School's Just Around the Corner...

With school just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about dusting off those textbooks…not at Ripple Coast! We make our school programs interactive and hands on, so there’s never a dull moment. Whether it’s pretending to be a whale or playing games for the sake of learning, we believe you have to understand in order to protect - specifically, our endangered killer whales, salmon and marine ecosystems.

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Click here to learn more or book an in school program now:

5 Reasons Killer Whales are Amazing

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There probably isn’t one person out there who would say they’ve seen that iconic white and black finned creature and say they haven’t been moved. That’s because killer whales are more than just cute, magical creatures - their power and importance in the ecosystem is unmatched. They are apex predators, and actually dolphins - but their fierce ability to kill whales is how they earned their name. Here are 5 reasons why killer whales are some of the most amazing creatures alive!

  1. Killer Whales are Empathetic

    According to a killer whale’s brain, they might even be more empathetic than humans. A killer whale once carried around their dead calf for 17 days in mourning.

  2. Killer Whales can live up to around 80 years old

    Killer whales live long lives, like you and me. The oldest recorded female orca potentially lived to the ripe old age of 105 (age unclear)

  3. Killer Whales Can Eat Sharks

    The Offshore Killer whales had one mysterious clue hidden in their jaws -worn down teeth. Scientists soon realized their teeth were being worn down by the sandpappery skin of their prey - sharks!

  4. There are 10 Different Species of Killer Whales

    It’s a common misconception that there is only one type of Killer Whale. The whales are so different in fact, they don’t even eat the same prey! Before scientists realized there were different species, a marine mammal eating species of whale in captivity refused to eat the fish scientists fed it because it was not their diet - the whale would rather starve. The 10 different species swim in different oceans, eat different foods and even speak different languages!

  5. Killer Whales Have Names

    The Southern Resident Killer Whales that swim along the BC coast all have names, just like you and me. Their declining population (73, down from 76 earlier this summer) has led scientists to keep a close eye on them. Pollution, prey availability (chinook salmon) and boats have all led to their endangered status.

    Don’t worry - you can help.

    1. Adopt a whale: www.killerwhale.org

    2. Citizen Science: report and take photos of a killer whale if you see one: WhaleReport app

    3. Farmed salmon is greatly endangering wild salmon: Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood

    4. Participate in your local beach clean up

      Find your local MP and write to them

    Let’s do everything we can to help our finned friends out!

    Team Ripple Coast

5 Things You Might Find on Your Next Forest Adventure

All around us at any given time there are millions of different, identifying living being doing all sorts of weird, fascinating things to survive and thrive. How many of these phenomena do you know?

Ready to go on a Nature scavenger hunt? Let’s go!

  1. Evidence of woodpeckers/bugs

Yum, what’s inside this tree?

Yum, what’s inside this tree?

Next time you’re walking in the woods, look carefully at the trees around you. Are there holes in the trees? Do the trees look like they have a tough exterior? How can an animal get through it?

These holes were likely made by a wood pecker looking for tasty grub. And if you could zoom into this tree, you’ll probably see evidence of bugs (fine sawdust-like stuff that’s actually bug poop or line-like holes!)

2. Fungi

Who’s the fun-guy here?!

Who’s the fun-guy here?!

Fungi looove decomposing! In fact, it’s their job to break down nutrients from fallen trees so younger trees can reuse them. It’s like your older family members helping the younger generation out. Look closely at these fun guys - they come in all different shapes and sizes! In fact, the Jellied Bird’s Nest Fungi looks like a miniature nest filled with eggs!

Teeny, tiny bird’s nest…You’ll have to get up really close to find these!

Teeny, tiny bird’s nest…You’ll have to get up really close to find these!

3. Nurse Logs

Two BFFs

Two BFFs

Speaking of helping one another out, nurse logs are another way the forest lends its neighbours a helping hand! When a tree dies it’s only halfway done its job - a nurse log provides nutrients for younger plants like this red huckleberry here.

Continuing on the topic of decomposition you might also find…

5. Evidence of Lightning

When you really look out for these, you might be surprised at how many you can find!

When you really look out for these, you might be surprised at how many you can find!

Trees are tall, which means they make natural lighting rods - the first and tallest thing that lightning might strike. Look around for these the next time you’re in a forest because there’s probably more of these than you firs think! Again decomposing trees means nutrients for the next generation…that’s almost like a free meal!

