The Western Painted Turtle may be the most widespread turtle in North America, but in some areas of BC they are considered endangered. Painted turtles enjoy basking in the sun and nestling into the muddy bottoms of ponds, wetlands, and marshes. A little known fact: their ribs grow as a part of their shell which forces them to use their stomach muscles to pump air in and out of their lungs.
There’s nothing slow about the rate of support for the Painted Turtles and their wetland habitats in Kelowna, BC. Leading the charge is Michele Hamiltonand her students from KLO Middle School. Michele is a past participant of the Wetlands Institute in Kamloops (2010), a science teacher, and her school’s Eco Club leader. Students from her school were recently featured in The Province regarding their effort to restore wetlands on the school grounds. KLO Middle School also received the Mayor’s Environmental Award and titled the school as “Most Environmental School in Kelowna”!
Michele and the Eco Club need your support, as they are now participating in the BC Green Games where they hope to receive funding for environmental projects that connect students to nature. They require your votes for a video produced by students aged 11 to 15 (Vote now, as the competition ends March 31st). To help support Michele and KLO Middle School click here!
Collective actions like the Eco Club are necessary if we want to preserve wildlife and natural beauty for future generations. Most notably, the Eco Club rescued a nesting ground for an endangered population of Western Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta). KLO Students had raised two young turtles and then released them in a creek on their school’s property while building signs and fences.
To read more about the conservation efforts of Michele Hamilton and students from KLO Middle School in a previous blog posting, click here!