Although school has been operating from home, the students of Lacombe Composite Highschool’s Ecovision club have kept busy in many different ways. The students have been attending regular meetings, working on the Ecovision website, and have even been involved with additional courses.
“We got a tremendous offer with an organization called Verge Permaculture who is putting an online course together to help students learn the process of designing their own gardens and their own future homes using practices and natural systems that happen in nature. The three essentials are collecting water, creating healthy soil, collecting or utilizing the energy that’s available,” said Teacher Supervisor for Ecovision, Steven Schultz.
Verge Permaculture has given Ecovision four spots for their university caliber course valued at $1,500.
The club is also preparing virtual beekeeping courses for the general public. According to Schultz, there is a growing need in the community to raise bees.
“We hope to run a virtual online beekeeping course at the end of May or beginning of June. Along with that, hopefully, expand our ability to meet the beekeeping needs of locals in Central Alberta. One of the consequences of COVID-19 was all bee packages that normally come from Australia and New Zealand—because there is no disease in those countries— has been cut off,” explained Schultz.
The teacher recommends the following methods to support bee populations during this time:
- Plant pollinator-friendly garden
- Avoid harmful chemicals on your lawn or garden
- Buy locally-sourced honey
- Take a beekeeping introductory course
- Try to raise some bees
- Support your local bee organizations
If you would have questions about beekeeping or the courses being offered feel free to contact Steven Schultz at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 403-782-6615.
The Ecovision students have also been growing plants for their online plant sale in support of the Lacombe Foodbank.
“We realized that people need something to be hopeful for and plants and food security are two important issues on many people’s minds. So, we anticipated that would be a need in our community,” explained Schultz.
15 per cent of their plant sales are going to the Lacombe Food Bank while the remaining funds will be reinvested into Ecovision to support their ecologically friendly projects. So far, the club has donated $75 to the Lacombe Food Bank but Schultz anticipates donating another couple hundred dollars by next month. Given the success of the program, Schultz believes the club will continue on with their fundraising efforts in the years to come. You can check out their online store by clicking here.
Unfortunately for Ecovision, many of their events and keynote speaking opportunities had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. The club’s latest project ‘Roofs 4 Kids,’ an in-school goat sanctuary was scheduled to be finished by the end of this school year, but the project was postponed until September.
“We could have had it finished by June but the whole project was led, planned, and administered by students. It just didn’t seem right to put the building up without having the students involved in that part of the process,” said Schultz.
However, the club still is looking forward to the virtual Emerald Award ceremony. The club is a finalist for the Alberta Emerald Award in the education category and could earn up to $7,000. The final award winners will be announced on June 2nd.