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THE NORTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER WATERSHED

 

YOUTH WATER COUNCIL

Your water. Your future. Your voice

The 2024 Youth Water Council

The 2024 Youth Water Council features a group of 9 passionate and driven high school students collaborating towards improved environmental health in the North Saskatchewan River watershed.

 
Apoorva Bhadane, Edmonton, Grade 11
Eadlin Lalonde, Smoky Lake, Grade 12
Humza Khan, Edmonton, Grade 11
Jemimah Ashaolu, Edmonton, Grade 10
Josie Camilleri, Parkland County, Grade 11
Judah Walker, Fort Saskatchewan, Grade 12
Kayleigh Staigh, Sherwood Park, Grade 12
Roy Li, Edmonton, Grade 12
Tanya Chaudhary, Edmonton, Grade 10

2024 Project: An Educational Comic Book about the North Saskatchewan River watershed

With the help of NSWA, the Youth Water Council put their heads together to choose a project that spoke to them. The ‘River Time Vortex Extravaganza!’ story is the product of months of learning, discovery, deliberation, and project planning. The council hopes this comic will help readers feel a greater connection to the watershed and all it does for us.

Read the Comic book here!

Comic Summary:

Two siblings camping near the North Saskatchewan River are taken on a journey back in time to discover the importance of watershed health and respecting our rivers. Join them as they make new friends and gain a new perspective on the waters that give them life in this River Time Vortex Extravaganza!

Illustrated by: Amanda Schulz

Written by: The 2024 Youth Water Council

Acknowledgements:

Azure Johnson provided invaluable knowledge and insight for the comic’s Indigenous storyline. As an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, Azure’s contribution to the comic was essential. The YWC learned about the Indigenous connection to water and the importance of sharing diverse perspectives.

Ailee Brownrigg provided creative writing coaching for our council. Ailee helped bring the council’s ideas to life and we truly could not have done it without her. With Ailee’s help, the YWC learned about the story building process, including storytelling, character building, and planning.

Check out the comic’s promotional poster and postcard.

The Youth Water Council Story Video

Check out the Youth Water Council Story  video, produced by Story Brokers Media House.

The video shares the 2024 Youth Water Council’s journey. See how council members expanded their watershed knowledge during virtual learning sessions and how they planned their Innovative Project at the 4H Club Weekend Camp!

Knowledge experts featured in the video include: Jennifer Janzen, Executive Director of Alberta Tomorrow Foundation, Melissa Logan, Environmental Coordinator, City of St. Albert, Bradley Peter – Executive Director, Alberta Lake Management Society, and Azure Johnson – Director of Azure & Company, Indigenous Consultation.

What is the Youth Water Council program?

Make a real change in your local environment. Work with like-minded peers and leaders in stewardship. Build experience for future career and academic opportunities.

This program is the first of its kind in our watershed and provides a platform for youth to collaborate, voice their opinions, and drive positive change for the future of our water.  Council members embark on a journey of discovery over 5 months, through virtual learning sessions, weekend camps, and the creation of their own Innovative Project.

Stay tuned for updates for our 2025 council.

For more information, contact the program coordinators!

Jillian Peterson (Jillian.Peterson@nswa.ab.ca)

Kaila Belovich (Kaila.Belovich@nswa.ab.ca)

Learning and DIscovery

Youth Water Council members are led through virtual learning sessions by NSWA team members and environmental knowledge experts. We explore topics on watershed management and stewardship, conservation, restoration, wetland health, water quality and climate change impacts.

The Innovative Project

Next, YWC council members are guided through the creation of their very own Innovative Project during scheduled virtual sessions and a weekend camp! Council members have the opportunity to work on an environmental cause that speaks to them and learn project management skills along the way. 

ELigibility

Prospective applicants need only demonstrate their passion for community, environment and team-learning to apply. We aim to form a team of diverse and impassioned students, ready to spark change in our watershed.

Applicants must:

  • Live or attend high school in the North Saskatchewan River watershed
  • Be able to attend all in-person and virtual sessions (see above schedule)
  • Submit an application that showcases why you’re interested in joining the council

Please note that this Youth Council may require members to complete additional work outside of meeting sessions. Members also require access to a computer to attend virtual sessions.

Thank you to our generous funders for supporting this program. 

Richard Easton Estate, Enbridge Fueling Futures, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and Sherritt International.

Thank you to our partner, the 4H Club of Alberta.

 

In memory of Richard Easton.

Richard (Dick) Easton (1949-2022) was raised and educated in Calgary, where he attained a degree in Social Work at the University of Calgary. He met his future wife Susan at the U of C, and following graduation they launched their respective careers in Social Work and raised a family in Fort Saskatchewan. 

Throughout his life Dick was a passionate advocate for social and environmental justice. Living in a community recognized as one of the nations leading industrial centres for petro-chemical manufacturing, Dick kept a watchful eye out for impacts from industrial emissions. He was not reluctant to speak out on his environmental concerns and observations, often as a lone voice within the community. 

Dick had a lasting passion in conservation, natural history and nature photography and was a regular navigator of Alberta Rivers in his Aluminum canoe, which he titled the “Orange Bear”.   His favoured and most frequent outings were on the North Saskatchewan River, setting in at Devon and spending a glorious long day paddling through to Fort Saskatchewan, often solo but at time with friends.  Dick took a special interest in understanding the geology, geography and natural features of the NSR watershed and through his photography would make public presentations on some of his many canoe outings.  

Dick passed away in August 2022, making generous provisions in his Will for a variety of charitable causes.  His family has elected to support development of the Youth Water Council through the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance as a tribute to his memory.