Get Bear Smart has utilized a variety of strategies to good effect in Whistler, B.C. You may want to incorporate some of these ideas into your own educational program. We are pleased to be able to share them with you. Some are free downloads and other materials are available at wholesale costs.
The Get Bear Smart Society is keen to help you get started. Here's how we can help:
Provide educational materials
Informational booklets, pamphlets, and single sheet flyers are an excellent way to distribute information to the general public. Here are some samples of educational materials that can be adapted to suit your community.
The brochures below can be downloaded, edited and distributed - all yours for free. We produce Get Bear Smart guides for residents or visitors (if you live in a resort community). You can download the generic version and revise it to include local contact information and your own logo. Please review the text carefully and make the appropriate changes. These guides can be printed front and back on regular letter size paper, folded twice and voila: you have a brochure. There are also a number of other guides/checklists you can download. Check 'em out.....
Download 'em now:
|Bear Smart Resident's Guide (Black Bears)||Word|
|Bear Smart Visitor's Guide (Black Bears)||Word|
|Bear Smart Resident's Checklist||Word|
|Bear Smart Business Checklist||Word|
|Bear Smart Best Practices Guide for Businesses||Word|
|Quick Facts: Bears in your Backyard||Word|
|Quick Facts: Bears in the Backcountry||Word|
BEAR SMART KIDS
8.5 x 11, 18 pages
soft colour over, b & w inside
Published March 2006
by Get Bear Smart Society
Bear Smart Kids Booklet - Are you smarter than the average bear?
Written and illustrated by Evelyn Kirkaldy
This book will make you smarter than the average bear! This is a wonderfully illustrated colouring and activity book about bears around the world, bear necessities, the life of a bear, crosswords and much more. A fantastic book for teachers, produced by the Get Bear Smart Society.
Wholesale cost is $3.50 CAD. Shipping costs are extra. Suggested retail is $6.99.
5.5 x 8, 192 pages
with 32 color pages
over 160 photos/illustrations
Published March 2009
by PixyJack Press
Bear~ology: Fascinating Bear Facts, Tales & Trivia
by Sylvia Dolson
“Bear~ology is smart, informative, entertaining, accessible and a must-read for bear fans everywhere.”
Bear~ology is a treasure-trove of folklore and amazing trivia that allows readers to discover the history and nature of black bears, grizzlies and polar bears. Along the way, meet some famous bears (real and not-so-real), learn about bear totems and mythologies of Native peoples and ancient cultures throughout the world, and see how bears have become embedded in our lives, from the names of night-sky constellations and sports teams to advertising campaigns and everyday language. Complete with color photos and numerous illustrations, plus helpful tips for coexisting with our furry neighbours.
“Read Bear-ology and you will succumb to its cumulative effects. The many interesting vignettes and images of bears lead to enjoyment, understanding, and respect. Through hundreds of smiles and reflections, Bear-ology will open a door and invite you into the fascinating world of bears and people who care about them.”
Wholesale cost is $12.00 CAD. Shipping costs are extra. Suggested Retail is $19.95 CAD or $18 US.
A WHISTLER BEAR STORY
9 x 12, 64 pages, soft cover
full colour, over 78 photos
Published January 2010
by Get Bear Smart Society
A Whistler Bear Story
By Sylvia Dolson and Katherine Fawcett
"An unbeatable combination of incredible photography and thought-provoking writing makes A Whistler Bear Story a rare and magical journey into a world few people know. The adventures and misadventures of the black bears who call Whistler home will make you smile, shake your head, stop and think and sometimes wonder what might have been. Dolson and Fawcett have created a book that's enlightening, insightful and a joy to read."
Wholesale cost is $9 CAD. Shipping costs are extra. Suggested retail is $14.95 CAD.
LIVING WITH BEARS
A Practical Guide to Bear Country
7.5 x 9, 256 pages, paperback
over 180 photos
published April 2006
by PixyJack Press
Living with Bears: A Practical Guide to Bear Country
by Linda Masterson
Living with Bears is urgently recommended by the thousands of 'problem' (victimized) bears that needlessly die each year in North America. This insightful, well researched and witty book will guide and inspire humans to live in greater harmony with bears.
With over 900,000 black bears roaming North America today, people from Florida to British Columbia are encountering bears more often, and as a result, human-bear conflicts are on the rise. Colorado author Linda Masterson dispels myths, replaces fear with respect, and lays the foundation for improving human-black bear relations with an inside look at the fascinating world of these highly intelligent, adaptable and resourceful animals.
Wholesale cost is $15 CAD. Shipping costs are extra. Suggested retail is $21.95 CAD or $20 US.
