Southern Alberta

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Native Plant Campaign

2012 Calgary, Alberta Canada
The Native Plant Campaign (NPC) was an opportunity for youth in Calgary to learn about and get involved in ecological biodiversity within the City of Calgary. As the first-place proposal in Caring for our Watersheds 2011, the NPC was a project designed by youth for youth. Since the student authors were members of UNA-Canada’s Ripple Effect program at the time, UNA-Canada offered to be the mentor organization for implementation.

Twenty-four youth, ages 14-20, volunteered their Saturday afternoon, despite the rain, to learn about and plant native plant species along the banks of the constructed wetland on Prince’s Island Park, Calgary. The event ran from 12:30-4:00pm on Saturday June 2, 2012.

The event began with a welcome from UNA-Canada and a brief overview of the upcoming Rio+20 summit in order to connect local actions with global affairs. Once the students had toured the wetland and learned about riparian health and native/invasive plant species, they spent the remaining time planting over 100 plants, trees, and shrubs. The following species were planted: Balsam Poplar, Aspen, River Birch, Paper Birch, River Alder, Chokecherry, Tawny Willow, Black Bud Willow, Pussy Willow, Silverberry, Dogwood, and Dwarf Birch.

One student said, “I really enjoyed the informational nature walk…I learned a lot and it made the plantings that more meaningful. I am definitely excited to participate in another event like this in the future.”

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Milk River Stabilization Project

2011 Milk River, Alberta, Canada

Jessie Tollestrup, an Erle Rivers student, submitted a proposal to Caring for our Watershed contest. Her proposal was on bank stabilization due to erosion problems on the Milk River. She proposed building willow wattle fences at a location where stream banks are being eroded. Continue reading

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Caring for our Watershed Kits

2011 Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
While most middle school students are worried about the present, Cassandra Schinkel is more concerned about the future. That’s why she took it upon herself to build and distribute Caring for Our Watershed Kits to help raise awareness and educate her peers about the importance of their watershed and of taking steps to care for their watershed.

Cassandra felt that it is very important to get children
involved at an early age so that they can be educated
about the environment and help preserve the world they
depend on for future generations. It’s important to raise awareness as many people take the watershed they live in, and the functions it provides, for granted. With her passion for raising awareness and of educating younger generations about the watershed they live in and what they can do, Cassandra hit 7 grade five classrooms in Lethbridge equipped with a 15 minute powerpoint presentation and 150 Caring for Your Watershed kits. Over 150 students heard her presentation and received a kit.kits2-2

Each Caring for Your Watershed kit contained a watershed word search, bug jar, CFW seed bookmark, water warrior notepad, water warrior badge, water drop ball and a coloring sheet.

Cassandra wanted her project to be educational and fun at
the same time. What she didn’t expect to find out through
the implementation of her project was that she actually taught the teachers something about their watershed, as well as the children in the classrooms she visited.

Cassandra received corporate support for her project from Nutrien, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, St. Mary River Irrigation District and the Oldman Watershed Council.

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St. James Global Leadership Peace Garden

2011 Calgary, Alberta Canada

As part of the Grade Nine Global Leadership Program at St. James School, Veronica Skebo and Charlotte Hardwicke-Brown participated in Caring for our Watersheds. Their idea was to expand their school Peace Garden to incorporate a rain garden.

It took more than just two students to fulfill this project. There were twenty-four students and staff working together. The final project measured around 110 metres squared. The team choose native trees and shrubs such as, White Spruce, Pincherry, and Aspen trees, Common Juniper, Red Twig Dogwood, Yellow Twig and Dwarf Birch shrubs.

Veronica said, “The different types of native plants give a more environment friendly feel and give diversity to the entire garden.”st_james_peace_garden1-3

With the help from Nutrien, North Glenmore Park Community Association, St. James Parent Council and the Education Society, the team raised $5,600.

