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Lethbridge College students helping protect river valley

Indian Battle Park, pictured on Mar. 9, 2022. Eloise Therien / Global News

The Helen Schuler Nature Centre in Lethbridge is restarting its Conservation Outreach Team after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team, comprised of student volunteers from the Natural Resource Compliance (NRC) program at Lethbridge College, will work to provide education to community members within the city’s river valley.

Curtis Goodman, resource development co-ordinator at the nature centre, said there has been an uptick in use of the city’s natural spaces.

While this in itself is positive, he said they have noticed some “non-complementary recreation activities.”

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“For example, off-leash dogs in the Elizabeth Hall Wetlands can be really problematic especially as we go into spring and the spring nesting season,” Goodman explained.

“The (team) really is meant to increase that observation capacity, have more eyes and ears on the ground to engage in conversations with people that may be using the park and not know about some of the park’s bylaws.”

Matthew Henry, a student volunteer who helped the Conservation Outreach Team resume its work, feels like it is a perfect fit for the NRC program and helping students put their education to practice.

Currently, there are six volunteers.

“Going forward, we’re definitely going to promote it more within the students in our program and try and get even more students out there building those skills, and also helping protect our parks in Lethbridge,” Henry said.

The Conservation Outreach Team first launched in November 2019.

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