Contributed by Wildsight
This summer, if you happen to walk up Red Devil Hill to the painted turtle kiosk, you’ll be greeted by stunning new banners, thanks to Amber Thompson’s Grade 4 class from Arrow Heights Elementary.
After visiting the kiosk, these intrepid Grade 4 students met with painted turtle biologist Keegan Meyers. The students were full of questions and curiosity as Meyers taught them about painted turtle life cycles, habitat, radio transmitters, current research in the area and how they could become stewards of the endangered painted turtle. The students met a female painted turtle and immediately named her “Shelley.”
Photo: Arrow Heights Elementary students learn about painted turtles. ~ By Jeannette Vickers
Inspired by their knowledge, the students set to work creating the new banners for Red Devil Hill to help educate the community. With the help of local artists Jackie Pendergast and Cat Mather, the students developed and painted the banners around five different themes: painted turtle lifecycle, painted turtle critical habitat, our community/our home, slow down for painted turtles and keep the wild in sight.
The project was conceived and carried out by the students through EcoStewards, an inquiry-based, action-oriented Wildsight program that guides teachers and students in designing, planning and carrying out their own stewardship project.
Wildsight would like to give special thanks to the following for helping make this project happen: Jackie Pendergast, Cat Mather for their artistic support, the City of Revelstoke for donating the banners and painted turtle researcher Keegan Meyers for teaching students about this incredible species.