Kyla van-Eyden / Staff reporter

Fundraising started on November 12 for a bear-proof garbage can to save local wildlife. Krista Bogen, English teacher, Mark Liao, science teacher, and a group of various students have started their endeavour by selling various baked goods to raise half of the cost of the can. Purchasing the can will protect both the bears in the area as well as the students in the school.

Their goal is to have the funds raised in time for spring when the bears come looking for food.

“We don’t want garbage attracting them to the parking lot,” Bogen said. “I believe the bears on the North Shore mountains come out of hibernation as early as March and April, May for sure.”

Bogen has been parking her car in the student parking lot for years, and never saw any major problems with littering. However, this year she noticed it had started becoming a problem. She found out that the outdoor cans had been taken away because of a new bylaw passed by the city of Coquitlam, which doesn’t allow non bear-proof cans on public property

“So I thought well, we need a garbage can then. But they’re super expensive; they’re about $2000. So I asked the principal; If I get the kids to help fund raise half of the money will you pay half? And he agreed. So we are trying to encourage the kids to raise $1000 for a can in the student parking lot, so it belongs to the kids and not just random adults,” Bogen explained.

What they decided to do was fund raise through bake sales during the night school students’ break. Because the Starbucks across the street closed, there’s nowhere for them to get snacks or beverages, so it is a great opportunity.

“It’s catching on. More and more people are showing up each time [because] they know we’re going to be there. [Liao] has volunteered to manage Thursday nights, I take Tuesday nights. It’s growing and evolving. We’ve started asking what people would like to buy for snacking between the classes that night, and supplementing whatever they requested,” Bogen commented.

They want to provide a service for the night school, as well as a service to the students.

“It’s twofold, because it’s safety for the bears because if they can get into the garbage can, they learn that behaviour, [which means] then they will be captured or shot. Of course it’s also safety for the student population as well,” Liao said.

Students have been helping make baked goods, creating signage, and selling to the night school students.

“If there are any students who feel like they would like to help out with this endeavour, then we could always use some talented people [to help] bake and maybe create some new signage,” Liao added. If their goal of $1000 is exceeded, the extra funds will go towards a new water bottle filling station for the school.