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Piece of $6M climate-action project earmarked for Prince George’s Exploration Place

Initiative aimed to help youth understand science of climate
The Exploration Place Museum and Science Centre in Prince George at Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park. | Hanna Petersen, PrinceGeorgeMatters

A Prince George museum is joining a new national initiative aimed to focus on climate change and presenting educational opportunities for young people.

The Exploration Place is set to be part of a 30-facility collaboration, collectively receiving $6 million to kickstart the Inspiring Youth to Climate Action Project, which hopes to develop a better understanding of climate science.

The money is an investment from Environment Canada, part of a larger $38-million Climate Action and Awareness Fund.

CEO Tracy Calogheros says Canada can target ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050, but not without the help of the country’s youth in future governments, industry and communities.

“The world is facing several existential threats at the moment,” she says, adding climate change is influenced by a number of factors aside from nature, including the COVID-19 pandemic, social inequities and systemic racism, bigotry and sexism.

“This Museum, YOUR Exploration Place, is the community forum, the safe place for difficult discussions and a trusted source of information that has grown organically in the North for the North. We will work through these conundrums together, as neighbours and colleagues, friends and family. Simply put, we have to.”

Programs associated with the multi-year project are scheduled to roll out in 2022.

Exploration Place plans to apply the project to its ‘Tech Up’ online programming as the COVID-19 continues to keep the local organization closed, which is a separate partnership with Science World in Vancouver.

Calogheros believes, when it comes to facts about climate change, science centres can help resolve issues of misinformation.

“We have earned the public’s trust over some 50 years and, in partnership with our museums who hold our collective memory, we are well positioned to help inspire the public discussions and answer the questions we are all struggling with around climate science and reliable sources.”

She adds programming will also include the assistance of the Lheidli T’enneh Nation to roll it out to Indigenous youth as well.

Exploration Place is one of three main partners with the Inspiring Youth to Climate Action Project, alongside Halifax’s Discovery Centre, Sudbury’s Science North and the Canadian Association of Science Centres (CASC).