Rossland Summit School has won a national youth sustainability award.
The 2016-2017 Jack Layton Award for Youth Action in Sustainability was awarded to Rossland Summit School (RSS) for its Bio Blitz project. The project was led by Laura Jackman, who teaches a Grade 1 and 2 class.
“That is her passion and she has put a ton of effort into that, but it just comes from her passion for it,” Patrick Kinghorn, RSS principal, says of Jackman’s environmental education efforts.
The project started back in the fall when Jackman applied to EcoLeague for a grant to purchase learning tools for the Jubilee Wetland. The application was successful and she bought nets, magnifying glasses, buckets and other tools, which are now stored in a shed located on the wetland and accessible to everyone. Jackman also hosted a Professional Development Day for staff at RSS to introduce them to the tools and provide them with resources to get outside.
“Laura’s really been instrumental in guiding people in what to do out there,” said Kinghorn.
Her own students have been learning in the wetland since September and as a result of their learning, they decided they wanted to paint yellow fish next to the storm drains to remind Rossland residents to be mindful of what they allow to flow down the drain.
For the third part of the project, RSS hosted its first annual Bio Blitz.
“I thought it was such a great event where we taught an entire community essentially because it was three schools involved — RSS, the French school, as well as the preschool at Four Winds — and we taught them all about sustainability in our community and the local flora and fauna,” says Jackman. “So I thought it was just a great thing to submit in for another grant and so I submitted a video with help from a friend of mine.”
The award is $500, which Jackman says will go toward more learning tools for the wetland.
“I’m really looking forward to getting a class set of shovels,” she said.
On Sept. 21, Learning for a Sustainable Future, which administers the award, will present it to RSS at an assembly.