Caring for Our Watersheds Named United Nations SDG Good Practice Partner

The United Nations named Caring for Our Watersheds as an SDG Good Practice Partner for theprogram’s contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were adopted in 2015 and act as a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to achieve a more sustainable future for all. Each Caring for Our Watershed project implementation aligns with one or more SDG, contributing to achieving the goals by the set year of 2030.


The SDG Good Practices acknowledges inspiring breakthroughs and success stories to highlight examples of good practices, including those that could be replicated or scaled-up by others across the globe.

Nutrien’s 2021 Program Coordinator Chloe Sprecker shared her excitement, “I am extremely proud of the efforts made by participating schools, students, volunteers and program partners, their ideas and efforts have paved the way for our involvement and commitment to contributing to the SDGs.” Adding, “we are honored to receive this acknowledgement from the United Nations and to be part of a program that is making an impact across the globe.”

The Caring for Our Watersheds program will continue to work and contribute to meeting the United Nations SDG targets to help make a difference and reach a sustainable future.



Caring for Our Watersheds wins national conservation award

The Canadian Wildlife Federation named Nutrien the 2019 recipient of the Youth Mentor Award for its Caring for Our Watersheds (CFW) program.

CWF Youth Mentor Award Presentation

The Youth Mentor Award recognizes an individual or group that creates, presents or encourages conservation, habitat, or wildlife programs to the youth of Canada.

“It is a true honor to be recognized by a revered environmental organization like the Canadian Wildlife Federation and to be part of a program that is driving positive change in our local watersheds,” said Chloe Sprecker, Nutrien’s 2019 Education Program Coordinator.

CFW was launched in 2007, with the premise to turn student ideas into environmental solutions. Since then, over 30,000 students have participated in the program.

“It has been an outstanding year,” says Chloe. “Thanks to the knowledge and effort of our community partners, we’re reaching more students, receiving more entries and most importantly, these students are implementing their environmental solutions to protect and improve their local watershed.”

In its biggest year yet, there will be approximately 2,300 contest entries this school year from students looking to improve their local watershed in Canada, the United States and Argentina. As the quantity of entries grow, so does the quality of student ideas getting more impressive and diverse each year. 

As of 2019, more than 425 student-led solutions have been implemented to improve watersheds around the world. With funding provided by Nutrien, and support from over 300 community partners and volunteers globally, we will continue to bring these incredible ideas to life.

Nutrien wins NAAEE Environmental Education Award

Nutrien was named a global leader in environmental education by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE).

The association gave the company its global-level Outstanding Service to Environmental Education Award in 2015. NAAEE promotes and celebrates environmental education initiatives that teach children and adults how to learn about and investigate their environment – and to make intelligent, informed decisions about how they can take care of it. This award is given annually to individuals and organizations at the local, regional and global levels.

“Teaching younger generations about the importance of good environmental stewardship is a key component of Nutrien’s sustainability programs,” said Leslie O’Donoghue, 2015 Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy, and Chief Risk Officer. “We are delighted to receive such a prestigious award that recognizes our efforts and successes in this area.”

Nutrien received this award thanks to its Caring for Our Watersheds (CFW) program. CFW asks students to submit a proposal that answers the question, “What can you do to improve your watershed?” Students must research their local watersheds, identify environmental concerns and propose realistic solutions. Community judges select the top entries to compete in a verbal competition and awards are given to participating students and their schools or clubs.

Nutrien also provides implementation funding to help turn the students’ ideas into realistic solutions that help improve our land, water and air. From the programs inception in 2007 to 2015, nearly 12,000 students participated, and implemented over 150 projects with the help from community mentors. As of 2015, about 65 community partners worked together to execute the program and mentor the students across contest locations in Canada, the United States, Argentina, and  Australia (2012-2016).

“I absolutely love working with Caring for Our Watersheds program,” says Gwen Roth of the Cincinnati, Ohio-based Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, which nominated Nutrien for the award. “The best part of the program is that students actually receive the help, mentorship and money to make their ideas a reality. It is wonderful to see their happiness and sense of satisfaction when they realize they accomplished something lasting and meaningful.”

Caring for our Watersheds is a leading environmental education program, because it offers real-life experience, while complementing school curriculum, says Lindsey Verhaeghe, 2015 Program Coordinator at Nutrien.

“It brings together the strengths of educations and conservation experts into a joint effort of tangible environmental stewardship,” Lindsey notes. “Moreover, the students build life skills that will help them the rest of their lives.”

Caring for Our Watersheds wins special mention in Argentina!

Congratulations Nutrien Ag Solutions for your hard work!
Congratulations Nutrien Ag Solutions for your hard work!

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.

In 2014, 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!

School Note

If schools are interested in participating they MUST REGISTER THEIR SCHOOL – click here to register.

Volunteer Note

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.

CFW Partner Recognized for Conservation Efforts!

Congratulations to the Center for Land-Based Learning
Congratulations to the Center for Land-Based Learning

Our community partner in California, The Center for Land-Based Learning, was awarded The Partners in Conservation Award from California Department of the Interior in 2014.

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.

Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior, 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 Ltd. 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.

For a great article on award which also highlights Caring for Our Watersheds, see:

Watershed Moment: CFW feted once again

Caring for our Watersheds received a 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 Verhaeghe, 2011 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 Wins Emerald Award

Nutrien Wins<br />
Alberta Emerald Award!
Nutrien Wins
Alberta Emerald Award!

Nutrien’s Caring for our Watersheds (CFW) program was 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 Verhaeghe, 2011 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 Verhaeghe.

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 [former] 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 the 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.

2011 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).

Related Links:

Related Documents:

2010 Top Finalists Announced at Government of Alberta


On Monday, April 18, 2011 Alberta’s Minister of Environment, Honourable Rob Renner, greeted seven Caring for our Watersheds (CFW) winners and their chaperons at the Legislative Building.

The CFW group had the privilege of visiting with Minister Renner in his office. The CFW students were given an opportunity to explain their ideas to Minister Renner and again to MLA Broyce Jacobs.

Later in the afternoon, Minister Renner introduced the Caring for our Watersheds group in Alberta’s Legislative Assembly.