Caring for Our Watersheds participated in a local sustainability contest which was organized by Aapresid. Aapresid, Argentina Association of Producers in no-till planting, is a non profit NGO, which is composed of a network of companies and farmers, with the aim of preserving its main resource, the soil.
Caring for Our Watersheds was awarded with Special Mention for Environmental Education in the Sustentar award categorie, which recognizes sustainbaility in the Agrifood Systems and is organized by Aapresid, Revisgta Chacra and Agritotal.
The award was received by Matia Salinas, North Division Marketing Manager, at the Aapresid event held in Rosario, Santa Fe province. This is Caring for Our Watersheds first award in Argentina!
Volunteer tasks and assignments come in all skill levels and time commitments, such as helping tabulate scores or mentoring contestants. The more people that volunteer, the better this experience will be for the students – click here to register.
Our community partner in California, The Center for Land-Based Learning, was recently awarded The Partners in Conservation Award from California Department of the Interior.
The Partners in Conservation Award is a Department of the Interior Honor Award established to recognize conservation achievements that include collaborative activity among a diverse range of entities that may include Federal, State, local and tribal governments, private for-profit and non-profit institutions, other non-governmental entities, and individuals.This award enables the Secretary to acknowledge in one award the contributions of both Interior and non-Interior personnel. Overall, this award recognizes outstanding conservation results that have been produced primarily because of the engagement and contributions of many partners.
Member, Center for Land-Based Learning
Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior, recently recognized Sacramento’s Center for Land Based Learning (CLBL) for their exemplary conservation and partnership service. CLBL partners with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Audubon California, the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts, Nutrien Inc. and other partners to conserve and enhance habitat for wildlife by promoting a healthy interplay between agriculture and nature. The CLBL was nominated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sacramento Field Office.
“I take pride in knowing that the partnership with CLBL not only helps to accomplish the Service’s mission but that we are also helping to train the next generation of conservation professionals,” explained Karleen Vollherbst, USFWS School Yard Habitat Coordinator.
Caring for our Watersheds received its second major environmental award in 2011 – the Fred Heal Conservation Award!
Almost all of Nutrien’s Western Canadian operations sit inside the Saskatchewan River Basin, and an advocacy group bent on keeping those waterways clean and healthy just gave Nutrien an award for choosing to be part of the solution.
“What a wonderful honour,” says Lindsey Metheral, Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Coordinator. “It is extremely gratifying to be acknowledged by a major environmental organization and to be a part of a program that is making positive changes to the state of our local watershed.”
The Fred Heal Conservation Award recognizes a community, organization or business that has taken direct initiative in preserving and/or enhancing the health of the Saskatchewan River Basin.
“This program is an innovative way to encourage youth to take ownership in their local watersheds,” says Lis Mack, Acting Manager of the Partners for the Saskatchewan River Basin. “These students are our future leaders who are learning early to think ‘out of the box’ to protect our vital water resources.”
Since 1993, the Partners have promoted the stewardship and sustainability of the Saskatchewan River Basin, an international watershed stretching over the three Prairie Provinces and a portion of Montana. Nutrien production facilities that sit inside the basin include Redwater, Fort Saskatchewan, Joffre, Carseland, Calgary and Vanscoy.
Nutrien’s Caring for our Watersheds (CFW) program is the proud recipient of a 2011 Alberta Emerald Award in the Education: Non-Formal category.
“The Emerald Award is like winning an Oscar for environmental stewardship in Alberta. It is a huge accomplishment to win this prestigious award and we are very honoured,” said Lindsey Metheral, Nutrien Program Coordinator. “The Caring for our Watersheds program continues to grow thanks to our community partners who are dedicated to mentoring the students on the state of their local watershed.”
Empowering Students to Bring Their Ideas to Life
“The students have incredible ideas on how to improve our local environment and we are committed to helping them make their ideas happen,” added Metheral.
The key to the success of the CFW program relies in taking action after the contest. All students are encouraged to implement their idea. Nutrien offers over $100,000 per year to help students’ ideas become reality.
