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CBT pilots water stewardship initiative in six local schools

Grade 8 science students at six schools across the Columbia Basin were among the first to take part in Know Your Watershed, a new regionally-based water stewardship initiative of Columbia Basin Trust (CBT).

"CBT recognizes the importance of actively engaging youth in water issues in the Basin, "said Neil Muth, CBT President and CEO. "Through this program we are trying to show students the important role water plays in our lives. We want students to start thinking about where their water comes from, how it's used and where it goes, and to start to think about how they can conserve and protect this resource."

Participating schools included Rossland Secondary School (Rossland), Golden Secondary School (Golden), David Thompson Senior Secondary School (Invermere), Fernie Secondary School (Fernie), W.E. Graham Community School (Slocan City) and Nakusp Senior Secondary (Nakusp). Know Your Watershed is free for participating schools and supplements the Grade 8 science curriculum (Prescribed Learning Outcomes - Earth and Space Science: Water Systems on Earth and BC Ministry of Education Environmental Learning and Experience Framework).

Two classroom sessions and a full-day field trip, tailored to individual communities, offered students a first-hand understanding of water in
their community. With the sessions now complete, students are taking what they learned from Know Your Watershed and applying it outside the classroom through action projects. Some students are implementing new water conservation habits at home, while others may organize a water-related event in their school or their community.

"Water is an important part of our past and our future," added Muth. "We want students to have an informed perspective so they can begin to decide how they can effectively play a part in addressing current and future water issues."

Feedback from students who participated in Know Your Watershed this fall will help CBT plan its approach to engage more students around water and water issues in the future. This hands-on, curriculum-based learning opportunity could eventually be available across the Basin.

Experienced environmental educators delivered this hands-on program which was funded by CBT and developed and delivered in cooperation with the Wildsight education team.

CBT is committed to working with Basin residents to improve their understanding of and involvement in water issues. Know Your Watershed is
one of several water stewardship projects funded and delivered by CBT.
CBT is also working in areas related to water quality, water quantity, water governance and transboundary water issues. For more information on
CBT's Water Initiatives, visit www.cbt.org/water.

This article is a press release from CBT.