Students on the prowl for bear education | SierraSun.com

Students on the prowl for bear education

Renée Shadforth

With new, white T-shirts down to their knees, Glenshire Elementary School second graders saturated town with bear education posters Wednesday.”We want to educate people about bears so they don’t kill them,” said Andrew Blaker, who, like his classmates, was wearing a T-shirt about bear education that he designed. “We don’t want people to shoot them or call [the Department of Fish and Game] when the bears are in their garbage.”In a service learning project called Kids for BEARS, the second graders took student-designed posters and flyers to areas where tourists and part-time residents go: real estate offices, the grocery store and the train station, to name a few.Earlier in the year, the lead teacher on the project, Suzanne Samson, wanted to use a multi-discipline approach for a greater community purpose. With a $250 service learning grant, printing donated by TIP, and graphic design work donated by parent Gary Wood, the second graders educated people on how to be responsible neighbors with bears.The students also had help from members of Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, the BEAR League and a visit to a veterinarian.Andrew Jones, a member of the BEAR League, said the most important information the students could impart on people who come to Truckee is knowledge about trash.”It’s all about the garbage,” he said. “That’s what people really need to be aware of.”At the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce office in the train depot, the students gave chamber employee Linda Carrigan some flyers. Carrigan, who lives in Tahoe Donner, said bears frequent the trash in her neighborhood.”Some people are using bear [resistant] cans but not everybody,” she told the students. “People put their garbage cans out on Sunday because they’re only here for the weekend, and then the bears get to it before the trash is picked up on Tuesday.”On the NetFor more information on what you can do to help bears and other wildlife, go to http://www.savebears.org.Be ‘bear aware’When camping• Never keep items such as food, toothpaste, candy, gum, perfume or lip gloss in your tent or sleeping bag;• Store food in a bear-proof container or locker;• The trunk of your car is not secure;• Clean everything after preparing meals;• Use canisters for food when backpacking;• Do not keep food in your tent that smells like food or cooking odors.Taking out the trash• When possible, do not leave trash out overnight before pick up;• Go to http://www.savebears.org for a list of test bear-resistant containers.