What is Earthkeepers?

Earthkeepers Is…

Earthkeepers is a 2-day, hands-on environmental program that teaches ecological systems in a fun and exciting way to elementary school students in Grade 4/5.  As a Trailhead leader, you will take on Novice Days for Earthkeepers and take on dramatic roles teaching different activities that reveal secrets of how the planet works.  Your Trailhead group will teach about 3 Earthkeepers programs over 3 weeks of your semester.  Teaching this program becomes part of one of your Trailhead courses (ENG2D – English).

Earthkeepers is an earth education program designed by Steve Van Matre and Bruce Johnson, along with the staff of The Institute for Earth Education. The Institute is an international nonprofit educational organization with branches around the world. Founded by Steve Van Matre, author of Acclimatization, Acclimatizing, Sunship Earth, and The Earth Speaks, the Institute’s primary purpose is to develop and disseminate earth education programs.

Earth Education is the process of helping people live more harmoniously and joyously with the earth and its life. In earth education, we deal with basic ecological concepts, the big picture of life, rather than with the minutiae – names and labels and such. We also work on developing feelings, caring about the natural world of which we are all a part. And we focus on our personal impact on the systems of life, making changes in the way we use energy and materials.

GOALS of Earthkeepers

All of the things necessary for life can be found in the proper balance on the earth – sunlight, air, water, and soil. It is the flow of sunlight energy and the cycling of materials (air, water, and soil) which are responsible for the existence of all life, including us. More and more, we are becoming aware of the interconnectedness of everything, how each thing we do affects many other parts of the systems of life.

The Earthkeepers program helps young people understand these life support systems and develop a personal relationship with the earth and its life. The program deals with four basic ecological concepts – the flow of energy, the cycling of materials, the interrelating of life, and the changing of forms. Participants also experience the richness of the earth through first-hand contact with the natural world.

Another important component of the program is asking the participants to examine their personal lifestyle, committing themselves to individual changes that will reduce impact upon the systems of life. This commitment is greatly magnified by helping others back at school to know and to care about the earth, the final component of the program.

For more information about Earthkeepers, please visit http://www.ieetree.org/

Elementary school teachers wishing to inquire about booking an Earthkeepers trip for their students should call the Trailhead Program at (905) 331-3500 or email the Trailhead teacher; Darryl Houghton at houghtond@hdsb.ca

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Funding provided by the Halton District School Board, the Halton Learning Foundation and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

Halton District School Board Gary Allan High School

Trailhead is a Gary Allan High School program in the Halton District School Board.