WILDLIFE EDUKITS

WildSmart delivers dozens of children’s education programs every year in schools, at summer camps, and at youth group meetings, reaching kids from preschool to grade 12. Programs teach basic wildlife ecology and progressively build on human-wildlife safety messages from recognizing animals, to giving them space, to active avoidance and handling conflicts.

One of the main ways that WildSmart engages children is through our Wildlife EduKits, which include a wealth of resources on the ecological and cultural role of local wildlife species. EduKits provide an opportunity for youth to participate in active, hands-on learning, and are available on loan from the Biosphere Institute for teachers and other group leaders.

 
 

TRAINING and community events

WildSmart provides bear spray training sessions, wildlife awareness talks, and interactive booths for youth, families, outdoor educators, people employed in the recreation and tourism industry, and outdoor recreationalists. These events arm participants with the knowledge and skills to be WildSmart in the Bow Valley.

 
 

sPEAKER sERIES

The WildSmart Speaker Series educates the Bow Valley community about the latest developments in local wildlife research and conservation. By bringing in specialists who provide an up-close view of wild animals, their unique ecology, and their challenges, the series fosters a sense of wonder and pride in our local wildlife. It also helps community members understand how to behave responsibly in our complex coexistence landscape.

Speakers are generally wildlife experts working in the Bow Valley or in similar locations across Alberta. Past speaker series topics have included grizzly bear responses to recreation in Kananaskis Country, the science of wildlife corridors, cougar-human conflict near Bow Valley settlements, and a screening of the film Living with Wildlife.

 
 

MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS

Wildlife are regularly in the news in the Bow Valley and Calgary. WildSmart plays a major role in the timely communication of wildlife-related news to local and regional audiences, whether it’s about skiers waking hibernating bears or a bumper berry season closing the trails. We serve as a source of objective information about current events as well as proactive safety messages, which we share through TV appearances, radio and print interviews, online articles, and social media posts.

Our weekly bear report and trail closure updates are additional sources of up-to-date news and information.

WildSmart collaborates closely with local, provincial and federal government partners to develop clear and consistent messages about wildlife for the public. We communicate these messages both in our interactive education and outreach programs and in the thousands of Living Smart with Wildlife and Nature for Newcomers brochures that we distribute each year.