Calgary's youth present environmental innovations to Mayor Nenshi at 29th Annual Mayor's Environment Expo
Mayor Naheed Nenshi toured eco-exhibits that lined the walls of the City Hall Atrium this week, as elementary, junior high, and high school students proudly showcased their environmental achievements at the 29th Annual Mayor’s Environment Expo.
The youth Eco-Leaders explained how their projects address real-life environmental issues and the impacts they have at home, school or in their community. Thirty-two schools participated in The City’s six-month Eco-Leaders program that yielded projects like pop-bottle greenhouses, mobile school bicycle shops and saving the habitats of endangered species.
“The Mayor’s Environment Expo reminds us that, no matter our age, every action we take to reduce our impact on the environment is important,” said Mayor Nenshi. “I am inspired by the hard work and innovation of these young environmental stewards for the tremendous leadership they are demonstrating in their schools and communities.”
Held in tandem with the Expo is the Mayor’s Environment Youth Photography Contest. This year’s winner Owen Belanger received first place with his photo in the “Natural Infrastructure” category.
The City also announced winners of its annual youth environmental awards program - the Jack Leslie Youth Environmental Grants:
Arbour Lake School: Every spring, this school experiences water pooling and muddy terrain that collects at the bottom of a hill on school property. This leads to injuries, litter and extra work for janitorial staff. The student team consulted with the community and determined that a rain garden would be the most effective solution to their problem. The students will use the grant money to plant highly absorbent plants in the rain garden and pathways near the school.
Bishop Carroll High School: A series of traffic circles have been constructed adjacent to Bishop Carroll High School. As part of the construction, a dry pond has been added, introducing a new ecosystem to the area. This student team will identify biotic and abiotic factors to test throughout the year, allowing them to observe changes and evaluate the health of the ecosystem. Because of the Jack Leslie Grant funding, the students are able to expand their project to explore how the spring runoff alters the water chemistry of the Bow River.
Arbour Lake School: This second student-led project at this school aims to use hydroelectricity to power street lights. The student team has created a prototype of a storm drain that uses the collected water to illuminate an L.E.D. power board.
Over its 29-year history, the Expo has educated more than 58,000 young people through interactive exhibits, displays and workshops. The Expo mandate is to develop well-educated environmental stewards who practice and promote environmental sustainability beyond the classroom.
Please see the attached backgrounder for more details.