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Good News for the Environment

Wetland Project
Lawrence Elementary School
North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada

Background information provided by Glen Leask, Principal of Lawrence Elementary School:

The pond is situated in the north-east corner of the City of North Battleford. It is all that remains of a much larger wetland area that has been developed into a park area and residential neighbourhoods. Now the wetland occupies a basin that is approximately 180 metres long and 30 metres wide. The pond has an emergent border of cattails and water plants, willow clumps and cottonwoods. Blackbirds, waterfowl, and muskrats make their homes in the pond.

The project has gone through a series of Phases:

Phase I – (2003-2004) A partnership was formed between Ducks Unlimited, the City of North Battleford, and Lawrence Elementary school. Heidi Juul, wetland biologist, of Ducks Unlimited had been providing wetland outings for Lawrence school students for a number of years. She suggested to Glen Leask, Principal of Lawrence school, that the pond within a couple of blocks of the school would make a good place for outdoor environmental opportunities.

Keith Anderson, Park Director for the City of North Battleford, was approached to see if the City would be interested in a partnership. Letters were sent to the City of North Battleford for permission to use the wetland, and to the Board of Education for Battleford's School Division #118 asking for their support. The City would provide the wetland, and city employee labour in preparing the wetland area (allowing grass to go natural, working the land for tree planting, cutting grass in some areas, watering tree seedlings until established). Lawrence school would provide the stewardship of the area, assist with the seedling plantings, garbage clean-up, and use the pond during all seasons for an outdoor classroom. Ducks Unlimited would provide assistance with the project, assist teachers to integrate lesson plans into an outdoor classroom setting, accompany classes on field trips, and evaluate the success of the project.

Phase II – (2004-2005) Lawrence school staff inserviced with the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority to receive the Project Wet training. This provides a manual of teacher-friendly lesson plans on wetland use by students. Staff also inserviced with Heidi Juul to develop wetland lesson plans that are grade level/curriculum appropriate. These lesson plans will be provided to schools within our school division and eventually will be placed on our school web page. On May 9, 2005, Lawrence students, City workers, and Ducks Unlimited staff had a planting day that involved planting trees and shrubs within areas around the wetland. The City workers had worked the soil and provided mulch. Lawrence students provided the man-power to plant the seedlings. The City of North Battleford provided split log benches to be used by classrooms to sit with a view of the wetland. All three organizations had input into a Wetland sign and shared the expense of its design and installation.

Phase III – (2005-2006) October 2005, representatives of Ducks Unlimited, the City of North Battleford, and the Board of Education dedicated a sign located on the edge of the pond. Students will continue to reclaim area around the pond and plant trees received from the Shand Power Greenhouse. The trees used will be at the direction of biologist Heidi Juul and Keith Anderson. Maintenance workers will ready tree planting sites, city workers will allow grass to grow around edge of the pond, students will plant trees and maintain the sites through garbage collection. Students and city workers will pull weeds, although with wood chips that should be at a minimum. Heidi Juul has been contracted by Ducks Unlimited to provide Lawrence school with a number of instructional days throughout the school year. Staff and students will use Heidi’s instructional expertise to use the Wetland area as an outdoor classroom.

Phase IV – (2006-2007) – Maintenance of the existing area, stewardship by Lawrence students, continuation of outdoor classrooms, continued support by Heidi Juul through Ducks Unlimited, and continued support by the city workers through Keith Anderson.

This has been a wonderful experience for the students and staff of Lawrence school. The wetland site promotes knowledge, skills, stewardship, and citizenship. It is also a reclaimed site for wildlife habitat. We have found many urban students have a “disconnect” from nature and this has provided that connection.

Lawrence Elementary School Wetland Project
Many pictures are provided on this site.
Click the links to see students and adults working on the project,
and the species and habitat that make up this wetland ecosystem.

Congratulations to the students and staff of Lawrence Elementary School
and all the people involved in this great outdoor classroom wetland project!


District Philosophy
Chaffey Joint Union High School District
Ontario, C

We were quite impressed by the District Philosophy adopted by the Chaffey Joint Union High School District, and wanted to call your attention to the goals they carefully established.  Among those goals  you will find:  love of learning, self worth, respect, educational support, opportunity, wellbeing, high ideals, consideration for others, values, pride, citizenship, reason, responsibility, development to full potential, preparation for a productive life, caring for the natural environment, coping, appreciation, dignity, and good will.  This surely must be a good place of learning for young people.

Congratulations to the Chaffey Joint Union High School District for setting high ideals,
and for incorporating a real sense of responsibility into their role in the development of young people. 

Of course, we were also excited to read Goal No. 10!

Send in your Good News
for the Environment!

We would like to hear from people who have good news about the health of our environment and biodiversity.  We all get discouraged if all we ever hear is bad news and "doomsday" predictions.  We know there is lots of good news out there too.  We all need to know about the harm that is being done to our environment (the bad news), so that we can come up with solutions, assistance, and new innovations to correct the problems - but we also need to hear about the good news and the success stories from people who are helping improve the environment.

There are a lot of good things that are happening throughout the world,
and learning about them will inspire us all!

From creek cleanups in neighborhoods to major industrial changes that companies have made in order to clean up their environmental impact - every effort in every country, small and large, helps make a difference.

Send your Good News for the Environment to .

For the protection of children, we don't publish their names.   We do ask that all submissions note your permission to put your stories on Eco-Pros.  We reserve the right to edit them down to brief statements to convey the accomplishment of your endeavors.  If you have the information on the Web, please include the webpage address.  Upon review, Web links may or may not be included on our site.

If you would like some ideas on how you can help the environment, please see Eco-Pros
What You Can Do To Help section and info and links throughout our website.  If the information we have provided on our website has been a driving force and of assistance in your environmental efforts, please let us know.  We like to know that our website is benefiting you; and as a result, your future and our Earth.


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