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Lord Tweedsmuir students are getting green for going green.
The school's environmental leadership students worked hard over the past year to help green their school and their community, and won the top prize of $1,000 in this year’s national High School Climate Challenge (HSCC). The prize is awarded to only three schools in Canada.
The HSCC program, run by the non-profit Clean Air Champions and funded by the Honda Foundation and the City of Surrey, requires the completion of as many of 140 "acts of green" over the course of the school year as possible.
Lord Tweedsmuir worked on the program for three years and built up projects in energy conservation, transport campaigns, water projects, park and tree initiatives. In the past year, they also completed pilot projects for BC Hydro, TransLink and Pulse Energy.
“The High School Climate Challenge has been an excellent catalyst for growth in our high school environment activity,” says Susan Hunter-Jivung, a physics teacher and Environment Team cheerleader at Lord Tweedsmuir.
Students eagerly received their winnings this past Tuesday at a year-end wrap-up party at Greenaway Park in Surrey – right among the large trees they planted there earlier in the year with the Surrey Parks Releaf program.
Environment club members were presented with a cheque for $1,000 by Clean Air Champion and Olympic sprinter and National Team athlete Nathan Vadeboncoeur.
“It’s great to see these students taking what they have learned about climate change and making some real, tangible changes as a result,” says Vadeboncoeur, who is currently completing his PhD in resource management at UBC.
Every year, schools that register for the High School Climate Challenge have the opportunity to launch the program with a presentation by a Clean Air Champion – an Olympic athlete advocating for action on the environment.
“We will put this money to good use in our community,” says Grade 10 leadership student student Puneet Sidhu, who also chairs Youth in Philanthropy, creating solutions for Surrey.
As part of the Picnic in the Park wrap party, students went on to visit a community garden. The HSCC money will be put in part toward a community garden project. The remainder will pay for ongoing supplies and costs.