Good for the Environment = Good for our Communities
“I have seen the spectacular innovation and ideas put forth in Caring for our Watersheds. I strongly believe this contest will be beneficial not only to our environment but to the communities where we operate, said Nutrien President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Wilson. ”What better way to help grow the next generation but by engaging them and asking for help in seeking solutions in our communities.”
A university student at this year’s ceremonies commented that all of the generations need to work together to take care of our environment and Nutrien couldn’t agree more. By working together we can make a difference.
This was the 20th year that the Emerald Awards have taken place.
“Albertans are passionate about balancing the development of this province’s rich resources with environmental stewardship. The Emerald Awards recognize and reward the excellent environmental initiatives undertaken each year.” (Alberta Emerald Foundation, 2011).
“Most school assignments are just hypothetical, but this one came to fruition in a big way. I’m very thankful that Mr. Cochrane got us involved with the CFW program because none of this would have happened without that first step. Messages of how important it is to look after the environment surround us, but something like this makes it all that more real.”
“Caring for Our Watersheds allowed me to explore a region of science and conservation that I knew little about at the time. The project itself, along with the understanding that eventually came to me through my participation, gave me a true passion for the environment. I can easily say that the decision the be a part of CFW not only changed the way I view the world and its ecosystems, but it has also driven me to discover and learn more about this immense field of science.”
“My project involved educating homeowners of the benefits of mulch for our environment and ecosystem…the Caring For Our Watershed program enables students to use their creativity to establish solutions that would otherwise be unheard and unseen… It helps students realize the value of community contribution and the significant impact each individual can have….Without a doubt, Caring For Our Watersheds impacts our environment, but equally as important, also the lives of its participants.”
“The benefits are multifaceted and very meaningful. The project gave my curriculum a sharper focus, gave the students real world experience and the cash rewards to the school are providing continued assistance to students.The [Caring for Our Watersheds] watershed project fit perfectly into my grade 8 science curriculum in Ontario. Students in grade 8 in Ontario are expected to learn about the water cycle, and how humans impact water systems in their area.These curricular expectations were seamlessly inserted into a very realistic project. Through producing this project, the students gained experience in reading a variety of texts, writing for a intended audience and purpose, oral presentation, math, and in creating visual presentations. This holistic approach to learning, or integrated learning, is extremely beneficial as it seamlessly draws the students into higher level of thinking skills. They were not simply writing for their teacher, but they were creating for an audience much bigger than the one they were used to in their classroom. This type of real-world experience, is often very hard to artificially create in a classroom.”
“I learned about the [Caring for Our Watersheds] project through our local watershed council. As a teacher, I find that there is not enough time in the year to do project-based learning, however project-based learning is the way of the future and the way that we are supposed to be teaching students. When I found this project, extremely excited to see how well it fit in with the curriculum of our grade 8. I decided to have the students do this watershed project as part of their final grade for our water unit. I had 30 students in my class this year. When I gave them this project, I allowed them to decide what it was they wanted to talk about. I wanted them to research something that meant more to them than just what the textbook told them. I wanted them to be able to look within our own community and area and find problems they thought needed to be fixed. I gave the students two weeks in science class and computer class to complete this project. I have never seen my students actually put so much pride into one project. Although it was something that didn’t necessarily appeal to everyone, all of my students put in quite an effort, because this is a project that hit home for them. They were able to look around our community of Milk River, around their homes, around their farms and see things that they would be able to change themselves. I know that my students put a lot more time and thought into this project than they would have put into studying for a final exam. I know that they were motivated because this was a major mark for them but they were also motivated by the fact that there was a chance to win money. Let’s face it all students like the idea of winning a little cash! I was extremely proud to find out that six of my students made the finals. My students were nervous about speaking in front of the panel of judges in a roomful of other people, however, I think that this experience was amazing for them. The students had completed speeches as well as a PowerPoint that outlined what our watershed is, a problem found here locally, the solution to that problem, and a budget as to what they would need to be able to put this project into place. Out of my six students that made it to the finals, three of them placed in the top three positions. I truly believe the reason for this is because they were allowed to do a project based on something they knew. I would recommend this project to absolutely any teacher in junior high. Not only does it have its science curriculum, but it would also fit under a social current events curriculum. I know from experience that my students have never felt as much success in one school project. Thank you Nutrien for making this happen!”