Students share stories and experiences through a national networkBURLINGTON, ON, Nov. 23, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, students and teachers from New Brunswick to British Columbia will talk wetlands and the actions they're taking to conserve them. They'll tell stories of constructing boardwalks, banding owls and ducks at night, wading through cold swamps in hip waders, building nest boxes, planting and restoring wetlands, and most importantly, learning and sharing their experiences in their schools and their communities. Young people and educators representing 24 schools engaged in Ducks Unlimited Canada's (DUC) Wetland Centres of Excellence (WCE) program will connect via video and in some cases join in-person at sites in Ontario and New Brunswick. This networking session will include representatives from the internationally renowned Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre in Manitoba, Tantramar Wetlands Centre in New Brunswick, CEMH Côte-de-Beaupré in Quebec and other sites across Canada. Wrapped around the videoconference will be a wetland workshop at Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) for nearly 60 Ontario students. They will begin the day with a hands-on "meet and greet" with live animals that inhabit wetlands, and then present their stories to the rest of the country by video. Finally, they will journey through Carolinian forest to visit Cootes Paradise Marsh, a site recognized as nationally significant for birds, reptiles, amphibians and other wildlife. Today Ducks Unlimited Canada will also take the opportunity to recognize RBG as its newest Wetland Centre of Excellence partner. According to Merebeth Switzer, DUC's national manager of education, "each WCE is unique, and each is having amazing impacts on wetland conservation. We are delighted that RBG, with the strong role it plays in conservation and education, can help us to further these efforts." "Royal Botanical Gardens has always worked with DUC and other partners to move our conservation efforts forward. We have also seen the impact that our programs have on students, especially when they are involved in stewardship projects that make a difference in their community. We look forward to connecting more children and youth to wetlands through hands-on learning and leadership development opportunities," says Barb McKean, head of education, RBG. "This year we expect more than 750 WCE students to engage in wetland studies and conservation projects," adds Switzer. "Many will also mentor over 5,000 younger students by taking them on field trips to local wetlands."