This is one of my favourite times of year, not just because the flowers are blooming but because it means Conservation Halton Dream Team will soon be in local schools talking to children, teachers and parents about the importance of water and how to protect it.
Through a unique program, Stream of Dreams, we encourage residents to reduce their consumption, properly dispose of their waste, and talk to their neighbours about keeping our creeks clean.
The Stream of Dreams is a nationwide water education program that got its start in Burnaby, British Columbia in 1998.
It was started by an eight year old girl, Chanel, and her mother, Louise, in response to a devastating event in their local creek. Chanel and Louise were out for their routine walk along Byrne Creek when they noticed something was terribly wrong: the once clear water was now a milky white, with thousands of dead fish floating at the surface. They found out this was caused by a toxic mix of chemicals that was traced back to a storm drain.
In response to this, they partnered with the Stream Keepers Association (a group of local scientists) and created a water education program where participants learn about water protection, and paint wooden fish which are installed on a chain link fence to create a mural as a reminder of our commitment to protect the environment.
This program has now spread across Canada with over 120,000 students participating and protecting their local creeks!
There are over 40 Stream of Dreams murals in Halton, with more on the way. There’s even one at the Household Hazardous Waste Depot at the Halton Waste Management Site. This was painted by residents who attended the Site’s 20th anniversary celebration.
I feel so lucky to be able to support these communities which are committed to protecting the environment, and forge some great friendships in the process. I love hearing the kids and teachers respond to the program and become passionate about protecting the area we live in, not to mention the beautiful murals they create!
So keep an eye out… there might be some dreamfish flowing your way this spring!
About this guest blogger:
Elizabeth Wren currently coordinates the Stream of Dreams program for Conservation Halton, where she has worked for the past six years. She has over 10 years of experience working at various outdoor education centres and conservation authorities, along with two years teaching overseas. Elizabeth developed her passion for the environment while completing an Earth Sciences degree at Laurentain University and continues to seek out unique environmental programs to participate in and share with others.