Powell River Board of Education
Learners Preparing for the Challenges of Tomorrow
Sustainability Education and Initiatives

The Powell River School District is committed to providing students with engaging and challenging learning opportunities that successfully complement and support curricula and promote place-based connection and an ethic of sustainability.  

In 2014-2015, School District 47 conducted a review of the many programs that were offered to students within the Powell River Region and compiled them in a report entitled Growing Connections Between Learners and Place 2014-2015.pdf

In 2012 a Strategic Visioning Session was conducted to survey teachers' interest in the future directions of Outdoor Learning in the School District.  This document was updated in 2015.  REPORT Directions in Outdoor Learning 2015 update.pdf

In 2008, the School District partnered with citizens, community leaders, and local agencies, to create visioning document reflecting the Powell River area’s intention to become more sustainable over time and to work closely together to achieve that vision. Our District sustainability education programs and initiatives reflect this Charter.

The Sustainable Schools Committee (SSC) was founded in 2008 and is a Powell River School District sponsored committee. Our mission is to provide environmental education opportunities for local schools and to support ways to minimize our community’s ecological footprint. Each year, the District provides the SSC with an annual operating budget to further its objectives.

District Department: Outdoor and Ecological Learning

 The Outdoor & Ecological Learning Department is dedicated to providing students with outdoor educational opportunities that reinforce their connection to the natural world and foster sustainability. We focus on giving students the necessary skills to think critically about personal choices and the relationships between society, economy, culture and the environment. Through leadership initiatives and healthy outdoor activities, students are empowered to make positive change in the world.

Leadership Ecology Adventure Program (LEAP)

The Leadership Ecology Adventure Program (LEAP) provides kids from Powell River and around the world with a hands-on, summer outdoor immersion. LEAP participants experience a sampling of outdoor activities while developing their leadership skills and gaining knowledge of both environmental issues and local ecology. LEAP is a dynamic and experiential program that focuses on both the hard and soft skills associated with living well and being in the outdoors. During the 9 day residential program, students will have countless opportunities to positively interact with each other while creating memories to last a lifetime.

The Coast Mountain Academy (CMA)


The Coast Mountain Academy (CMA) is an enriched outdoor education program which focuses on character development though leadership, citizenship, and outdoor adventure.  During CMA, students receive high school credit.  

Examples of CMA's Personalized and Place-Based Learning Experiences can be found  here Personalized Learning in OEL.docx

Green Careers Courses


Virtually every sector around the world is shifting towards the Green Economy. Similar to the standard Career Life courses, this offering uses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for student learning. The course will be offered in a mixed delivery context; students will be expected to complete modules independently as well as with small groups. There will be “touch points” when the entire cohort comes together. These interactive online workshops will have a focus on student voice and participation, and feature young professionals in sustainability related career paths.

District Initiatives

ECO Change Operation (ECO)

dc1.jpgECO is a district-wide culture-change initiative that focuses on personal, political, and systemic environmental change in our schools.  We have an ECO team at each of our schools.  Teams are a unique blend of teachers, students, parents, custodial staff, and administrators.  All ECO teams come together twice a year around a select theme.

The Powell Lake Outdoor Learning Center

 The Powell Lake Outdoor Learning Centre is located in Powell River’s secluded backcountry. Surrounded by parkland and crown forest the Centre is nestled on a small headland between two bays on the shores of Powell Lake.  Once a salt-water fjord the large freshwater lake is more than one mile deep in places and is situated in the heart of the Coast Mountain Range.

School District 47 Food Literacy Program

The School Food Literacy Program aims to provide SD47 students with the knowledge and skills to make healthy food choices - for themselves, their community, and their environment.

School or District- Based Programs


Eco-Immersion is a unique nature-based French immersion program that strives to draw out a child's inherent curiosity for learning by providing engaging teaching methods that nurture awareness of and respect for self, others and the environment. These diverse opportunities will support the development of bilingual, well-rounded, and successful children who are connected to their families, community and natural world.


 Kelly Creek Outdoor Adventure Program


The 2011-2012 school year was the first year of operation for the Kelly Creek Outdoor Adventure Program (KCOAP) which allows grade 6 and 7 students to participate in outdoor and experiential learning opportunities within the timeframe of the regular school day. Students in KCOAP work towards a number of certifications including Sprockids mountain bike leadership, Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Certificate, First Aid, and Introductory Winter Mountaineering.



Indigenous Education 

The Indigenous Education Department of School District 47 have created a number of integrated and experiential curriculum initiatives for primary classroom teachers. They include units on the importance of the use of Cedar, plants, and Basket weaving to first nation culture.

Supporting Initiatives

Discover - Imagine - Grow- Schoolyard

DIGS is inspired by schoolyard greening or "naturalization" - a movement that is “changing the landscape” of many schools across Canada and other parts of the world. The motivation for change at these schools has a common theme: vibrant and “naturalized” schoolyards for play, learning, and healthy activity have many benefits for students, teachers, and their schools. 


Farm to School (F2S)

F2S programs promote healthy students and healthy communities. Through regular meals made from local ingredients, F2S programs offer students fresh, delicious, and healthy foods. F2S goes to the “farm” but also beyond for its menus. In Powell River, we are very fortunate to live among such local abundance and a wide variety of farms and food producers who will provide F2S with meal ingredients – fruits, vegetables, fish and seafood, baked goods and other locally prepared foods. Those local farmers and businesses benefit economically from their participation in our F2S program.