That’s it for now! Happy exploring!
Team Ripple Coast

Protect the Planet, Connect with Nature At White Rock!

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We were over-whale-med with excitement for this event! With marine animals on our minds, we swam - er, walked - to Centennial Park where we played game after game with some bright young minds.

Getting early to set up. We couldn’t wait!

Getting early to set up. We couldn’t wait!

You know what they say…you learn more when you’re having fun! We take this philosophy seriously so we played more nature games than there are animals in the sea (Well…almost.) We learned about predator prey relationships by blindfolding a “predator” to show the importance of being quiet. We tested our mental muscles by playing an animal match up game, where everyone did really well! We learned all about marine species that thrive along our coast and also other things that don’t belong there…garbage!

Did you know it tastes 450 years for a plastic bottle to disappear? Even then it leaves behind micro plastic, teeny tiny bits of plastic that never really go away. This plastic then gets eaten up by fish, who are then eaten by whales…you get the idea. The process in which toxins are accumulated up the food chain is called bio magnification.

Did you know that Giant Pacific Octopus can change colours to match their environment? How crazy is it that these amazing creatures are our neighbours?

Did you know that Giant Pacific Octopus can change colours to match their environment? How crazy is it that these amazing creatures are our neighbours?

But wait, there’s more! We also learned about nutrients through a game we like to call Nature Soup (different living things need different nutrients in different ways!) And through an ever shrinking circle, we learned about how habitats and resources are getting smaller and smaller for wild animals. We carried this theme with us as we played a game of Echolocation and learned about how boat noises affect whale's’ ability to find food.

Sweet swag from the generous folks at Keen

Sweet swag from the generous folks at Keen

But knowledge is power, as they say. That’s why we are so grateful to be able to throw this event in partnership with the City of White Rock! There is always something you can do to help save the earth, and the easiest thing is to create a Ripple Effect - by telling even one other person something you learned!

We even got some sweet swag from Keen! Thanks Keen!

We can’t wait for our next event.

Until next time,

Team Ripple Coast

Nature Explorers!

On August 17, we hosted our first ever Nature Explorers program! Our guided walk took us through the lush trails of Pacific Spirit Park where we learned to identify over ten different plants and how to prepare for a hike.

What’s here?

What’s here?

Aided by magnifying glasses, wolf ears, owl eyes and wild curiosity we found that once you look closely, a forest looks a lot less like a wall of trees and more like a neighbourhood full of interesting characters!

Here are some of the plants we learned about!

Sword fern - see those notches that look like sword hilts?

Sword fern - see those notches that look like sword hilts?


Cedar, called the Tree of Life by some First Nations cultures for its immense impact. Cedar was used to make longhouses, canoes, totem poles, baskets, clothing, ropes, cooking utensils, medicines…the list goes on.

Cedar, called the Tree of Life by some First Nations cultures for its immense impact. Cedar was used to make longhouses, canoes, totem poles, baskets, clothing, ropes, cooking utensils, medicines…the list goes on.

We also learned about the 10 essentials you want to bring while hiking! While the trails at Pacific Spirit may be inviting when the sun is shining, it’s a different story if you’re out lost in the woods once the sun goes down! See our post here for more info about the 10 essentials:

https://www.ripplecoastbc.org/blog/2019/7/18/adventure-camp-chronicles-day-2-survival

Intimidated by hiking? Start here: https://happiestoutdoors.ca/easy-hikes-in-vancouver/

Cool things you might see in a forest - a tree struck by lightning! Look out for these the next time you’re out in the woods

Cool things you might see in a forest - a tree struck by lightning! Look out for these the next time you’re out in the woods

At the end, we decided to throw a little surprise…a pop quiz! Our participants did amazing of course. Good team work everyone on identifying the plants we just learned!

Ooooo what’s this?

Ooooo what’s this?

We can’t wait to host our next event! Check us out in White Rock for our Protect the Planet, Connect with Nature program at Centennial Park from 10am-12pm!

Team Ripple Coast

Fun with the Stanley Park Eco Camps!

On Monday and Thursday, Ripple Coast hit the coast - well, the beach at Stanley Park- in partnership with the Stanley Park Eco Camps . On Monday we spoke about marine animals and on Thursday we talked about plastic pollution, finishing off with a beach clean up. Nice teamwork!

I sea a sea star!

I sea a sea star!

