Since the first Earth Day in 1970, the third week of April has always been about youth making bold steps for change. And the students taking part in Wildsight’s Beyond Recycling program are doing just that. Motivated to make a difference, the Grades 4-7 students in this sustainability education program are coming up with innovative ideas to meet complex environmental challenges. As the culmination of their eight-month journey “Beyond Recycling,” the two Invermere classes participating in Beyond Recycling this year found a unique way to celebrate Earth Day and share their enthusiasm and newly acquired knowledge with others.
Students in Ms. Lema’s Grade 7 class at J.A. Laird and students in Mrs. Whittick’s Grade 7 class at Windermere Elementary School have been planning and preparing a number of interactive stations highlighting environmental topics. The students combined what they had been learning in the Beyond Recycling program with their own creativity and classroom projects and developed 14 stations.
On Friday, April 27th, the two classes finally met and set up these 14 stations in Pothole Park as an interactive “Earth Day Event”. Four primary classes participated in the stations which ranged from live music and bottle cap art to learning about worm composting and plastics in our oceans. The participating primary classes played a number of games, learned how moving water can create electricity through a miniature hydro power generator wheel, used small solar panels to power fans and lights, and learned what objects in household garbage can be composted, recycled, and reduced.
The event was a great success with over 100 students participating, a beautiful sunny day, and great support from the District of Invermere, School District 6, as well as tents loaned from Lake Windermere Ambassadors, WildSafe BC, and Wildsight Invermere. Thank you to everyone involved!
Once a week since the fall, the two Grade 7 classes have been exploring their ecological footprint, waste, energy, climate change, water and food. They’ve become “garbologists,” made their own paper, tracked the life cycles of everyday objects and considered how their choices impact the world around them.
The Beyond Recycling students join the 192 countries and more than a billion people who celebrate Earth Day this year. Over the last fifty years, the message remains the same: we need to create the change we want to see in the world, and it is our youth who are going to take us there.