A group of École H. J. Cody High School students are using some of the things they learned at a recent water summit to benefit Sylvan Lake.
Four students and two teachers attended Inside Education’s Navigate 2014 Water Literacy Youth Summit in Banff Mar. 13 to 16, where they were joined by representatives from 19 other Alberta schools.
Together, they learned about water in Alberta by listening to a number of experts on the subject, and were exposed to “the science, multiple perspectives, innovations and careers related to Alberta’s water story”, according to an Inside Education release.
Grade 12 student Joy Fugler was one of the Sylvan Lake students who made the trip, and found it to be well worthwhile.
“There was a great sense of community throughout all the schools in Alberta that were joining together to try to protect the watersheds,” she said. “I think it got a lot of the people more excited about it, and got them to actually understand what we’re doing and why.”
As a result of attending the summit, members of the group are now preparing their own water-related project, and are planning to undertake an awareness campaign to highlight the importance of proper watershed stewardship.
“Basically, we’re going to try and raise more awareness on how our behaviour affects our watershed, and specifically in Sylvan Lake,” said Fugler. “How can we do a little bit more, without too, too much effort, and have everyone pitch in to take better care of the lake.”
One of the means in which they intend to raise that awareness involves entering into a dialogue with town council to discuss town-related water issues, such as construction projects on wetlands.
They’re also hoping to get more youths involved in watershed stewardship, and would like to see their advocacy spread to elementary schools in town.
According to Fugler, they’ll be introducing “some smaller things that they can get the younger kids involved in as well so they feel like they’re making a difference, rather than just thinking that it’s something only older people can do”.
Currently, the project is still in its planning stages. When it will begin and end remains unclear.
Once up and running, however, Fugler is hopeful that it can be something that remains available for youths to get involved in for years to come.
“(We’re) hoping that it’s something that will stick with the school, and always be underlying there,” she said. “Caring about the environment shouldn’t really stop, ever.”