From promoting alternatives to plastic water bottles to protecting the habitat of the burrowing owl, CBE students had a strong showing of projects at the annual Mayor’s Environment Expo. This year, 24 CBE schools from K-12, addressed issues related to waste, water and energy, as well raising awareness about our natural world.
The 2019 Mayor’s Environment Expo took place June 4-6 in conjunction with National Environment Week. The Expo fosters environmental behaviour change through educational and interactive exhibits and workshops aimed at youth. It ensures we have well-educated environmental stewards that practice and promote environmental sustainability.
Through the City of Calgary’s EcoLeaders program, student teams are challenged to identify an environmental problem and contribute to a solution that positively impacts their community. By engaging in these curriculum-linked projects, students build their leadership, eco-literacy and commitment to environmental sustainability. This year, The journey for these schools began in early September as students researched various environmental issues. Through the assistance of their teachers, they applied to the Eco-Leaders program. In January, at a local conference, students had the opportunity to connect to various experts in the field to further build their eco-literacy and refine their project ideas. After this inspiring conference, subject matter experts visited the schools to assist students in implementing their ideas. The Eco-Leaders then displayed their work at the Mayor’s Environment Expo, sharing their journey, learnings and solutions.
A Sample of CBE Student Projects
Belvedere Parkway “If We Build It, Will They Come”
To attract local solitary bees and other pollinators to their local environment, these students expanded their existing school vegetable garden by planting local, native wildflower garden with ‘bee loving’ plants and installed solitary bee homes. Their work has led to their school being the first Bee City School
Braeside “The Waste Busters”
To create a self-sustaining recycling and composting culture, students installed more recycling & compost stations in their school. They also educated their student body on how to recycle and compost effectively and why it is important.
Students began an awareness campaign for Burrowing Owls to share their importance to our local ecosystem. By educating the community, students are working to build an understanding that will lead to the protection of the small, long-legged owl from habitat loss and ensure a stronger ecosystem around Calgary.
Arbour Lake “Tap vs. Bottle”
Students aimed to reduce the number of single use plastic water bottles in their school and educate the school about the issue. Through comparing plastic bottled water and tap water data, creating a petition to stop selling plastic water bottles in school, conducting student surveys, proving water taste tests and educational materials, students are achieving their project goals.
Sherwood “Experiential Outdoor Education and Stewardship”
To increase a school culture of sustainability, students developed educational outreach materials, conducted a community clean up, installed a water bottle filling station and took outdoor educational trips. These initiatives were able to increase student and school awareness of environmental issues and encourage outdoor activities.
Queen Elizabeth “Gardening with Native Plants for Water Sustainability”
Students continued their work on a multi-year project to build sustainable urban gardens to help educate their community on simple ways to reduce our impact on our watershed. Students applied their research and built an experimental model garden that highlights how sustainable plants can reduce water, fertilizer, and pesticide/herbicide use in urban gardens.