In just an hour we ended up with a heavy garbage bag of trash. It was like a treasure hunt, but for trash. A flash of blue there, a flash of green there - sea glass everywhere. We also found an old toy car and other strange discarded items that had us questioning how they got there.

Did you know it takes 10-20 years for a forgotten wool sock to disintegrate in the ocean?

Plastic bottles take a whopping 450 years. And -do you believe it - 600 years for fishing line!

Clare showing the kids how to do what she loves most - looking for cute critters!

Clare showing the kids how to do what she loves most - looking for cute critters!

We love collaborating with other like minded conservation organizations and working with bright young minds! We can’t wait to host our next event. We have more events coming up in August - stay tuned!

Team Ripple Coast

August Adventures!

August, august - that sunny month before school starts! Looking for something fun to do with your family? Why not sign up for one of our events below?

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Never hiked before but always wanted to take your family outdoors? Join our guided walk and learn all about hiking (such as the 10 essentials) and conservation (bear aware, IDing plants and more). Sign up here: https://tinyurl.com/yxjjowed

Protect the Planet, Connect with Nature
Saturday August 24, 10am-12pm
Centennial Park, White Rock


Join us for a family friendly event chockful of games and sensory exploration at Centennial Park, White Rock.
Participants learn all about local marine life, plants, and what conservation issues currently affect them, all while playing interactive games. Email to sign up: info@ripplecoast.org.

Killer Whales of the Coast
Sunday August 25, 2pm
Queens Park Bandshell, New Westminster


Learn all about our treasured killer whales that swim along our coast as well as the conservation issues that currently affect them. With only 73 left (down from 76 earlier this summer), our Southern Resident Killer Whales need us more than ever. The interactive talk will be around 30-45 min with a discussion afterwards. No registration needed.

The Local's Lighthouse Tour

We are currently offering our Lighthouse Park Tour this summer. Limited spots. Email us for availability and to book a tour. All proceeds go to funding Ripple Coast's efforts to educate and conserve our coast.
More info here: https://tinyurl.com/y3hq6kop

Happy August Adventuring,
Team Ripple Coast

Adventure Camp Chronicles - Day 5 "Wonder"

We can’t believe the last day of camp is already here!

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Today we celebrated the achievements of the campers with lots of fun games and activities!

We started off with a nature scavenger hunt, where the campers roamed Queen’s Park to find fern, animal tracks, spiders and more. The campers all returned with bags full of forest goodies. Good job team!

Back by popular demand, we broke out the bug kits again and examined the little critters that live all around us - bugs!

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Our water challenge put the kids head to head with the camp staff to see who could bail water with a sponge from one bucket to another the fastest - talk about water conservation.


To top it off, we played Bug Bingo and learned all about fascinating bugs that live around the world. As usual, the campers showed off how creative they were with their homemade luxurious Bug Hotels that they’d made, padded with forest debris they collected from the the scavenger hunt.


Thanks to all the staff and campers that made camp awesome!
Until next time,

Team Ripple Coast

Adventure Camp Chronicles Day 4 - "Oceans"

Who doesn’t love killer whales??

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Today we learned all about marine animals that live along our coasts!

Here are ten animals that swim along our coast:

  1. Killer Whales

  2. Pacific King Crabs

  3. Chinook Salmon

  4. Giant Pacific Octopus

  5. Six Scaled Shark

  6. Pacific White Sided Dolphin

  7. Sea Lion

  8. Humpback Whale

  9. Sea Stars

  10. Sea Otter

And did you know that killer whales aren’t even whales? They’re actually dolphins! In fact, there are different species of killer whales, one of which are the Southern Residents, who are endangered. There are only 76 left!

We went for round 2 of waterpark fun (what other camp goes to two waterparks?!)

As always, we had craft time and today’s craft was jellyfish! Look at all the different species of jellyfish we invented!

A swarm of jellyfish!

A swarm of jellyfish!

Tomorrow is our last day and we can’t believe the week is almost over!
Until next time,

Team Ripple Coast

Adventure Camp Chronicles - Day 3 "Bugs"

BUGS!

The smiles on the kids’ faces couldn’t be wiped off as they traipsed around Hume Park collecting slugs.

What’s hiding in that jar?

What’s hiding in that jar?

It was a rainy day but that didn’t stop us from having fun! Overall we found 20 or so slugs, ranging from baby slugs to slugs laying eggs. We gently picked them up and returned them to a safe spot when we were done. One camper walked around with a slug on his hand for a couple hours - talk about best friends!

