Rutland Senior Secondary forestry students and Okanagan Forest Task Force volunteers worked together cleaning up a makeshift shooting range along Postill Lake Road. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)

Kelowna forestry students, forest task force clean up backcountry together

“I tell people all the time, we need to leave better kids for our planet,” Kane Blake said

It was a good day to get out and clean the backcountry, but it was made even better by a class of Rutland Senior Secondary (RSS) students.

Okanagan Forest Task Force (OFTF) founder and organizer Kane Blake said the day was made possible because initially, the RSS forestry academy lead teacher Marshall Corbett reached out to him.

Corbett, an avid outdoorsman himself, wanted his students to learn more about forest etiquette as part of the curriculum. So the two set up a day, and on Wednesday (June 9), Blake and several OFTF volunteers met up with the students at a makeshift shooting range on Postill Lake Road.

North Okanagan Zone conservation officer Ken Owens gave the morning’s lesson on enjoying the outdoors safely and with environmental awareness.

“It’s just an amazing opportunity to be able to speak to the class. There are just so many good messages on how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly and safely,” he said.

“And just talking about the dumping issues that we have in and around Kelowna on some of our forest service roads and how we can be part of preventing that from happening and cleaning up what has been dumped in the backcountry.”

Owens said he hopes by showing and telling the students the dumping and its effects, that it inspires them to be the changemakers in their circles.

“I want them to be leaders in their community to ensure that their friends and the people they know aren’t doing this, and that they hold those people responsible,” he said.

Blake said it was exciting to work with the students to spread more awareness about what they do and why they do it. He said it’s even more important to show younger generations the importance of taking care of our backcountry.

READ MORE: Travel quarantine rules set to ease for fully vaxed Canadians, permanent residents

“They are our future generation. If we don’t catch it now, we won’t,” he said.

“But if we can help them, even one person, make a difference in their friend groups, then I feel we’ve done our job.

“A lot of people say we need to leave a better planet for our kids and I tell people all the time we need to leave better kids for our planet. The planet doesn’t litter itself… none of these shotgun shells magically grew out of the ground.”

RSS forestry students Kobe Frasier and Jacob Whiting both said it was good to learn more about dumping and what they can do about it.

“When you come into the woods, take more out with you than you came in (with),” Frasier said.

“Seeing this, it’s pretty crazy. There’s lots of wildlife walking through here. This is our backyard, it’s not a place to litter.”

Whiting said with the new things he has learned, he wants to help educate others.

“We learned how to help protect our community and keep it clean and just to make it overall a better place,” he said.

“I want to make sure people are more educated on the forest and help clean up and keep their environment safe, for everyone and for every animal out there.”

READ MORE: Rust Valley Restorers star wants to be a role model for women in trades


@twilamam
twila.amato@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from JAKS.com)
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read