Students in classrooms across Canada are undertaking amazing Action Projects that are helping to transform their schools and communities! Stay tuned for more Success Stories.
A Garden Grows at Richmond Rose
Richmond Hill, ON
The 38 student Richmond Rose Eco-Team built and sustained a large school vegetable garden for two years with the support of their fellow students, parents, administration and community. This project engaged students from Kindergarten to Grade 8, teachers, parents and community volunteers. This collaborative team built, seeded, watered, weeded and harvested the garden, which consisted of 6 raised garden beds, each 4 feet by 12 feet in size. The school held a planting day to seed the garden that involved over 150 students from all grades and classes. The garden was watered daily during the summer break thanks to the organized and collaborative efforts of eco-team members and their families. In the fall, over 150 students came together to harvest the vegetables which filled 10 bushels of potatoes, parsnips and carrots. The students donated 35 bags of potatoes to the Richmond Hill Community Food Bank and sold potatoes, parsnips with recipes and carrot juice to the community during a school event to raise money for compost fertilizer and seeds for next year.
Reducing Environmental Impact at The Luther Marsh
Mount Forest, ON
The grade 10 students in the Community Environmental Leadership Program (CELP) at Wellington Heights Secondary School built a boardwalk at Luther Marsh. Their goal was to sustain the clean water in the area, as well as conserve the wetland for future generations. The students increased their awareness for water stewardship, and also transformed the area to make it safely accessible while reducing the environmental impact they have upon the Marsh. The Luther Marsh is studied and explored daily by the CELP class, and annually by the local grade four classes each May.
There’s Something Fishy at École Riverside School
Grade 6 students at École Riverside School raised 4 Sturgeon in their classroom in order to study their life cycles, behaviour, and anatomy. They cared for the fish by feeding them bloodworms, and maintaining their aquatic environment (aquarium) throughout the year. Once the sturgeons were grown, they were released into Burntwood River in Manitoba. By releasing the fish, the students’ goal was to increase the local population of sturgeon in lakes and rivers in Northern Manitoba. Sturgeons have a cultural significance to the Aboriginal populations living the area. Throughout their action project, Riverside students learned about the cultural significance of sturgeon and about their disappearance from our waters. They celebrated their project with a mini- festival at their school!
SEE the Change at Bluefield High School
Students from the Society for the Enhancement of the Environment (SEE) at Bluefield High School built a four-part waste bin to educate their school about waste management. SEE’s goal was to divert the amount of waste produced at their school into compostable and recyclable materials. The four part waste bin was promoted through numerous school-wide campaigns and initiatives to educate Bluefield students about the importance of proper waste management, and waste reduction. Campaigns included “waste sorting” lessons, spring cleanups, and educational posters around the school. The Society for the Enhancement for the Environment was successful in promoting the waste bin, encouraging proper waste management strategies, and reducing Bluefield’s waste. Their efforts did not only reach the entire school population—but their local community as well!
Water Testing at Coquitlam River Elementary School
Port Coquitlam, BC
Grade 4 and 5 students at Coquitlam River Elementary School learned about local water issues and their local waterways by conducting water drop and water pollution tests. The students conducted their water tests at local watersheds and on local tap water. They also had a guest speaker come into their classroom to talk about the cultural and ecological significance of salmon fish in their community, and the dangers they face due to pollution. To encourage water stewardship among all students in their school, grade 4 and 5 students at Coquitlam River highlighted what they learned in class by creating educational posters, and giving presentations to other classrooms. To increase their school’s water stewardship even further, Coquitlam River students want to reduce the use of plastic water bottles at their school, and to paint an outdoor mural around the theme of “making a difference in our community.”
Worming Away at Food Waste
Chapel Arm, NFLD
The Holy Family Green Team in Chapel Arm, Newfoundland, has been busy doing their part to help the environment through composting. The school’s green team is made up of a group of grades 5 and 6 students who are passionate about waste reduction. The team was surprised to learn that one third of the garbage we throw away could be recycled through composting, and was eager to learn how they could recycle their food scraps. The Green Team received LSF EcoLeague funding, and purchased four vermicomposting kits for classrooms at the school. Mrs Cathy Parsons from MMSB visited the school in early January. She assisted the children in setting up their composters and further educated them on the environmental benefits of vermicomposting. She presented to the grade one, three, and six classrooms, who had taken on the responsibility of vermicomposting in their classrooms. A group of students are also composting in the Special Education classroom. The Green Team took leadership in presenting to the classes that do not yet have their own compost bin, to spread their knowledge about the benefits of vermicomposting.
Fair trade fought for at St. Mary’s High School
St. Mary’s High School in Calgary has taken part in a district-wide awareness program on Sweatshops. The action team ran ads on the school’s TV's for two weeks with interesting and disturbing facts about sweatshops. They also set up a bulletin board display and booth in the hallway for students to visit. The action team has also written letters to business in the area who practice fair trade to donate gift certificates to the school so that students will be able to enter a contest to win the certificates by correctly answering questions about the realities of sweatshops.