Kids go wild for the outdoors in Kelowna

The annual Wild Festival for Youth is held Thursday

Central Okanagan students show off their birdhouse creations during last year’s Wild Festival for Youth. - Contributed

Central Okanagan students are learning to care for the environment.

The annual Wild Festival for Youth gives 300 youth an opportunity to explore the Central Okanagan’s biodiversity with birdhouse building, a live burrowing owl display, a nature walk and more at Okanagan College and Mission Creek Regional Park.

Executive director Darlene Brule, of the Natures Wild Neighbours Society, said the festival encourages kids to get outside Thursday, June 14.

It’s important for the students to learn about their environment from a young age because electronics have disconnected them, she said.

“They have untainted minds, we need to reconnect them.”

This year’s theme centres around the 100th anniversary of bird conservation in Canada.

Birds are a necessity for ecosystems, Brule said, which is why the festival is celebrating birds.

The festival allows the kids to generate ideas on how to protect the environment, she said.

Okanagan Heritage Museum will also present a display, and students will contribute to a bird banner created by Okanagan College.

“It’s very much a bird theme,” Brule said.

The students will also learn to fish in Mission Creek and listen to a presentation about invasive species.

The festival was started by Robert Bateman, a Canadian naturalist, in 1999.

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