Greenways Land Trust has a history of helping kids learn about the natural world around us, and having just received another grant from Environment and Climate Change Canada, they have another initiative in the works: Junior Streamkeepers. Photo courtesy Greenways Land Trust

Greenways Land Trust launches Junior Streamkeepers project

Initiative aims to get kids invested in the future of our waterways

Over the past three years, Greenways Land Trust has been overseeing a project called EcoAction at various sites around Campbell River, working with students in local schools and getting them involved in ecological restoration projects.

That initiative was possible because of a grant the organization received from Environment and Climate Change Canada, and project coordinator Lynette Hornung says it was a great success.

“We were able to get 1,100 students and 65 other volunteers involved in ecological restoration projects through that grant,” Hornung says. “Our youth learn a lot by getting outside of the classroom and making a hands-on contribution to their community, as well as from the ecological training opportunities that are part of the project.”

And so the organization re-applied for another round of funding, hoping to move the kids down into our waterways, as well. They were successful with their application and will now launch a Junior Streamkeepers program that will focus on educating kids on the importance of clean water and healthy stream systems.

“Clean freshwater is important to all communities, but there are a few reasons that it’s especially important to Campbell River,” Hornung says. “Campbell River considers itself to be the salmon capital of the world, and all our watercourses are either salmon habitat or connect to salmon habitat. We’re also seeing more high-water events that are increasing erosion and sedimentation in our waterways and negatively impacting our water quality.”

While the physical work of getting the kids’ hands dirty – and wet – won’t start for a little while yet, the background work has already begun.

“We’re starting by identifying and selecting a few sites that are connected with important facets of our waterways and getting the groundwork set, so to speak,” Hornung says. “It takes a little while to reach out to landowners to get a sense of whether they’d like to be part of it, plan out what the various projects will involve – that stuff takes some time. But at some point this fall we’re expecting to get the work with the kids underway.”

That work could be as simple as simply picking up litter along the edge of a stream, “especially plastic waste that we want to be sure we keep out of our water,” Hornung says, “or it could be stream side planting to prevent erosion by stabilizing the banks a little more, or any number of other things. Exactly what we’ll have the kids doing will depend on the site’s needs, as well as what the kids themselves are interested in.”

RELATED: Students learn about cycle of life during coho fry release

RELATED: Students and Greenways take on invasive species

Josie Simpson, who will be coordinating the next three years of the project, says she’s looking forward to getting the kids excited about helping the planet.

“Basically, when it comes to environmental education initiatives like this, you just want the school groups to feel like they can do something tangible with what they’re learning,” Simpson says. “For them to be able get out and see things they can actually do to make a positive difference in the world is a really great thing.

“It also gives them a sense of connection with the natural world,” Simpson continues. “Hearing them say things like ‘let’s go work on our forest’ is just amazing. They’re taking responsibility and claiming ownership and that’s really important, because it means, hopefully, that the principles of stewardship will stick with them throughout their lives.”

“They’re the ones who are going to grow up and make policies going forward into the future,” Hornung agrees. “So let’s start them on a path that will help them make good decisions when doing so.”

Anyone interested in getting involved with the project – especially local teachers or leaders of other childrens’ groups – are encouraged to contact Simpson by email at josie@greenwaystrust.ca or by calling the office at 250-287-3785.



miked@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Island College receives $125,000 donation from accounting firm

The donation from Chan Nowosad Boates will be used to purchase technology as well to award bursaries for students

Mobile Health Unit takes to Campbell River streets

KDC Health-operated health bus offers holistic approach to health

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

Mowi’s B.C. salmon farms achieve environmental certification from independent watchdog

Aquaculture Steward Council certification complies with 500 sustainability and social measures

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Minivan driver’s speed a factor in fatal 2018 Malahat crash

Driver was travelling at 110 km/h in a construction zone

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Most Read