Veronica went on to add, “The purpose of the garden
was to create and promote awareness and education
on the effect of watersheds and how we can help protect them. We also created the garden to preserve our watersheds through the use of a rain garden concept. We took a lot of time to learn about this concept and make it into a real life plan. Now that I see the amount of rain we gather, I know the concept works well. We believe that the concepts we have put into making this garden work will help protect the watersheds and all of the organisms that live off of the watersheds. The peace garden was originally created so that students can learn outside about our ecosystems and environment and now with the expansion, the peace garden will be used much more with the different concepts that were incorporated.”

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Youth Nature Club

2010 Lethbrige, Alberta, Canada
Tyson Bohnert from Lethbridge was awarded $1000 to create an on-line Neighbourhood Stewards and Nature Club mentorship program. He performed live presentations, and used different mediums of interaction including website, workshops, videos, pictures, to inform about nature related facts and issues.
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The Ripple Effect

2010 Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 Samantha Hans wanted to raise awareness of water challenges and planned a water conference for high school students.

A Water Conference for Youth by Youth was held on Wed. May 11, 2011. The day started with an introduction of UNA-Canada and The Ripple Effect project. The Calgary Current, the Youth Advocacy Group, presented to approximately 50 high school students and their teachers explaining what they do, why they do it, and why they enjoy their involvement in the project. The group of students was then split up into two groups to discuss the basics of water usage, conservation, Calgary’s Watershed and sustainability. After a quick snack the students were back to activities which included ‘water’ Family Feud, learning about the ‘water cost’ of daily items and an interactive guessing game where countries were compared based on their water usage.

Students designed their own water sustainability t-shirts, and participated in various other learning activities including a presentation from My World, My Choice followed by three speakers with a career spin on water issues. Students were exposed to government, NGO and corporate perspectives, offering them a broader sense of career opportunities than what they would find at a career fair. Speakers included a speaker from Alberta Wilderness Association, Nutrien, and the City of Calgary. The day was filled with engaging information and new perspectives on water sustainability that the students had never heard before. Positive feedback was received from both the students and teachers who attended the conference; The Youth Advocacy Group of Calgary Current was impressed with the student’s level of engagement and immensely enjoyed their mentoring role and experience.


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Water Depletion

2010 Milk River, Alberta, Canada
Maya Degrood from Erle River High School achieved one of the top ranks in the Grade 7 – 9 Caring for Our Watershed contest for 2010. Her plan looks at the problem of water depletion in Milk River.
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Reduction of Water Consumption in Homes

2010 Milk River, Alberta, Canada

Tierra Maggrah from Erle Rivers High School discuss the problem of the amount of water consumption in Canadian households; her solution achieved one of the top ranks in the 2010 Caring for our Watershed Grade 7- 9 division.

Tierra Maggrah concerned about how much water the average household uses in Canada; specifically the quantity used in her community and wanted to do something about it.

Tierra knows that most people consume water by using it to maintain a nice yard, so she proposes that
a rain barrel be placed at each home which would be used to water plants.

Her proposition of using rain barrels to obtain water as an alternative to regular tap water is a solution to reduce the consumption of water in the household.

Tierra’s implementation plan involves the purchase of 30 rain barrels, of which 3 were raffled off at the Community Stewardship Forum.

The remaining 27 rain barrels were sold at a subsidized cost at the community forum to off-set the implementation cost.


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Green is Great

2010 Milk River, Alberta, Canada

Sierra Harty, from Erle River High School, won first place at the 2010 Caring for Watershed (CFW)Grade 7-9 Division.
Sierra Harty noticed the deterioration of the riverbanks leading to the water at popular canoe entry sites along the Milk River. After consulting with the County, she determined that a path made up of crushed gravel and highlighted by signs would direct the flow of recreationists to stay on the path.

The path highlighted by signs directed the flow of traffic in and out of the river at two high traffic spots: Poverty Rock and Coffin Bridge. By keeping the recreationists stay on the path, it helps minimize the deterioration of the river banks, which leads to the popular canoe entry sites along the Milk River.

She created three trail signs, and worked with the County of Warner and MRWCC to develop key messages on the trail signs. Sierra also worked on the trail sign site logistics for relevant placements on the path.