Community Course: The Biosphere Region in Your Backyard

Community Course: The Biosphere Region in Your Backyard 1
Author: Mike Anderson, MABRRI Student Researcher

On September 26th at Milner Gardens & Woodland, staff from MABRRI (Pam, Graham, Monica, Mike, and Ryan) hosted the Biosphere Region in Your Backyard community course. The course was designed to be an introductory lesson of the history, physical/human geography and environmental issues in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR). Research projects including the State of the Environment Report (SOER) and the Mount Arrowsmith Snow Pillow were highlighted that have relevance and interest to communities contained within the MABR.

It was a full house at Milner Gardens with 27 people in attendance (sold out!). A special feature of the course were the interactive activities that were designed to engage participants with the geography of the MABR and to gather feedback on the desired future of the region. One activity included in the course was the “Map Game” which challenged participants to guess the location of as many cities, parks, lakes, mountains, and ecosystems as they could within the MABR. Several groups did extremely well and knew almost all of the locations - just shows how passionate local people are about the region in which they live. Another interesting activity in the course was the World Café discussion that engaged participants about the future of the MABR and what they personally thought about the research MABRRI has been a part of. Discussions from the World Café activity proved valuable as it provided insight on what the public would like to see happen in the MABR in the future--everything from resource management to research projects.

Course participants were enthusiastic to hear about the research being done at MABRRI and keenly voiced their passion for the region. The Biosphere Region in Your Backyard course hopefully raised awareness of the participants of the MABR and how to live better in this truly amazing region!

Adventure tips:

  • Milner Gardens & Woodland is a 70 hectare property located alongside the waterfront in Qualicum Beach and is considered by Canadian Geographic to be one of the Canada’s ten best public gardens. Visit Milner's website for more information on the history of the property and admission rates.

  • There are a number of community courses offered at Milner related to gardening and landscaping.

  • Milner Gardens is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help out with horticulture and gardening projects. Please see the Milner Gardens website for volunteer positions and an application form.