Cranbrook prepares for Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall will meet with students and educators to launch her Roots and Shoots program in Cranbrook.

Jane Goodall will be in the Kootenays this weekend for a number of appearances.

Dr. Jane Goodall is headed to Cranbrook this weekend for a whirlwind tour, and she will leave behind a legacy of knowledge when she takes off on Tuesday.

Susie MacDonald, program co-ordinator for Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network’s Wild Voices for Kids, said Goodall will speak to 575 elementary students, mostly Grade 6s on Monday at the Key City Theatre. She hopes those students will spread the knowledge from Goodall’s talk to their peers when they return to school.

“We’re hoping there’s going to be a lot of drop down from this,” MacDonald said, adding that Grade 6 is the perfect age for Goodall, because younger students may not understand her language.

Each school will get a chance to ask the world-renewed primatologist one question. MacDonald said the students are already working together to come up with that one great question to pose to Goodall. One student will be selected to address her directly and ask it.

“Students are still preparing,” MacDonald said.

The focus of Goodall’s talk will be on Roots and Shoots, a national program that encourages people to improve the quality of life and environment for people and animals. Goodall along with MacDonald will be launching Roots and Shoots in Cranbrook and encouraging students and their teachers to get involved with environmental programs and projects in their area. MacDonald said Goodall is very involved in the program.

“She really makes an effort to stay in contact with the Roots and Shoots people,” she said.

MacDonald said Roots and Shoots is a good match for CBEEN, which acts as a network for local environmental practitioners.

“I’m hoping this is going to spur teachers into environmental action in their classes,” she said.

CBEEN already has access to many key players in environmental education in the community, and MacDonald said there are many amazing people and projects already happening in the area that Roots and Shoots can tap into.

“This is the first time its really been brought to the public attention,” MacDonald said.

Goodall will arrive in Cranbrook on Saturday, and MacDonald said she gets a little bit of rest before launching into a very busy weekend of speaking engagements. While on speaking tours, Goodall continues to work on her many global initiatives.

“I don’t think she ever stops,” MacDonald said.

Before meeting with students, Goodall will connect with teachers and educators in the Kootenays on Sunday at the St. Eugene Mission to introduce Roots and Shoots. Carissa MacLennan, co-ordinator of the Jane Goodall Institute’s Canadian Roots and Shoots branch will be there to explain the program.

CBEEN’s annual Voices of Sustainability Conference, which starts Friday will also feature Goodall after she arrives in the Rockies.

Tickets have already sold out for Goodall’s Reasons for Hope presentation at the Key City Theatre on Sunday evening and the wine and cheese reception.