port Mann Water Supply Tunnel is nearing completion. In late June the tunnel boring for the project was completed, and the tunnel boring machine extracted from the access shaft on the north side of the Fraser River. Now crews are installing the steel pipe which will line the one kilometer long tunnel. When completed, the water main will more than double the current water supply capacity of the existing main and service the growing Metro Vancouver communities south of the Fraser. Tim Langmaid, the project manager for Hatch Mott MacDonald took us underground, for an up-close look at the final stages of the work.

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Industry and Local Government Build on Success with Green Construction Innovations in Metro Vancouver

Green Buildings Vancouver from Metro Vancouver on Vimeo.

MVCU logo for blogGreen construction techniques are advancing in our region, largely through the efforts of industry and civic leaders. See how the trend is delivering innovative new buildings and why our construction choices can impact carbon emissions for decades.

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Deposits for Disposable Cups Experiment Highlights Benefits of Binning and Need for a Coffee Cup Revolution

Coffee Cup Revolution from Metro Vancouver on Vimeo.

In just a few hours, crews collect over 30,000 paper cups  —  to test the viability of a deposit on disposable cups in our region. See how the work of binners keeps our streets clean and provides vital information on disposable cup recycling options.

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