Making new best friends with slugs!

Making new best friends with slugs!

We also found slugs, millipedes, and pill bugs!

Later that afternoon, the sun came out…leading to impromptu waterpark fun! The kids got soaked but their smiles never left their faces that day.

Til next time,

Team Ripple Coast

Adventure Camp Chronicles Day 2 "Survival"

What if we just left them here overnight…?

What if we just left them here overnight…?

Day two’s theme was survival. We’re happy to say that we left camp with the same number of campers at the beginning! The campers were put to the test from the morning on an intense scavenger hunt for clues. They scrambled over logs, dug debris, and ventured deep into Queen’s Park’s underbelly…and succeeded! They brought their 10 clue pieces in victoriously and this is what they learned:

Signalling SOS - blow three long blasts!

The 10 Essentials to Bring Hiking, Camping, etc:

  1. Compass and map

  2. Water

  3. Food

  4. Firestarter

  5. Extra clothes

  6. Emergency shelter

  7. Headlamp

  8. First aid kit

  9. Multitool/knife/repair kit

  10. Whistle

A camper’s clever camp survival kit!

A camper’s clever camp survival kit!

Surviving is a lot of work, so we spent the afternoon painting, playing games and learning how to set up a tarp.

Til next time,

Team Ripple Coast

Adventure Camp Chronicles - Day 1 "Senses"

Wondering what happens at nature camp? We “wondered” too (using our five senses, of course…)!

Do you carrot all about rabbits? Having fun at Queens Park Petting Zoo!

Do you carrot all about rabbits? Having fun at Queens Park Petting Zoo!

Every year we get an intrepid group of inquisitive young minds and this year was no different. This sense of curiosity is what draws Ripple Coast campers together. Each camper brings their unique sense of humour, curiosity, creativity and charm to the camp. Coupled with the natural wonderland of Queen’s Park, our campers are what make camp wonderful!

The day started off without a hitch…except for one camper, who thought they had arrived at Ripple Coast camp. The truth became evident when a free soccer ball and free T shirt were shoved in their face…they had stumbled upon a soccer camp at the other side of the park! (The rest of us wanted a free soccer ball too!)

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Each day we have a theme and today’s mission was to use our five senses. After a silly game of Move Your Butt, we launched into a sensory trek around Queen’s Park. Our noses led us to the petting zoo, where there were rabbits, pigs, goats, chickens, and peacocks (including an albino one!) You bet we have some animal lovers here!

Pictured here are us with our community contract - that’s how we keep ourselves accountable and make sure everyone has maximum fun!

Later that day we sat down in a circle and observed the park around us. We saw pinecones, feathers, clouds; heard rustling leaves, crows; touched bark and grass; tasted the leftovers of our lunch and smelled the sweet scent of grass! Then we made a starfish craft and texturized our starfish by rubbing pencil crayon on paper over Lego pieces - crafty!


And to top it off, here’s our campers receiving their special gift for them to customize - their Nature Guides!

Time to hit the hay…until next time!

Team Ripple Coast

Meet Our Instructors!

Wondering who will be teaching this summer at our adventure camps or leading our interpretive walks? We caught up with our summer staff to ask them a few questions! Here’s what they said…

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Clare

What is your favourite animal?

This is a very tricky question as I love so many animals! One of my favourites though is a Northern Flying Squirrel. They are nocturnal animals but I was lucky enough to work with them last summer at a wildlife rehabilitation center. They are soft, gentle and can be funny - what's not to love!

What are you most looking forward to this summer?

I hope to see more wildlife that is unique to British Columbia! Please tell the orcas to come swimming by!

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Emily

What is your favourite animal?

I love birds! I think owls have to be my favourite - who doesn’t want to be able to fly, have night vision and have you ever seen an owl’s legs? They’re super long! Plus they’re adorable.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?

I’m most excited connect with people on a deeper level by talking about conservation! And of course the mountains are calling.

 
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This is Ivona! You’ll be learning more about her as the summer goes on…! In the meantime, she loves marine animals and a good craft.

 

Conservation Events in July

Conservation Events in July

Looking to join some conservation efforts or learn about the natural world around us but don’t know where to start? Here are some things you can do in July to get started!

If you aren’t able to attend these events, you can still create a ripple effect by telling your friends and family.

See you there!

Team Ripple Coast