Day 160: Darci Maser, Grade 4 Teacher (Muir Lake School)

Congrats to Muir Lake School’s Darci Maser for winning Parkland County’s inaugural Sustainability Award in the schools category! Other PSD nominees included Nature Base Kindergarten represented by Kindergarten Teacher Jeanette Radchenko and Early Childhood Development Supervisor Raelene Finlayson as well as Graminia Grade 4 teachers Andrew Woloshyn and Ethan West for their work with Tower Gardens and their aquaponic ‘fish farm’ at the school.

Parkland County offers awards to residents, businesses, schools, agricultural producers and youth who contribute to sustainability or have made a positive change to our environment. Award applications are accepted from January 1st to April 30th. Awards are presented during Environment week in June.

There are five categories for our Sustainability Award:

  • Residents
  • Businesses
  • Schools
  • Agricultural producers
  • Youth (18 to 30 years old)

Darci Maser’s Nomination – by Principal Gail Ferguson

We started an Environment Club which involves school wide bottle recycling. paper recycling and composting and a student led sustainability and awareness program. Announcements and posters as well as visits to classrooms are done regularly to instill good environmental habits and stewardship. We are also in the process of designing and planning community gardens which will teach our students and community about gardening and indigenous plants. At our school, there is a push to involve all students in participating in sustainability practices so that it will become a daily lifelong habit. As our students are Parkland County residents, it is important for them to be a part of the planning process for Parkland County.

We are motivated by a concern that students are losing touch with nature and how this will impact not only their health and wellness but also that of the environment. the future. All of our students (430) and staff (30) as well as our parents and community are involved. We rely on the monies generated from our bottle recycling program to sustain our green initiatives as well as accessing Alberta Beverage recycling.

We have also had Parkland County donate compost bins for every classroom.

Steps taken:

  1. Bottle recylcing
  2. Paper recycling
  3. Ordering of Paper recycling bin
  4. School Compost bin construction
  5. Invite consultation from Parkland County
  6. Distribution of compost bins (donated by Parkland County)
  7. Formation of Gardening – Career adn Technology Foundations Course for Middle Year students
  8. Formation of Muir Lake Blooms – Garden Project

The Results

Bottle Recycling – The money raised helps to fund innovative projects like the Muir Lake Blooms Garden project.

Paper Recyling – Our paper recyling program diverts a standard sized dumpster full of paper going into the landfills every two weeks.

Composting Program – The composting program will contribute soil for replenishing the gardens with nutrients and cuts down on landfill use.

Muir Lake Blooms Garden Project – By planting root vegetables, it is hoped that our Hot Lunch program will be able to serve fresh organic food that is grown locally which will in turn lessen our carbon footprint.

The Benefits

These projects are designed so that our students will become ethical and engaged citizens caring for their community and for nature. It is hoped that they will be ambassadors for a better future and responsible future land owners. where ever they will live.

The Future

We are committed to sustaining these projects believing that student action today will impact future environmental choices. We understand that health and wellness is very connected to nature and there is a growing need for all to be aware of impacts being in nature can have both locally and globally.

One Response

  1. Fran Korpela at |

    Congratulations to Darci and to Muir Lake School – well done! (and I know that you won’t print this message!) 🙂


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