Bookmarks and Fridge Magnets
Magnets are a great way to advertise information that needs to be readily accessible, like a phone number to call for help, or a website address to obtain more information. You can also use magnets to advertise your key messages or reminder lists e.g. a list of attractants that might lure hungry bears into your backyard.
Get Bear Smart also carries a line of magnets that are sold in local retail outlets as a fundraising initiative. Check 'em out. You can create your own and raise money for your group.
Bookmarks are another great way to advertise your message - and they're useful too! They provide a larger format to deliver information. You can include fun facts about bears, ways to get bear smart around your house, or tips for hiking in bear country. The list is limited only by your imagination. In one example below, each tip is pre-fixed with a letter, spelling out SMART down the left side.
Magnets, bookmarks and stickers (see examples below) can distributed through centrally located outlets that residents frequent regularly, like the post office, grocery store, or library. Ask your municipal government office to help you distribute educational materials through their regular mail outs to residents, e.g. annual taxation notice.
We also have a line of bookmarks available for purchase (as seen below). They are 2" x 5". Wholesale cost is $.55 CAD each. Shipping costs are extra.
|At home||For Kids||In the Woods|
Stickers can be used to identify bear aware/smart households and businesses and reward them for doing the right thing. To earn a sticker, the household/business must complete a checklist of bear smart measures. See samples of the checklist and letter: We are a Bear Aware Residence, We are a Bear Smart Business.Download the Best Practices Guide for Businesses and send it along with the sticker.
Other Stickers can be used to promote the program or as a reminder of a specific program message. Display locations include store windows, car bumpers, garbage cans, and dumpsters.
Click on the image below to download the artwork for your printer.
Get Bear Smart carries a line of bumper stickers you can purchase at cost. They are fully weather resistant vinyl and easy to apply. They are approximately 9" x 3.75". Wholesale cost is $1.00 CAD per sticker. Postage is extra. Buy them individually or in bulk.
Stickers can also be sold to assist in fundraising efforts. See our "Whistler Adventure Bear" sticker series sold in retail outlets throughout our community.
Kid's placemats (restaurants)
Partner with local eateries and restaurants to provide bear smart placemats for kids to colour and complete the activities. Get the restaurant to donate funds to cover printing costs in exchange for placemats featuring their logo. You can download our designs and get them printed yourselves. Click on the design below and start downloading. NOTE: The files are large and will take some time to download.
Public Service Announcements (PSA's) are a great way to get the message out to a large audience. Non-profit groups are usually eligible to run them at no cost or at a substantial discount. Talk to your local paper, radio station and community cable TV programming and ask them to support your educational efforts. You can also contribute articles to a regular newspaper column, e.g. The Bear Facts. Contact us for some generic articles that will provide you with a great start on writing your own.
We can provide artwork, graphics and photos as well as sample ads to get you started. All you need to do is get your local newspaper to support your cause. Contact us directly so that we can tailor the package to suit your needs.
Download 8.5 mb mpeg
|Is it too late for Katie,
Maggie and Charlie?
Download 8.3 mb mpeg
|To download, right-click and select "Save Target As"|
Download two free PSA's for use in your community. Get your local community cable channel and theatres to play the commercials with their regular programming. You can even ask them to add a customized screen at the end with your own local contact information.
If you need a higher resolution version, just email us and we'll send it to you on CD.
Presentations to the public or special interest groups are the best way to communicate your message. There's nothing more effective than a 'face-to-face' conversation. It gives you the opportunity to engage the audience and allows them to actively participate by asking questions. It also allows you to share and convey your commitment and passion, motivating participants to take action.
Presentations should be as entertaining as possible. You can use slide shows, video or PowerPoint, allowing you to depict bears and their behaviour both visually and with audio. Invite guest speakers to present special topics of interest. Presentations should be held somewhere that's easily accessible by most residents, like your community centre or school. Generate interest in presentations by putting up posters in locations commonly frequented by residents, or use free PSA's to advertise the event. Contact local community groups to see if they're interested in hosting a presentation, or offer them to local businesses that are having specific problems.
Here's a sample list of the presentations we held one season to give you ideas for different topics.
Get Bear Smart can even organize a presentation in your area or we can provide you with some generic PowerPoint presentations that you can tailor to suit your own needs. Contact us directly so that we can tailor the package to suit your needs. For more information online click here.
Display Booths, Festivals and Special Events
Set up an informational display booth at local events, whenever the opportunity arises. Participate in parades, farmer's markets, Earth Day or any special event that's already organized.
Make your displays fun and interactive. You can have contests and draws. Here are some sample contests you can download: Adult Quiz, Kid's Colouring Contest Sheet1, Sheet2, Kids: What's wrong with this picture? (Answers). Get local businesses to donate prizes.
