On June 6, 250 Grade 1 to 6 students from around Kootenay Lake came to the Youth Water Festival at Lakeside Park. This was the second annual festival hosted by Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society.
The purpose of the day was to provide a platform for different non-profits to engage with students about environmental stewardship around the lake. Students spent time at each non-profit booth that focused on a different aspect of freshwater health, recreation or safety. Every booth was interactive and involved different games and hands-on learning experiences.
For example, the Central Kootenay Invasive Species had the kids playing musical mussels, a game similar to musical chairs, but with a few twists it became a lesson about keeping zebra mussels out of the lake. Nelson Canoe and Kayak club had students learning proper paddling strokes, and the Slocan Streamkeepers had students dressing up as aquatic insects. Students and teachers alike learned a lot and had tonnes of fun.
“It was inspiring to see so many students listening and being engaged while learning about environmental issues. They are the future and it’s heartwarming to know they care about the health of our lake,” said Camille LeBlanc, the assistant environmental manager who planned the event.
Although the festival was hosted by Friends of Kootenay Lake it was an example of collaboration from the entire community. Schools, local business and non-profits all contributed and made the day possible.
“This event was only possible because of the non-profits who donated their time to come and run activities with the students as well as those who sponsored the event,” said LeBlanc.
The team at Friends of Kootenay Lake was happy with the event’s success and is excited about hosting it again next year.