What started as an idea to ensure that children have knowledge & tools to tackle complex environmental issues has continued to grow & evolve into an eco-club – The Little Sprouts.
Introducing children to the natural world and living sustainably is necessary work in today’s screen-saturated world. We are lucky to call home to such an abundance of rich waterways, forests, and ecosystems in Simcoe County, and it is important to conserve this for our children to enjoy.
In this spirit, the Little Sprouts Eco Club is intended to educate children aged 1 to 8 on how to live sustainably, raise awareness of issues affecting the environment, and foster in them a love for the natural land in our region.[wc_row][wc_column size=”one-half” position=”first”]
Club meetings take place monthly at Grant’s Woods, home to the Couchiching Conservancy. Here, the monthly eco-theme is discussed and the children receive a sticker on their certificate celebrating that they have taken action on that month’s theme.
In Orillia, Little Sprouts Eco-Club is free to join and open to the public. Parents follow along on a Facebook group and participate by posting photos of their children learning about the monthly theme.
November’s theme is recycling. During this month, children have been learning about where waste goes, what goes in which bin, and how to reduce waste in landfills by reusing and recycling. Next, the Little Sprouts will meet at the Couchiching Conservancy office on Sunday, November 27 at 9:30am to celebrate the efforts of parents and children during recycling month. Here, December’s eco-theme will be introduced. New participants are always welcome.[/wc_column][wc_column size=”one-half” position=”last”]
“I can’t image my children dealing with complex issues…like water scarcity… toxins in the food supply…without at least giving them the tools and knowledge to help mitigate these issues…”[/wc_column][/wc_row]
Founder, Christina Hunter, came up with the idea for this club during her leadership training with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. As a parent, Christina felt compelled to look outside herself to the world her children stood to inherit.
“I instantly felt a great responsibility to act now to ensure they have opportunities and not burdens growing up,” Christina said of her motivation behind creating this group. “I can’t image my children dealing with complex issues into adulthood like water scarcity, air and soil pollutants, toxins in the food supply etc. without at least giving them the tools and knowledge to help mitigate these issues and together we can come up with sustainable solutions.”
She launched the Little Sprouts in Gravenhurst in August 2015 with just a few parents. Since then, the group continues to grow. A chapter of the Little Sprouts has taken root in Gravenhurst and Bracebridge through the Muskoka Conservancy. In Muskoka, Little Sprouts has grown to include over 300 parents and grandparents on its Facebook group page with 20 to 50 children attending monthly meetings and field trips.
If you are interested in joining the Little Sprouts, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danielle Giles is a volunteer with The Couchiching Conservancy.
Learn more about The Little Sprouts and get involved!
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