Ray Tschillard, Poudre Learning Center
Each fall area high school students, interested in the air they breathe, the water they drink and the land they live, on join together for the Caring for our Watersheds™ program challenge to think about their local Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson River watersheds and how they can protect these most essential environmental assets. The students research their local watershed, identify an environmental concern, and develop a potential solution.
Caring for our Watersheds- COLORADO is made possible locally with support from Agrium Advanced Technologies, Poudre Learning Center, Central Colorado Water Conservancy District and the City of Greeley Water & Sewer Department. Through the years students have provided viable answers to the question— “What can you do to improve your watershed?” It is apparent by their efforts how much future generations care about watersheds, their world and their place in it.
Each year around 200 students from high schools in Greeley, Fort Collins, Eaton, Johnstown, Loveland and Berthoud entered the contest, writing 1,000 word essays explaining their research on the Cache la Poudre or the Big Thompson watersheds, describing the environmental issues and their proposed solutions, and outlining implementation budgets for their ideas. Students compete for $6,000 in cash awards and participating schools are eligible for $8,000 in cash awards. In addition, Agrium has made $10,000 available to help students implement their ideas this spring. The creativity this contest affords students is beneficial for our environment and the communities we serve. Anytime we can engage and involve our younger generation in environmental conversation it benefits us all. They are actively seeking ways to make our communities sustainable for upcoming generations and we are here to help them.
One of the past winners was Ivonne Morales, presently a University of Colorado Environmental Studies major and former Greeley Central student. Ivonnes’s proposal was the 2013 CFW 2nd place finisher. Ivonne’s idea was selected to be implemented internationally at all twelve Caring for our Watershed™ sites across the globe!
Brother and sister team Danny and Manny Araujo were the top winners in the 2014 contest. Their project bought reusable grocery bags and did educational presentations about plastic bags to their students, faculty, parents and community.
The success of CFW relies on teachers, students and community volunteers. If you would like to be involved please visit www.CaringForOurWatersheds.com
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