Hang up our bear size chart (pictured right) so that participants can see how they measure up against grizzlies and black bears of different ages. Just click on the image to download the artwork and print your own life-size banner.
Have a volunteer dress up in a bear costume to attract interest or for photos with the kids.
Establish a bear awareness week every year, preferably in the spring. Use this opportunity to set up displays, advertise and go door-to-door educating the public.
Door to Door campaign
While you'll need to organize your own volunteers to help, we can provide you with a guide to help volunteers answer difficult questions. Download "Frequently asked questions (and answers)".
Trash Can Tagging Program
Tagging resident's garbage cans can be an effective method of creating awareness and changing people's behaviour, in terms of storing and disposing of garbage in a bear-safe manner. In many areas that have curbside pick-up, it is more desirable for residents NOT to place their garbage/trash curbside until the morning of pick-up, or better yet, an hour or so before the truck is scheduled to pick it up.
Create tags that can be attached to trash can handles with a zip-tie. Yellow, orange or red are good colours to use as they signify a warning message. The tag should state the reason that the trash can has been tagged i.e. "Trash can left out in a manner that allows for the feeding of bears". This is also a good opportunity to provide a few bear smart tips, such as:
- Trash containers should be placed out the morning of pick-up only (just before the truck is scheduled to arrive).
- Safely and securely store trash in a garage, shed, or bear-proof enclosure or trash container during the remainder of the week.
- Occasionally clean your trash container with bleach.
Include your organization's contact information on the tag, as well as a website for getting more information - feel free to use www.bearsmart.com. [Click on the tags top right for a larger image]
If garbage/trash day is Tuesday in a particular neighbourhood, then tag any cans that are set out early on Monday evening and then again any cans that have been accessed by bears early on Tuesday morning. Use your city trash schedule as a guide for areas in which to tag.
Tagging events are also a great opportunity to talk to any residents you meet about storing and disposing of garbage in a bear-safe manner. It's important to relay the goal of the program, explaining that it's not just about saving bear's lives, but about minimizing property damage in their neighbourhood and creating a safe environment for all residents.
Don't be discouraged if you receive complaints, it's almost a certainty that you will, just do your best to calmly explain why it's important to comply. You may also notice the same cans are being tagged over and over again - in this case, use any local bylaws or ordinances to force compliance.
This program is a great example of using social norms to encourage community responsible behaviour. [Get more information on Creating Sustainable Behaviour]
Keep a record of addresses that have been tagged. Once the resident has become 'bear smart', reward them by placing a green Bear Smart Champion tag on their trash container that thanks them for being part of the solution. These tags can also include additional information on other bear smart practices.
This program is being used effectively by Bear Smart Durango.
A variety of permanent signs can be developed to provide general, community-specific, residential, and tourist information and to identify seasonally high use areas. Temporary signs can also be used to identify hot spots for bear activity. Signs can be posted at rest stops, parks, pathways/hiking trails, bus stops, and tourist information booths. See examples below (to review text - click on description).
We would be happy to supply the text and artwork we used for our signs including graphics and photos. Modify as necessary, produce and install - it's as easy as that!
|Large sign along highway at entrance to community||Temporary sandwich-board sign for residential area||Small poster-style sign on window of bus shelter - Sample Residential Area, Tourist Zone|
|Interpretive Signs at Golf Course
Large sign in park beside ball diamonds
|Small waist-high signs for
parks and walkways or trails
Sample 1, Sample 2,
Sample 3, Sample 4,
Sample 5, Sample 6
|Banner on Bridge
Banner over Breezeway
|Parking Lot Sign - Sample A, Sample B
|Bear in Area sign||Campground Sign(AK)|
|Sandwich Board Sign (temp)
|Bear Crossing Sign
(Lake Tahoe, CA)
Do not feed bears
(Port McNeil, BC)
|Break-in Bear-ometer (NY)
||Sign - Community
|Lawn Sign (NY)
||Bear Smart Bear-ometer (NY)
||Sightings Sign (NY)
|Sign - Bench (Trail, BC)
||Sign - Recreational Area
We can provide your Bear Smart Organization with their very own webpage. See examples at: http://www.bearsmart.com/LionsBay/ or http://www.bearsmart.com/Kootenay/. You provide us with the edited and ready to use text and photos and we'll upload your own introductory webpage with your very own link i.e. http://www.bearsmart.com/NameOfYourCommunity. Your page will link to the rest of our site so that users can access the best bear smart web resource on the planet. And best of all, it's all free, cause it's "fur" the bears.
NOTE: For additional information on educational program development, design and delivery, please refer to the Bear Smart Background Report (Section 8).