EcoVision lands grant to help expand programs

If it were a sports team, the Lacombe Composite High School EcovVision Club would be considered a dynasty.

BACK TO NATURE - Steven Schultz plants an Evans Cherry tree in the edible forest as part of EcoVision’s new outdoor classroom and garden project.

BACK TO NATURE - Steven Schultz plants an Evans Cherry tree in the edible forest as part of EcoVision’s new outdoor classroom and garden project.

If it were a sports team, the Lacombe Composite High School EcovVision Club would be considered a dynasty.

For the fourth year running, EcoVision has received $10,000 for the A+ for Energy grant from BP Petroleum. Steven Schultz, staff supervisor for the club, said that this continuous funding shows that EcoVision has some great ideas that are turning heads.

“It tells me that we do have some inspirational ideas,” said Schultz.

This year, EcoVision received the grant to go towards the Lacombe Educational Aquaponics Food System (LEAFS), which is a subproject of the greenhouse project that began two years ago. Next year, the club plans to apply for the grant to fund its edible forest and outdoor classroom project, which began over the weekend.

EcoVision first heard of and applied for the grant while trying to secure funds for its solar panel project in 2009.

Once the money came through, the club had enough to double the scope of its project from a three kilowatt system to a six kilowatt system as well as incorporate some hands-on education components to the program as well.

To be eligible for the A+ for Energy grant, projects must be related to the production of energy, must benefit the school, the community and be educational, he said.

“The educational curriculum outcomes are the most stringent of all the grants we’ve written for,” said Schultz. “It has to be applicable within your classroom.”

EcoVision was founded seven years ago when a student wishing to leave a legacy approached Schultz with a challenge, he said. That challenge was to get the school completely self-sufficient and off the grid.

It was an ambitious goal and the club soon realized they wouldn’t be able to take it on all at once. Instead, they decided to take on a series of smaller projects to build towards that goal and encourage students to join in.

While the goal may have been a benefit to the schools, the purpose of the club was to benefit its students, he said.

“We wanted to empower students to make a difference.”

EcoVision’s first project was to improve the recycling services that were available at the school. At the time, there was no cardboard recycling and very little paper recycling.

As such, EcoVision worked with the then Town of Lacombe to enhance the paper recycling at the school and introduce cardboard recycling.

One of the aspects of being a leader, said Schultz, is being able to share one’s message. To do that, EcoVision has become very involved in social media, multimedia messaging and members have spoken at a number of conferences about EcoVision projects.

People are catching on.

Schultz said that students are realizing they can be leaders.

“Students have bought into the concept that they can make a difference,” he said. He added that what EcoVision had accomplished would not be possible without the support of the “extraordinary community” of Lacombe.

“Without community volunteers, we would be an island,” said Schultz.

EcoVision’s next project began on May 25 with the planting of the edible forest, garden and beginnings of the outdoor classroom.

Schultz said the club came up with the idea because there are no outdoor spaces for students to hang out. Then, the club took that idea further, deciding to place fruit-bearing plants, benches, bird and bat houses and an outdoor classroom in the area as well.

Schultz, a science teacher, said the garden has numerous hands-on educational opportunities as well.

“Instead of saying in class, ‘An apple comes from a flower,’ you can go out to the orchard and take a look at the flowers and watch the bees pollinate and pick the fruit.”

Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

Most Read