Nicola-Canford Nerd Herd
- Grade 5
- Grade 6
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Nicola-Canford wanted to build off the successes of last year’s BC Green Games project. Our group this year includes a few students who were with us last year, but the majority are green. What they lack in BC Green Games experience they made up for with enthusiasm.
We have a smaller group that is interested in gardening this year. Last year, we had great success with some of the crops we started in our classroom such as tomatoes and peppers, but others crops needed to be outside. Our plans to start a new garden outdoors and on-site hit a snag when they did not mesh with a school district plan that we were unaware of. Over the summer, the school district finished some landscaping at our school and now we have a great new place for our garden this year. Our group has started several plants indoors already and plan to start some with younger grades after Spring Break, when they will have the best care possible. The main goals this year are to involve as many students in our school as possible, to have some food ready to eat in late June and get younger people excited about the benefits of growing their own food.
Last year, our garden group had a compost as well, but this year we have a group that just wants to work on composting. We are acquiring some red worms and are going to experiment with different types of composting in addition to the in-class composting we started last year. At the end of this year and the beginning of next year, we should be able to study the effectiveness of the different composts and come up with the most efficient plans going for future use at Nicola-Canford.
This year’s recycling group intends to make recycling a part of daily life at Nicola-Canford. They recently installed new bins in each class room so students can recycle items that are not to be returned as part of our Return-It program through Encorp (which our students run), but should not go into the paper recycling that is contracted out by the school district either. In the past, these items usually ended up in the garbage, so we plan to give the students of our school the tools they need to recycle more regularly by explaining which items go in which bins, labelling the bins, sorting the materials every two weeks and taking them to the proper recycling centers each month.
Energy saving continues to be an area of interest for our students. Working with the information that we got last year from Destination Conservation, our group is running a contest to see which class can create the greatest reduction in their use of energy. We are hoping to work with the school district’s maintenance supervisor to find more ways to build energy reducing habits in our building.
Something new to our BC Green Games team this year is a group of students studying biosolids. This is an issue that gained a lot of attention in our community over the last couple of years when a group called Friends of the Nicola Valley partnered with local First Nations to protest the importation of biosolids into the Nicola Valley. Our group wants to find out why biosolids were being imported in the first place, what the difference is between biosolids and agricultural fertilizers, and what can be done to ensure that our valley remains safe from environmental toxins such as this. We are in the process of connecting with the groups that were involved in this dispute over the last year, and connecting with others in our community through a blog and Facebook to learn more about what our community has done and can continue to do with respect to this important issue.
Our group of students have many different environmental issues they are passionate about and our BC Green Games project allows them to choose to explore one and make our school and community a better place in which to live.