Students from Nelson’s Trafalgar Middle School will be leading the charge in marking Earth Day this year with initiatives that will help the community and raise awareness as well.
Trafalgar Grade 8 students participated in the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) ‘Know Your Watershed’ Program in the fall, when they toured the City water infrastructure as well as learned how to perform water quality tests.
Understanding where their water comes from and how it is affected by human use, the students are now doing an action project aimed to teach others in the community.
With support from Friends of Kootenay Lake as well as many helpful volunteers, the Grade 8 students are inviting classes from Wildflower and South Nelson Schools to help them paint yellow fish beside storm drains.
“We are painting fish to raise awareness that the storm drains go directly to the lake,” said Katie Stolte, grade 8 student.
Monica Nissen, Know Your Watershed educator adds: “Many people don’t know that drains on the road are there to collect rainwater only and do not get filtered or treated by our wastewater treatment systems, so it is very important not to put anything such as soaps, oils, or chemicals down these drains.”
Friends of Kootenay Lake Program Director, Claire DelaSalle, is pleased to be involved in the project because “by preventing pollution from entering the storm drain system we are helping to keep Kootenay Lake healthy,” she said.
While a group of about 80 students will be working on the Yellow Fish project, the rest of the school will be participating in an Earth Day garbage clean-up throughout the community on Monday. With so many volunteers working on these projects, it is anticipated that they will be able to make a significant contribution to Earth Day in the City of Nelson.
Classes will take to the streets on Monday starting at Trafalgar Middle School at 8:45 a.m. and going until 11:30.