If you are a Juneau family, your child knows about bears. Every year Discovery Southeast, the local non-profit providing nature education, conducts trainings in fifth grade classrooms. It’s distinctly Alaskan to teach our children about bears.
Unfortunately, that will end this year. The $2,000 needed for fifth grade bear education has been cut from the city’s budget, along with all city funding for bear education and public service announcements. That should give us pause, and the opportunity to think about safety and how we relate to bears and the natural environment of Juneau.