West Kelowna  

Kelowna elementary students learn environmental stewardship

Students learn to go green

Grade four and five Webber Road Elementary School students are handing out reusable bags as a part of their We Can Make A Difference Club, where they learn how to better recycle and to help save the environment.

“Each week we come together and make a difference by picking up the garbage by the school, sorting the garbage from the recycling and the hard and soft plastics," said Adham, a grade four student.

"We just hope that by us going on Castanet News, it will help other communities and schools come together and pick up the garbage by their school.”

The reusable bags came from a $500 grant funded by Learning For A Sustainable Future, after the We Can Make A Difference Club spent the year cleaning the creek that flows through the school property.

“We made a plan to restore it back to its original indigenous state since it was overrun with invasive species such as Himalayan blackberry, watercress, hound's tongue and a few more," said Harper, another student.

"We worked really hard for like, basically, all of the school year to make it a safer place for all grades to come down here. We really wanted to get the creek to be super nice and beautiful, so we worked really hard and put our minds to it and it looks like this now.”

In just one week’s time, Webber Road Elementary School gathered 450 plastic bags from students to illustrate how much plastic is used by by students. For this 175-student school, that’s over 17,000 plastic bags a year.

The reusable bags were then given to students.

“It’s worth it because the kids are so excited about it and I really believe they’re our future. My generation, we weren’t taught this, and I think it’s our responsibility now that we know better, to do better," said social and emotional learning teacher Debbie DeHoog.

After a successful pilot project, it will be back for the 2023-24 school year, and the students will be picking a whole new topic where they can make a difference.

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