By Nikki Jamieson
Vauxhall town council has decided they want to go the education route for their project as a participant of the Southern Alberta Water Charter.
The Southern Alberta Water Charter is an initiative by the Oldman Watershed Council, to bring together municipalities and organizations to pledge to protect drinking water, in order to promote better watershed management and health.
Vauxhall council had reviewed a copy of the charter during their Nov. 7 meeting, where they decided to brainstorm ideas for a community project, and came back to it during their Dec. 19 meeting. The only stipulations to what the project is, is that it must be a new initiative and it must promote watershed health.
“You can choose anything you want (for the project), said Margaret Plumtree, Vauxhall mayor.
Ideas floated around council included pulling weeds instead of spraying, promoting switching to tap water instead of bottled and showing conservation videos in the schools. Councillor Martin Kondor believed the latter option was the best.
“That’s the way to go. You go with kids, they’ll hound you when you get home,” said Kondor. “Old people don’t switch; they continue what they’re doing. I’ve been spraying forever and I’ll be spraying forever probably.”
Although there is a question of how they send the request to the local schools, councillors did say that it would be a good idea to target both elementary and high-school students, and maybe look into doing school tours of the resident water plant.
Council passed a motion to promote showing conservation videos in schools as their project for the water charter.
All participating parties must sign the charter by Feb. 15, 2017. On March 15, all parties would have chosen a badge to present their watershed health focus, along with specific actions they will take in order to promote it. On April 15, OWC and charter partners will have officially launched their partnership and make it known to the public, sharing their progress throughout the summer, with the campaign ending on September 2017.
By Oct. 15, the OWC will have compiled all the participants blogs and action reports, to be published on their website and social media channels, along with a summary of the actions participants undergone and their impact on the watershed. A celebratory event will be help on Nov. 15 to thank all the project’s participants and to hand out awards.