Nicola Canford BC Green Games Project

Nicola Canford Elementary

Nicola Canford Elementary
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 6
Video Project (1 video)

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Our school is located in Lower Nicola, BC, about ten kilometers west of Merritt, BC. Last year we were relocated to a facility in Merritt while our school was renovated. This event shaped some of what we have chosen to work on. With a mostly new building, our school community feels a renewed sense of pride in our surroundings. This led to a class decision to sign up for BC Green Games and showcase our desire to make Nicola Canford "the place to be" (this is part of our school song).

I wanted this project to be something that students were passionate about similar to projects the school has run in prior years such as Genius Hour. Students did research on past BC Green Games projects, about environmental concerns that their community has, and ways in which our new facility can become more environmentally friendly. We accumulated a list of topics and students selected one they were passionate about. We decided to form three groups and students were willing to work in one of the three groups: gardening and composting group, a recycling and litter reduction group, and an energy conservation group.

The gardening and composting group has been working to replace our school garden. We had one before the renovations to our facility, but it was in a state of neglect. This is likely why it got paved over during the renovations. Working with the principal, we have picked a new garden site, and have made arrangements to prepare the site after spring break. In the meantime, we have started plants in our classroom. We worked with the garden club at Merritt Secondary School, and a Facebook group called Merritt Gardening and Homesteading to learn which crops will work best in our area, which should be started inside and when other crops can be started outside. We had a guest help us learn to plant using recycled materials as planters, and as our skills grow we will be teaching students in the younger grades how to plant. They will be able to plant rows in the garden with their class once the garden is built. After Spring Break, we are also planning to do a presentation in each class on composting. Our idea is to have students compost things like orange and banana peels instead of throwing them in the garbage. We are hoping to have some of our own soil to use in our garden next year.

Our recycling group is working to make the school's recycling program run even more effectively. We have signed up to be a Return-it school through Encorp to track how many containers we are able to recycle each month. The recycling group is also working with information provided by the Recycling Council of BC. They will be completing an activity called Dumpster Dig with younger students to teach where items can be recycled to avoid sending them to a landfill. In the spring, they want to call attention to the litter issue at our school through posters, and the creation of a litter sculpture.

The third group at Nicola Canford is trying to discover ways to conserve energy, and pass the information on to staff and students. We created a character in our video submission called the Ninja Energy Saving Warrior to engage students in the issue. We will encourage the classes to have a student turn off lights before going to the gym, or outside for lunch. That student can be the Energy Saving Ninja Warrior for their classroom. Our new building has far more windows compared to our old facility, and this showed us that it was not necessary to have the lights on all day. This group is also working with information provided by Destination Conservation in order to find other ways to conserve energy. We are currently working on doing investigations on items that use power in each classroom.

Our three groups have worked together to make the school a more environmentally friendly place. Our BC Green Games project allows us to continue with the school focus on community as we look at the ways in which we can make our world a better place, and Nicola Canford the place to be.

Elementary School Winner