Caring for our Watersheds (CFW) is an opportunity for students in grades 7-12 to win up to $1,000 for themselves and their school. CFW is an educational program that aims to combine environmental organizations, industry strengths, and local communities, to heighten students’ knowledge of watersheds. The program began in 2007 when Agrium partnered with the Battle River Watershed Alliance. Since 2007, the program has grown to an international scale, with the contest being held across North America, Argentina, and Australia. The BRWA began offering free CFW presentations to classrooms in 2013 to educate students on the Beaver River watershed and importance of protecting our local watersheds. These presentations aim to heighten the level of knowledge of our watershed, as well as to promote constructive discussion around environmental concerns and solutions surrounding our watershed. Students have the chance to brainstorm ways in which they can improve their watershed and are given the option of writing a proposal for the contest. The overall goal is to have students submit a proposal answering the question, “What can you do to improve your watershed?”
In the 2014 final competition in Wetaskiwin, 3 students from the Beaver River watershed placed! These students looked at riparian health along certain lakes in their area. In particular, the group focused on cattails and their ability to buffer excessive nutrients and pollutants from entering waterbodies. They wanted to carry out a study on cattail buffering to determine their level of effectiveness. This would be an initial step followed by efforts to increase cattail populations along some stretches of impacted lakes. To read more about these students, check out the 2014 News Release published by the Battle River Watershed Alliance. The 2016 winners can be found on the Caring for our Watersheds website.
To learn more about the Caring for our Watersheds contest, visit their website.